Energy Industry

The CSIR’s energy industry research group, situated in Pretoria, provides the scientific expertise necessary to address South Africa’s growing energy needs from an economic and socio-economic perspective. The group focuses on developing pathways that lead to industrial development in the South African energy value chain. This is done through applying research and development as well as using science-based tools to provide analysis for mapping out various development scenarios. The group is leading the cross-cutting development of a “Just energy transition and industry support plan” for South Africa and for other African countries. The CSIR aims to lead research in support of an energy transition from a coal-based economy towards a sustainable, low-carbon energy future while supporting the development of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in regions most adversely affected. This is in alignment with the CSIR strategic objective to help industry to re-industrialise and improve competitiveness.

The CSIR focuses on quantifying and analysing the economic and socio-economic impacts of the energy transition with the aim of assisting stakeholders in planning the transition to ensure that it occurs in a just manner. Concurrently, the CSIR is developing the capacity to assist SMMEs with their development to ensure that they can adequately respond to the new demand for skills and products in the transitioned energy domain.  

The main research themes mentioned above require various supporting research themes that include the changes in job creation associated with the energy transition, the skills requirement to support the transition, the localisation potential of new technology options in the South African energy domain and assessment of skills development programmes and initiatives to ensure a just transition.


  • Power and energy sector jobs creation quantification.
  • Mapping the political, socio and economic impacts of an energy transition on South Africa’s power sector.
  • Analyses of positive and negative impacts of an energy transition (at national, regional or even plant level).
  • Analysing socio-economic and economic losses and gains in the energy value chain (mining, renewable energy, gas, coal).
  • Energy sector value chain analysis which includes International Jobs and Economic Development Impacts (IJEDI) analysis modelling, economic baseline profile assessment as well as techno-economics.
  • Identification of localisation opportunities in the energy transition and quantifying metrics such as jobs and economic impact when localising various components and activities of the renewable energy value chain in South Africa.
  • Develop localisation road map in coal phase-out regions.
  • Re-skilling framework for the energy transition.
  • Options for repurposing of South African coal power stations and cost-benefit analysis.
  • Sensitivity study of electricity tariffs associated with the transition and cost changes in technology costs in South Africa.
  • Capacity building with government officials on how to respond to the energy transition impact.
  • Integration of SMMEs into the energy value chain: Unpack SMME opportunities in the renewable energy sector.
  • Providing primarily SMMEs with technology development support, for their business concepts through the establishment of the Energy Industry Support Programme.



  • Energy economics
  • Economic impact assessment
  • Socio-economic impact assessment
  • Techno-economics analysis
  • Feasibility assessments
  • Cost-benefits analysis
  • Economic baseline profiling
  • Policy assessment/alignment
Xolile Msimanga