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Case study

South Africa Power System Transformation

Countries and regions
South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Action area


Case summary

Through its INDC, South Africa aims to have its GHG emissions “peak, plateau, and decline” by 2030. To help accomplish that goal, South Africa has worked with the 21stCentury Power Partnership since 2012 to make its power system more reliable, cost-effective, and low-carbon. This collaboration has enabled South African system planners, regulators, and operators to connect with and learn from a global network of industry experts. Several actions and good practices, detailed in the case study, are supporting successful outcomes under this partnership.

  • Through technical support, South African energy institutions have identified methods for strengthening their Integrated Resource Plan.
  • Capacity building has taken place through workshop trainings, staff exchanges, and peer engagements.
  • Experts are implementing a detailed modeling analysis of South Africa’s grid to ascertain grid flexibility for the cost-effective incorporation of variable renewable energy sources.
  • Trainings on the International Jobs and Economic Development Impacts (I-JEDI) tool have enabled analysis of the economic impact and job potential of various renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass.
Planning and implementation activity
Developing Strategies and Plans, Developing and Implementing Policies and Measures
Institutions involved
  • Government of South Africa, Eskom, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, 21stCentury Power Partnership, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, GIZ, USAID
Sectors and themes
Energy Efficiency, Integrated Energy Systems, Renewable Energy
Source details
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Results supported byUNDPWorld Resources InstituteTransparency partnership