Climate Change, Clean Energy and Urban Water in South Africa

Fostering innovation and best practices in public water supply and sanitation systems of mid-sized cities.

Urban water and wastewater systems are part of the core elements of infrastructure necessary for creating safe, healthy and vibrant cities. Operating in the background 24 hours a day, every day, municipal water works are also among the largest consumers of electricity in a community - and thus among a community's greatest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG). With rapid growth of the urban middle class projected throughout the developing world, demand for urban municipal water and wastewater services is expected to rise by at least 40 percent by 2030.

In developing countries, electricity costs often make up to 40 percent of total operating costs for water and wastewater facilities. Many of these systems are riddled with inefficiencies, housing a tremendous potential for reducing costs and GHG emissions.

Clean energy technologies and systems can drastically improve efficiency and reduce and avoid GHG emissions in urban water and wastewater infrastructure, and do so cost-effectively, with investments often paying for themselves within five years.

As part of the REEEP Urban Water Works Pathway, we are working with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and the European Commission on an innovative pilot initiative to ignite growth in markets for clean energy solutions in urban water works in Sub-Saharan Africa. Beginning in South Africa, we will be working with local players and global experts to create model pathways for market shift, invest in a portfolio of public-private demonstration projects that will be subject to our extensive monitoring, evaluation and learning framework, and use the insight and intelligence gained to catalyse regional replication of clean energy deployment in urban water works. 


Related News: 

Olivia Coldrey's picture

Olivia Coldrey

Director, Sustainable Finance

Nicole Algio's picture

Nicole Algio

Regional Secretariat Manager - REEEP Southern Africa Secretariat