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Title: An assessment of the potential of solar photovoltaic (PV) and hybrid renewable energy application in South Africa
Authors: Mulaudzi, Silas Khakhathi
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: More than 80% of the world’s energy demand is satisfied by fossil fuels. Proven coal reserves are sufficient for the next 113 years, while natural gas reserve could last up to 55 years (Jain, 2010). More than 90% of South African electricity is generated from fossil fuels, mainly coal. South Africa has an average of 85% access to electricity. It is from this background that this study investigated the potential of solar PV, and hybrid energy system application to address energy security and poverty. The primary data was collected from different stakeholders (Residential, government, power generators and solar PV installers) through interviews and completion of questionnaires. The secondary data was collected through publications and websites. The “Optioneering” (Chapter 4) and household energy consumption survey (Chapter 6) lead to the same conclusion that Gauteng Province has the greatest solar PV potential. It has good solar irradiance and high electricity consumption, which solar PV could add value in the diversification of energy mix. Over 25% of South African electricity is consumed in this province, hence it is recommended for the construction of solar PV power plants and rooftop installation. There is a potential of 2 million middle income and 0.5 million high income households, which consume 9.6 TWh/year and 3 TWh/year respectively and are interested to pay for electricity based on a green source. Approximately 45% of the high income residents are based in Gauteng. Thus, Gauteng is recommended as province with greatest solar PV potential taking into consideration chapter 4 and 6 findings. There is good renewable energy potential in South Africa. However, these technologies will not replace fossil fuels soon. Fossil fuels will remain the main source of energy for the foreseeable future in South Africa because of the barriers that renewable energy technologies are facing in the country. Therefore, greenhouse gas emissions are most likely to increase at steady rate for the decades to come. Nonetheless, solar PV growth and development will continue to rise, mainly stimulated by the price reduction over time and improved efficiency with a low degradation rate.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials

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