Browsing by Author "Votteler, Roman Gunter"
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- ItemAn analysis of the solar service provider industry in the Western Cape(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2012-12) Votteler, Roman Gunter; Hough, Johan; Venter, Chanel; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. Dept. of Business Management.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Scientists agree that the rising electricity usage of the rapidly growing human race to improve its standard of living is negatively affecting the environment. To create a sustainable environment for future generations, renewable and environmentally friendly resources have to be exchanged for the present finite resources. In South Africa, coal plants are responsible for more than 90% of the electricity production. This means that action has to be taken now to start a process of change to sustainable electricity resources. This study focused on the South African solar industry. Due to the high sun radiation levels, solar technology is one of the renewable energy sources with the greatest potential. The industry is in its infancy, characterised by accelerated growth expectancy and fuelled by factors such as government subsidies, the fluctuations of fossil fuel prices and the increasing focus on economical long-term sustainability. The expected growth necessitates a focus on the market positioning of solar service providers in the Western Cape with the aim of taking full advantage of the opportunities associated with this industry. The main objective of this study was to determine the current structure of the solar service provider value chain and subsequently areas of improvement to increase growth, stakeholder satisfaction and sustainability. A literature review was conducted to address the research objective, relevant approaches and the broader electricity industry. Porter’s Value Chain approach was used as a foundation for the adaptation to the solar service provider value chain. Porter’s Five Forces model was also used as a secondary approach, which analysed the competitive environment of the solar service provider industry in the Western Cape. The methodology entailed a qualitative research approach in the form of semi-structured interviews. All respondents were general managers or owners of a solar service provider, who were interviewed face to face. The study focused on the entire population of solar service providers in the Western Cape. Seventy-seven different service providers were targeted, of which 18 were interviewed. The interviews were transcribed and analysed using content and frequency analysis. To guarantee reliability, a pilot study was conducted to ensure that the questionnaire was understood by the respondents. The validity of this study is gauged as high as the entire population was targeted and the results can be broadly generalised. The findings show that customer service is the foremost value driver for solar service providers. This entails the actual installation of the product as well as the people skills of the installation team. As most customers only have to be served once due to the long life span of the products, marketing also plays an obvious role in attracting new customers. The most important outcome of this study is the determination and a better understanding of the solar service provider value chain in South Africa. The recommendations, especially with regard to marketing and service elements, could improve the performance of solar service providers. The consequence could be an increase in stakeholder satisfaction and an enhanced usage of solar energy in South Africa. Future research should focus on customers to reveal preferences and opportunities for marketing approaches.
- ItemA literature review on the potential of renewable electricity sources for mining operations in South Africa(Energy Research Centre, 2016-05) Votteler, Roman Gunter; Brent, Alan ColinSouth Africa has in recent years created considerable challenges in staying globally competitive. One reason for this is the increase in average electricity costs from 7% to 20% of total operational expenses since 2007. Forecasts for the next decade predict that this development will continue at similar rates. The reliability of Eskom has also decreased, with self-generation being increasingly considered. In addition, the South African government plans to launch a carbon tax in 2016, which will further add to the costs of current electricity sources. This paper investigates the potential of renewable electricity sources for mining operations in South Africa. It is based on an extensive literature analysis, which was conducted in the form of a conceptual review. The investigation of electricity usage patterns reveals that mining operations commonly have a relatively constant day and night consumption. One of the prerequisites for a suitable source is its ability to supply electricity constantly. Most renewable sources can therefore only be used in hybrid versions, owing to relatively high intermittencies, especially with electricity supply from solar photovoltaic and wind generation. Nevertheless, the levelised costs are substantially lower than diesel generators and are already similar to Eskom tariffs, whilst also lowering carbon emissions. The business case of self-generation is shown to be positive. An on-site project can be realised through a power purchase agreement or through own investments.
- ItemA mining perspective on the potential of renewable electricity sources for operations in South Africa(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2016-12) Votteler, Roman Gunter; Brent, Alan C.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. School of Public Leadership.ENGLISH SUMMARY: The economic situation in South Africa has in recent years presented considerable challenges for mining corporations to stay globally competitive. One of the challenges has been the increase in average electricity costs, which contributed especially to large corporates experiencing a rise from 7% to 20% in total operational expenses since 2007. This was brought about by the escalation of cost of the current electricity sources, namely diesel generators and grid connections to the state-owned electricity provider Eskom. Forecasts for the next decade indicate that this trend will continue at similar rates. It is also the case that recurring blackouts or load shedding have decreased the reliability of Eskom. The technological and economic progress of renewable electricity sources in recent years has increased their attractiveness in comparison to the current sources. The use of renewable sources is, thus, a potential opportunity for mining corporations to reduce longterm electricity costs, diversify energy supply, become less dependent on fuel price volatility, decrease greenhouse gas emissions and show green leadership. However, with only one pilot hybrid diesel generator and solar photovoltaic project being realised in South Africa so far, the progress on the renewables front has only recently made it worthwhile for mining corporations to consider renewable sources. The purpose of this research was, therefore, to investigate a possible fit regarding how renewable electricity sources can perform within South African mining operations with their specific characteristics. Consequently, to maximise the contribution to this field, it was important to include in the study, the perspective of mines on evaluating possible electricity sources. The research process consisted of three phases. The first phase comprised a literature review, to investigate the influences on the possible use of renewables for mining operations in South Africa. During the second phase, a literature review was conducted to identify the best approach for the analysis of electricity sources, combining the external environment and an evaluation of internal processes of mining corporations. The multicriteria decision analysis approach was selected. This was followed by an investigation of the different multi-criteria decision analysis methods. The multi-attribute value theory method was identified as the most suitable to be used, with specific adaptations for this study. Previous adaptations to similar cases in energy planning were analysed. The third phase involved conducting semi-structured interviews to reveal the internal evaluation criteria used by mining corporations to evaluate electricity sources. Based on interviews with four mining corporations and five energy companies, the model was created and implemented. The results of the study may contribute to the field of multi-criteria decision analysis and energy planning of mining corporations in that new insights were gained regarding the implementation of a multi-criteria decision analysis method to a corporate, especially mining, environment in energy planning. The outcome showed that the more profitoriented nature and special characteristics of mines had an impact on the selection of evaluation criteria. Previous multi-criteria decision analysis approaches were conducted for governmental or general purposes. The main results of the study contribute towards the performance of renewables for mining operations in South Africa. The analysis identified the current sources of diesel generators and grid-connection to Eskom in hybrid versions with either solar photovoltaic, on-shore wind or geothermal power, as the most attractive renewable options. The business model of self-generation was selected as most promising. To focus on technologies and reduce variables, the project had to be funded through of own-investment. The implementation and analysis of the multi-attribute value theory method showed that the hybrid versions with solar photovoltaic and on-shore wind always performed favourably in comparison with diesel generators or Eskom grid-connection alone. The advantage over diesel generators is significantly higher than over Eskom grid-connection. In combining the macro-economic influences with the multi-attribute value theory results of this study, hybrid solar versions are identified as having the greatest potential. Hybrid wind solutions were placed second in the evaluation, as favourable wind conditions occur only in coastal regions where there are fewer mining activities. Geothermal hybrid versions were selected as the least favourable owing to a low service infrastructure and high initial investment costs.