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Durban University of Technology (DUT) 2019

Investigating the root cause of solar power unsustainability in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Mdlolo,Bantubenzani Nelson

Titre : Investigating the root cause of solar power unsustainability in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Auteur : Mdlolo,Bantubenzani Nelson

Université de soutenance : Durban University of Technology (DUT)

Grade : Master of Engineering 2019

Like many other countries, South Africa as a developing country relies on electricity as the most important basic amenity needed for development. KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is a province in South Africa affected by an erratic supply of electricity. In the past few years, some areas in KZN region have continued to experience load shedding, while other areas do not have access to electricity at all. Municipalities are responsible for electricity supply and regulation in the KZN communities. Due to its geographical location KwaZulu-Natal enjoys a warm subtropical climate and receives year-round sunshine even in the winter months. It is thus an ideal region for the implementation of solar power on a large scale. Renewable energy in the form of solar power could easily generate an adequate supply of electricity to meet the electricity demand requirements and energy sustainability of the KZN province. South Africa has a renewable electricity generation of about 2% as per the research of United Nation Statistics Division of 2009 (Manju and Suger, 2017). However, the current access to electricity still faces the challenge of meeting demand and shortage of coal to generate electricity which the most important required to all South Africans ; therefore, an effective alternative such as solar power is a necessity. The main challenge to the solar electricity supply is its unsustainability in the region. Intermittent load shedding coupled with the unsustainability of solar power, has negatively affected the economic performance of the region. This challenge (solar power unsustainability) limits the region from meeting the energy demands facing the KZN region. The main aim of this study was to investigate the root cause of solar power unsustainability in the KZN region. A quantitative method as well as a cost-benefit analysis was used to interrogate the solar power crisis in the KZN region. The Cost Benefit Analysis CBA gave an assurance of an early (financial) investment when implementing solar power in the eThekwini region. The adopted multiple regressions also revealed the high possibility of solar power performance of 0.75 r²-value. All challenges facing solar power are investigated through the cause and effect diagram as well. The Economical, Methodological and Environmental (EME) framework was proposed to address the unsustainability of solar power discovered in the region of KwaZulu-Natal. However, more work still needs to be done to investigate the potential growth of solar power in the region.


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