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JESA Volume 14 (abstracts only)

Vol. 14 No. 1:  February 2003

Privatisation and liberalisation of the South African electricity industry M.A. Conteh

This paper discusses some of the issues of privatising and liberalising the South African electricity industry. The government’s stance on the privatisation and liberalisation of the industry is to attract foreign investment and provide its citizens the opportunity of choosing their suppliers. The global progress in the privatisation and liberalisation is not really significant. This paper presents the argument that it is not yet timely to privatise the industry because the government’s developmental programs to alleviate poverty in the rural areas, which will empower them to pay electricity prices that are cost-reflective when privatisation takes effect, are yet far from completion. Again, the fluctuating Rand and the government’s strict monetary control are large risks for foreign investment. The excess generating capacity of Eskom also amplifies risk of investment. In addition, there is a need for concern over the stranded cost of Eskom’s investments.


Efficiency of solar water heating in the example of a toroidal device G.S.Slivkov and M.T.Oladiran 

In this paper, the efficiency of solar water heating is studied. Experimental data is collected, using a simple toroidal ring in the form of a domestic solar water heater. The thermal efficiency of the system varies between 45%-50%, which   is comparable to the values obtained for flat collectors used in the same environments. The cheapness and maintainability of the current unit makes it attractive for remote poor rural and urban dwellers.


The impact of electrification on other fuel uses: A case study comparing two neighbouring areas in the Limpopo Province E. De Lange and M. Wentzel

An energy baseline study was conducted in two rural areas in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, to provide energy specific household data to assist in the planning and design of further actions on the dissemination of improved stoves. When the data was analysed, the differences between the fuel use patterns in the two areas were quite apparent and pronounced. The paper sets out to explore three main themes, namely: household fuel use patterns and specifically the use of electricity; the possible causes of different electricity consumption profiles of two villages electrified for a similar period of time and; the need to enhance quantitative data with qualitative information when household fuels use patterns are investigated. It has been long accepted that socio-economic circumstances shape and determine household fuel use. However, it is often the combination of socio-economic and physical aspects that influence household energy use. It is also specifically socio-economic data that requires further qualitative investigation to fully understand the issues and the combination of issues influencing fuel use in households. There are a few socio-economic factors which could explain the marked difference between the electricity uptake in these two areas but no definite reasons could be found. The conclusion that was made is that quantitative data needs to be supported by qualitative data.


Sustainability issues in the restructured electricity supply Industry E.S.Tinto

The late 1990’s had been showing a move towards the restructuring of the electricity sector, from a traditional state-owned vertical integrated electricity utility to a modern market-orientated electricity supply industry. Stakeholders across the spectrum, from social, economic and political persuasion participated in this process. Some other stakeholders questioned this move, as their interest is more on a public-owned electricity utility that will maximise the public policy benefits such as national electrification. This paper re-examines this scepticism and attempts to establish if competitive electricity markets will be a positive move i.e. socially, economically and environmentally.Some other issues of concern such renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy security are also discussed as contributing factors to the sustainable electricity supply industry (ESI). It is concluded that, a sustainable electricity supply industry has to bring dramatic improvements in people’s lives and livelihoods, through widening access to modern energy sources because the current trend is likely to do the opposite.



Vol. 14 No. 2: May 2003

• How to use the commercial benchmarking database to establish the potential of an energy-efficiency upgrade in a commercial building C.A. van der Merwe and L.J. Grobler

This paper discusses how the Commercial Benchmarking Database can reduce the amount of time and effort spent, when performing an energy-efficiency audit in a commercial building or facility. Firstly, the Benchmarking Database itself is discussed, then how it works, and then a commercial building is used as an example to further describe the workings of the tool. The Benchmarking Database presents the following advantages: Determining where the building is at that stage, regarding the energy-use of other similar buildings; Determining the possible savings that can be achieved by implementing energy-efficiency measures; Determining the building’s progress towards an efficient building by comparing the building to itself, as well as to other similar buildings.


