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Energy systems analysis and planning: Current and recent projects

These projects has taken place 2012 onwards:

  • Thirsty Energy South Africa

    Client: World Bank

    Period: February 2014 – April 2015

    Lead modeller: Fadiel Ahjum

    Project manager: Adrian Stone

    Project team: Fadiel Ahjum, Bruno Merven, Adrian Stone
    Water Modelling Consultants: James Cullis & Nick Walker (Aurecon)
    External Consultant: Gary Goldstein (DecisionWare Inc. USA)
    External Consultant: Pat DeLaquil (Dr. Pat DeLaquil & Associates)

    Problem statement: The interdependency between water and energy is growing in importance as demands for both water and energy increase.  Several regions of the world are already experiencing water and energy security challenges, which adversely affect sustainable economic growth. In addition, the world’s population is expected to grow, which will in turn increase demand for water and energy, especially in fast-growing developing countries.

    Collaborations: South Africa is a pilot for similar projects in Morocco and China

    Objectives: The project aims to represent the evolving cost of water to the technologies represented in an energy system’s planning model, ERC’s SATIM model, by representing the planned augmentation schemes for key water supply regions to 2050 and their projected costs and capacities. This will thus be a water-smart energy planning model (SATIM-W) which is hoped will give powerful insights into infrastructure decisions when combined with climate scenarios.

    Methodology: The case study will build on an existing TIMES energy system optimization model (SATIM), which will be complemented with existing results from the South African water resources yield model to obtain marginal water supply costs relevant to new energy sector investments in particular water management areas.

    The proposed modeling system will require treatment of risk and uncertainty. Resource cost and availability are typically defined by supply-cost curves, which are inputs to the model, and uncertainty in the cost or availability of specific resources is traditionally handled through scenario or sensitivity analyses which show how much the model results change when these parameters are changed. A core part of the project will be sensitivity analysis of how differing degrees of water scarcity, as measured by different potential supply costs, affect energy sector investment choices.

    Outputs: Water-smart SATIM model, Research report, International Energy Workshop conference paper, Journal article

  • Uncertainty in baseline CO2 emissions for South Africa 

    Client: United Nations Environment Programme

    Period: September 2013–December 2014

    Project leader: Bruno Merven

    Project team: Bruno Merven, Bryce McCall, Ian Durbach (UCT Statistics Department)

    The objective of this project is to quantify the uncertainty associated with key model inputs to develop a probability distribution of baseline emissions for South Africa over the 2015-2050 period. This objective is to be met in two phases. In the first phase, the most important and uncertain input parameters were selected for uncertainty analysis, and the associated uncertainty was described. In the second phase the uncertainty in inputs is propagated via an E3 model of South Africa (South African TIMES Model - SATIM) to obtain the probability distribution for the baseline emissions of South Africa, over the period of interest.

    Projecting this far into the future is an extremely, perhaps impossibly, complex task. We use a combination of methodological approaches to do this, triangulating between these approach in an attempt to arrive at some kind of consensus projections. The approach followed here is to assess uncertainty on a small number of key drivers influencing the energy system, and hence GHG emissions associated with it. We assess distributions over possible values that these drivers can obtain in the future, and pass these values to the E3 model. For each combination of possible inputs, the model returns outputs for quantities like GHG emissions. By submitting many possible inputs to SATIM, a range of possible outputs is obtained. This process takes the form of a Monte Carlo simulation.

    Outputs: Report due April, long abstract accepted at IEW 2015, 2 publishable papers expected in 2015.

  • Climate, land, energy and water strategies: City of Cape Town 

    Client: International Atomic Energy Agency

    Period: March 2012-March 2015

    Project leader: Alison Hughes

    Project team: Alison Hughes, Fadiel Ahjum, Adrian Stone, Charles Fant (MIT)

    The broad aim of the research is to apply the CLEW modelling framework to analyse climate, land, energy and water interactions and implications associated with the socio-economic development of the City of Cape Town.

    The approach can be summarised as follows:

    • Construct the reference system diagram (RSD), which includes the main components of the energy, water and land, at a level of detail that can capture the key policy questions and uncertainties.
    • Assemble data on current and historical energy, water and land use patterns in relation to the socio-economic development of the City of Cape Town, and current technologies.
    • Assemble data on future technologies that may enter the system within the planning horizon.
    • Project plausible pathways of development for the City of Cape Town, and the resulting energy, water and land resources that are required to support these development pathways.
    • Use the CLEWS  framework to analyse the impact of different policies on water, energy and land requirements for the city's sustainable development.

