Overcoming energy constraints on future development in Stellenbosch through energy efficiency : retrofitting of solar hot water heaters and gas stoves in middle and high income households in the residential sector

Nyabadza, Munyaradzi Christine (2012-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South Africa faces an energy crisis which presents itself in two forms; electricity generation dominated by coal fired power stations and current electricity supply capacity being unable to meet growth in demand. South Africa urgently requires new generation capacity: however, power stations take time to plan, construct and commission, meaning that South Africa has to consider other options to meet electricity demand. This necessitates quick and innovative ways of meeting future demand. Energy efficiency has been identified as “a low hanging fruit” on the energy tree to address supply constraints and reduce energy related greenhouse gas emissions. There are various energy efficiency programmes aimed at raising awareness of measures that households can take to reduce energy consumption. Some of South Africa’s key objectives of energy efficiency in the residential sector are to mitigate the effect of peak demand on power capacity and to introduce state of the art technologies. In terms of these technologies, there is an overlap between energy efficiency and renewable energy. The widespread installation of renewable energy technologies such as SWHs has the potential to delay the need to construct new power stations. SWHs are a viable renewable energy option for South Africa. It is a mature and proven technology with the potential to address South Africa’s electricity capacity problems. Not only does a SWH provide financial savings to the customer in the long run but it offers the additional benefit of a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to society. Although awareness of the benefits of solar water heaters is increasing, SWH uptake remains low. However the uptake is increasing due to; a SWH rebate offered through Eskom, electricity price increases which are forcing consumers to seek alternatives and a national building code requiring energy efficient water heating in new buildings which is expected to come into effect in 2012. Liquid Petroleum Gas is a low carbon emitting source of fuel for cooking. In South Africa, middle–high income households rely on the electric stove for cooking. Cooking contributes to electricity peak demand. Reducing electricity demand by replacing the electric stove would help in reducing electricity peak demand from the grid. LPG use has been increasing due to the following reasons; electricity supply shortages, shifting government policy on LPG and increasing electricity tariffs forcing lifestyle changes. This case study sought to investigate the opportunities, as well as the barriers for a Stellenbosch municipality - initiated energy efficiency programme. In terms of energy supply and demand management, the municipality has identified energy efficiency and the introduction of renewable energy sources as options for achieving sustainability. One of the barriers facing energy efficient technologies is up-front costs in the case of SWHs and the cost of appropriate equipment such as gas stoves in the case LPG. The study sought to investigate financial mechanisms that the municipality could use to overcome these barriers and promote the use of SWH and gas stove in the residential sector. Data was collected through a combination of a mini Delphi – expert opinion technique, questionnaires, secondary data analysis, telephone and personal interviews with solar water heater industry stakeholders, LPG industry stakeholders and municipal officials. The conclusion drawn from this research is that Stellenbosch Municipality can initiate its own energy efficiency programme instead of waiting for national government. Although the municipality can initiate an energy efficiency programme, it needs to find another institution to fund the programme. Funding mechanisms however do overcome the barrier of high up -front costs and high gas equipment costs making energy efficient technologies affordable.