• Should modern energy services be subsidised for the poor? The case of urban households in Zambia O.S. Kalumiana

Zambia has one of the highest proportions of its population who are classified as poor. While poverty is more pronounced in rural areas, there are a considerable number of urban poor people. At least 56% of all urban residents are poor. Only 48% of the urban population has access to electricity. The rest of the urban population depends on firewood and charcoal to meet their day-to-day energy heating needs. For lighting, kerosene is also used. In 1998, extremely poor, moderately poor and non-poor urban households expended K17 851 (US$8.45), K19 073.59 (US$9.03) and K23 507.55 (US$11.12) on energy services representing 7.89%, 6.17% and 5.86% of their total monthly incomes, respectively. When all fuels used by urban households in 1998 were converted to useful electricity unit equivalents, it was found that, on average, the extremely poor, moderately poor and non-poor households consumed the equivalent of 163 kWh, 172 kWh and 216 kWh, respectively of electricity per month. Non-poor households consumed twice as much energy compared to poor households. Analysis of these expenditure levels showed that households could cover the cost of these amounts of electricity from their current energy budgets at the Average Cost Based Tariff  (ACBT) which was US cent 4.5/kWh. Poor urban households could even afford the costs of cooking devices, wiring and connection costs if these costs were spread over a period of time. At the Long Range Marginal Cost (LRMC) of US 6.5 cents, all households would not have afforded electricity at these consumption levels. It was therefore concluded that poor urban households:  (i) could afford unsubsidised electricity from their 1998 energy budgets; (ii) could also afford the upfront costs of electric stoves, house wiring and connection if these costs were spread over a period of time (e.g. 10 years), and (iii) the main barrier to the urban poor accessing electricity are the upfront costs related to house wiring and electricity connections. If these costs were to be spread over time, the electricity access rate by poor urban households will significantly increase. There is therefore no need to subsidise electricity for domestic consumers below the ACBT.


The importance of gender in energy decision making: the case of Rural Botswana  N. Ditlhale and M. Wright

The government of Botswana is rapidly expanding the availability of electricity to rural areas, but the extent to which this will benefit the general population remains uncertain. The paper investigates information on energy use in rural Botswana to see if the gender of decision makers in households affects the choice of energy. The information from survey data is examined in the broader context of Botswana’s rapid economic and social development including the governments various commitments to reduce poverty and expand economic opportunities for women. There is some support for the hypothesis that female decision makers are more likely to opt for modern energy, but this is highly qualified due to limitations with the data. The research needs to be continued to take account of this and to investigate the impact of gender in the choice of energy in rural businesses.


Energy efficiency and job creation – an input-output model approach  L.C. Jeftha

In this paper, I explore the effect of a set of energy efficiency measures on an economy. Specifically, to provide incentives for a planned energy efficiency implementation program, I use an input-output model to show that jobs can be created throughout an economy if these measures are applied. To show how jobs can be created, we decompose the economy into different sectors. As these sectors strive to meet given demand for goods, they make intermediate demands for goods from the other sectors. These demands cause revenue to flow between the sectors, and the flow of revenue is captured by an input-output table. Based on this table, we derive estimates for the effect on the economy of the desired energy efficiency measures. These estimates are then used to evaluate the job creation ability of each measure. We begin with a description of the input-output model and each of the components required to configure it. Each of the energy efficiency measures is then described in terms of the possible and expected savings. The actual saving achieved by each measure is then derived from a model of spending and investment patterns. These savings are then applied to the economy represented by the input-output model. In this way we derive a value that represents the number of jobs that can be created if the measure is applied. The energy efficiency measures may be applied in any sequence. For each possible sequence, a certain number of jobs can be created. We conclude by examining how this sequence may be adapted to maximise the number of jobs created through application of the energy efficiency measures.


