A report commissioned by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and compiled by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) has called for energy efficiency to be given “the priority it deserves” in future versions of the country’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The report, “The State of Research, Development and Innovation of Electrical Energy Efficiency Technologies in South Africa”, was released on Tuesday afternoon.
Described as a “consensus study”, it found that, while energy efficiency research output in South Africa had increased noticeably from 2007 to 2014, it seemed to have languished since then. Also, energy efficiency activities in the country were small, although they could “be regarded as significant”.
“The availability of appropriate, reliable and affordable energy is central to the sustainability and further development of modern societies,” stated ASSAf in its press release. “The field of energy efficiency aims to promote efficiency in the conversion, distribution and usage of energy technologies and products and provides an attractive methodology for managing growth in energy consumption.”
The report made a number of recommendations. The first was the above-mentioned inclusion of energy efficiency in future IRPs.
It also called for the creation of a countrywide Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management (EEDSM) roadmap, that would support the IRP and a new National Energy Efficiency Strategy. Furthermore, training and research facilities concerned with EEDSM should be strengthened. In addition, the report recommended the setting up of a national energy efficiency monitoring, evaluation and reporting framework.
Smart grid research and training capabilities at South African universities should be strengthened. The energy efficiency elements of the Tribology Roadmap (developed by the Technical Steering Committee on Tribology) should be considered for implementation. (Tribology is the science of friction, wear and lubrication.)
The report also recommended that a coherent policy on solid-state lighting be developed, and that the local manufacture of luminaires be supported. (A luminaire is a complete electrical lighting unit.)