The complexity of global knowledge networks

systems-globe

This post relates to the presentation of this paper: Rennkamp, B and Boulle, M. 2015. Novel shapes of South-South collaboration: Emerging knowledge networks on co-benefits of climate and development policies. MAPS Working Paper No.30. Cape Town: MAPS Programme At the core of knowledge networks are people working together to create and generate knowledge, share and spark new ideas. Knowledge networks entail a commitment to collaborative effort; bringing different groups of people together to achieve cross-sectoral knowledge exchange and learning for… Read moreThe complexity of global knowledge networks

No economic case for SA nuclear plan – research

Image (c) The Sunday Times

There is no economic case to be made for a firm commitment to commissioning a full fleet of 9.6GW of nuclear power by 2030. This is the key finding in a research paper probing the potential risks and uncertainties of the commitment to SA’s proposed nuclear build plan. It reveals that South Africa should aim to have a flexible planning approach to adapt to changing electricity demand. The paper, by the University of Cape Town’s Energy Research Centre, compares this… Read moreNo economic case for SA nuclear plan – research

Networking seminar – Economic and community development through the REIPPPP

Networking seminar participants.

The ongoing Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPPP) programme is attracting attention from the social sciences. The programme’s mandated community development investment challenges industry practice in project development and implementation. Increasingly, academic attention grows in support of industry, civil society and government, to maximise the investment’s developmental contribution. The Energy Research Centre (ERC) at the University of Cape Town (UCT) hosted a networking seminar for researchers working on this topic on the 21 st April 2016. The 23 participants were… Read moreNetworking seminar – Economic and community development through the REIPPPP

What lies behind Africa’s lack of access and unreliable power supplies?

(c) Akintunde Akinleye-Reuters

Afrobarometer, a pan-African, non-partisan research network, recently released areport highlighting Africa’s electricity challenges. Power shortages can hamper socioeconomic development, but they also have implications for health and education. The Conversation Africa’s energy and environment editor Ozayr Patel spoke to Peter Penar, one of the researchers. How serious is the electricity crisis in Africa? One of the most glaring disparities is that across the 36 countries surveyed, 94% of urban dwellers have access to the electric grid, whereas only 45% do… Read moreWhat lies behind Africa’s lack of access and unreliable power supplies?

The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: Dassiesklip Wind Farm

Dassies-turbine-underneath

The morning started with clear skies in sunny Cape Town, but after we reached the Overberg, the mist appeared and the clouds gathered. It was raining hard and was very windy as we reached the Dassiesklip Wind Farm near Caledon; a perfect day to see a wind turbine in full action! As we entered the grounds, we were welcomed by a beautiful rainbow touching the ground on both sides with, at one end, the wind turbines. As we approached those… Read moreThe pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: Dassiesklip Wind Farm

Why South Africa is finding it difficult to wean itself off coal

South Africa has made domestic and international commitments to climate change mitigation. But the country continues to depend on coal-fired power plants, which provide 92% of its electricity. A key challenge for the country in dealing with electricity shortages is that the bulk of power comes from coal, which is harmful for the environment and local communities. The electricity sector is responsible for almost half of South Africa’s carbon emissions. As discussed in our recent report, it will be difficult… Read moreWhy South Africa is finding it difficult to wean itself off coal

Climate change jeopardises electricity supply

sci-dev-logo

By Inga Vesper Water shortages and a warmer climate could slash the efficiency of power plants in coming decades, meaning developing countries must prepare their power systems to cope, researchers warn. Using data on water-dependent power plants and climate change projections, scientists demonstrated that fossil fuel plants could see a 30 per cent drop in efficiency by 2070 due to lack of cooling water. This is because river flow in large parts of regions such as Africa, South Asia and… Read moreClimate change jeopardises electricity supply

Documentation on ‘Agroforestry systems as CER providers: an analysis for the Peruvian Amazon region’ by IIAP

amazon-forest

Almost half of all Peru’s greenhouse gas emissions come from forestry, and other land use or land use changes. These activities also contribute significantly to the country’s economic growth and development. Global efforts to encourage clean development in developing countries includes efforts to stimulate the preservation of existing forests, and rehabilitation of degraded ones or the reforestation of abandoned areas after a cropping period, through paying for the forests’ carbon sequestration properties. A policy brief (see here) considers the findings of… Read moreDocumentation on ‘Agroforestry systems as CER providers: an analysis for the Peruvian Amazon region’ by IIAP

What might the Paris Agreement mean for South Africa?

logo-cop21-en

What are the implications for South Africa of the Paris Agreement on climate change? Here is my initial take, following an earlier assessment of the contents of the Agreement The Paris Agreement is characterised by much broader participation than the Kyoto Protocol. Much more will be required for South Africa, together with all other countries, in terms of regularly communicating contributions. These contributions will be ‘nationally determined’, but subject to strong international review at the individual and collective level. This… Read moreWhat might the Paris Agreement mean for South Africa?

Paris Agreement: after climbing a great hill, many more to climb

logo-cop21-en

Late on Saturday 12 December, a new Climate Agreement was adopted in Paris. Here is my take on the key elements. Be warned, it is a longish read – but then climate is a complex, super-wicked problem. And solving it is not easy. The key points are in bold … As Nelson Mandela said on his long walk to freedom: “I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to… Read moreParis Agreement: after climbing a great hill, many more to climb