Vol. 14 No. 3: August 2003

How conducive to electrification is the African rural environment? A. B. Sebitosi

The bulk of rural populations in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity and are under-served by any other form of modern infrastructure. The cost of infrastructure to mainly scattered communities has been perennially cited by engineers as largely to blame. This is undeniably a problem, but only part of it. There are in addition, myriads of social, economic and political obstacles that play an unquantified and frequently unrecognised negative role. At the route of the problem lies a subdued role of the would-be recipients who in fact, unlike anybody else, are conversant with their problems. Consequently a number of products may come as impositions or misplaced priorities. The advantages of consumer participation for sustainable development are well documented and often rehearsed like a song at international forums and in publications. In practice, however, the concept is largely ignored or frowned upon for a variety of reasons and even when tried the consumers’ priorities are presumed and their roles prescribed. In one South African model, rural villages are zoned out to so called Concession holders (largely multinational corporations) to carry out services as basic as dissemination of solar (PV) home systems and retailing of ordinary cooking gas, with government subsidies. This presents a clearly missed opportunity for rural enterprise as it makes any competing venture both unviable and perhaps illegal. On the other hand, examples are abound when a clearly advantageous technology is rejected outright by a community apparently for some inexplicable reasons. As if these were not bad enough, then enters the African politician with a characteristically hidden agenda and a master of the power of rural electricity as a means of getting another term in office.This paper aims to put on the table a thought provoking display of a range of obstacles to rural development. It is hoped that the exposure might kindle a debate devoid of denials but a sincere re-examination of our current practices.


Load shifting potential in South African mines E.H. Mathews, R. Els and J.A. Basson

Due to government’s policy requiring cost-reflective tariffs, the electricity market in South Africa is changing. These changes offer innovative business opportunities that have to be investigated and developed. One such opportunity is through saving money on the electricity bill of a mine. The ventilation, cooling and pumping systems consume a substantial part of the electricity used on a mine and offer an ideal opportunity. With the help of models and simulation software, the electricity usage of these systems were simulated and verified for a test mine. With these calibrated models, new control strategies were investigated. A potential saving of R 1.5 million per year was calculated due to the load shifting capabilities of the mine of 19 MW of the peak demand. Some 16 MW could be shifted for a period of 5 hours per day. This offers a relatively inexpensive method of cutting electricity costs in a mine. If this load shifting potential can be extrapolated to the whole mining industry in South Africa, the country and all the consumers can gain greatly from it. This also creates a good business opportunity that can be developed and used to create more employment opportunities for innovative businessmen.


• Phasing in the use of cleaner fuels in South African industries: policies, technologies and costs S. Moodley

The Multi-Point Plan (MPP) for phasing out dirty fuels in South Africa represents a new approach to air quality management and it is anticipated that the plan will contribute to the development of a National Air Quality Management Programme. In the context of the MPP, dirty fuels are fuels that release local pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter during combustion. These refer predominantly to fossil fuels such as coal and oil but it could include fuel wood as a result of the pollutants emitted during combustion. Pollution from the combustion of dirty fuels can be reduced in two ways either by changing the source of fuel to a less polluting source, or by changing the technology required during combustion. Fuel switching will be easier to discuss if the new fuel type and technology does not demand excessive costs and extreme changes to the processes of production. This indicates that the phasing out of dirty fuels needs to be looked at both from the point of source of fuel as well as by investigating existing technological processes and operation with a major focus on the aspect of financing and the impact on the bottom line in the context of policy intervention from government. This paper will explore the policies, technologies and costs involved in implementing the multi-point plan in South African industries.


Dissemination of solar water heaters in South Africa: policy perspectives J.M. Lukamba–Muhiya and O.R. Davidson

The use of renewable energy has been promoted all over the world because it is considered as a clean source of energy and environmentally friendly as compared to fossil fuels. The objective of this paper is to search for policy and measures for the dissemination of solar water heating (SWH) systems, as it utilizes one of the renewable energy resources in South Africa. To do this, the paper uses case studies of international experiences in the use and dissemination of SWH systems. In addition, fieldwork carried out at the Lwandle Township in the Helderberg Municipality in the Western Cape Province, gives a good example of the current development and problems in the installation of SWH systems around South Africa, which was carried out. The users of SWH systems in the Lwandle hostel appreciated the technology, but they complained about the lack of hot water during winter. This was considered as one of the limitations in the installation of SWH in Lwandle Township. The paper suggests some policies and measures, which the government could use in the future for any dissemination of SWH in the country.

