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Urban electricity systems in a time of ‘solar revolution’: hybridisations and local technopolitical regime(s) in the Western Cape (South Africa)

Abstract : Since the electrical crisis in 2008 and its aftermath, and the wreckage of Eskom, a public monopoly company whose unbundling was announced by President Ramaphosa in February 2019, the South African energy landscape is changing. Three game changers are essential at the national level: the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REI4P) and a 'regulatory decompression' parallel to a 'PV revolution' that favors small independent producers. At the local level, municipalities are struggling to adapt in order to preserve the foundations of their redistributive business model and to regulate processes of change that lead, de facto, to a growing heterogeneity of local electrical systems. Field surveys in the Western Cape Province show both the internal diversity of the emerging socio-technical configurations of electricity supply and the variety of situations from one city to another. Examining the hypothesis of a long-term hybridization, the communication suggests that, in this context, it is necessary to consider the energy transition first as a re-arrangement issue of this diversity rather than as an independent end. This, however, raises key questions in terms of the reorganization of the electricity landscape, of a re-invention of municipal electrical services as a common good and, more generally, of the governance of energy transition processes that are both rooted in local territories and aligned with national objectives.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03086623
Contributor : Sylvy Jaglin <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 22, 2020 - 6:20:10 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 4:54:08 PM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-03086623, version 1

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Sylvy Jaglin. Urban electricity systems in a time of ‘solar revolution’: hybridisations and local technopolitical regime(s) in the Western Cape (South Africa). RGS-IGB Annual International Conference 2019, Royal Geographical Society, Aug 2019, London, United Kingdom. ⟨halshs-03086623⟩

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