How can South Africa advance a new energy paradigm? A mission-oriented approach to megaprojects
This paper examines how a 'mission-oriented' approach may be applied to reconceptualise energy megaprojects for energy transition through a deep dive on the South African experience.
21 March 2022
UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) Working Paper Series: IIPP WP 2022/03
- Antonio Andreoni | UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose | University of Johannesburg
- Kenneth Creamer | University of Witwatersrand
- Mariana Mazzucato | UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose
- Grové Steyn | Meridian Economics
Andreoni, A., Creamer, K., Mazzucato, M and Steyn, G. (2022) How can South Africa advance a new energy paradigm? A mission-oriented approach to megaprojects. UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, Working Paper Series (No. WP 2022/03). Available at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/public-purpose/wp2022-03
Green transition is a ‘wicked’ problem in that it is complex, systemic, interconnected, and urgent. In this paper we advance a ‘mission-oriented’ approach to reconceptualise energy megaprojects within a systemic, cross-sectoral and challenge driven policy framework for energy transition. This approach is operationalised through a discussion of project-level policy instruments including directional public finance, public procurement, and several types of conditionality. These instruments are geared towards shaping markets and industrial supply chains for green transition, and managing risks and rewards associated with energy megaprojects. We also look at the opportunities offered by a more decentralised energy system and the importance of building up state capacity and green coalitions supporting energy transition. We discuss this mission-oriented approach through a deep dive on the South African experience of energy megaprojects with a focus on the restructuring of its public utility, Eskom, as well as opportunities for sustainable industrialisation.