Alternative and Renewable Energy entails generating energy from sources that are not fossil fuels and that are considered self-regenerating. Sources of renewable energy include the sun, wind, tidal, wave and current, biomass, etc.
The regulatory framework is fairly new to Local Government, a concerted efforts has been made to put the necessary processes, with authorisation from other Governmental institutions,  in place to allow local producers of ‘green electricity’ to feed into the eThekwini Municipal Electricity Grid.
It will be to the benefit of the local economy to increase the amount of locally produced renewable energy, as the money for that energy will remain in the local economy.
1. Durban Solar City (DSC)
The aim of the Durban Solar City Framework is to pilot a “Solar City” concept to promote the uptake of solar technologies in South African cities.
The program was developed by the Energy Office to better co-ordinate interventions that promote the uptake of decentralised solar photovoltaic energy. The Energy Office has contracted EAB Astrum Energy (EA Energy) and Camco Clean Energy (Camco) who have formed a joint venture to serve as the manager of the Durban Solar City program for a period of 24 months Project commenced in April 2013 and is in progress.
The primary outputs and deliverables of the program will include:
  1. Organising and Developing a Strategy for the Solar City Durban
  2. Making Solar Affordable for Residents and Businesses
  3. Updating and Enforcing Local Rules and Regulations
  4. Improving Local Grid Policies and Processes
  5. Educating and Empowering Potential Customers
  6. Leading by Example with Installations on Government Properties
DSC – Solar Map
This project is a sub-component of the broader Durban Solar City Framework. The aim of this project is to partner with web developers and GIS/Mapping specialists to develop the Durban Solar Map and Information Portal(DSMIP).
The DSMIP aims to improve the level of awareness and information available to property owners by providing them with the financial viability of installing solar PV at their sites based on the solar radiation data (as well as other data) that are mapped, and to connect them with solar energy professionals. The final deliverable will be an interactive solar map with accurate solar radiation data that predicts the financial viability of solar PV installations at the building level.
DSC - Model for Rooftop PV installation
This is a sub-project of the broader Durban Solar City Framework.
The costs of a photovoltaic installation are high. The Energy Office has developed a more detailed financial model than the one in the Durban Solar Map in order to assist investors and solar energy professionals to estimate costs and beenfits of a PV solar installation.
2. EOS
The EOS Program is aimed at promoting the use of embedded rooftop solar PV generation in eThekwini and establishing an example for the private sector and other Municipalities to follow. This project will allow the Municipality to get first-hand experience in understanding the barriers to PV and also allow the Municipality to test its own policies and practices.
In the region of 500kW of PV will be installed under this contract on the roofs of various Municipal buildings within Durban CBD.
The primary aims of the project are to:
  • Provide opportunities for learning about photovoltaic installations for municipal officials and the public and
  • Showcase that eThekwini Municipality in leading by example in applying renewable energy technologies.
Secondary aims of the project are:
  • To reduce the carbon emissions of eThekwini Municipality,
  • Generate revenue by reducing electricity purchases from Eskom, and
  • Contribute to the stimulation of the local PV market.
Project implementation is planned for the 2015/2016 municipal financial year. Actions with time frames that need to be met to complete the project by the end of the 2015/2016 financial year are outlined below.
  1. Project Scoping (Feb 2014 – April 2014)
    (a) Technology assessment and choice
    (b) Site assessment and selection
  2. Consultation (April 2014)
  3. Appointment of consulting engineers (April 2014 – Aug 2014)
  4. Technical Specification Development (Sep 2014 - Dec 2014)
  5. Solar PV Installation Procurement Process (Jan 2015 – June 2015)
  6. Solar PV Installation (July 2015 – Dec 2015)
  7. Learning and Outreach (Jan 2016 – Jun 2016) 
EOS – Installation
This project is a sub-component of the broader EOS program. This project will see the actual installation of the Solar PV systems on various roof-tops in the city. This project will only commence once the detailed technical assessment of each building has been completed.
EOS – Technical Assessment
This project is a sub component of the broader EOS program. Consultants will be required to complete the following for the PV systems installed on the buildings:
  1. Engineering Design and Construction Tender Preparation: Carry out detailed designs for all PV systems and provide generation/yield forecasts and cost estimates for all systems.
  2. Construction and Contract Supervision: Supervise the construction/installation of all PV systems and handle all contractual matters relating to this construction.
  3. Commissioning of PV Systems: Test and commission all PV systems.
  4. Preparation of Operations and Maintenance Tender: The Consultant will be required to operate and maintain all the PV systems under this contract during the defects liability period (2 years)
  5. Supervision of Operations and Maintenance Contract: Supervise and assist the Employer in managing the operations and maintenance contractor.