    The initial phase of the project considered the City's energy consumption for water and sanitation services with an emphasis on water supply augmentation options for the near future (2011-2030). This phase, detailed below, was completed in December 2012 and comprises the UCT Masters thesis titled: Energy for Urban Water Services: a City of Cape Town Case Study.

    There are 12 major high potential agricultural production areas in the Western Cape some of which are proximate to or even surrounded by Cape Town suburban areas. This includes wine growing areas and vegetable production in The Phillipi Horticulture Area (PHA). The latter has become the centre of a public debate as the pressure to develop sites for housing, particularly low cost housing increases. The need for housing is in competition to the need for sources of affordable fresh produce, the need to reduce the energy used in food supply chains and most of all the pressure on fresh water supplies for all activities in the region.

    This work proposes to examine CLEW trade-offs in the context of urban food security (i.e. urban horticulture) vs residential housing in the City of Cape Town. As such the study will explore the CLEW implications for the City given scenarios for either the relocation or conversion of central urban horticultural land into housing; or conversely the development of housing on the urban periphery. Specifically, to quantify the energy and water trade-offs  for the alternate land-use scenarios within the metropolitan boundary for the provision of water and sanitation, public transport, and food production.

    Current work tasks:

    • Integrate the existing and separate older LEAP and WEAP City models into a single integrated LEAP-WEAP model.
    • Utilising  the software tools LEAP, WEAP and  SAPWAT extend and refine the existing LEAP-WEAP  City model to incorporate urban horticultural  zones (e.g. yield, crop irrigation demands) and land areas suitable for residential housing.
    • Quantify the energy tradeoffs in water and sanitation services, transport and food production for the scenarios.
  • Economic benefits of extended producer responsibility initiatives in South Africa 

    Client: REDISA
    Project leader: Tara Caetano
    Project team: Tara Caetano, Faaiqa Hartley, Bruno Merven and Reza C. Daniels

    The recovery, recycling and reuse of waste materials are potential sources of economic activity and employment in South Africa. In 2016, the ERC completed two phases of a REDISA funded project that aimed to highlight the opportunities and benefits of reintroducing recycled waste products into the South African economy through extended producer responsibility initiatives.

    Phase 1: The general equilibrium impacts of monetising all waste streams in South Africa

    The first phase of the project investigated the economy-wide impact of an increase in commodity supply as a result of recycled goods. A computable general equilibrium model for South Africa (SAGE) is used to assess the impact of 13 waste streams monetised by the Department of Science and Technology in its 2014 Waste Roadmap Report. Three levels of recycling are considered in the analysis (i.e. a recycling rate of 29, 47 and 100 per cent). The exercise, however, does not include the benefits and costs associated with the recovery and recycling of waste streams, meaning that the catalytic impacts from expanding the recovery and recycling industries are not included. The impact of waste management fees is also not included.

     

    Phase 2: Economic benefits of extended producer responsibility initiatives in South Africa: The case of waste tyres

    To address these shortcomings, Phase 2 of the project estimates the economy-wide impacts of reintroducing recycled waste products in a more complete way. The example of waste tyres is used. The CGE model (and underlying SAM) is extended to include waste management fees, extended producer responsibility organisations (EPRO) and recycling industries. Two tyre recycling scenarios are considered with recycling rates of 25 and 100 per cent.

  • Regional growth and development in Southern Africa – Regional energy including bioenergy 

    Client: United Nations University World Institute for Development Economic Research

    Period: September 2014–December 2016

    Project leader: Bruno Merven

    Project team: Bruno Merven, Adrian Stone, Giles Henley (Overseas Development Institute,UK)
     

    ERC will support UNU-WIDER in analysing regional energy options. This will primarily be achieved by the continued improvement and development of linked energy planning and economic models. In particular, ERC will collaborate with UNU-WIDER to expand the approach developed under a previous agreement beyond the electricity generation sector extending it to the remainder of the energy supply sector (Liquid fuels) and one major energy intensive industry sector (e.g. Iron and Steel). The ambition is to have a clear and robust framework that contributes materially to regional energy policy discussions, including potential policies on regional energy trade, and that can be used as a template in other countries. The Initial phase of the project is weighted heavily to model development.

    One of the studies will focus on methods employed for linking other energy-relevant sectors of the economy (e.g. refineries and energy intensive industries) of the energy model to the CGE model of South Africa as well as the documentation of applied methods in order to consider regional issues. The remaining two will employ the linked modelling framework to examine priority Issues such as the transition from coal to gas, bio energy, renewable energy technologies or other topics as appropriate. An initial assessment of the potential biofuel demand of transport was completed in early 2015.

