Exploring and modelling the link between energy and the millennium development goals with specific focus on social development
Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2010.
The Millennium Development Goals were commissioned by the United Nations in 2002 under the auspices of the Millennium Project with the aim of addressing development challenges faced by countries around the world in the areas of health, education, infrastructure, hunger and poverty via a series of time-related targets with a deadline for full achievement by 2015. Energy has typically been shown to be significantly correlated with the Human Development Index for a given country. In a similar manner, it is postulated that the various millennium development goal indicators are significantly correlated with total energy and electricity consumption per capita for a given nation. This study commences with a literature review of the origins and objectives of the Millennium Development Goals, followed by a review of the individual goals, targets and indicators. Some current literature regarding the intent and success to date of the Millennium Development Goals was reviewed to provide context. The link between the social and economic development of man, and access to and usage of energy was also explored. To understand the potential role that energy access and usage plays in economic and social development better, a systems thinking approach was adopted and related to how energy access and usage can impact on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Potential problem co-factors relating to economic, social and sustainable development were identified, following which a system dynamic model is presented, illustrating the interaction between the various co-factors and access to energy and its use. Finally, a quantitative evaluation was performed to determine whether energy usage indicators do exhibit a relationship with the indicators of the Millennium Development Goals as proposed. This is illustrated for goals one through six. Where relationships were visible, empirical models were fitted to the energy and millennium development goal indicator datasets, and the coefficient of determination, which represents the strength of the relationship, was calculated. For each of the millennium development goal and targets, the models which exhibited the strongest relationships were used to assess what change in energy or electricity consumption would be required to accompany the desired change to meet the targets outlined in the Millennium Development Goals.