Preliminary investigations on energy efficiency of manufacturing firms operating in
South Africa have shown that no previous study on the barriers and drivers to energy
efficiency was conducted. It was also found that South Africa is the only member within
the Brazilian, Russian, Indian, Chinese and South African (BRICS) community that has
not conducted any formal study on the drivers and barriers to Energy efficiency despite
the current energy challenges the country faces. Whilst the National Energy Efficiency
Strategy (NEES) was developed and targets were set to improve the country’s
efficiency landscape, this strategy failed to account for the barriers and drivers to
energy efficiency operating within the local context.
This research study sets out to investigate whether an energy efficiency gap exists
within manufacturing firms operating in the eThekwini Municipal Area (EMA) and by
inference, the national context. It goes on further to analyse the drivers and barriers
to Energy Efficiency (EE) within such firms. Such drivers and barriers are then
analysed by firm characteristics and across manufacturing sectors.
The results are interesting and contribute well to the general body of knowledge on EE
in South Africa. It was found that whilst there is a degree of adoption and awareness
of EE technologies amongst manufacturing firms, the quality of the adoption profile is
poor. This poor quality profile suggests the possibility of an energy efficiency gap. The
barriers and drivers that were found to be significant were also found to be mostly
similar across manufacturing sectors. A main finding is that firms are very sensitive to
cost and are mainly driven to adopt EE technologies only where there exists an
opportunity for cost savings. It was also found that taken together, institutional barriers
pose the greatest hurdle to EE adoption. Several interesting results were found in
terms of how the barriers and drivers vary with the characteristics of the firm.
The findings of this research indicate that more can be achieved in terms of energy
efficiency within the manufacturing subsectors in South Africa. Policy-makers should
take into consideration the salient findings of this research when drafting new policy
on energy efficiency.
Dissertation (MEng)--University of Pretoria, 2017.