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Transformation of the Energy System in South Africa (SA-TIED with IFPRI


Time-frame: March 2018 to March 2021
Project team: Bruno Merven, Alison Hughes, Gregory Ireland, Faaiqa Hartley, Bryce McCall and Fadiel Ajum
Project leader: Bruno Merven (brunomerven@gmail.com)



One of the key areas of research under the CLIMATE (Climate Change, Infrastructure, Migration, Agriculture, Trade, and Energy) work stream of the Towards Inclusive Economic Development project between UNU-WIDER, IFPRI and South African partners is the transformation of the energy system in South Africa. Planning and policymaking around the energy system relies on energy-economic and environment models to trade-off the different planning and policy objectives. These models are useful in that they help to organize information about the system in a systematic way and thus help decision makers and stakeholders better understand the system, both in terms of how different courses of action impact on the system and help meet objectives, and how the system responds to different uncertain and uncontrollable situations.

This project will extend and improve the existing modelling framework developed by the Energy Research Centre in collaboration with UNU-WIDER (Arndt et al. 2014) and extended by (Merven, Arndt and Winkler 2018) and (Hartley, Merven and Arndt 2018) in the previous phase of this project with IFPRI. The proposed project is a continuation of this work with two main areas of effort:

  • To consolidate the work done in the previous phase on the transition to RE.
  • To further refine how the energy systems model (SATIM) and the CGE model are linked, more specifically focusing on how the households and the transport sector are linked, and how this new way of linking impacts on certain existing and planned energy and climate policies. Another important area for South Africa, is how the availability of certain resources (e.g. minerals and forest area) can limit the growth of certain sectors (e.g. mining and pulp and paper), which are also relevant when considering the energy transition for the country.



Private transport modelled in SATIMGE and the socio-economic impacts of electric vehicles in South Africa

Long term modelling of household demand and its implications for energy planning.

Improved representation of coal supply for the power sector for South Africa

Road freight and energy in South Africa

Quantifying the macro- and socioeconomic benefits of a transition to renewable energy in South Africa, Part 2: Economic impacts

Quantifying the macro- and socio-economic benefits of a transition to renewable energy in South Africa