Funding on energy research and development in South Africa



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University of Cape Town.

An analysis is made of the funding on energy research and development in South Africa and is compared with the funding of seventeen countries making up the International Energy Agency. The survey is incomplete because of the lack of adequate accounting methods in certain organisations supplying statistics which did not allow for a sub-division into energy and other funding. It is also incomplete because certain organisations were unwilling to give information because of fear of contravening the Petroleum Act. An analysis of research funding by private industry, and especially by overseas controlled companies, has shown that very little is done in this country, most companies preferring to rely on research carried out by their parent companies overseas. Sufficient information was obtained to show that with the exception of funding for nuclear power South Africa's research effort is below that of most countries of the IEA. This is especially true of funding on coal research where South Africa should, in terms of its position as a major coal exporting country, and because of its heavy reliance on domestic coal consumption, be one of the world's leaders in coal research. However, only Italy, of the 17 IEA countries, spends less on coal research in terms of funding per ton of coal mined. In the field of research into renewable energy forms South Africa is far behind any of the other countries considered.