3. Natural Gas
The aim of this project is to develop a comprehensive overview of the current practices, trends and anticipated developments in the natural gas sector in the international, regional, nationally and local contexts. Particular focus will be on the role of local government in these emerging trends.
The outcomes of the research will be:
  1. What are the key response options for the Municipality regarding natural gas.
  2. Who are the appropriate stakeholder holders that have to be closely worked with
  3. What are the specific activities and/or incentives and/or bylaws that have to be implemented to create an enabling environment for natural gas.
  4. What are the appropriate timelines for implementation of the identified interventions.
  5. What is the best manner to implement the identified interventions
The Natural Gas Position Paper will be finalised before the end of 2014.
Download full report here
4. Geo-Sun Reunion Partnership
The GEO-SUN research program is an initiative of the Laboratoire d’Énergétique, d’Électronique et Procédés (LE2P) at the University of Reunion. It aims to develop a network of ground observation stations capable of measuring the diffuse, direct and global solar radiation in order to better understand the solar resources of the island of Reunion and also within eThekwini. This will help address the uncertainties around the solar resource potential of these regions, aid solar forecasting efforts and significantly reduce the risk to developers looking to invest in the solar PV and thermal industry.
The GEOSUN program has three distinct sub-components. These are:
  1. Procure and Install two radiometric stations within the vicinity of eThekwini;
  2. Develop radiometric data web portal allowing public access to live and historical data; and
  3. Develop research collaboration and exchange with the City of Le Port (an eThekwini sister city) and the Université de La Réunion.
The Southern African Universities Radiometric Network (SAURAN) is an initiative of the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) at Stellenbosch University and the Group for Solar Energy Thermodynamics (GSET) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. SAURAN aims to make high-resolution, ground-based solar radiometric data available from stations located across the Southern African region, including South Africa, Botswana and Reunion Island. Most of the stations provide direct normal irradiance (DNI), global horizontal irradiance (GHI) and diffuse horizontal irradiance (DHI) at 1-minute, hourly and daily time averaged intervals, using state of the art Kipp & Zonen radiometers. Measurement data may be downloaded free of charge from the website at The SAURAN network is managed by GSET and CRSES and supported by many partners, including:
  1. The eThekwini Municipality Energy Office;
  2. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ);
  3. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University;
  4. The University of Reunion;
  5. The University of Pretoria;
  6. Mangosuthu University of Technology;
  7. The University of Venda;
  8. The University of Fort Hare;
  9. The University of the Free State;
  10. The Polytechnic of Namibia;
  11. The University of Botswana;
  12. The University of KwaZulu-Natal School of Chemistry and Physics;
  13. The Stellenbosch University Solar Thermal Energy Research Group (STERG);
  14. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID);
  15. GeoSun Africa Pty Ltd (not affiliated with the GEO_SUN Reunion Partnership); and
  16. Eskom.
The City of Le Port will soon become part of the network.
Green Corridor – Buffelsdraai Site Office
Buffelsdraai Landfill is located in the northern area of the eThekwini Metro approximately 8 kilometres west of the small town of Verulam. The eThekwini Municipality’s Environmental Planning & Climate Protection Department (EPCPD) is conducting a reforestation project in the buffer zone to enhance the area and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions emitted from the landfill.
The EPCPD has established a dedicated site office for the project which consists of three stand-alone shipping containers. The site has no access to electricity and as a result the EPCPD wishes to install an off-grid solar photovoltaic system to electrify the site. In addition to the solar PV system, the site also requires hot water supply for the male and female shower containers and this demand will be met by the solar water hears to be installed on each of the bathroom containers.
Green Corridor – Inanda RE (Solar PV) Installation
The Green Corridor is a conservation/tourism hub initiated by the eThekwini Municipality and is operated by the Duzi-Umgeni Conservation Trust (DUCT). The corridor has three visiting centre’s and the Inanda visitor centre sits on the eastern bank of the Inanda Dam. The site is connected to the grid, however, in an effort further “green” the corridor and increase the autonomy of the site the Municipality wishes to install a grid interactive solar photovoltaic system to meet the site’s electrical demands.
Green Corridor – Inanda SWH Installation
The Green Corridor is a conservation/tourism hub initiated by the eThekwini Municipality and is operated by the Duzi-Umgeni Conservation Trust (DUCT). The corridor has three visiting centre’s and the Inanda visitor centre sits on the eastern bank of the Inanda Dam. The site requires hot water to meet the needs of day and overnight visitors and due to the inadequacy of the electricity supply the hot water demand is to be met with the use of a solar water heater system.
