Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA) promotes equitable, low carbon, clean energy development in urban South Africa and Africa. We do this through research, capacity building, policy engagement and information dissemination.

Sustainable Energy Development

Energy Poverty

Planning and Mobility

Urban Energy Support is an information portal of relevant documents and resources, with an emphasis on practical tools and guides to support the transition towards sustainable local energy development and a low carbon trajectory for the country in the context of global climate change.

What’s new

China’s pathway towards ultra-low energy buildings
Technical officers and city practitioners involved in the C40 South African Buildings Programme took to Beijing to learn about the efforts of China's C40 Cities on their journey to ultra-low energy buildings.

C40 South Africa Buildings Programme
The objective of this project is to accelerate the development and implementation of energy efficiency policies and programmes for new buildings in South African cities by 2020 to work towards a net zero carbon performance. Cities are required to develop new building codes which exceed the current new building energy codes on energy efficiency (SANS 10400 XA). The South Africa Buildings Programme aims to support the four C40 partner cities viz. eThekwini, Tshwane, Johannesburg and Cape Town in implementing low carbon and/or carbon-zero buildings.

KZN GHG Mitigation Opportunities
The programme aims to help regions in developing and newly industrialized countries to better understand the mitigation opportunities presented by their climate change emissions’ profile, by improving and expanding Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of GHG emissions and undertaking MRV of mitigation actions where sufficiently robust GHG inventories are in place.

Developing models and pathways for a low-carbon economy and climate resilient society
The National Development Plan (NDP) envisages that, by 2030, South Africa will have made headway in transitioning to an environmentally sustainable, climate change resilient, low-carbon and just society (Chapter Five of the NDP). This will be done by promoting economic growth, social equity and environmental sustainability. The project will assist in giving effect to the proposals contained in the Chapter Five of the National Development Plan. This will be achieved through convening a series of high-level dialogue stakeholder meetings to build consensus on the vision and develop long-term pathways with concrete options for low-carbon economic and climate-resilient future for South Africa.

What is the missing piece for building ‘green’?
Despite the emerging business case for ‘green’ or NZC buildings, the perception that such buildings have a higher capital cost with low returns on investment remains a barrier. An initial scoping exercise, in support of the C40 Buildings Programme, highlighted the common concern that ‘green’ or NZC building requirements would financially burden and constrain development, particularly in a time of recession. This prompted the implementing team at Sustainable Energy Africa with the eThekwini advisor for the C40-SEA New Buildings Programme, to explore the question in some detail, hoping to establish an evidence-base of the cost differential between ‘standard specification’ buildings and NZC buildings.

SEA comments on the Integrated Resource Plan
SEA commends the Department of Energy on courageously taking the planning of the electricity sector in a new direction. SEA is primarily active in the establishment and maintenance of networks supporting the sustainable and equitable use of energy through local government in South Africa and the region. Our criticisms and comments are therefore made positively and constructively. The following comment is entirely that of SEA based on its experience in the sector.

Green Building goes Net-Zero Carbon
To advance our mission and propel the industry, some of the founders of SEA together with an architect designed the Green Building to demonstrate how low carbon buildings could be designed, constructed, and occupied – and demonstrate commercial viability. The Green Building, which is the home of SEA, went Net-Zero Carbon in September 2018, and this blog post documents the journey of achieving this milestone.

Supporting budding green entrepreneurs in George
In July 2018, SEA in partnership with the Green Business College convened a 3-day advanced hotbox business skills training for the George local community to further upskill the budding hotbox entrepreneurs.

City of Cape Town engages business on achieving a resource efficient, Net Zero Carbon future at their September Energy, Water and Waste forum
The City of Cape Town’s Energy, Water and Waste forum was established in 2009 to enhance communications with the business sector on resource efficiency. It provides a platform for sharing city information, practical knowledge and support for taking action. This September Forum focussed on carbon neutral business strategies.

Bridging the critical aspect of climate response and climate finance
Over the last two years, the Vertical Integration And Learning For Low-Emission Development (V-LED) project has been focusing on the much needed aspect of finance, to enable the mainstreaming of climate response into local government service delivery functions. Climate finance has been identified as one of the critical elements needed to implement climate strategies and action plans that many municipalities have recently developed and are ready to operationalise.

SEA comments on the Climate Change Bill
On the 8th of June 2018, the Department of Environmental Affairs published the Climate Change Bill for comment.

Aiming for Zero-Carbon New Buildings in South African metros
Four of South Africa’s metros – Cape Town, eThekwini, Johannesburg and Tshwane – are working towards the implementation of ambitious policies and innovative programmes that aim for net zero carbon emissions from newly-built buildings by 2050.

Cities Matter
Capacity building in sub-Saharan African megacities for transformational climate change mitigation

C40 Cities GPC Emissions Inventories
SEA provides technical support to C40 African member cities in producing emissions inventories.

Sustainable Energy Solutions for Local Government - A Practical Guide
This is the third iteration of a practical how-to handbook for local municipalities on the roll-out of sustainable energy measures.

Supporting the green economy of George through community skills development
SEA, in partnership with the Green Business College, convened a 5-day training course aimed at capacitating low-income, vulnerable households in George on how to start a hotbox manufacturing business. In particular, the training aimed at improving the energy welfare of women, who are the ones usually responsible for cooking, and are most exposed to indoor air pollution as a result of using unsafe fuels like paraffin, wood, and coal.

Sub-Saharan African cities are invited to join Covenant of Mayors initiative in the region
Sub-Saharan cities across the continent invited their peers to join Covenant of Mayors Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) to make a voluntarily political commitment to implement climate and energy actions in their communities and agree on a long-term vision to tackle 3 pillars, namely access to energy, mitigation and adaptation.

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WARNING: Scammers in Durban and Eastern Cape
Please be warned of scammers posing as Sustainable Energy Africa operating in the Durban and Eastern Cape areas. These scammers are accepting payment for the instalment of solar water heaters and other domestic equipment and not returning. Please note that SEA does not sell nor install any equipment. If you have been approached or have any information, please do let us know. Any information to track down these con artists will be useful. Please call Mukta Govan at 021 702 3622.