All articles for the topic: cities

REEEP Solar E-Bike Venture Opens in Hanoi

REEEP and Caritas Switzerland announced the opening of the Bach Khoa solar-powered e-bike station in Hanoi, Vietnam on February 12th, 2015. The venture, based in an innovative business model for recharging and servicing e-bikes in Hanoi, was made possible by the generous support of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. The solar e-bike system is a prime example of how the REEEP and SECO mission to provide crucial aid for market development and business innovation has enabled cutting-edge market-oriented solutions to environmental and development challenges.

The Climate Change, Clean Energy and Urban Water in Africa project, funded by the European Commission, implemented by UNIDO and executed by REEEP, aimed to empower South African municipalities to upgrade their water infrastructure with clean energy and energy efficiency solutions, to reduce energy use, costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and improve service delivery.

Water and waste water systems form the core infrastructure that underpins delivery of water and sanitation services in cities. With pumps and other systems running 24 hours a day, they are also among the largest consumers of electricity in municipalities - and therefore generate substantial costs and greenhouse gas emissions. As cities, particularly in the developing world, continue to grow rapidly, demand for water and wastewater services will continue to rise, increasing the pressure on underlying infrastructure. Decisive action is required to manage both the environmental and financial impacts of providing water and sanitation as essential services to growing urban populations.

Clean energy technologies and energy efficiency interventions can dramatically improve efficiency and reduce GHG emissions in urban water and wastewater infrastructure, and do so cost-effectively, with investment payback periods of often only a few years. However, municipalities often lack both the staff capacity and the financial means to plan, fund and implement such interventions.

The project, which wrapped up in July 2019, created pathways to empower municipalities to build capacity, identify appropriate interventions, access finance and ultimately deploy clean energy technologies and systems in their water infrastructure.

The goals and impacts of the project are further explained in the video and text below:

 

Full film: Climate Change, Clean Energy and Urban Water in Africa from REEEP on Vimeo.

Participating Municipalities

The two municipalities participating in this pilot project were !Kheis Local Municipality and Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality. The project’s work with these two municipalities has revealed that, despite the vast difference in population and municipal budgets, they face similar challenges. They could apply similar approaches to overcoming these challenges and successfully implementing clean energy interventions. The best practice advice developed based on experiences in the two municipalities should be useful to most municipalities in the country. In this way, the project has created a solid base for replication across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Activities

The project team developed technical action plans with both pilot municipalities, which, based on detailed energy usage data collected through energy audits, led to the selection of high-impact technical interventions at their waterworks sites. Each municipality also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Cleaner Production Center (NCPC), which joined the project to provide accredited energy training to the municipalities’ technical teams.

Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality includes Port Elizabeth, South Africa’s sixth largest city and a major industrial hub. The municipality determined that the technical intervention under this project should centre on the Fishwater Flats Waste Water Treatment Works, a large facility first opened in the 1976 which processes 65% of the municipality’s wastewater – 120 million litres per day. An estimated 70% of the energy used by the site is consumed by 70 motors used to aerate sludge – a step in the wastewater treatment process which allows bacteria to filter out organic matter. Running these motors at full speed 24/7 costs over 3.3 million Rand, or approximately 230k USD, per year. The municipality aims, in the medium- to long-term, to replace these ‘mixers’ with fine bubble aeration, a more precise and vastly more efficient method for aerating sludge. In the short term, there are plans to install variable speed drives, dissolved oxygen sensors, which would allow the municipality to run the motors at less than full speed when full speed is not required.

Planning either of these interventions, though, requires granular data on how much energy each motor uses, so that savings can be calculated and investments in upgrades justified. The Fishwater Flats site did not have any way to measure the energy use of its different assets over time, though, and only the site’s total energy use was measured. Through this project, the municipality installed sophisticated energy meters on the sludge mixers and aerators, a significant first step towards making this process much more energy efficient. For the first time, technical staff at the site can now oversee operations and diagnose problems remotely, via an online dashboard. The municipality can build on the data gathered to future-proof Fishwater Flats, increase its resilience to climate change and improve service delivery to its 1.1 million residents.

This has opened our eyes to seeing things differently. Also, it makes things easier for us. We no longer physically have to go into the plant to see, okay, this thing is running, but we can see it in the office.

Xabisa Obong, Engineer, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality

What you cannot measure, you cannot control. This is the start of measuring the energy usage. […] We have got great hope to manage our energy much more smartly.

Lunga Mahote, Acting Director, Plant Maintenance, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality

 

!Kheis Local Municipality

!Kheis Local Municipality is a stretched out, sparsely populated municipality on the edge of the Green Kalahari in Northern Cape province. Most of the municipality’s residents live on the banks of the Orange River, which meanders through a fertile green valley that forms a stark contrast with the dusty red of the surrounding desert.

