Sustainable energy and policy design on the energy transition to renewable energy systems in Stellenbosch, case study : Stellenbosch solar water heater by-law

Gosa, Thumakele (2012-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : South Africa is plagued by poverty, unemployment, high demand for housing and increasing demand for reliable energy services to reduce the existing levels of such challenges, which Stellenbosch Municipality (SM) is also struggling to overcome. Currently, the need for sustainable energy has become an increasingly prominent subject of discussion and catalyst of action ever since South Africa first encountered its energy crisis. In May 2008, South Africa was engulfed by severe energy crisis, literally rolling blackouts, industries stopping business, much accusations, frustration and plenty of opportunities. Eskom, which generates 96% of South Africa's electricity, is one of the largest monopolistic energy utilities globally. The country was ranked as the least efficient electricity consumer out of 13 developing nations globally, its inefficiency was compared to that of countries such as Brazil more than twice as efficient, with Hungary three times and Mexico four times more efficient than South Africa. The 2008 energy crisis has compelled the government to take energyefficient measures to reduce electricity consumption, while inducing the consumers to achieve financial savings through the implementation of massive national solar water heater (SWH) programmes. South Africa’s national SWH programmes included Eskom’s and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) short-term to medium-term targets, being the installation of 1 million SWHs by 2014 and another 5.6 million SWHs by 2020. Such targets have been factored into the promising development policy engines such as South Africa’s second Industrial Policy Action Plan and the New Growth Path (NGP) Strategy to put interventions to stimulate local manufacturing sector, SWH market demand and skills development. The current study will attempt to show that the SM has a higher population growth and also higher housing backlogs than before, which both have serious implications for energy demand and for improving the quality of life of poor communities, arresting joblessness and reducing inequalities. It describes an investigation into sustainable energy policy designs crafted to enforce SWH systems within SM. It also seeks to establish the impact of SWH on improving the quality of life for the poor, the exaggeration of SWH benefits and problems in contextualising SWHs to enhance local economic development. It examines whether or not SWH can improve quality of life. The SM population is expected nearly to double by 2017 and its energy supply remains constrained by the limited Western Cape energy capacity. The present study drew lessons from local to international sustainable energy studies and relevant sustainable development literature. It argues that if sincerely empowered and resourced, mayors and local governments globally have the potential to lead emission mitigations to ensure high global greenhouse gas emissions cuts targets are realised. However, most municipality revenue is derived from electricity sales, so using SWHs could really compromise and reduce this revenue source. The tangible SWH benefits are diluted by baseless overrating such as radical improvement of quality of life for target poor communities, overlooking the cultural context and languages spoken by beneficiaries of such SWH Projects, inadequate understanding of the actual electricity and financial savings. More research is required to contextualize, and enable incorporation of SWHs in culture. The research methodology used is qualitative interviews and sustainable energy literature review, journals and grey literature. The chapters cover: (1) sustainable energy systems problems in South Africa, (2) sustainable energy literature review, (3) Stellenbosch Renaissance, (4) research findings, and (5) research findings analysis and recommendations.