Stephanie Borchardt

PhD Student

Dissertation Title: Illuminating Energy Poverty: A case study of the energy needs and challenges of low-income households in De Aar, a renewable energy hub in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province

Keywords: Renewable Energy, Household energy usage, Sustainable Development, Karoo, Energy poverty, Energy humanities

Stef’s overarching interest is in the potential of South Africa’s renewable energy sector to contribute to sustainable development at the local as well as national level. Her research focuses on exploring the energy needs and challenges that poor households face in De Aar, in the Northern Cape Province, in relation to the significant national and international investment in renewable energy, which is currently taking place around the town, as part of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

Her MA thesis was successfully upgraded to a Ph.D. in January 2020 after which she graduated with a PhD in Sociology in 2023.

Stef enrolled for a BA Humanities degree at Stellenbosch University which she completed in 2015.
In 2016, Stef completed her honours in Sociology on the public participation process of shale gas development (fracking) in the Karoo.
She is currently enrolled as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Stellenbosch University.