Vol. 14 No. 4: November 2003

A regulatory approach to foster bulk electricity generation from renewable energies in South Africa O. Langniss

Regulations to promote the application of renewable energy in the electricity sector are crucial to achieve the South African Government’s target of increasing the share of renewable energy to 10 TWh within 10 years. Feed-In tariffs are the most feasible and provides the highest certainty to accomplish a significant growth of renewable energy since it provides high certainty to investors and is easy to implement. For the design of a Feed-In tariff for South Africa, it is recommended that operators of the distribution grid (i.e. the regional electricity distributors) are obligated to purchase electricity from renewable energy sources at a fixed price. The price is set according to the generic generation costs. Remuneration levels differ according to different renewable energy technologies. Off-grid energy systems, solar water heating systems, and demand side management programmes should be considered to be promoted with regulation as well. Promotion of renewable energy can thus form an integral part of the National Electrification Fund.


Carbon financing for energy efficient low cost housing  R. Spalding-Fecher, L. Mqadi and G. Oganne

Despite a growing understanding of the economic, health and environmental benefits of more energy efficient and environmentally sound low-cost housing, progress has been very slow in South Africa. This paper examines how carbon finance, through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), could provide additional investment for energy efficiency lighting, solar water heating, and thermal improvements in these housing projects, and assist in reducing barriers to their implementation. We find that, although carbon revenue can increase the financial viability of the project, this is heavily dependent on the choice of baseline and the type of monitoring that must be carried out to meet the CDM requirements.


Optimal sizing and economic analysis of low-cost domestic solar water heaters for Zimbabwe T. Hove and N. Mhazo

The technical and economic performance analysis of low cost domestic solar water heaters, earmarked for widespread manufacture and distribution in Zimbabwe, is studied. A simplified model, that uses only monthly average meteorological data as input, and that is adaptable to hand or spreadsheet computations, is described, experimentally validated and used for performance simulation of solar systems connected to auxiliary electric geysers. Optimal collector areas are determined through performance simulation and economic analysis. The systems analysed were found to be economically viable for a wide range of solar fractions (40% to 100%) and corresponding collector areas. Maximum economy is attained at high solar fractions (above 90%), favouring the use of more solar energy than conventional electricity. Collectors constructed from cheap local materials proved to be cost-effective despite their inferior technical performance characteristics. However, technical superiority may prove more important for larger systems.


The scenario development of the carbon emission offset projects for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development  W.l.R. den Heijer and L. J. Grobler

Johannesburg hosted the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) during August and September 2002. Approximately 21 000 international delegates and heads of state converged on South Africa. The WSSD instigated substantial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions due to delegate air travel, energy use, and road travel amongst other sources. In order to keep the WSSD in line with ecologically sound environmental management and the issue of climate change, it was proposed that the GHG emissions generated during the WSSD be offset through projects in South Africa. The Johannesburg Climate Legacy (JCL) was created to deliver a programme through which the carbon offsets could be achieved. JCL raised funds during the WSSD, which would be used to fund the various offset projects in South Africa. These projects ranged from lighting efficiency in the mining sector to electricity generation from anaerobic digester methane. The JCL would fund the projects and claim the carbon reductions over a period of 10 years and use it to offset the emissions generated during the WSSD. The problem was, however, that scenarios had to be developed under which this offset target could be met. Criteria had to be developed under which the projects could be screened for carbon offset potential, sustainable development and cost to implement, amongst other criteria. Based on these criteria, a number of scenarios had to be developed for the JCL to offset the maximum emissions in the most cost effective manner with the highest level of sustainable development. This paper will provide a short description of the process of developing the scenarios and provide the critical factors that influenced and contributed towards the selection of the projects. The summarised results of the process will also be provided and discussed.