Development of an information management solution to ensure the sustainability of DSM projects
Slambert, Neil Dickie
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The efficient use of energy resources has become a major challenge for the sustainable development of countries around the world. South Africa has not escaped the challenge for sustainable energy. The economic prosperity in South Africa after 1994 brought about an increase in the demand for electricity. By 2007 the increased demand for electricity exceeded the existing electricity supply capacity, especially during peak–time hours. The increase in the peak–time electricity demand made the entire power system vulnerable to power outages. South Africa experienced severe power outages during December 2007 and January 2008 as a direct result of supply capacity constraints and an increase in electricity demand. Eskom was forced to apply load shedding. Eskom intensified its Demand–side Management (DSM) program in an effort to restore stability to the electrical supply network. Electricity saving performance of DSM projects tends to deteriorate over time in the absence of proper and frequent monitoring of projects and information feedback. The problem of the performance decline is addressed by analysing how and why an information management approach to DSM can enhance the sustainability of DSM projects. This study motivates the need for an information management solution to support the information needs of DSM projects and thereby ensure the sustainability of the DSM projects. A database–driven web application is developed and implemented to show how the ESCOs existing information management approach can further be enhanced through the use of a web–based application. The study was conducted at a South African ESCO, namely, HVAC International (Pty) Ltd.
- Engineering