In the last three years, carbon-intensive, coal-dependent South Africa has become one of the leading destinations for renewable energy investment. Investment has gone from a few hundred million dollars in 2011 to $5.7 billion in 2012 (UNEP/BNEF 2013:27) of which approximately $1.5 billion was for wind and $4.2 billion for solar.
I am a research fellow in the Department of International Relations at the University of Sussex and a visiting fellow at the Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town, working on the ESRC-funded project, Rising powers and the low carbon transition in Southern Africa. I hold a PhD from the School of International Development at the University of East Anglia. My PhD explored policies and processes behind attempts to integrate privately-generated renewable energy into South Africa’s coal-fired, publicly-owned electricity grid. My areas of research include: energy policy; low carbon development in low & middle income countries; the political economy of development in Southern Africa; socio-technical transitions; and human rights and natural resources.
Duration of your PhD
Professor Peter Newel.
My Thesis' Abstract
The governance of clean energy in South Africa: concept, policy and practice The study adopts a multi-level, multi-sector approach to governance. It examines actors, stakeholders and processes at the international, regional, national and municipal levels; in the public and private spheres; and in the renewable energy and fossil-fuel generated electricity sectors.
The research defines governance in its broadest sense, spanning the continuum of public to private, and also evaluates the influence that non-governmental stakeholders have over national policy-making processes. The research deals with key tensions between economic, industrial, environmental and social priorities at the national level. It examines governance and policy making in relation to South Africa's nascent and potential wind industry, and Eskom's Medupi coal-fired power plant in Limpopo province.
It analyses these two case studies within the context of significant policy developments taking place at the national level, including the Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff, the Integrated Resource Plan, the Industrial Policy Action Plan and the Renewable Energy White Paper. The research methodology is largely qualitative. While in South Africa Lucy is undertaking a series of semi-structured interviews with representatives of government, industry, academia, civil society, trade unions, journalists, investors and donors.
The research also includes textual analysis of national policy documents, legislation and industry specific publications, and analysis of secondary quantitative data on energy consumption and production. Lucy Baker’s research is supervised by Professors Peter Newell and Katrina Brown and is funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council. Her work is part of a fellowship on ‘The Governance of Clean Development’ run by Professor Peter Newell (www.clean-development.com). While in South Africa Lucy is based as a fellow at the Institute for Security Studies in Cape Town.
Phone: 07891 906322
School of Global Studies, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN19RH