Exploiting renewable energy opportunities through integrated regional power systems: Analysis of institutional perspectives on barriers in Southern Africa

Sichone, Elijah Chizamusoka (2018-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY: Renewable energy resources are abundant, but the opportunities presented by such sources of energy for power generation have not been fully exploited, particularly using an integrated regional approach, due to a myriad of barriers. Although so much research points out and categorises the barriers to renewable energy development in general, it remains too generalised and fails to consider the institutional environments and contextual factors. Using institutional theory and informed by the theory of international trade cooperation in electricity, this study develops a conceptual framework for analysing and understanding the institutional perspectives that traverse the barriers to exploiting renewable energy opportunities in a regionally coordinated and integrated system. The findings of the study should provide stakeholders with insights on and direct more attention at institutional barriers contributing to the large gap between the current levels of the exploitation of renewable energy opportunities in the SADC region and the potentials that are technically feasible using the available renewable energy technologies. An extensive traditional literature analysis found that the institutional elements of legitimation, functions, administrative structures, processes and mechanisms, and culture and attitudes in the SADC region were generally inadequate for up-scaling and sustained development of renewable energy. The findings further indicate that institutional perspectives or conditions have a significant pervasive bearing on renewable energy barriers in general and exploiting such energy resources using integrated power systems and approaches in particular. This study provides strong support for addressing the institutional barriers and that all stakeholders should rethink the approach to scale-up harnessing of renewable energy by taking into account and paying greater attention to the institutional and contextual perspectives.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hernubare energiebronne is volop, maar geleenthede om hierdie energiebronne vir kragopwekking te ontgin, is nog nie ten volle ondersoek nie, veral deur die gebruik van ʼn geïntegreerde plaaslike benadering, as gevolg van ʼn magdom hindernisse. Ten spyte daarvan dat baie navorsing die hindernisse uitlig en in die algemeen kategoriseer, bly die navorsing steeds te veralgemenend en neem nie institusionele omgewings en kontekstuele faktore in ag nie. Deur die gebruik van institusionele teorie, asook ʼn internasionale handelsamewerkingsteorie in elektrisiteit, word ʼn konseptuele raamwerk in hierdie studie ontwikkel om institusionele perspektiewe, wat die hindernisse oorkom, binne ʼn plaaslike gekoördineerde en geïntegreerde sisteem te analiseer en te begryp. Bevindinge van hierdie studie behoort aandeelhouers toe te rus met ʼn beter insig sodat meer aandag toegespits kan word op institusionele hindernisse, wat bydra tot die groot gaping tussen huidige vlakke waarop hernubare energiebronne in die SADC-streek ontgin word en die potensiaal wat tegnies haalbaar is met beskikbare hernubare energietegnologieë. ʼn Uitgebreide tradisionele literatuuranalise het bevind dat institusionele elemente rakende legitimasie, funksies, administratiewe strukture, -prosesse en -meganismes, asook kultuur en houdings in die SADC-streek oor die algemeen onvoldoende is vir die opgradering en volhoubare ontwikkeling van hernubare energie. Verder dui die bevindinge daarop dat institusionele perspektiewe, of toestande oor die algemeen, ʼn beduidende en deurdringende verband toon met hindernisse ten opsigte van hernubare energiebronne en meer spesifiek met die ontginning van sulke energiebronne deur die gebruik van kragstelsels en benaderings. Hierdie studie verskaf sterk ondersteuning aan die idee dat institusionele hindernisse aangespreek moet word en dat alle aandeelhouers die benadering tot opgradering, met betrekking tot die benutting van hernubare energie, moet heroorweeg en meer aandag moet skenk aan institusionele en kontekstuele perspektiewe.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103774
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