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

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

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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