The Political Economy of Energy Transitions: The Case of South Africa

TitleThe Political Economy of Energy Transitions: The Case of South Africa
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBaker, L., P. Newell, and J. Phillips
Journal TitleNew Political Economy
Keywordsclimate change, energy politics, governance, South Africa, Transitions
Abstract

This paper explores the political economy of energy transition in South Africa. An economic model based around a powerful ‘minerals-energy complex’ that has previously been able to provide domestic and foreign capital with cheap and plentiful coal-generated electricity is no longer economically or environmentally sustainable. The paper analyses the struggle over competing energy visions, infrastructures and political agendas in order to generate insights into the governance and financing of clean energy transitions in South Africa. It provides both a rich empirical account of key policy developments aimed at enabling such a transition and provides reflections on how best to theorise the contested politics of energy transitions.

DOI10.1080/13563467.2013.849674
Tyndall Consortium Institution

Sussex

Research Programme

Energy