Paris Outcome signals the end of business as usual for energy industries and potentially locks the world into green transitions. For the first time in history, more than 150 developed and developing countries around the world have promised to reduce GHG emissions. How binding are these agreements and how does it provide impetus for action at a local level?
The Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and SEA have recently completed a feasibility study and implementation plan on the use of appropriate alternative energy technologies to address health and safety issues in unelectrified informal settlements in the province. The study is a first step towards developing a plan to improve indoor air quality in a sustainable way.
Read how the City of Joburg plans to use mixed energy packages to service its informal settlements. Using a combination of electricity and gas, this novel approach delivers energy appropriately to meets its end use in an effective, efficient and sustainable way.
The Parliamentary Budget Office, recently released a report on comparative costs of various electricity generation technology options, as well as other interesting metrics such as lead-in times and the probability of cost overruns. Click here to find the report.
With support from SEA and the University of Limpopo, the Municipality of Polokwane is working towards reducing energy poverty through providing clean, safe, affordable and reliable energy services. Find out more about this inclusive initiative.
Using an open source spreadsheet calculator developed by SEA, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were compared for different types of powered vehicles in the South African context. See how the electric cars compare.
SEA, through the SAMSET programme has published a working paper which presents the results of an energy futures modelling exercise of cities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The preliminary results show that while emissions will grow substantially, if the SE4All goals are achieved, a 20% decline in this growth could be realised.
The Covenant of Mayors now enters its next phase in Sub-Saharan Africa. This exciting initiative aims at increasing the capacities of cities to provide access to sufficient, sustainable and safe energy services to urban populations. The call for proposals is out.
SEA has recently undertaken a study to determine the opportunities for urban emissions reductions in South Africa. This briefing paper examines the influence of cities in achieving national targets and recommends how national structures and mechanisms can be used to enable greater achievements in cities. Read the briefing paper.
Following the 3rd State of Energy report for Cape Town last year, the city embarked on their second energy futures study. The Energy2040 vision was developed. The vision covers a range of measures for the next 5 years towards achieving the goal of a low carbon, resilient and resource efficient city.
In a recent scoping exercise on energy consumption for productive uses in the informal sector, it was found that the food sector was an important source of income for the urban poor. The research highlights that multiple fuel uses are prevalent and that energy policy needs to consider this when developing plans in the local environment. Read the report here.
ICLEI Africa have recently published a report on financing green infrastructure in secondary cities. The report explores support and finance alternative options in the context of risk and uncertainty in rapidly urbanising municipalities, using Saldanha Bay as and example.
Municipalities across the country have been concerned about revenue losses resulting from customer uptake of energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy. Using the most comprehensive model developed to date by Sustainable Energy Africa, they show that energy efficiency has the biggest impact on revenue and service delivery. To find out more about this and to calculate what your projected municipal losses are, read more here
The ICLEI Urban-LEDS project adopted a unique collaborative scenario planning approach to low-emission development planning in two South African municipalities. It reveals diverse insights into the challenges linking climate change to the future economic competitiveness of the region.
The Joe Slovo settlement in Cape Town has been used to demonstrate the Department of Human Settlements’ approach to sustainable housing under the IRDP initiative. Built at the same cost as a conventional RDP house, this pioneering densification project includes, amongst other interventions, improved thermal performance and energy services.
The innovative strategy developed by Sustainable Energy Africa was launched by SALGA and the Swiss Development Cooperation earlier this year. The strategy was developed using a bottom up consultation process which involved all municipalities in the country. Eight priority areas were identified.
With numerous wind farms emerging in the country, eThekwini investigates the effect of these farms on biodiversity within its Municipality. Using the Wind Repowering Project for the study, the research shows the importance of a location-specific investigation for realistic impacts.
The City of Cape Town is in the process of implementing sustainable energy efficiency measures in some of its public buildings. The first of these is the Gallows Hill Traffic Department building, which has implemented smart metering, rooftop PV systems and LED lighting. There have been clear benefits in electricity consumption reduction and interesting lessons have emerged.
While municipalities are being plagued with applications for small scale solar PV they still face financial, technical and regulatory hurdles around this. Sustainable Energy Africa outlines these challenges and clarifies the steps necessary to ensure that SSEG introduction is undertaken in a way that does not threaten municipal revenue or compromise power system quality and safety.
SALGA, AMEU and Eskom, with the support of GIZ, have been collaborating to provide NERSA with a formal submission of comments on the 'Standard Conditions for Small Scale Embedded Generation' issued by NERSA. Technical workshops relating to safety aspects of embedded generation are also underway.
We announce with great excitement that Sustainable Energy Africa, in partnership with SALGA, have recently developed the Urban Energy Support website, which serves as an information portal of relevant documents and resources related to the urban energy sector. The website provides important practical tools and guides for municipalities to support the transition towards sustainable local energy development and a local carbon trajectory.
