A needs assessment of the market for resource efficiency and cleaner production services in the Vaal Triangle
Botha, Theunis Christoffel
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Major energy-consuming countries implemented new laws on energy-efficiency during the course of 2013. The new energy-efficiency law make provision for a 16% reduction in energy intensity by 2015 in China. New law in the United States of America requires new fuel-economy standards. European Union law aims for a cut of 20% in energy demand for the countries forming part of the European Union. Japan, with the country's new energy strategy aims to decrease electricity demand with 10% by 2030 as stipulated in the new energy strategy. South Arica is currently experiencing a shortage in electricity generating capacity and operates within its reserve margin. The construction of new power stations is in process to address the shortage but Eskom must finance these assets by increasing the electricity tariff. Electricity prices are predicted to double from 2013 to 2017. In addition to the tariff increases, the Energy Conservation Scheme (ECS) is also planned by Eskom whereby all electricity consumers have to reduce their electricity consumption by 10% or face penalties. Energy efficiency initiatives in South Africa will help meet some of the country's social, economic, and environmental goals. These initiatives are important as they immediately tackle the problem of electricity shortages and are a cost-effective way of increasing available electricity supply. The aim of this study was to determine the need for businesses in the Vaal Triangle to be resource efficient and practice clean production in order to be able to capitalise on that need. With the current knowledge and technology available, Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) will prove to be a future necessity for industry. To determine the perceived readiness towards a green economy contribution is thus of importance. The study did a review on RECP, energy efficiency, supply of energy in South Africa, focus areas for energy efficiency and the benefits thereof. The study discussed energy efficiency incentive schemes and subsidisation funds available in South Africa. The study assessed the primary fields for RECP, the drivers and barriers to RECP and the willingness to participate in RECP initiatives in the Vaal Triangle. The study concluded that there exists a need in the Vaal Triangle for RECP initiatives and that there exists potential for the start of a green economy in the region. The research indicated the reaction towards RECP initiatives to be very positive in the studied region.