  • Supporting African municipalities with sustainable energy transitions

    Client: Funded by by UK aid from the UK Department for International Development, the Engineering & Physical Science Research Council, and the Department for Energy & Climate Change

    Period: 2013 - 2017

    Project leader: Adrian Stone

    ERC project team: Adrian Stone, Bryce McCall, Louise Tait

    Partners: UCL Energy Institute – Durham University, Sustainable Energy Africa, University of Ghana, Uganda Martyrs University, Gamos

     

    Urbanisation rates in Africa are the highest in the world, and in most Sub-Saharan countries service delivery is inadequate to keep up with the needs. African populations remain amongst the poorest in the world, and efforts to achieve the energy-related dimensions of the Millennium Development Goals s have in most cases not had significant impact on urban populations.

    The situation can be summarised as one where much urban energy transformation research does not understand the detailed organisational dynamics and constraints in cities and therefore is often of limited use; where there is a gap between policy and implementation; where capacity within local/national government departments involved in energy and urban development is inadequate in the face of increasing challenges; and where modes of knowledge transfer are not effective in facilitating sustainable energy transitions in cities.

    SAMSET seeks to develop a knowledge exchange framework for supporting local and national bodies involved in municipal energy planning in the effective transition to sustainable energy use in urban areas. Through close partnering with six cities in three African countries (Ghana, Uganda and South Africa), the project aims to develop an information base from which to support cities, undertake direct support for cities around strategy development and priority initiatives, and facilitate knowledge exchange and capacity building.

    ERC’s role is to develop model the urban energy systems of the six partner cities in Ghana, Uganda and South Africa. The project aimed to develop an evidence base to serve as a tool for local decision-makers. We undertook bottom up modelling of urban energy systems using the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning (LEAP) model, developed by Stockholm Environment Institute. In-country partner universities undertook primary data collection on sectoral energy demand and supply. A baseline model and range of scenarios were then developed collaboratively with local research partners and municipalities. These results serve as the basis for further collaborative energy strategy development and prioritising implementation options for the next phases of SAMSET.

    This project has made an important knowledge contribution to the dynamics of sustainable energy transitions in African cities, an area that has received relatively little research focus to date. The project has served to introduce to city and local planners the use of energy models, while also setting up the foundation for future development of energy modelling exercises and its applications locally. It has also made valuable modelling methodological contributions. Modelling has had to account for distinct characteristics such as the informal economy, own energy generation through diesel and gasoline generators, the high reliance on biomass, variations in urban forms as well as supply constrained electricity systems and suppressed demand for energy services.

  • The energy-water-climate nexus: Hydropower and climate change in Southern Africa: PHASE 1

    Climate change and upstream development impacts on new hydropower projects in the Zambezi

    • Timeframe: March 2012 – January 2014
    • Funder: Climate & Development Knowledge Network

    This project is a research initiative designed to address the major uncertainties facing hydropower development in the region, and to deepen understanding among stakeholders of the risks to hydropower from changes in climate and increased upstream water demand. 

    For 18 months, researchers from the University of Cape Town, the Centre for Energy, Environment and Engineering (Zambia) at the University of Zambia, OneWorld Sustainable Investments, University of Eduardo Mondlane, and Pöyry Management Consulting have been developing and applying a water supply and demand modelling tool for the Zambezi River Basin.  The research was guided by a Steering Committee led by the Southern African Power Pool and including the Zambezi River Authority, the ZAMCOM Interim Secretariat, Southern African Development Community Energy, the UK Department for International Development, and the Climate and Development Knowledge Network. 

    The model was applied to two future climate scenarios, reflecting possible “wetting” or “drying” climates, and two scenarios for irrigation expansion in the region.  The results of the analysis point to dramatic potential negative impacts on major existing and planned hydropower investments.

    The research team and funders are committed to making this research accessible and in the public domain, including all of the modelling.  This page includes links to all of the final deliverables of the project, including the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) model and underlying datasets behind this.


