A comparative analysis of the potential South African renewable energy sources using Analytical Hierarchy Process

Ndala Yves Mulongo, Pule Aaron Kholopane, Clinton Aigbavboa

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


South Africa one of the most developed country in the continent of Africa had been dealing with serious challenges such as substantial growth in residents and increasing per capita electrical energy use that requires maximum utilization of existing electricity generating sources. Presently, more than 88% of electricity is being generated by means of fossil fuels with coal leading the raking by feeding the national power grid with approximately 72% of electrical energy produced. However, this power supply system puts a colossal strain on the economy and triggers significant damage to the ecosystem in general. To mitigate, this high reliance over non-renewable electricity producing resources, the South African government along with its department of energy as well as the electricity utility decided to implement measures with the aim of promoting the production of electricity through the renewable energy resources. However, these decisions have been primarily made with the goal of reducing the power crisis, without giving a significant consideration to the environmental, economic, social, and technical aspects concerning all the proposed renewable energy resource alternatives. To bridge this gap, this paper used the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) in order to define the absolute priorities of the renewable energy sources in the South African energy sector. The parameters such as environmental, economic, social, and technical were taken into account in this study with the aim of identifying and ranking the electricity technologies such as biomass, wind, hydro, and solar energy. Various analyses including sensitivity ones were conducted in order to determine the most promising energy source between these technologies. The outcomes of these analyses indicate that biomass is the most promising option with 52.6%, followed by wind with 27.2%, hydro 12.9%, and solar energy 6,9%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-94
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management
Issue numberJUL
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event2nd European International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management.IEOM 2018 -
Duration: 26 Jul 201827 Jul 2018


  • Analytical Hierarchy Process
  • Renewable energy sources
  • Sustainable development
  • The South African energy sector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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