A new model developed by SEA shows that if densification is applied to the Voortrekker Road Corridor in Cape Town, a 50% reduction in energy and carbon emissions can be realised, along with a financial saving of ZAR 2 billion per year by 2034 in that area.
In 2012,Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality included embedded generation in their Green Economy Business Plan. Rather than viewing SSEG as a threat to their revenue, they have instead seen it as an enabler for long term economic development and have view thus made significant progress in allowing feed in into the grid. Read the case study to learn more about their experiences.
EThekwini recently completed a pre-feasibility study on the effect of mandatory day light saving on electricity consumption. The study reveals that the potential for reductions in the residential sector is negligible but could have substantial benefits on electricity peak loads and traffic congestion if implemented properly as a voluntary option.
An important new study, has confirmed that cities are sitting on significant energy savings potential within their operations. It also shows that past energy efficiency retrofit programs in cities have been successful in improving efficiency. This report compiled by SEA provides an analysis of the potential energy savings that can be realised from energy efficiency in municipal facilities and operations. You can find the full report here. If you would like to calculate the energy efficiency potential for your municipality click here.
Cape Town Partnership, together with the Stockholm Environment Institute and SEA have developed a new way to tackle low carbon development within cities. By defining emission sources and using private public partnerships, a clear and implementable plan was developed. If you would like get involved contact the CTP offices.
Access to data is critical for future energy planning. SEA has been undertaking State of Energy reports for more than a decade and these reports rely heavily on detailed, accurate and up-to-date energy data. While our experience has shown that data collection and accessibility has improved considerably within the large municipalities, several data issues still plague the sector. These issues are highlighted here.
WWF-SA has just recently published a report on the economic viability of shale gas fracking in South Africa. The report investigates the key economic drivers of fracking including the technological and market aspects of the entire process. Using these drivers WWF-SA has developed a framework for decision making in the fracking industry.
Using computer modelling software, SEA explored different energy development paths for eThekwini municipality. After a grueling data collection exercise, several scenarios were investigated. These scenarios used a combination of energy efficiency and energy supply options taking into consideration essential economic, social and environmental factors. The research shows which paths should be followed to reach a sustainable future.
This report produced by the City Energy Support Unit of Sustainable Energy Africa provides an update on the 2006 report. It attempts to contribute to the body of work detailing and documenting city work and the policy arena relating to energy development.
The 2015 State of Energy in Cities report completed by Sustainable Energy Africa, tracks energy consumption and carbon emissions for the country's highest energy-consuming municipalities over the past decade. The report, which includes comprehensive datasets for 18 of these municipalities, shows that metros in particular, are embracing sustainable energy practices and that there is a clear positive shift in energy profiles.
SALGA and SAGEN have developed a tool to assist municipalities in determining the biogas potential from their wastewater treatment plants. The tool is designed to provide high-level results that will allow a municipality to decide if this technology should be pursued.
SAMSET has recently completed a household energy survey in Polokwane to assist the municipality in implementing its Energy and Climate Change Strategy. The results of this survey show that while electrification and multiple fuel uses remain a challenge, there is huge potential for energy savings through fuel switching, efficiency measures as well as improved urban form. Read the report here.
The UNDP has produced guidelines to assist national and local governments in creating sustainable communities by focusing on both energy and non-energy strategies that work in concert with each other. The EnergyPlus guidelines aim to ensure productive uses of modern energy thereby reducing energy poverty and cultivating self-sufficient thriving societies.
Another first for eThekwini - As part of the Durban Solar City Framework to stimulate PV uptake, the Durban Solar Map allows residents to calculate the financial viability of a PV installation on their roof.
adelphi, SEA and OneWorld have partnered in a four-year project which aims to strengthen vertical coordination relating to low-emission development amongst national, provincial and local government. The project aims to stimulate learnings and knowledge transfer between the spheres of government. It intends to strengthen the implementing capacities of local government in order to meet national climate change targets and priorities. Read about the key activities here.
to provide support to the government's green growth agenda. The Program is designed with a focus on strengthening public sector-related development planning and project development capabilities for low-emissions development.
SAMSET (Supporting Sub-Saharan Municipalities with Sustainable Energy Transitions) invites you to attend an Africities open session on the 30th of November at Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg from 15:00 - 18:00.
SALGA, GIZ and SEA have developed a series of six case studies on municipal renewable energy projects. These case studies identify the processes followed focusing on regulatory processes, and the success factors of each project.
WWF-SA shows how a renewable energy mix of up to 20% can be materialised by 2030 through a series of reports which tackles the techno-economic aspects, socio-economics, small enterprise development and the industrialisation of CSP.
In response to the national Mitigation Potential Analysis, the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs has developed scenarios to determine the mitigation potential within the province. The study also identifies the role of municipalities in emissions reductions.
ICLEI have recently completed the design and implementation of six showcase community projects around the country demonstrating that resource efficiency and sustainability is relevant and beneficial to people across the socio-economic spectrum.