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Book chapter on the politics of South Africa’s energy procurement

A new book chapter written by CIED researcher Lucy Baker and Jesse Burton from the Energy Research Centre of the University of Cape Town, looks at electricity procurement and governance in South Africa’s low carbon transition. The authors argue that decarbonising the electricity system involves a combination of instruments and needs a more nuanced analysis of the political economy of electricity.

The chapter looks at the case of South Africa – a country with a state-owned monopoly utility running the electricity sector – where regulatory reforms facilitated a successful renewable energy programme, while helping the introduction of a procurement programme for privately generated power from coal-fired sources at the same time. Through this case, the authors aim to highlight the complex, messy and non-linear nature of transitions and argue for a politically aware analysis of the process.


This book chapter is part of the edited volume ‘Handbook on the International Political Economy of Energy and Natural Resources’. Find out more about the book.