Browsing by Author "Brent, A. C."
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- ItemChallenges facing South Africa’s electricity sector’s integrated resource plan : a qualitative system dynamics approach(Association of Southern African Schools and Departments of Public Administration and Management, 2018) Mqadi, L.; Musango, J. K.; Brent, A. C.National electricity plans are policy approaches that provide opportunities for integrated, goal-oriented electricity transition management. This article provides a critical reflection of the challenges that face the Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) of South Africa, which include the misalignment of the electricity sector’s long-term plan with other national strategic plans, and the minimal endogenisation of this long-term plan into existing sustainability transitions governance frameworks. The article argues that the use of qualitative system dynamics, particularly causal loop diagrams, can be useful in learning about the key feedback loops that relate to the IRP development process challenges in South Africa. The results show that resistance to IRP development, adoption and its overall implementation has contributed negatively to the electricity sustainability transitions agenda. Further, current solutions merely deal with symptoms rather than the root cause of the IRP challenges. An integrated sustainable electricity transitions framework is thus proposed, aimed at improving South Africa’s electricity sustainability transitions agenda. The article finally argues the need to entrench the sustainability transitions-based framework in the existing IRP policy development process in South Africa.
- ItemThe contribution of energy efficiency towards the success of industrial organisations in South Africa(Southern African Institute for Industrial Engineering, 2012-05) Gouws, P. A.; Brent, A. C.; Pierce, W. T.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Internationally, governments and lobby groups increasingly put pressure on organisations to reduce their impact on the environment. To this end, various studies show the drivers, barriers, and contributions of energy efficiency towards a more sustainable environment, particularly through reduced greenhouse gas emissions and other by-products. In the study summarised in this paper, the factors that drive organisational success were compared with the effects that energy efficiency projects have on organisations. Methods, policies, and strategies on the application of energy efficiency were also studied. The findings are that, in general, most organisations have energy efficiency policies and strategies in place, and they include internal and external stakeholders in their energy efficiency efforts. These efforts also show a positive correlation with the factors that contribute to the perceived success of organisations in the South African industrial sector. These strategies must be maintained in the longer term, as energy efficiency will play a more important role in the future.
- ItemCritical review of the levelised cost of energy metric(Southern African Institute for Industrial Engineering, 2016) Sklar-Chik, M. D.; Brent, A. C.; De Kock, I. H.The purpose of this paper is to critically review the ‘levelised cost of energy’ metric used in electricity project development. This metric is widely used, because it is a simple metric to calculate the cost per unit of electricity for a given technology connected to the electricity network. However, it neglects certain key terms such as inflation, integration costs, and system costs. The implications of incorporating these additional costs would provide a more comprehensive metric for evaluating electricity generation projects, and for the system as a whole. It is therefore recommended to refine the metric for the South African context.
- ItemThe impact of residential rooftop solar PV on municipal finances : an analysis of Stellenbosch(University of Cape Town, Energy Research Centre, 2017) Korsten, N.; Brent, A. C.; Sebitosi, A. B.; Kritzinger, K.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Electricity utilities throughout the world are responding to the increased uptake of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) in the household sector. Although the increase of decentralised solar PV is seen as progressive for sustainable development, it is not without financial implications for electricity utilities. There is a concern in South Africa that allowing rooftop solar PV connection to the grid will reduce electricity sales for local governments and thus their revenue streams from electricity. An investigation was carried out to examine the financial impact that increasing installations of grid-connected rooftop PV at a household level might have on local governments in South Africa. Stellenbosch Municipality was used as a case study, and two different approaches were used. The first considered the maximum grid capacity for distributed generation, as determined by the South African grid standards. The second was based on individual households that would gain the most financial benefit from investing in rooftop PV. The outcome indicated a financial reduction in total electricity revenue of 0.6–2.4% depending on the approach followed. A fixed monthly charge of about R363 would counter these potential financial loses, but entail a disincentive for households to invest in solar PV installations.
