Exploring the impacts of renewable energy and energy efficiency policies on the mining sector

Msimanga, Bongani (2015-04)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Worldwide, energy has been, and continues to be, key to economic development. However, the current global consensus is that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions would, at current rates, put the world onto a potentially catastrophic trajectory which could lead to global warming of 5 degree Celsius or more compared to pre-industrial times. There is a critical need for a low-carbon development or a move away from conventional fossil fuels energy sources. This study explores impacts of policies that South Africa developed in order to champion sustainable energy strategies based on energy efficiency and non-conventional energy sources, including renewable energy. The mining sector, because of its energy-intensive nature, was chosen. In order to achieve this objective three approaches were carried out: (i) a critical review of literature on energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) ; (ii) two case-studies that demonstrate the impacts of the policies; and (iii) action research on a sample of mines using survey questionnaire and interviewing. The research results show that the need to have security in energy and the need to be competitive and grow revenue are significant in deciding to carry out EE and RE initiatives in the mining sector. The results also show that safety followed by production are the priorities and are accompanied by a range of other demands, such as cost reduction and legislative requirements. It is, therefore, within this context that EE and RE initiative will always be carried out in the mining sector. The research concludes that, under the current market framework, South African EE and RE policies are not as effective as hoped they would be. The research, therefore, recommends that a percentage of the mines’ revenue could be dedicated to EE and RE initiatives. In addition, South Africa needs to come up with a new type of productive endeavour that would lead to less extractive industries, including mines.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Energie is, was en sal wereldwyd altyd die sleutel wees tot ekonomiese ontwikkeling. Nieteenstaande, word dit wereldwyd aanvaar dat die huidige energie opwekking se koolstofdioksied vrystelling moontlik kan lei tot aardverwarming van 5 grade Celsius of meer wanneer vergelyk met word met pre-industriële tye. Daar is ‘n kritiese behoefte aan lae koolstofdioksied vrystelling ontwikkelings of ‘n beperking van konvensionele fossielbrandstof energiebronne. Hierdie studie analiseer die impak van die Suid Afrikaanse beleid wat ontwikkel is om volhoubare energie te bevorder wat effektief en onkonvensioneel is, insluitend hernubare energie. Die mynsektor, as ‘n groot verbruiker van energie, vorm die kern van die studie. Die studie is voltooi in drie fases naamlik: (1) kritiese oorsig van die literatuur oor energiedoeltreffendheid (EE) en hernubare energie (RE); (2) twee gevallestudies wat die impak van die beleid bevestig; en (3) praktiese navorsing deur middel van vraelyste en persoonlike onderhoude met seker myne. Die navorsing bevestig dat die behoefte aan bestendige energie teen kompeterende pryse wat die mynsektor in staat stel om inkomste te groei ,‘n beduidende invloed het op die besluit om EE of RE inisiatiewe te onderneem. Die resultate bevestig verder dat beroepsveiligheid en produksie uitsette die eerste prioriteite vir die myne is. Dit word verder beinvloed deur kostebesparings en wetlike vereistes. Enige EE en RE inisiatiewe wat onderneem word sal in hierdie konteks plaasvind. Die navorsing kom tot die slotsom dat, onder huidige marktoestande, Suid Afrika se EE en RE beleid nie so effektief is as waarop daar gehoop is nie. Die navorsing beveel derhalwe aan dat ‘n persentasie van myne se inkomste geoormerk moet word vir EE en RE inisiatiewe. Verder meer , Suid Afrika moet strewe na tipes produksie wat minder natuurlike grondstowwe onttrek, insluitend die myne.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96668
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