    The project team

    • Project research director: Randall Spalding-Fecher, Pöyry Management Consulting and ERC UCT PhD student
    •  Professor Francis Yamba, Centre for Energy, Environment and Engineering Zambia
    • Dr Harald Kling, Pöyry Energy, Vienna
    • Hartley Walimwipi, Snow Systems Zambia
    • Professor Imasiku Nyambe, University of Zambia
    • Arthur Chapman, OneWorld Sustainable Investments, Cape Town
    • Dr. Boaventura Cuamba, University of Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique
    • Bernard Tembo, ERC UCT
    • Adrian Stone, ERC UCT

    Climate change assessment of energy-water nexus in Zambezi Basin and SAPP: Phase II - See more at: http://mig.erc.uct.ac.za/groups/esap/current/esap-zambezi#sthash.hdBVaVgM.dpuf

    Climate change assessment of energy-water nexus in Zambezi Basin and SAPP: Phase II - See more at: http://mig.erc.uct.ac.za/groups/esap/current/esap-zambezi#sthash.hdBVaVgM.dpuf

    Downloadable material

    Policy brief: Hydropower in the Zambezi River Basin at risk due to changing climate and increased irrigation (Jan 2014)

    Final report: Water supply and demand scenarios for the Zambezi River basin. (Jan 2014) Lead author: Randall Spalding-Fecher. Contributors: Francis Yamba, Hartley Walimwipi, Harald Kling, Bernard Tembo, Imasiku Nyambe, Arthur Chapman, Boaventura Cuamba.

    WEAP model (water supply and demand model):  This model uses the Stockholm Environment Institute’s Water Evaluation And Planning (WEAP) model.  This model is available for download for free to view the file, but those wishing to save changes should apply for a licence with SEI.  Note that the full model is saved in a zipped folder with all of the input data files (csv and excel) included.  For instructions on how to unzip and load this folder into WEAP, click here and search for “manage areas” to see how to restore a compressed model file folder.   Note that the surface inflow data for each sub-basin (i.e. csv files with title “SI1.csv”, “SI2.csv”, etc. are sourced from the Zambezi Decision Support System, as are the climate data files.

    Hydropower assumptions: This excel file contains all of the assumptions on existing and new hydropower plants, and the sources of those assumptions (note that the full citations for the sources are in the Final Report).

    Irrigated area assumptions: This excel file contains a summary of the irrigated area data in the World Bank Zambezi Multi-Sectoral Investment Opportunity Analysis, Volume 4, which was used as a key assumption for irrigation demand in the modelling.

    Results summary: This excel workbook contains all of the data used to create the results figures in the main report, including the analysis of change in mean generation.

    Master’s Thesis: The project supported the development of Bernard Tembo’s Master’s thesis on the energy-water nexus in Zambia.

    Disclaimer: These documents are an output from a project funded by the UK Department for International Development for the benefit of developing countries. However, the views expressed and information contained in them are not necessarily those of or endorsed by DFID, which can accept no responsibility for such views or information or for any reliance placed on them.

     

    • See below for details of Phase 2: Climate change assessment of the energy-water nexus in Zambezi Basin and SAPP

  • The energy-water-climate nexus: Hydropower and climate change in Southern Africa: PHASE 2

    Climate change assessment of the energy-water nexus in the Zambezi Basin and SAPP

    • Timeframe: February 2014–October 2015
    • Funder: World Bank

    Previous regional water modelling studies have not been linked to any electricity supply and demand scenarios for the region. This critical step is necessary to assess how climate change impacts on ZRB hydropower plants would affect the national energy balances of key ZRB riparian states, as well as the overall electricity system performance and evolution in the region.  To make these water-energy links, the World Bank has commissioned the “Climate Change Assessment of the Energy-Water Nexus in the Zambezi River Basin” project.

    In February 2014, the World Bank awarded a contract to the University of Cape Town-led consortium to develop a regional electricity supply and demand model, and assess integrated water-energy-climate scenarios for the SAPP countries, particularly how these affect national and regional energy balances and trade. This project also includes an economic assessment of the proposed Batoka Gorge hydropower plant in light of the other developments in the river basin.

    The objective of this project is to develop integrated water and power scenarios for the Zambezi River Basin in order to engage stakeholders and inform decision-makers, through an assessment of potential climate change impacts on water availability and energy security in the ZRB and the SAPP. This report is one of the major outputs of the project.

    The research team and funders are committed to making this research accessible and in the public domain, including all of the modelling.  This page includes links to all of the final deliverables of the project, including the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) model and underlying datasets behind this.