- ItemImplications for the agriculture sector of a green economy transition in the Western Cape Province of South Africa : a system dynamics modelling approach to food crop production(Southern African Institute for Industrial Engineering, 2017-05) Van Niekerk, Jacobus Bosman Smit; Brent, A. C.; Musango, Josephine Kaviti; De Kock, Imke HanluENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Western Cape Provincial government in South Africa has introduced a green economy framework, ‘Green is Smart’, to create a more sustainable economy. This framework stipulates plans for the Western Cape Province to implement more sustainable farming practices for food crop production. While sustainable farming practices will have benefits for the environment, they will also impact food crop production and will require financial investments from stakeholders. To comprehend fully the problem at hand, and to understand better the implications of a green economy transition for the food crop production system, system dynamics modelling was undertaken. The model’s findings highlight that sustainable farming practices will only be financially and environmentally viable if they match the yields of conventional farming practices.
- ItemIntegration costs of renewable energy technologies in future energy generation scenarios(Southern African Institute for Industrial Engineering, 2018-08-31) Sklar-Chik, M. D.; Brent, A. C.; De Kock, I. H.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The objective of the paper is to understand the integration costs of renewable energy technologies (RETs) in future energy generation scenarios for South Africa. The study used PLEXOS1 to conduct a bottom-up hourly simulation, incorporating the high renewable energy scenarios of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for 2030, in which RET penetrations are projected to be below 20 per cent. After verification and validation of the model by PLEXOS subject matter experts, the final model was run with two cases: a base case, and a constraint case. The results for these two cases for the year 2030 exhibited system costs of R0.39/kWh and R0.48/kWh respectively. A secondary output was the levelised cost of energy values for a number of energy generation technologies. A sensitivity analysis subsequently revealed that the largest contributor to a change in system costs is the demand forecast, followed by an increase in renewable energy outputs. Finally, recommendations are made to improve future energy modelling research by addressing the key assumptions of this research inquiry.
- ItemAn integrative review of the potential barriers to and drivers of adopting and implementing sustainable construction in South Africa(Southern African Institute for Industrial Engineering, 2020-11-11) Marsh, Ralmar; Brent, A. C.; De Kock, ImkeENGLISH ABSTRACT: While sustainable construction has gained increasing international attention, a limited number of studies address the issue of sustainable construction in South Africa. The adoption and implementation of sustainable solutions in the South African construction industry is also not apparent. The objective of this paper was to examine the most significant barriers to and drivers of the adoption and implementation of sustainable construction through an integrative review by systematically analysing the existing literature. This review identified six key themes in the literature: 1) socio-cultural barriers and drivers; 2) economic barriers and drivers; 3) stakeholder barriers and drivers; 4) political barriers and drivers; 5) technological barriers and drivers; and 6) the environmental benefits of adopting sustainable construction. An empirical investigation is ongoing to understand and analyse some of these barriers and drivers, with the aim of facilitating the transition to the adoption and successful implementation of sustainable construction in South Africa.
- ItemAn investigation into the normalisation of water and energy usage in the brewery industry(Southern African Institute for Industrial Engineering, 2017) Kirstein, J. C.; Brent, A. C.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Benchmarks are often used to assist brewers in identifying improvement opportunities; but a comparison of water and energy performances in breweries is deficient without normalising for differences between facilities. The normalisation of water and energy use was subsequently investigated, using SABMiller breweries as a case study. Drivers of water, electricity, and thermal energy usage obtained from the literature were selected, rationalised, and ranked in a Delphi survey of industry experts, and correlated with data from 64 SABMiller sites. The main drivers identified, and the data from 58 SABMiller sites, were then used to develop multi-variable linear regression (MVLR) models. The models, tested with data from six separate SABMiller sites, were able to predict water, electrical, and thermal energy usage to within a seven per cent error. By eliminating the variability in drivers within the control of brewery staff, the MVLR models were used to normalise the performance indices, and enabled direct comparisons between plants.
