South African power market : a full-cost analysis of future technology options for electricity generation
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- Master Thesis 
The aim of this research is to facilitate informed decision making for an optimal allocation of future electricity generation resources in South Africa. Such a study is important in order to find out which technologies are economically favorable from a long-term perspective for a growing and emission-intensive emerging economy that bases its energy production predominantly on the depletion of its domestic fossil coal resources. The research approach adopted in this dissertation is based on a profound review of literature on South Africa’s electricity market, coupled with the development of a full-cost approach based on levelized cost of electricity. This approach is used to empirically evaluate the performance of new-build technologies including coal, nuclear, natural gas, solar PV, CSP and wind with regard to economic, environmental and social criteria. The findings from this research provide evidence that coal power stations are not the optimal option for electricity generation in South Africa and that wind, CSP, PV and nuclear are to be preferred for new investments. The main conclusion drawn from this study is that the inclusion of indirect costs and non-monetary aspects of electricity generation makes technologies competitive in South Africa that seem expensive from a pure-economic point of view. The dissertation recommends that the structure of the South African electricity market should be improved to facilitate the accommodation of higher shares of renewable energy.