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Suid-Afrika staan voor ʼn energiekrisis wat op twee maniere gestalte kry: elektrisiteitsopwekking wat oorheers word deur steenkoolkragstasies en huidige elektrisiteitsvoorsieningsvermoë wat nie in die groeiende aanvraag kan voorsien nie. Suid-Afrika benodig dringend nuwe kragontwikkelingsvermoë. Dit neem egter tyd om kragstasies te beplan, op te rig en in diens te stel, wat beteken dat Suid-Afrika ander opsies moet oorweeg om in elektrisiteitsaanvraag te voorsien. Dit noodsaak vinnige en innoverende maniere om in toekomstige aanvraag te voorsien. Energierendement is as “ʼn laaghangende vrug” op die energieboom geïdentifiseer ten einde beperkings in kragvoorsiening die hoof te bied en kweekhuisgasuitlatings wat met energie verband hou te verminder. Daar is verskeie energiebesparingsprogramme wat ten doel het om die bewustheid te versterk van maatreëls wat huishoudings kan volg om energieverbruik te verminder. Van Suid-Afrika se vernaamste doelstellings ten opsigte van energierendement in die residensiële sektor is om die uitwerking van spitsaanvraag op kragvermoë te verlig en om die jongste tegnologie in te voer. Ingevolge hierdie tegnologieë is daar ʼn oorvleueling tussen energierendement en hernubare energie. Die algemene installering van hernubare energietegnologieë, soos sonkragwaterverwarming (SWV), het die potensiaal om die noodsaaklikheid van die oprigting van nuwe kragstasies uit te stel. SWV is ʼn lewensvatbare nuwe energieopsie vir Suid-Afrika. Dit is ʼn ontwikkelde en bewese tegnologie met die potensiaal om Suid-Afrika se probleme ten opsigte van elektrisiteitsvermoë die hoof te bied. SWV sorg nie slegs vir die kliënt vir finansiële besparing op die lang duur nie, maar dit bied ook vir die samelewing die bykomende voordeel van ʼn afname in kweekhuisgasuitlatings. Alhoewel die bewustheid van die voordele van sonkragwaterverwarming toeneem, bly die gebruik van SWV laag. Die gebruik is egter besig om toe te neem vanweë ʼn SWV-korting wat deur Eskom aangebied word, elektrisiteitsprysverhogings wat verbruikers dwing om alternatiewe te soek, en ʼn nasionale boureglement wat energiedoeltreffende waterverwarming in nuwe geboue vereis en wat na verwagting in 2012 in werking sal tree. Vloeibare petroleumgas is ʼn brandstofbron wat vir kook gebruik word en wat ʼn lae koolstofvrystelling het. In Suid-Afrika gebruik huishoudings met ʼn middelhoë inkomste die elektriese stoof om te kook. Kook dra by tot elektrisiteitspitsaanvraag. Die vermindering in elektrisiteitsaanvraag deur die vervanging van die elektriese stoof kan help om die elektrisiteitspitsaanvraag op die netwerk te verlaag. Die gebruik van VPG het toegeneem weens die volgende redes: elektrisiteitsvoorsieningstekorte, veranderende regeringsbeleid ten opsigte van VPG en die verhoging in elektrisiteitstariewe wat veranderinge in lewenstyl afdwing. Hierdie gevallestudie het gepoog om die geleenthede, sowel as die hindernisse vir ʼn energierendementprogram wat deur Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit geïnisieer is, te ondersoek. Ten opsigte van energievoorsiening en -aanvraagbestuur het die munisipaliteit energierendement geïdentifiseer en die ingebruikneming van hernubare-energiebronne as opsies om volhoubaarheid te bereik. Een van die hindernisse waarvoor energierenderende tegnologieë te staan kom, is voorkostes in die geval van SWV en die koste van toepaslike toerusting soos gasstowe in die geval VPG. Die studie het ondersoek ingestel na die finansiële meganismes wat die munisipaliteit sou kon gebruik om hierdie hindernisse te bowe te kom en die gebruik van SWV en gasstowe in die residensiële sektor te bevorder. Data is ingevorder deur middel van ʼn kombinasie van ʼn mini-Delphi – kennermeningtegniek, vraelyste, sekondêre data-ontleding, telefoon- en persoonlike onderhoude met belanghebbendes in die sonkragwaterverwarmingsbedryf, belanghebbendes in die VPG-bedryf en munisipale amptenare. Die gevolgtrekking wat uit hierdie navorsing gemaak word, is dat Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit sy eie energierendementprogram kan inisieer in plaas daarvan om vir nasionale regering te wag. Alhoewel die munisipaliteit ʼn energierendementprogram kan inisieer, moet dit ʼn ander instelling kry om die program te befonds. Befondsingsmeganismes oorkom egter die struikelblok van hoë voorkostes en hoë kostes van gastoerusting wat energierenderende tegnologieë bekostigbaar maak.

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