The implementation of independent utility-scale renewable energy projects in South Africa has only recently been adopted en masse and with new initiatives, numerous barriers and challenges have arisen making for a complex and ambiguous environment. The requirement for cheap and clean energy generation has been emphasised by the need for climate change mitigation initiatives, the increasing need for energy to grow the economy and the problems encountered by South Africa's monopolistic energy parastatal to maintain their coal-fired power plant and produce sufficient quantities of electricity. In any fledgeling industry, the skills are generally lacking, meaning that there is a need for academic institutions to fill the need for skills transfer as well as companies to ensure that there are skills transfer initiatives in place. The study explored these challenges and barriers from the viewpoint of developers and Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management companies in particular in the context of South Africa's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme.
In order to ensure that a complete set of factors were considered during the study, the Enterprise framework for renewable energy was utilised as a structure that draws attention to a wide range of both internal and external barriers in the renewable energy sector. This framework and literature pertaining to the barriers experienced thus far gave rise to four research questions which were utilised as the basis for the interview questions. To draw from the experience of those who have been involved in the RE IPPPP, 11 in-depth, exploratory interviews were conducted from those with differing positions from a diverse selection of organisations.
The study determined that there are seven main barriers and challenges in the sector and that the vast majority of factors emanate from the external environment. It was also found that skills and skills development have been successful especially in the technical areas, but lacking at management and government level. The study culminated in a framework to assist developers and EPCM companies in the renewable energy sector to take cognisance of the challenges and barriers and the factors that create the said challenges and barriers. Recommendations to EPCM companies, management and government and policy makers were formulated. These include policy changes, the reassessment of the Eskom's corporate structure and opportunities in embedded energy production. Recommendations were also made with regards to future research.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.