This paper explores the current trends in energy sustainability in South Africa (SA), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). An exploration is made of the current factors affecting energy supply, production, consumption and security and these are forecast into a baseline scenario for energy in SA. Alternative scenarios have been constructed considering the policy approach and private sector strategy that would be required, to ensure energy sustainability through an integrated regional approach. The authors demonstrate that opportunities exist regionally in the energy sector, through new partnerships and investments, and explore the antecedents required to unlock their implementation. The paper is divided into five sections. In Section 1, the authors examine the current state of energy in SA and SADC. Secondly, they examine the baseline future of energy in SA in the context of SADC. In Section 3, they explore change factors, uncertainties and interventions that could reshape the future of energy. Thereafter, using scenario planning and systems thinking, the authors explore alternative scenarios for energy in SA. Finally, in Section 5, they outline key findings and recommendations relating to the policy and strategy agenda that would be required to ensure a preferred and sustainable future for energy in the region.
South Africa and the members states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) enjoy vast natural energy resource endowments, but the region has thus far been unable to take advantage of these in providing their citizens and industry with secure and sustainable energy. The historic and structural reasons for this lag in development are numerous and likely to take decades to overcome. More recently, South Africa has seen instability in its energy sector brought about by a combination of economic and especially political factors, such as poor governance and policy implementation failures. Sophisticated analysis and planning by government had preceeded these recent setbacks, yet failure to implement policy, difficulties in executing infrastructure projects, combined with growing household demand and the challenges caused by ageing and collapsing powerstations and a limited energy grid, have left the economy reeling from supply shortages. An analysis of the factors that have produced the current state of energy in South Africa and the region, an assessment of the systemic interrelationship between them, and an exploration of the trends and uncertainties resulting from these, have borne out three alternative scenarios for energy sustainability to 2045. These are:
Baseline Scenario (given current trends):
“Government Leads Towards High Stakes Energy Cliff:
Political Expediance Trumps Pragmatism”
Alternative Scenario 1 (collaborative alternatives):
“Private Sector Leads Energy Revolution: PPPs Models Social Transformation Effort”
Alternative Scenario 2 (technological breakthroughs):
“Disruptive Technology Leads Radical Reformation of Energy Supply Chain”
The alternative scenarios emphasize the need for a range of policy and governance commitments, to good governance, political non-interference and building institutional capacity, in addition to robust collaboration with the private sector, to harness new technologies and renewable alternatives while migrating from an energy paradigm and supply chain developed for the passing era of fossil fuel dependence.
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|GIBS.Scenarios for Energy in SA.v1.pdf|