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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.