Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of Energy in Southern Africa]]> vol. 31 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>An exploratory study of the South African concentrated solar power sector using the technological innovation systems framework</b>]]> Wide-scale deployment of variable renewable energy (wind and solar photovoltaic) is constrained by its associated requirements for energy storage, the technologies for which are currently too expensive to be routinely used. Concentrated solar power (CSP), with its inherent storage capacity, offers semi-dispatch-able electricity at large scale. However, its deployment to date has been restricted by high capital costs and the limited geographical locations with optimal solar radiation to attain required efficiencies. South Africa, with its abundant solar resources, has the potential to develop an export-competitive CSP industry by leveraging existing capabilities in innovation, manufacturing and construction, but has yet to attain this goal. This study applied a qualitative, exploratory approach and the framework of technological innovation systems (TIS) to understand the factors that are currently prohibiting the country from being a global leader in CSP. The assessment has revealed the presence of largely immature TIS, characterised by a heavy reliance on imported technology and market support from the state-supported procurement programme. The advancement of CSP remains contingent on further allocation of CSP procurement targets in this programme and sufficient support to develop entrepreneurial activity. An integrated industrial policy strategy, which can ensure technology transfer and address the high cost of CSP, is recommended as a means of addressing the barriers to its development as a competitive industry.Highlights • The sector is highly reliant on the demand-side incentive of the power producers procurement programme. • Industrial policies to stimulate entrepreneurial activity and sector legitimacy are essential for longterm sustainability. • The levelised cost of energy from concentrated solar power must be further reduced if it is to compete against other technologies. <![CDATA[<b>The novel design of an energy efficient superconductor-based series reactor for installation at a grid connected research site</b>]]> A number of efforts have been devoted to investigating the mechanism and benefits of superconductivity for power system applications. This study explored the construction and application of a desktop superconducting series reactor (SSR) as a pre-cursor to the prototype construction to confirm functionality and design. The calorimetric method of power loss determination was also investigated experimentally, followed by the calculation of the design parameters for a prototype SSR that would reduce the fault current on a 22-kV network from 25 kA to 10 kA. The desktop SSR, when compared to a copper reactor of equal inductance, was found to have an equivalent reduction in fault current. It was also confirmed through an experiment that the resistance of the SSR was four times lower than that of the equivalent copper reactor. The calorimetric method of power loss determination was found to be as effective as the electric method. A further advantage of the calorimetric method was its insensitivity to electromagnetic noise. The cost of the prototype SSR was significantly less expensive than a superconducting fault current limiter. Future development of the SSR would further enhance its viability as a fault current mitigation device on medium voltage networks where consideration has to be given to total lifecycle costs and energy efficiency.Highlights • Design of the first superconducting fault mitigating device in Africa • Proposal for a more efficient fault current management technology • Verification of the calorimetric method for power loss determination. <![CDATA[<b>The development of a socio-economic model to promote women's empowerment initiatives in the renewable energy sector of South Africa</b>]]> This study investigates the main contributors that can positively influence the socio-economic empowerment of women in the renewable energy sector in the Republic of South Africa, and recommends new and innovative approaches to mainstream gender in the sector. Empirical evidence showed that ethical leadership positively influences good governance and successful women's empowerment. The results also indicated that social investment and broad-based black economic empowerment positively influence successful women's empowerment. Finally, the results indicated that sustainable programmes are a positive contributing factor to good governance. However, the respondents did not consider stakeholder engagement statistically significant to good governance or successful women's empowerment. This study also has the potential to contribute to the improvement of impoverished communities in South Africa and elsewhere.Highlights • The structural equation modelling examined the socio-economic empowerment in South Africa. • The empirical results revealed that ethical leadership positively influences successful women's empowerment. • This study has the potential to contribute to future approaches and developments to mainstream gender. <![CDATA[<b>Differentiation of paediatric burn injury by household energy source in South Africa</b>]]> Burn injuries remain a significant cause of death and disability in the global south, with children amongst the most vulnerable. In South Africa, burns are a critical health and economic burden in densely populated and energy-impoverished communities. This study used secondary data on burn injuries from 19 health facilities to differentiate between risk for scalds and flame burns across three household energy sources (firewood, paraffin and electricity). The sample was 2 933 cases of child burn victims, with key analytical procedures being descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis. Results showed that 52% of burn injury admissions reported electricity as the household energy source used at the time of injury. Most burn injuries were scalds (85.3%), with infants and toddlers at greatest risk. The differentiation between wood and paraffin was associated with a threefold increase in scalds relative to flame burns, while that between paraffin and electricity indicated a sevenfold increase in scalds and nineteen times such an increase between wood and electricity. This was an indication of continued challenges for the country in addressing paediatric burns despite, and in the context of, the continued electrification of poor households. The study recommends improved regulation of electrical appliances used by low-income households, and targeted household safety education initiatives.Highlights • Study differentiated the risk for scalds versus flame burns across fuels. • Most burn injuries were scalds, with toddlers at greatest risk. • Electricity was associated with most scalds relative to wood and paraffin. • Regulation of simple electrical appliances and safety education is recommended. <![CDATA[<b>Towards sustainable energy system options for improving energy access in Southern Africa</b>]]> Access to modern energy services is one of the pre-requisites to improved livelihood, yet the poor, particularly in developing countries, remain tied to unhealthy and inefficient traditional fuels. Renewable energy technologies are increasingly popular energy supply alternatives to fossil-based fuels in many countries. This study presents sustainable energy system implementation options for increasing energy access in developing countries, with special emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa. A feasibility case study and various implementation options are presented for possible deployment of these systems. Hybrid optimization of multiple energy resources software was used to simulate and validate the proposed hybrid system design and performance. The simulation results indicate that hybrid systems would be feasible options for distributed generation of electric power for remote locations and areas not connected to the electricity grid. Such a hybrid energy system, through providing modern energy services, gives promise to free-up rural communities to engage in productive activities. The opportunity to power or facilitate productive activities such as agro-processing, fabrication and services can potentially reduce poverty.Highlights • Renewable energy technologies are becoming popular energy options. • Provision of sustainable energy services is crucial. • Renewable energy technologies have potential of creating income through job diversification. • Mini grids have considerable potential in the Southern African Development Community region.