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Journal of Energy in Southern Africa

On-line version ISSN 2413-3051
Print version ISSN 1021-447X

J. energy South. Afr. vol.23 n.4 Cape Town  2012


Estimating greenhouse gas emissions associated with achieving universal access to electricity for all households in South Africa



Louise Tait; Harald Winkler

Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town




Climate change, energy security and achieving universal electricity access for all households are all pressing issues that South Africa must address. These objectives need not be trade-offs, however, and achieving electricity access for the poor does not justify the building of large coal-fired power stations or threaten South Africa's climate change objectives. This paper estimates the electricity demand from the residential sector to 2020 resulting from universal access, and finds that electricity for low-income households would constitute only a small addition to total electricity demand and would represent only a minor portion of output from the coal-fired power station, Medupi. Furthermore, emissions from the additional electricity consumed by newly connected households would have a negligible impact on South Africa's emissions profile.

Keywords: South Africa, emissions, climate change, universal access, electrification, household



Full text available only in PDF format.




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Received 22 February 2012
Revised 12 September 2012

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