oa Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences - Alternative energy : modelling resource conflict within an energy environment
With growing infrastructural pressure induced by urban densification combined with rural development and the increasing demands of industrialisation, South Africa is facing two related challenges. The first is a lack of sufficient energy to satisfactorily fulfil the needs of the expanding economy. The second is that South Africa has limited access to water.
Electricity generation using the traditional coal-burning power stations requires vast amounts of water, for amongst other things, steam generation to drive the turbines and water is also used in the cooling process. Thus, as the demand for electricity grows, so too does the pressure on the country's strained water supplies.
The growing demand for electricity favours the building of new traditional coal-burning power stations, which emit vast amounts of pollutants into the atmosphere, negatively affecting the environment. This leads to a degree of conflict between stakeholders, namely the energy producers, government bodies, and environmentalists.
This paper uses Hirshleifer's Conflict Success Function to highlight the 'urgency' of replacing traditional fuel-based power stations with alternative renewable energy generators, using South Africa as a case study.
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