Title page for ETD etd-06072011-070707

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Barry, Marie-Louise
Email mlb@up.ac.za
URN etd-06072011-070707
Document Title Contributions to the theory and practice of technology selection : the case of projects to ensure a sustainable energy base for Africa
Degree PhD
Department Engineering and Technology Management
Advisor Name Title
Prof A Brent Co-Supervisor
Prof H Steyn Supervisor
  • selection criteria
  • framework of factors
  • renewable energy technology selection
  • developing countries
  • sustainable energy
Date 2011-04-12
Availability unrestricted
Energy is essential for economic development in Africa. The current electrification figures show that countries in sub-Saharan Africa are facing major challenges in reaching positive economic growth and supplying basic energy services to rural communities. Sustainable energy technologies are available and can be used to great effect in Africa to alleviate this problem. Sustainable energy technologies can contribute to job creation and economic development. The implementation of renewable energy technologies in sub-Saharan Africa to date however has not always been successful due to both technical and non-technical factors. Prior to this study a comprehensive framework of factors to select renewable energy technologies did not exist. The purpose of this research was to develop such a framework and to validate it by means of empirical research.

Triangulation of methodologies was used to determine the framework of factors. The analysis of the literature investigated renewable energy technologies and their application, the challenges in renewable energy technologies for implementation in Africa and the selection methods in the fields of project, portfolio, programme and technology management. This was followed by a focus group with three experts in which thirty eight factors that need to be taken into account during the selection of renewable energy technologies in Africa were identified. The factors identified by the focus group were confirmed and the eleven most applicable factors were selected during a two-round Delphi study. Finally case studies on the implementation of renewable energy technologies were undertaken in three countries. These case studies confirmed the eleven factors identified during the Delphi study and identified a further two factors which needed to be added to the framework.

The final framework proposed in this study consists of thirteen factors that need to be considered before deciding on the technology appropriate for a specific implementation. For the implementation of the technology to succeed, it must be ensured that the technology can be maintained and supported on site over the life cycle of the technology, and that sufficient skills and resources exist to implement and maintain the technology. Sites for implementation of the technology must be selected in places where local champions exist to continue supporting the technology after the implementing agency has left, the community has the will to adopt the technology in the long term, sites are available for implementing pilot sites and sufficient sites with the correct characteristics are available for long term implementation. The technology must also contribute to economic development by creating jobs or improving the economic situation of households, and financing must be made available to ensure large scale adoption. Local businesses which aid with implementation need to have business management and technical skills as well as the financial capacity to implement the technology. Government support of the implementation of the technology is essential and the environmental benefits of the technology must be clear from the outset.

This report presents a framework that includes both the criteria and measures to be used for the selection of renewable energy technologies in Africa. Further work is required to implement these criteria and measures in a selection methodology.

2011 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Barry, M-L 2011, Contributions to the theory and practice of technology selection : the case of projects to ensure a sustainable energy base for Africa, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06072011-070707/ >


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  00front.pdf 88.16 Kb 00:00:24 00:00:12 00:00:11 00:00:05 < 00:00:01
  01chapter1-2.pdf 402.93 Kb 00:01:51 00:00:57 00:00:50 00:00:25 00:00:02
  02chapter3.pdf 209.41 Kb 00:00:58 00:00:29 00:00:26 00:00:13 00:00:01
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  04chapter6.pdf 259.57 Kb 00:01:12 00:00:37 00:00:32 00:00:16 00:00:01
  05chapter7.pdf 273.41 Kb 00:01:15 00:00:39 00:00:34 00:00:17 00:00:01
  06references.pdf 120.40 Kb 00:00:33 00:00:17 00:00:15 00:00:07 < 00:00:01

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