Green Corridor – Isithumba PV Project
The Green Corridor is a conservation/tourism hub initiated by the eThekwini Municipality and is operated by the Duzi-Umgeni Conservation Trust (DUCT). The corridor has three visiting centre’s at present, and one of those centre’s is the Isithumba visitors centre. The eThekwini municipality has made plans to renovate and beautify the site; within this plan is a strategy to electrify the centre with a strong focus on renewable energy technologies.
The eThekwini Municipality is committed to becoming the leading metropolis in green energy, energy efficiency and greenhouse gasses mitigation in Sub Sahara Africa and the continent at large. The aim of the project is to install a grid interactive solar photovoltaic system to back up the site’s electrical load demands.
The aim of this project is to pilot solar powered traffic lights, with a view to potential wider implementation in the city.
The Traffic Solar Panels was initiated and installed due to COP 17 conference in Durban. Eskom awarded the project to ZRW Mechanical for supply and installation of the Solar system. Three traffic intersections were selected in the Durban CBD (2 of these intersections are controlled by a single traffic controller) and these intersections are Bram Fischer / Stanger,Bram Fischer / Walnut and Masabalala Yengwa / KE Masinga . The solar system is a grid tie photovoltaic (PV) system, which means that Eskom power is used when the PV panels cannot supply sufficient power or when the battery backup has depleted.
This program has a number of sub-projects relating to generating renewable energy from eThekwini Water and Sanitation infrastructure. The projects include
  • Western Aqueduct Hydro;
  • Mini Hydros;
  • Fluid Bed Reactor; and
  • Flare methane and small WWTW.
EWRSE – Flare methane at small Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW)
The aim of this project is to assess the potential for flaring methane at small waste water treatment works around the city. This project is still being finalised.
EWSRE – Water reticulation, mini Hydros
The main objective is to generate electricity at the reservoir turbine sites which will be fed into the municipal low tension grid, thereby reducing the municipality’s electricity demand. The proposed project is to install mini hydro turbines in parallel to pressure reducing valves at the inlets to four reservoirs. The pressure available to operate these turbines ranges from 120 metres to 190 meters.
The project will consist a feasibility study phase, a construction phase and a three month operation and training phase.
Feasibility Study - This will entail the following tasks. These are:
Step 1: Measure flows and pressures at each of the four turbine sites over a 3 month period
Step 2: Collect historical data and development plans for the area, and analyse seasonal and long term trends in water demand.
Step 3: Expand an existing hydraulic network model for the Northern Aqueduct water supply system. This will entail adding additional hydraulic variables and transforming it from a static model to a extended period simulation model
Step 4: Conduct a partial calibration of the model using the pressure and flow data that has been collected.
Step 5: Select options for the sizes of the turbine/generator sets
Step 6: Carry out a preliminary design of the civil, mechanical and electrical works.
Step 7: Carry out a financial analysis to select the optimum turbine configurations and to determine the financial feasibility of the project.
Implementation Phase
Step 8: Carry out a full design for the project.
Step 9: Construct the civil works and install and test the electrical and mechanical equipment
Step 10: Operate the turbines for 3 months while training local operators on the operation and maintenance of the turbines.
EWSRE – WWTW Methane to Electricity
The objective of this project is to devise a plan for generating electricity from methane at all the Municipality’s wastewater works and to determine the viability of digester gas flaring at smaller works where gas is currently been discharged into the atmosphere. A service provider will be procured to managed the project.
The wind repowering project is a collaboration between the Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA) and the eThekwini Municipality and involves the transportation of two 150kW completes wind turbines and one nacelle body and spare parts from Bremen to the Durban and the installation of these turbines within the eThekwini Metropolitan.
The aims of this project are:
  1. Assess the impact of wind energy on local grid infrastructure.
  2. Gain internal experience and expertise in wind energy and energy project development. This experience will be valuable going forward and allowing the Municipality to plan appropriately and create an enabling environment for wind and other renewable energy projects.
  3. Better understand the environmental impacts of wind energy within the local context and provide useful data which can be used for wind energy developments in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
The project activities include:
  1. Initial site identification
  2. Bat and Bird Scoping Study
  3. Site Selection
  4. Preliminary Design
  5. Preconstruction Bat and Bird Monitoring
  6. Detailed Design, Tariff and Land Negotiations
  7. Plant Operation and Maintenance
Wind Repowering Environmental Impact Assessment
This project is a component of the broader Wind Repowering program. The specific aim of the EIA is to obtain environmental authorisation for the project so the Municipality can move ahead with erection of the turbines.
It is proposed that the following activities be included as part of this project:
  • Preconstruction Bat and Bird Monitoring: This study will monitor bat and bird activity in the vicinity of the site for a period defined by the outcome of the initial scoping assessment and best practice guidelines. The survey will accurately assess bird and populations in the area, identify flight paths, feeding patterns, population numbers etc.
  • