An integrated approach to implement and sustain energy efficiency and greenhouse gas mitigation in South Africa
Den Heijer, Willem le Roux
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South Africa is one of the most industrialised countries in Africa. The country is extremely energy-intensive for a number of reasons, which include a lack of awareness of energy efficiency and demand-side management (DSM), the low cost of electricity, the absence of energy conservation regulations and standards, lack of driving force, limited experience and track record of energy service companies as well as the financial viability of projects. It is anticipated that South Africa will have run out of excess capacity by 2007, a fact that is forcing Eskom to take action to reduce peak demand by means of certain initiatives. This in turn has led to electricity becoming more expensive during certain periods of the day. The result is an increasing need for energy efficiency and demand-side management by end users, regulating bodies and Government. It is, however, critical that projects, implemented under the above-mentioned barriers, deliver impacts that can be sustained over time, otherwise the benefits would only be short-term and of no value to the stakeholders. Measurement and verification are important and necessary aspects of any energy-efficiency, demand-side management or dean development mechanism (CDM) project. It allows for the objective quantification of the project's impacts by a third party, thus lending credibility to the project outcomes. Its greatest benefit, if conducted correctly, is the increased sustainability of projects and their impacts. Energy efficiency also makes a direct contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The fact that South Africa is able to participate in greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation through the clean development mechanism offers an opportunity to increase the financial viability of energy-efficiency projects, whilst achieving GHG mitigation. Once again measurement and verification would be critical to the success and sustainability of these energy-related greenhouse gas mitigation projects over time. A need was subsequently identified to develop an integrated approach that provides a clear methodology that could be applied to accurately quantify and verify the savings and impacts that emanate from energy efficiency, demand-side management and greenhouse gas mitigation projects. If applied correctly, the integrated approach would help with the sustainable implementation of energy efficiency, demand-side management and greenhouse gas mitigation projects in South Africa. This study proposes such an integrated approach that provides a methodology that builds on international protocols. It provides a flexible, clear, accurate and transparent methodology to assist in the sustainable implementation of projects. The integrated methodology has been accepted as the standard by which South Africa's parastatal utility, Eskom, prefers implementation together with measurement and verification on their DSM-funded projects. The approach has proved to be flexible, transparent and replicable. It has facilitated better project implementation on a number of occasions and proved to provide accurate and verified results to all the stakeholders, which include the demand impact during each time-of-use (TOU) period, the impact on electricity consumption, the impact on the monthly and annual electricity accounts of end users and the environmental impacts such as GHG emissions and water consumption.
- Engineering