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An overview of the electricity externality analysis in South Africa within the international context

George A. Thopil, Anastassios Pouris
South African Journal of Science | Vol 106, No 11/12 | a248 | DOI: | © 2010 George A. Thopil, Anastassios Pouris | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 April 2010 | Published: 18 November 2010

About the author(s)

George A. Thopil, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Anastassios Pouris, University of Pretoria, South Africa


Externalities are an integral part of South Africa’s electricity power generation sector as the country is highly dependent on coal as the primary fuel source. While there have been significant efforts to account for the constantly increasing externalities in developed countries, it has not been the case in the developing world. This paper attempts to observe the trend of externalities research in South Africa’s power generation sector and to analyse the gaps by placing externality research in context with other studies performed internationally. A statistical analysis adjusted for currency conversions puts into perspective the range of externalities. It also provides an overview of South Africa’s energy supply and demand scene, with emphasis on the role of coal in the electricity sector. The paper provides motivation to perform a revised externality analysis along international lines. The aim is to add to the body of literature on externality studies in South Africa by providing an updated comparative analysis. This will enable future research to contextualise studies that were performed during different time periods.


electricity externalities; Eskom; ExternE; GDP; valuation


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