Renewable and Sustainable Energy Postgraduate Symposium

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Recently three masters students from the Energy Research Centre (ERC) attended the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Postgraduate Symposium (REPS) which was partly funded by the by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), through the National Research Foundation (NRF). REPS has taken place annually for the past 6 years, with all prior symposiums held at Stellenbosch University. This year, however, it took place at the University of Fort Hare which was also celebrating its centenary. The main aim of the… Read moreRenewable and Sustainable Energy Postgraduate Symposium

China and US ratify Paris Agreement on climate change – SA next?

Image credit: HOW HWEE YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images

The US and China have jointly announced that both countries are ratifying the Paris Agreement on climate change. This has increased, the percentage of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions covered by countries that have ratified dramatically. The  official UNFCCC website now shows 26 Parties having ratified, accounting for 39.08% of emissions. That latter number gets the world closer to the 55% required. And with the political momentum generated, it seems highly likely the Paris Agreement will enter into force soon. Before… Read moreChina and US ratify Paris Agreement on climate change – SA next?

IPCC special report on 1.5 degrees scoped out

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A scoping meeting for the IPCC special report on 1.5 °C, (SR 1.5),[1] was held in Geneva 15-18 Aug 2016. In the Paris decision, the UNFCCC had invited the IPCC to provide a speicial report (SR) in 2018 “on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways”. The Paris Agreement (PA) includes the aim to keep temperature increase “well below” 2 °C and pursue efforts limit to 1.5 °C.  Ambitious climate… Read moreIPCC special report on 1.5 degrees scoped out

Development paths consistent with zero poverty and 1.5°C

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The world faces the twin challenges of development and climate change. 2015 saw the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement (PA) on climate change.1 An IPCC special report on keeping temperature below 1.5 °C is being scoped, relating to the global temperature goal in the PA;1 at the same time, the imperative is to eliminate “eliminate poverty, in all its forms, everywhere”. 2 And those are not all the challenges we face – at global,… Read moreDevelopment paths consistent with zero poverty and 1.5°C

Andrew Janisch

It is with great sadness that we learnt today of the sudden death of Andrew Janisch on Friday 29 July. Andrew was known to many of us through his work at Sustainable Energy Africa and as a key member of the Energy and Climate Change team at the City of Cape Town for the past two years. His sudden and unexpected passing is a tremendous loss for us all in the energy and climate change fields, but our loss is… Read moreAndrew Janisch

Sign up for the ERC’s MOOC

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The ERC’s MOOC, “Climate Change Mitigation in Developing Countries” starts today (11 July). Led by Prof. Harald Winkler, the MOOC presents some of our learnings from the 5 year, 5 country MAPS Programme which wrapped up in 2015. As described on Coursera, “this course will cover topics such as facilitation process techniques, energy modeling, scenario building, innovation and policy making. You will have the opportunity to respond to these topics with ideas and reflection from your own context. Whether you… Read moreSign up for the ERC’s MOOC

Policy Brief: THE IMPACT OF STRANDING POWER SECTOR ASSETS IN SOUTH AFRICA

Pricing pollution is integral to preventing carbon intensive lock-in

Context Increasing attention is being given internationally to the risks associated with unburnable carbon and stranded assets (UNEP 2015, IEA, 2014; Citi, 2015). Stranded assets are assets that “have suffered from unanticipated or premature write-downs, devaluations or conversion to liabilities” (Caldecott et al, 2014), arising from environmental regulation or other regulatory shifts, as well as market forces and other causes, including the falling costs of competing technologies and structural market decline. Citibank (2015) has estimated that the value of stranded… Read morePolicy Brief: THE IMPACT OF STRANDING POWER SECTOR ASSETS IN SOUTH AFRICA

Journal of Energy in South Africa Vol. 27 No.2

We are delighted to share with you the seven articles in JESA Volume 27 No.2. This issue is dominated by topics in clean energy research development and implementation in the southern African region. Roman Günter Votteler and Alan Colin Brent at the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies, Stellenbosch University, postulated that the most attractive renewable electricity sources for corporations are, in descending order of suitability, solar PV, on-shore wind, and geothermal technology Olufunmilayo Alice Mafimidiwo and Akshay Kumar Saha at… Read moreJournal of Energy in South Africa Vol. 27 No.2

How policy drives the German Energy Transition (Energiewende): lessons for SA

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Since 1990, and particularly since Energiewende was launched in 2012, the share of renewable energy (RE) within Germany’s total energy supply has steadily increased. The most significant growth has been evident within the electricity sector, where the RE supply share has grown from a base of less than 5% in 1990, to 28% in 2014. Policy is now aimed at further growing this share to between 40 – 45% by 2025, and to 80% by 2050. How has this growth… Read moreHow policy drives the German Energy Transition (Energiewende): lessons for SA

The complexity of global knowledge networks

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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