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PREM Working Paper 05-03 - Constructing a greenhouse gas emissions database using energy balances: the case of South Africa 1998

Author(s)Blignaut, J., Chitiga-Mabugu, M., Mabugu, R.
Serie(s)Working Papers


This paper discusses the procedures and results of constructing a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions database for South Africa, using the official national energy balance for 1998. In doing so, the paper offers a snapshot of the South African energy supply and demand profile and
encompasses greenhouse gas emissions profiles, disaggregated into 40 economic sectors, for the reference year. For convenience, energy supply and use are reported in both native units and terra joule (TJ) while emissions are expressed in carbon dioxide equivalents and reported in giga-gram (Gg). While carbon dioxide is the leading contributor to global anthropogenic GHG emissions, the inclusion of methane and nitrous oxide offers considerable richness to the analysis of climate change policies. Applying the energy balances, it was possible to compile a comprehensive emissions database using a consistent methodology across all sectors of the economy. The database allows the economic analyst to model various economic policies, either i) with fuel as an input to production, or ii) with the consumption of fuel or the emissions generated during combustion, as the base of the analysis. The dominant role of coal as source of energy, with a total primary energy supply (TPES) of 3.3 million TJ (or 70 per cent of the total TPES), is clearly shown. Emissions from coal combustion (263,783 Gg of carbon dioxide equivalents or 74.7 per cent of total emissions) are hence the largest contributor to total emissions, estimated to be 352, 932 Gg carbon dioxide equivalents.


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