- ItemA mining perspective on the potential of renewable electricity sources for operations in South Africa : Part 2 – A multi-criteria decision assessment(The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2017) Votteler, R. G.; Brent, A. C.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The first in this series of two papers, on the potential of renewable electricity sources for mining operations in South Africa, investigated the internal structure of mining corporations to evaluate feasible alternative electricity sources that were identified as through earlier research. The purpose of this paper is to combine current knowledge about the external macroeconomic and the internal environments to produce a clear picture of how renewable sources of electricity could perform from the perspective of mining corporations in South Africa. The multi-attribute value theory (MAVT) approach was adapted to structure the research and results. The model was fed with real-time data provided from five different energy companies and four mining corporations operating in South Africa. The results show that the performance of hybrid versions of the currently used electricity sources (diesel generators and Eskom grid connection) with solar PV and onshore wind is favourable compared with the current sources alone. The advantage of diesel generators is significantly greater than that of the Eskom grid connection. By combining the macroeconomic influences with the MAVT results, hybrid solar PV versions are identified as having the greatest potential. In second place are hybrid wind solutions, which have the shortcoming that good wind conditions occur only in coastal regions where there are fewer mining activities. Geothermal hybrid versions are the least favourable owing to the lack of service infrastructure and high initial investment costs.
- ItemA mining perspective on the potential of renewable electricity sources for operations in South Africa Part I—the research approach and internal evaluation process(The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2017) Votteler, R. G.; Brent, A. C.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The business performance of mining corporations in South Africa is adversely affected by the constantly increasing electricity costs. The most commonly used power sources are the national utility supplier via a grid connection, and on-site diesel generators. Previous research has identified the renewable sources of solar photovoltaic (PV), onshore wind, and geothermal energy in hybrid versions with current sources as possible opportunities to counteract rising electricity costs. To provide a clear understanding of the new, developing market of renewable energy sources, this research is divided into two papers. This first paper investigates the internal business structure of mining corporations in order to evaluate electricity generating sources. The multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) method is selected as the most suitable approach for this. The paper identifies the criteria used by mining corporations to evaluate possible electricity generation sources for self-generation by means of the corporations’ own investment. Four mining corporations with several mining locations were interviewed. The interviews revealed both new and identical evaluation criteria when the findings were compared to earlier MCDA adaptations analysed in the literature review. The second paper (Part 2) combines current knowledge about the external macroeconomic environment with the findings about the internal environment described here. MCDA is adapted in Part 2 and implemented to analyse and compare current to hybrid renewable sources from the perspective of mines.
- ItemPerceptions of professional practitioners and property developers relating to the costs of green buildings in South Africa(South African Institution of Civil Engineering, 2015-12) Coetzee, D. A.; Brent, A. C.Sustainable design practices are a key component in ensuring that the building and civil infrastructure industry does not damage our natural environment. Green buildings – and allied initiatives in other sectors of the built environment – are a primary mover in promoting sustainable design practices. An important and dangerous inhibitor of sustainable design practices, however, is the perception among key decision-makers that the additional costs of green – or sustainably designed – buildings are too high, and that they are therefore not economically viable. This study tested what those perceptions are, and compared the results to (limited) actual cost data and found that the cost premium is less than half of what most decision-makers think it is. Recommendations are then made around the development of awareness programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, the need to highlight the necessity for developing further and more accurate data related to green building costs, and the need to establish incentives to drive the take-up of sustainable design practices.
- ItemTracking decarbonisation in the mining sector(Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town, 2018) Immink, H.; Louw, R. T.; Brent, A. C.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions increase as mining companies transport ore over increased distances in opencast operations or extract ore from deeper levels in underground operations. The rising costs of energy sources and enhanced awareness of the impacts of GHG emissions support energy- and emission-reduction initiatives. This paper evaluates the metrics used in GHG emissions projections and target-setting over a ten-year period from 2005, linked to the South African Energy Efficiency Accord. The GHG inventories of a gold- and iron ore-mining company, together with the implemented energy saving projects, were analysed to evaluate progress against targets. A broad target value, defined as a percentage reduction of GHG emissions over time, was found to be problematic in monitoring performance over time. A direct link between emissions and output metrics was not found, due to external factors, such as the impact of changes in the grid emission factor, acquisitions and divestments, and internal factors, including changes in ore grade or mining depth. Using a metric linked to the activity within the operations, such as total tonnes mined, is, therefore, more appropriate for mining companies than production output. A methodological tool, using both the inventory and the savings from implemented mitigation initiatives, is proposed to improve GHG emissions projections, establishing a counterfactual baseline, and to support target setting. Decarbonisation of the mining industry would require careful review of the metrics to project and set GHG reduction targets.