Sustainable energy provision is regarded as one of the most significant challenges facing the realm of development, especially in Africa where large proportions of the population still lack access to energy services. Although there have been much efforts to address these problems with renewable energy technologies, there have also been substantial failures and problems. The Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) has developed a manual that seeks to address these implementation issues.
The Renewable Energy for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods workgroup has also developed such a framework, termed SURE, which is a multi-criteria decision analysis modelling tool. Both of these frameworks rely heavily on the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach and emphasise the need to rigorously analyse the sub-systems where technologies are to be introduced. These two frameworks have been integrated and assessed in terms of their applicability for the South African rural renewable energy landscape through a Delphi study conducted with several experts in the energy sector. The results indicate that the integrated framework is suitable for the South African context, with additions to the ITDG and SURE frameworks suggested. Finally the paper highlights a potential concern in the South African renewable energy industry in that technology assessment methods that are utilised in practise do not incorporate the concepts of sustainability science adequately; this must be addressed through further case study research efforts.