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Value Measurement Analysis of Energy Tradeoffs in South Africa

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Prado-Lopez, Valentina; Stewart, Theodor; Makowski, Marek; von Winterfeldt, Detlof
Date: 2013
Agency: Arizona State University
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/9941
Sector: Global Commons
Region: Africa
Subject(s): sustainability
Abstract: "South Africa (SA) is facing multiple energy challenges. Current infrastructure is aging, population is growing, industry is expanding, and the level of development is increasing. In addition, existing energy practices depend heavily on coal, are environmentally unsustainable and conflict with international climate change mitigation polices. Therefore, in the near future SA must replace, expand and transform its energy portfolio. This study considers three main thermal electric generation technologies as the most viable options of this energy transition: improved coal power plants that implement best practices, natural gas fired power plants that utilize imported gas from Botswana and Mozambique, or natural gas power plants that utilize domestic shale gas from the Karoo region. It is unlikely that eithernatural gas option will fulfill all future electricity requirements. Therefore, where possible, thisstudy seeks to evaluate the most favorable replacement of coal. Within the shale gas alternative, this study performs a comparative analysis of three water scenarios for hydraulic fracking; either water is sourced from local groundwater aquifers, from seawater about 300km from the fracking site or from coal mine waste in the Mpumalanga region, about 1000km from the fracking site. Multiple environmental, social and economic."

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