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.