South Africa, the G20 and Climate Change: from Brown to Green?

The G20 meeting which has just been concluded in Hamburg, dogged by protests, was originally intended by the German presidency to be a way of building momentum around climate action in the wake of the Paris Agreement; however, the election of President Trump, and his subsequent decision to pull the US out of the Agreement, changed the nature of the summit altogether. There was widespread trepidation that the political consensus developed in Paris in 2015 on climate action would be shattered by… Read moreSouth Africa, the G20 and Climate Change: from Brown to Green?

Bill Cowan.

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the death of one of our former colleagues – Bill Cowan. Bill Cowan passed away on June 3rd after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He died peacefully and painlessly with his three sons by his bedside. Colleagues and friends remember him as a man of integrity and intelligence; an immensely creative thinker who balanced elegant and relevant research with a deep commitment to helping the poor. Bill Cowan joined Anton Eberhard… Read moreBill Cowan.

‘Green’ rating a first for UCT

The 400-seater New Lecture Theatre (NLT), at the southern end of University Avenue, was built with the aim of obtaining a four-star green rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). Jigisha Mandalia, MPhil in Energy and Development Studies student at UCT’s Energy Research Centre, conducted a case study analysis of three recently completed UCT buildings: the New Engineering Building, Snape and the NLT. “UCT has been working on developing plans and targets to improve sustainability across campus… Read more‘Green’ rating a first for UCT

Harald Winkler to serve on High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices

At this year’s spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and the G20 Hamburg Summit in July, finance ministers will gather to discuss, among other pressing matters, climate change. Carbon pricing is expected to take up some of the discussion time, particularly at the G20 Summit. Thankfully, an in-depth report on carbon pricing will be available – one with notable contributions by UCT’s Professor Harald Winkler. The Commission Winkler, the director of the Energy Research Centre, was… Read moreHarald Winkler to serve on High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices

JESA 27(4)

Articles in this issue The South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme: A Review and Lessons Learned Anton Eberhard, Raine Naude Measurement and verification of irrigation pumping DSM projects: Application of novel methodology designs M. E. Storm, R. Gouws, L.J. Grobler Assessing the effectiveness of South Africa’s emissions based purchase tax for private passenger vehicles: a consumer choice modelling approach. S.J. Vosper, J.-F. Mercure Investigation of an octagon-shaped chimney solar power plant. L.W. Beneke, C.J.S. Fourie, Z. Huan… Read moreJESA 27(4)

Join our MOOC

The Energy Research Centre & UCT have recorded a MOOC on Climate Change Mitigation in Developing Countries. You are invited to take part and to encourage others to join you. The next course begins on the 26th of December 2016 and you can sign up with minimal fuss: https://www.coursera.org/learn/climate-change-mitigation Some of the comments from previous participants Excellent intro to Climate Change mitigation and what has already been done, and how to take forward from lessons learned. Super-awesome course that taught me about… Read moreJoin our MOOC

The cost of air pollution in South Africa

ERC researchers, Dr Katye Altieri and Samantha Keen analysed the impacts of energy-related air pollution using the environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program (BenMAP) model that they developed for South Africa.   The high cost of air pollution The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) reported in 2012 that three million people die prematurely each year around the globe due to ambient air pollution (WHO, 2012), with low- and middle-income countries suffering the worst effects. Developing countries, that have a heavy reliance on fossil fuels,… Read moreThe cost of air pollution in South Africa

Harald Winkler on WITS Radio

With the UN’s COP22 underway in Marrakesh, Wits Radio hosts a programme called ScienceInside that focuses on climate change. In an interview with Professor Harald Winkler, the director of the Energy Research Centre at the University of Cape Town and others, they find out more about what the Paris Agreement means for South Africans. Listen to the interview on SoundCloud.

JESA 27(3)

The Journal of Energy in Southern Africa has just published its latest issue (No. 3 Vol 27, 2016) at http://journals.assaf.org.za/jesa. Articles in this issue: Promoting energy efficiency in a South African university (1-10) by Nandarani Maistry, Tracey Morton McKay Scoping exercise to determine load profile archetype reference shapes for solar co-generation models in isolated off-grid rural African villages (11-27) by Gerro Johannes Prinsloo Varying percentages of full uniform shading of a PV module in a controlled environment yields linear power reduction (28-38)… Read moreJESA 27(3)

Paris Agreement comes into force.

Today the Paris Agreement comes into force – thirty days after having been ratified by more than 55 countries prod for more than 55% of global emissions, the two-fold legal trigger required. In total, 97 of the 197 Parties to the UNFCCC have ratified the Paris Agreement domestically; a list can be found on the UNFCCC’s Paris Agreement page. Below we have pulled together a number of articles from around the web to give you a clearer picture of what ‘entry… Read moreParis Agreement comes into force.