     The project team

    • Project research director: Randall Spalding-Fecher, Carbon Limits AS and ERC UCT PhD student 
    • Mamahloko Senatla, ERC and CSIR
    • Professor Francis Yamba, Centre for Energy, Environment and Engineering Zambia (CEEEZ)
    • Biness Lukwesa, CEEEZ
    • Grayson Himunzowa, CEEEZ
    • Professor Imasiku Nyambe, University of Zambia
    • Arthur Chapman, OneWorld Sustainable Investments, Cape Town
    • Gilberto Mahumane, University of Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo
    • Bernard Tembo, University College London
    • Adrian Stone, ERC UCT

     Material which will be available soon

    Electricity Supply and Demand Scenarios for the Southern African Power Pool: Spalding-Fecher, Randall, Mamahloko Senatla, Francis Yamba, Charlie Heaps, Arthur Chapman, Gilberto Mahumane, Bernard Tembo, Biness Lukwesa, Imasiku Nyambe, and Grayson Himunzowa. 2015. Electricity Supply and Demand Scenarios for the Southern African Power Pool. Climate Change Assessment of the Energy-Water Nexus in the Zambezi River Basin. Washington, D.C. World Bank.

    LEAP model (electricity supply and demand model):  This model uses the Stockholm Environment Institute’s Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning (LEAP) model.  This model is available for download for free to view the file, but those wishing to save changes should apply for a licence with SEI. Note that the full model is saved as a LEAP “backup” file (“SADC 1.0.leap”), which should be downloaded and then extracted from within LEAP. 

    Electricity supply assumptions – detailed power plant characteristics:This excel file contains all of the assumptions on existing and new power plants in the region, and the sources of those assumptions (note that the full citations for the sources are in the Final Report).

    • Electricity scenarios results summary: This excel workbook contains all of the data used to create the results figures in the main electricity modelling report, including the analysis of Batoka Gorge.
    • Integrated Water-Electricity Scenarios for the Southern African Power Pool and Zambezi River Basin: Spalding-Fecher, Randall and Brian Joyce. 2015. Integrated Water-Electricity Scenarios for the Southern African Power Pool and Zambezi River Basin. Climate Change Assessment of the Energy-Water Nexus in the Zambezi River Basin. Washington, D.C. World Bank.
    • Integrated Scenarios results summary: This excel workbook contains all of the data used to create the results figures in the integrated scenarios report.

     Disclaimer: These reports are a product of the consultants contracted to the World Bank. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in them do not necessarily reflect the views of the World Bank, its Board of Executive Directors, or the governments they represent. The World Bank does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this work. Questions regarding figures should be directed to the authors.

 

Current projects:

  • SANEDI Transport energy demand study, Phase II: Energy modeller training and energy database development

    Client: SANEDI

    Period: January 2015 to December 2018

    Project leader: Adrian Stone

    Project team: Adrian Stone, Bruno Merven, Bryce McCall, with Tiisetso Maseela and Resmun Moonsammy (SANEDI)

     

    This project has three main activities which form the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding with the South African National Energy Development Institute:

    • Phase II of the Transport Energy Demand Study of which Phase I was completed in 2012
    • In-house training of 2 SANEDI energy systems modellers who will undertake the above study and other work arising in the period of the MoU
    • The funded appointment of a Database Manager/Data Scientist at ERC who will further develop open energy data resources already begun by other projects with SANEDI.

    The following key research questions are proposed for Phase II of the Transport Study:

    • How might the transport sector react to fuel price and CO2 price shocks? How can we be ready to facilitate transition to a robust and sustainable transport system? What transition options are open to the country in passenger and public transport, in terms of energy carriers like gas, hydrogen, or biofuels and how and when might these be applied in the many emerging technologies?
    • How do we mitigate the ballooning freight demand projected by the IEP which threatens to take a dominant share of national energy demand and emissions by 2050?

    In assessing the above questions, what roles can different technologies and fuels play given various assumptions around technology & fuel costs, the costs of supporting infrastructure like distribution networks and railway lines and the timing and scale of shocks?

    The data spoke of the project has as its premise that energy data is fundamental to energy research.  Data is crucial in order to answer any of the pressing questions facing South Africa’s energy sector, be it how to ensure affordable access to modern energy services, or reduce greenhouse gas emissions, or both at the same time. Such data needs to be of the highest possible quality, regularly updated and in the public domain.

    The appointed specialist and ERC researchers will undertake a project to provide an independent database that could form a primary resource for interdisciplinary researchers, officials, planners, analysts, entrepreneurs and industrialists across the energy, development and environmental communities. The database could also form the basis for the compilation of an on-going biennial energy outlook. The major value proposition is that an accessible, credible and routinely maintained energy database cost-effectively enables projects by many people in the long term.