Resource efficiency programme the National Cleaner Production Centre, South Africa (NCPC-SA) will launch Phase 2 of its Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) project, at the Energy Services (Esco) Conference, which takes place on February 17, day two of the 2016 Africa Energy Indaba.
NCPC-SA marketing and communications manager Julie Wells tells Engineering News that a key difference between IEE 1 and IEE 2 is that the latter will incorporate a funding mechanism.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which is the majority funder of the IEE project, business development coalition the National Business Initiative (NBI) and State-owned research organisation the South African National Energy Development Institute are ironing out the procedural kinks of implementing the funding mechanism, she explains.
Another key addition to the IEE Phase 2 is the focus on educating the banking and financial services sector on funding energy efficiency.
Wells notes that the dilemma in requesting funding for energy efficiency is the lack of tangible assets. She points out that energy service companies and industry seeking funding have to sell the idea of energy efficiency instead of a physical product, adding that it is chiefly a “problem of asking someone to fund the absence of something”.
Another challenge is reaching the top management of a company to convince them of the need to invest time and money into energy efficiency. Energy management often requires both behavioural changes and infrastructure overhauls, while it is difficult to alter bad habits, the latter is the greater challenge, as company management has to make sense of “spending money to save money”.
Wells points out that outdated infrastructure “guzzles” electricity, but many companies are reluctant to invest in an expensive upgrade, especially if they are not convinced of the benefits of energy efficiency.
Phase 1 of the IEE project, however, proved that the return on investment is worth it. With only one exception, each of the approximately 50 companies that implemented energy effici-ency interventions with the project had a payback period of less than a year.
Wells explains that launching IEE 2 at the Africa Energy Indaba, and specifically at the Esco conference, is beneficial because it caters specifically for energy service companies; thus, the NCPC-SA will address key stakeholders and equip them with the necessary information on accessing funding.
She describes the Esco conference, which is hosted by the World Bank development arm the International Finance Corporation, as an event that tries to assist energy services companies by advising on developments and best practices in industry. In line with that objective, the NCPC-SA will report on the successes of IEE 1 and the benefits of implementing energy efficiency measures.
Additionally, the first allocation of IEE 2’s inter- national funding will have been transferred to the NCPC-SA by the start of the Indaba, which should provide the catalyst to begin the project in earnest. Further, the Indaba, as one of the largest energy conferences in Africa, provides a significant platform to promote new initiatives and developments.
The NCPC-SA will also exhibit at the Indaba. It has invited representatives from companies that took part in IEE 1 to use its stand to share their experiences and the lessons learnt. NCPC-SA experts will attend the panel discussions and IEE 2 launch, with additional experts on hand at the stand.
About the IEE Project
The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido), the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the UK Department for International Development (DfID), partnered in 2010 with the DTI and the Department of Energy, and established a programme to address the global drive toward energy efficiency. Phase 2 of the project (2016 – 2019) is largely funded by the Global Environment Facility, with funding once again secured from the Swiss, and Unido will once again be the international implementing agent. The DTI is the largest funder of IEE Phase 2, with a large amount of funding from incentive schemes being ringfenced for the project.
The project is run by the NCPC-SA, which forms part of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research to create awareness of the benefits of energy management, which includes the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and operating costs. Additionally, the IEE project provides subsidised training courses in energy- management systems and energy system optimisation.
Wells points out that, until November last year, IEE 1 was one of two donor-funded energy efficiency projects in South Africa. She says the NBI’s Private Sector Energy Efficiency Programme, which was partially funded by the DfID, and the NCPC-SA worked well with each other, and often referred company names to each other, as they had separate but similar mandates.
During IEE 1, the NCPC-SA provided training for about 3 000 people, including energy-managers, maintenance staff, plant engineers and engineering consultants. It also trained 120 energy experts, who are now Unido-certified and internationally recognised.
One of the key objectives of the four-year IEE 2 programme is to ensure that at least 50 more companies are ISO 50001-certified. The ISO certification is only granted to companies that have shown a continuous commitment to improving their energy-management structures and year-on-year energy savings. Companies that receive ISO 50001 certification are assessed continuously to ensure that they are still compliant. It is one of the only ISO standards that calls for regular assessments.
Wells notes that, in South Africa, there are ten ISO 50001-certified companies. She admits that the target of 60 by 2020 is ambitious, but expects that IEE 2 will meet it.