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Press Release: EU-funded Climate Change, Clean Energy and Urban Water in Africa Initiative Announced

A new EU-funded pilot initiative for market-based clean energy technologies and services deployment for South African municipal water works was launched last week at an EU Pavilion event at COP22. The event was organised by the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the South African Department for Environmental Affairs (DEA), the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) and the European Commission Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA).

Resilient Cities 2017

Resilient Cities 2017

Resilient Cities 2017 is the 8th Annual Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation. Convened by ICLEI and hosted by the City of Bonn, this congress provides a global meeting point for exchange of best practices in urban resilience and adaptation to climate change.

COP22 EU Pavilion Event: Climate Change, Clean Energy and Urban Water in Africa

COP22 Side Event Clean Energy Water Africa

This event, organised by UNIDO, the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and REEEP in cooperation with the EU Directorate for Climate Action, will constitute the official launch of the EU-funded pilot initiative for market-based clean energy technologies and services deployment in South African municipal water works.

C40 Mayors Summit 2016

C40 is a network of more than 80 of the world’s largest cities, committed to collaborating to address climate change through urban action. It aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks while increasing the wealth and wellbeing of urban residents. In the ten years of the network's existence, C40 cities have taken 10,000 climate actions, and they aim to reduce emissions by 3 gigatons of CO2e by 2020.

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.

Water and waste water systems form the core infrastructure that underpins delivery of water and sanitation services in cities. With pumps and other equipment running 24 hours a day, they are also among the largest consumers of electricity in municipalities - and therefore generate substantial costs and CO2 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 capacity and financial means to plan, fund and implement such interventions.

This 2.5-year pilot project seeks to catalyse commercial activity to reduce GHG emissions in municipal water and wastewater infrastructure. It does this by creating pathways to empower municipalities to build capacity, identify appropriate interventions, access finance and ultimately deploy clean energy technologies and systems in their water and waste water infrastructure.

The project is financed by the European Commission, with UNIDO as Implementation Partner and REEEP as Execution Partner. It works directly with two host municipalities in South Africa, and aims to create a solid base for replication across South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Approach

The Climate Change, Clean Energy and Urban Water project aims to tap into the enormous potential for energy efficiency gains and cost savings in African municipal water infrastructure. Our approach consists of four main parts:

 

Participating Municipalities

The two host municipalities participating in this pilot project are !Kheis Local Municipality and Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality. Our work with these municipalities has revealed that despite vast differences between them in terms of population size, geography and climatic conditions, in important respects they face similar challenges in their attempts to upgrade their water and waste water infrastructure. This suggests that a pathway that is useful to our technical collaborators within both municipalities may also be useful to the large number of other South African municipalities that have expressed interest in the project.

 

Project Activities

During the project’s inception phase, which ran until July 2017, the two pilot municipalities were selected and engaged. REEEP and its local partners developed technical assistance plans in consultation with both municipalities, which led to the identification of project sites for proposed clean energy interventions. Then, energy audits were carried out within the municipalities to develop a solid baseline for future interventions. The National Cleaner Production Center (NCPC) collaborated closely with REEEP to facilitate the energy audits and provide accredited energy training to the municipalities’ technical teams – a country first for South Africa.

In parallel with the technical work, REEEP has been running an intensive stakeholder engagement programme, including as of June 2018 four stakeholder roundtable events. These roundtables bring together, often for the first time, representatives of different departments in municipalities, the finance sector, private sector technology providers, key industry bodies and national government officials. Discussion topics have included barriers to greater engagement between municipalities and the private sector, the procurement pathways municipalities must navigate to implement energy efficiency measures in their water infrastructure, and sourcing appropriate finance for clean energy interventions. Lessons learned at these roundtables are integrated into a model pathway, that is: a series of actions to help guide the municipal sector to implement EE and CE solutions in its water and wastewater infrastructure. The integration of these lessons serves to ensure that project interventions will be of use to municipalities across the country. The learnings will also be leveraged in policy recommendations to the South African government, which will highlight project learnings to inform policy reform efforts to make it easier for municipalities to procure and fund clean energy improvements to their water and waste water infrastructure.

During the remainder of project implementation, we will continue to work closely with both pilot municipalities to implement fit-for-purpose clean energy and energy efficiency interventions therein and continue our capacity building efforts. We will also publish lessons learned, refine our policy recommendations through ongoing project learnings and host tailored events to help other municipalities across South Africa replicate successful project outcomes.

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REEEP Team
Nicole Algio's picture

Nicole Algio

Regional Secretariat Manager - REEEP Southern Africa Secretariat

REEEP Team
Thomas Duggan's picture

Thomas Duggan

Sustainable Finance Officer

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.

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.

Online course: Renewable Energies for Developing Countries - Environmental Necessity, Economic Opportunity

This on-line programme will give a comprehensive overview of renewable energy as a means to enable sustainable development and explore how renewable energies represent both an environmental necessity and an economic opportunity for developing countries.  The course is presented by CIFAL Scotland, UNITAR and the University of Strathclyde in partnership with the Scottish Government.

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