Addressing community energy challenges with utility-scale renewables : a case study of Hopefield Wind Farm

Swartz, Kyle (2019-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : This thesis documents how a utility-scale renewable energy project has addressed community energy challenges through the development of a wind farm as part of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). The implementation of the REIPPPP in South Africa has been designed for the procurement to secure additional renewable energy capacity and makes allowance for local beneficiation to the country. The procurement framework mandates successful independent power producers (IPPs) to spend a percentage of annual income in local communities found within a 50-kilometre radius of a renewable energy project site. It prescribes that this percentage of annual income be used on socio-economic development (SED) and enterprise development (ED) in surrounding communities that are commonly implemented through the practice of community development. Despite well-intended community beneficiation stemming from the programme, early reports have highlighted several challenges that IPPs experience in integrating social and economic development as part of their core business operations. Challenges range from a lack of guidance from the government regarding the practice of social and economic development to poor engagement with communities over upliftment projects accrued to them. These challenges hamper the potentially transformative social and economic development considerations of the REIPPPP. This masters research study showcases how the SED and ED funds, stemming from the Hopefield Wind Farm (owned by Umoya Energy) and arising as a result of its participation within the REIPPPP, have addressed community energy challenges experienced in the beneficiary town of Hopefield. Presented as a narrative analysis, the case study showcases the particular leadership style Umoya Energy undertook in its community engagement process. This resulted in positive outcomes for the community in the form of a strategic project that responds to the energy challenges faced in the beneficiary community, while at the same time addressing other common challenges faced, such as unemployment.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Hierdie tesis bestudeer in watter mate ’n hernubare-energieprojek op nutskaal die energie-uitdagings van ’n gemeenskap die hoof bied. Die projek is ’n windkragaanleg wat as deel van Suid-Afrika se program vir die verkryging van hernubare energie van onafhanklike kragprodusente, oftewel die “REIPPPP”, ontwikkel is. Die doel van die REIPPPP is om bykomende hernubare-energievermoë vir Suid-Afrika te skep en terselfdertyd die moontlikheid van plaaslike benefisiëring te ondersoek. Die verkrygingsraamwerk vereis dat suksesvolle onafhanklike kragprodusente (“IPPs”) ’n persentasie van hulle jaarlikse inkomste in plaaslike gemeenskappe binne ’n omtrek van 50 km vanaf die perseel van die hernubare-energieprojek bestee. Volgens projekvoorskrifte moet hierdie geld aangewend word vir sosio-ekonomiese en sakeontwikkeling in die omliggende gemeenskappe, welke inisiatiewe oor die algemeen deur die praktyk van gemeenskapsontwikkeling geïmplementeer word. Ondanks hierdie goed bedoelde programelement van gemeenskapsbenefisiëring, dui aanvanklike terugvoering op verskeie uitdagings vir IPP’s om maatskaplike en ekonomiese ontwikkeling by hulle kernsakebedrywighede te integreer. Uitdagings wissel van gebrekkige leiding van die regering om maatskaplike en ekonomiese ontwikkeling teweeg te bring, tot swak skakeling met gemeenskappe oor die opheffingsprojekte wat vir hulle op die been gebring word. Hierdie uitdagings verhinder die potensieel lewensveranderende maatskaplike en ekonomiese ontwikkeling wat die REIPPPP beoog. Hierdie magisternavorsingstudie toon hoe die sosio-ekonomiese en sakeontwikkelingsfinansiering uit die Hopefield-windkragaanleg (wat deur Umoya Energy besit word) die energie-uitdagings van die begunstigdedorp Hopefield die hoof bied as deel van dié kragprodusent se deelname aan die REIPPPP. Die gevallestudie, wat as ’n narratiewe ontleding aangebied word, bring ’n bepaalde leierskapstyl aan die lig wat Umoya Energy in hulle gemeenskapskakelingsproses gebruik. Dít het tot dusver positiewe uitkomste vir die gemeenskap tot gevolg gehad in die vorm van ’n strategiese projek wat nie net op die betrokke gemeenskap se energie-uitdagings reageer nie, maar terselfdertyd ook ander algemene uitdagings soos werkloosheid die hoof bied.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/106014
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