Energy generation and consumption is one of the most significant concerns for South Africaâ€™s growing economy. Efforts to monitor the countryâ€™s overall energy consumption revealed that the industrial sector consistently consumes the highest energy at just under 60%. Policies are informed by an understanding of the current consumption across sectors and also the ability to predict future consumption. It is therefore important to understand the energy consumption of the highest energy user.
This research investigates the characteristics of industrial sector energy consumption, and how it has evolved between the years 1992 and 2018. The findings show that the total industrial consumption is still increasing. Contrary to global behavior, the local industrial consumption is still dominated by Coal; Electricity; Gas and Petroleum products respectively. High intensity industries are still heavily reliant on fossil fuel, regardless of the carbon footprint and GHG effect. This points to cost and availability influence on consumption. Although there is great potential in renewable energy, it is only low-intensive industries that are shifting to new non-conventional energy sources. Further work is required to define non-specified industrial subsectors as they contribute more than 10% to the total industrial consumption, compared to less than 5% in international consumption trends.
Keywords Renewable energy resources, Industrial sector, Energy consumption, Disaggregated consumption, South Africa