Renewable and Sustainable Energy Postgraduate Symposium

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

What might the Paris Agreement mean for South Africa?

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?

Communities for Wind Working Group launched under SAWEA

At this years Windaba in Cape Town, the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) launched a new working group. Under the name Communities for Wind, the group is aiming to provide support to the industry to enable the best possible social and economic outcomes for communities. The development of good practice when it comes to working with communities, monitoring of the impacts and the support of positive relationships is the focus of the work content for the coming months. Relationships… Read moreCommunities for Wind Working Group launched under SAWEA

Reflections on pricing carbon in Australia and South Africa

A trip to Australia to look at their carbon pricing mechanism (CPM) and related institutions and initiatives prompted some reflections on what might be possible in South Africa.[1]  The CPM is the centre-piece of climate policy led by the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE). Overall impressions Before digging into the details, my overall impression: There is an impressive set of institutions and people in Australia, ready to implement the CPM, meet the renewable energy target (20% of… Read moreReflections on pricing carbon in Australia and South Africa

Let there be light: How I was enlightened on solar power installation

On my recent visit to Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, I was rather surprised that many retail outlets and flea markets were well stocked with solar power products such as panels, inverters and regulators. As I found out later, this was because a growing number of residents were turning to alternatives sources of electricity such as diesel generators and solar power to escape the rampant load shedding that the national utility ZESA was carrying out. Zimbabwe has been in economic turmoil for… Read moreLet there be light: How I was enlightened on solar power installation

EPD students visit Kuyasa CDM Project

The ERC’s EPD course participants (and some eager new ERC staffers) went on a site visit of the Kuyasa project. The Kuyasa CDM Pilot Project involves the retrofitting of solar water heater (SWHs), insulated ceilings and energy efficient lighting in over 2 300 low-cost homes in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa. More info on Kuyasa is available on the project’s website: www.kuyasacdm.co.za/.

ERC Seminar on Research on RE IPPPP

We invited to this seminar to share some of the thinking and research the ERC has been and still is doing around the RE IPPPP. Our researchers are engaged with different aspects of this programme and briefly presented their work. Louise Tait introduced the RE IPPPP and will then be speaking about the economic development elements in particular. She is presenting the findings of her masters thesis research. Louise did her masters with the ERC and is now working for the… Read moreERC Seminar on Research on RE IPPPP

Community Power at the World Wind Congress in Bonn

Citizen owned and organised renewable energy projects are presented, discussed and analysed at the World Wind Congress in Bonn, Germany from the 3.-5. July 2012. The conference is attended by people from all over the world. Most countries of Europe, Peru, Chile, Australia, North America, a large Canadian delegation….and three South Africans. The Not-for-Profit Developer Just Energy is represented by Zukisani Jakavula and presenting a risk analysis of South Africa’s policy environment is former ERC researcher Max Thabiso Edkins. Myself, I… Read moreCommunity Power at the World Wind Congress in Bonn