Abstract for: Bridging South Africa's supply-demand mismatch in the electricity transitions: a system dynamics approach

Providing reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity is critical to socio-economic development. However, South Africa is facing one of its worst electricity crises. Factors attributed to the electricity crisis include socio-political dynamics undermining investment in renewable energy capacity. The ongoing uncertainty about electricity supply, increasing electricity prices and the threat of climate change requires South African policy-makers to consider and design electricity investment strategies. Thus, this study developed a system dynamics model to assess the development of the electricity demand-supply gap and the effects of four investment scenarios by 2050. The results reveal that the rainbow scenario improves the demand-supply gap, reduces the levels of load shedding and eliminates it by 2046. This result does not happen automatically. It requires policy design that invests in the renewable capacity that matches the generation capacity of base-load technologies such as coal and nuclear and considers the supply chain delay.