The municipality, which measures nearly 100 km from its northernmost to its southernmost point, and roughly the same east to west, has only a handful of engineers maintaining all infrastructure, including roads, electricity and water provision to its widely dispersed population. Many residents rely on communal taps for drinking water.

The municipality’s technical staff, together with the project partners, identified strategic locations for clean energy interventions. Energy meters were installed at fifteen sites, allowing for remote monitoring of the functioning of different assets and for the remote identification of breakdowns. In addition, ten pumps were replaced with new, energy efficient models. Back-up pumps were installed for pumps that are critical to the water supply, to prevent service interruptions in case of breakdowns. In the past, when a drinking water abstraction pump broke down, it could at times take weeks to source spare parts for repairs, leaving residents without any water at their local tap.

In addition, a community engagement event was held in Groblershoop, !Kheis Local Municipality, to inform the local community of the interventions. As part of this event, educational plays were performed at two local primary schools, teaching hundreds of students about the importance of saving water. The students also produced artworks on the subject of energy and water saving for the event.

We are going to save costs… our pumps will be able to distribute water more efficiently than before.

Desmond Dolopi, Technical Manager, !Kheis Municipality

Stakeholder Engagement

In parallel with the technical work, the project ran an intensive programme of stakeholder engagement events, including five stakeholder roundtables. These roundtables brought together, often for the first time, representatives of different departments in municipalities, the finance sector, private sector technology providers and project partners. Discussion topics included barriers to greater engagement between municipalities and the private sector, and the difficulties municipalities must overcome to implement energy efficiency measures in their water infrastructure. The lessons learned at these roundtables were integrated into the Best Practice Guide, to ensure that the final product is of use to municipalities across the country. The lessons have also been leveraged in a Policy Brief, which provides policy recommendations to the South African government to create an enabling environment for clean energy and support municipalities to procure and fund improvements to their water infrastructure.

 

File

Publications: 

Related News: 

Imagining a smarter world – how to build the climate knowledge grid

Kenyan central highlands (Credit: Getty Images)

Imagine a world where everyone making decisions on how best to respond to climate change had easy access to the information they need to make those choices. What would it look like and what would be needed to bring it about?

This may sound a naive question. Getting relevant climate information is not like clicking your smart phone app and looking up a train time. There is rarely a right or wrong answer in the same way. And access to information is not everything. Just by having it at your fingertips doesn’t mean it will be understood, that it will be acted upon, or that change will happen as a result.

Smart cities for sustainable development

For the first time this year two important dates in the urban calendar happened in October. The first Monday of October of every year since 1986 is a World Habitat Day. This year, October ends with World City Day, celebrated this year for the first time and built around the theme: Better City, Better Life. Both days are organized under the auspices of UN-Habitat. We thought this would be an excellent opportunity to share a few words about our efforts to promote and support sustainable cities, also highlighted our 2013/2014 Annual Report.

R20 Austria: Regions - The Key Actors for Energy Turnaround

The R20 is a public-private partnership, bringing together subnational governments; businesses; financial institutions; academic institutions; non-profit organizations; intergovernmental organizations, and United Nations Programme to develop and implement measurable, large-scale, low-carbon and climate resilient economic development projects at the subnational level which can simultaneously solve the climate crisis and build a sustainable global economy. This solution is already underway; has been proven at scale; and therefore, can now be rapidly expanded on a global scale.

Urban Transport Data Exchange

The transport sector is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions - transport-related GHG emissions are projected to increase by 57% (2005-2030) and by over 80% by 2050. Working together, REEEP, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and the World Wide Web Foundation intend to harness the power of Linked Open Data  to improve decision-making and planning to ensure low carbon, sustainable transport systems.

Climate Week NYC

Climate Week NYC is a key international platform for governments, businesses and civil society to collaborate on low carbon leadership, through a week filled with events, activities and high-profile meetings.

City of Kota: the Next Solar Destination

The city of Kota in eastern Rajasthan has two critical resources essential for solar production: a high level of solar radiation per square inch, and a large amount of continguous, relatively flat undeveloped land.  To tap this enormous potential, the City of Kota in cooperation with the Cities Network Campaign and the Green Mantra, is organising this conference.

The event aims to bring together Mayor, Commissioners and other local government officials from around India, as well as national and international solar experts, prominent policy-makers, the solar sector and financial institutions.

POWER-GEN Africa 2014

Africa’s power requirements continue to expand with the rapid economic growth and development throughout the continent driving the need for more widespread and reliable electricity provision. POWER-GEN Africa has quickly established itself as sub-Saharan Africa’s premier and leading event dedicated to the power generation industry, focusing on the current and future trends, needs and resources within this region of the world. The second POWER-GEN Africa will take place in Cape Town, Republic of South Africa, on 17-19 March 2014 and will once again provide comprehensive coverage of the power needs, resources, and issues facing the electricity generation industries across sub-Saharan Africa.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - cities