Understanding energy use in the South African manufacturing industry

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Manufacturing industries have objectives of improving productivity and economic growth while simultaneously reducing energy consumption and lessening environmental impact. Energy is a vital resource for the manufacturing industry. However, environmental impacts are a major concern for energy use in manufacturing. It is important to control and manage the way energy is consumed to reduce costs and carbon emissions. This research focused on the energy consumption and carbon emissions for the manufacturing industry in South Africa from 1999 to 2015. Index decomposition analysis (IDA) and historical trends analysis were used to analyse drivers of manufacturing energy consumption and to understand rebound effects respectively. Sub-sectoral analysis alongside the index of energy effectiveness (IoEE) was formulated which analysed and ranked selected manufacturing sub-sectors in terms of its effectiveness in energy use. Index decomposition analysis (IDA) has shown that the reductions in energy consumption within manufacturing was predominantly driven by reductions in energy intensities for the period of interest. Further analysis of changes in energy effectiveness against production changes also support the evidence that production output increases has not wiped out energy effectiveness gains, displaying little rebound effect. Pareto and sub-sectoral contribution analysis revealed that (i) the manufacture of basic iron and steel and (ii) the manufacture of refined petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products contribute 80% of the aggregate energy consumption and are amongst the least effective in energy use. The combined analysis in this study is aimed at policymakers, government and industries to inform energy reduction strategies.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-451
Number of pages7
JournalProcedia CIRP
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2020
Event30th CIRP Design on Design, CIRP Design 2020 - Pretoria, South Africa
Event duration: 5 May 20208 May 2020