South Africa 's Economy Is Largely Based On Mineral Extraction And Processing

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South Africa’s economy is largely based on mineral extraction and processing.
This by its very nature is energy intensive. Until January 2008, when for the first time load shedding was implemented as demand outweighed supply, consumers had seen energy as finite. Historically low fuel and electricity costs had dis-incentivized the need to conserve energy (Government Gazette, 2009).
South Africa’s challenges as a developing country is how to reconcile its inherent socio-economic issues with an economy whose industries heavily contribute to GHG production.

Eskom generates 96.7% of power used in the country, with a current nominal capacity of 44.175MW installed. To put things into perspective, it’s estimated that South Africa will need 40.000 MW’s of new generation capacity by 2025 (USEA, Modise, 2014). This provides a myriad of sustainability issues when fossil fuel use is well established and renewable energy resource use is in its nascent stages.

Drivers and barriers to transition

Strategic implementation of low carbon strategies require the understanding of the barriers to their implementation. An obvious barrier is the state of the country itself and the role that energy plays, with clean and affordable energy being a difficult problem to resolve. Bearing in mind the historically low prices of energy in South Africa, it is understandable that amongst commercial and industrial organizations the extra costs of interventions with unjustifiable payback would be questioned
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