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Suid-Afrika gaan gebuk onder armoede, werkloosheid, ʼn enorme behoefte aan behuising, en ʼn toenemende vraag na betroubare energiedienste. Sedert Suid-Afrika die eerste keer die gevolge van ʼn energiekrisis begin ervaar het, is die behoefte aan volhoubare energie die onderwerp van al hoe meer gesprekke en ʼn katalisator vir optrede. In Mei 2008 het Sarah Ward gesê: “Suid-Afrika is in die greep van ʼn ernstige energiekrisis, kompleet met beurtkrag, nywerhede wat hul bedrywighede moet staak, baie beskuldigings en frustrasies, en volop geleenthede”. Eskom, wat 96% van Suid-Afrika se energie opwek, is een van die grootste monopolistiese energienutsmaatskappye wêreldwyd. Uit 13 lande oor die wêreld heen word Suid-Afrika as die ondoeltreffendste elektrisiteitsverbruiker beskou: Die land se energie-ondoeltreffendheid is glo vergelykbaar met die van ontwikkelende lande soos Brasilië, Hongarye en Meksiko. Die energiekrisis het die regering genoop om energiedoeltreffendheidsmaatreëls in te stel om elektrisiteitsverbruik te verminder en boonop geldbesparings teweeg te bring deur die inwerkingstelling van ʼn massiewe nasionale sonwaterverhitter- (SWV-) program. Die nasionale SWV-intervensies sluit in Eskom en die Departement van Energie (DOE) se teikens op kort en mediumtermyn, synde die installasie van ʼn miljoen SWV’s teen 2014 en nog 5,6 miljoen SWV’s teen 2020. Dié teikens is ingesluit by belowende ontwikkelingsbeleidsenjins, soos Suid-Afrika se tweede Aksieplan vir Nywerheidsbeleid en die Nuwe Groeipad- (NGP) strategie, om die plaaslike vervaardigingsektor, -mark en vaardighede te ontwikkel. Wat voormelde uitdagings betref, is Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit (SM) geen uitsondering nie. Hierdie tesis toon dat SM se bevolkingsgroeikoers sowel as behuisingsagterstande drasties toegeneem het, wat ernstige implikasies inhou vir die vraag na energie, die verbetering van arm gemeenskappe se lewensgehalte, die werkloosheidsyfer en erge ongelykhede. Die studie beskryf ʼn ondersoek na volhoubare energiebeleidsontwerpe wat daarop gemik is om SWV-stelsels binne die SMregsgebied in werking te stel, die impak te bepaal van SWV-stelsels op die verbetering van arm gemeenskappe se lewensgehalte, en die kontekstualisering van SWV’s vir begunstigdes om aan plaaslike ekonomiese ontwikkeling stukrag te bied. Hiervoor word daar ondersoek of SWV’s wél lewensgehalte verbeter. Die SM-bevolking sal na verwagting teen 2017 verdubbel het. SM-elektrisiteitsverskaffing bly onder druk weens die uiters beperkte Wes-Kaapse energievoorraad. Hierdie studie put uit vorige ervarings van plaaslike én internasionale volhoubare energiestudies sowel as tersaaklike literatuur oor volhoubare ontwikkeling. Daar word aangevoer dat “indien burgemeesters en plaaslike regerings die wêreld oor behoorlik bemagtig en van hulpbronne voorsien word, hulle die potensiaal het om die leiding te bied om vrystellings te verminder en te verseker dat hoë wêreldwye teikens vir die vermindering van kweekhuisgasvrystellings verwesenlik word”. Die vermindering van fossielbrandstofgebaseerde waterverhitting lewer ʼn skamele bydrae tot plaaslike C02-temperingspogings. Tog verdien SM die meeste van sy munisipale inkomste uit elektrisiteitsverkope, en sou die inwerkingstelling van SWV’s hierdie inkomstebron in gevaar stel en laat krimp. Verdere navorsing oor SWV-inwerkingstellingsopsies word vereis vir die hantering van die gevolglike spanning sowel as die kwessie van SWV-besparings en die beskikbaarstelling van inligting oor sodanige besparings in alle plaaslik gesproke tale. Die navorsingsmetodologie wat vir hierdie studie ingespan is, was enkele kwalitatiewe onderhoude en ʼn literatuuroorsig, ook sogenaamde ‘grys literatuur’, oor volhoubare energie vir relevante, volhoubare ontwikkeling. Die hoofstukke dek onderskeidelik (1) probleme met volhoubare energiestelsels in Suid-Afrika; (2) ʼn oorsig van literatuur oor volhoubare energie; (3) die Stellenbosch-Renaissance; (4) die navorsingsbevindinge; en (5) ʼn ontleding van die navorsingsbevindinge sowel as aanbevelings.

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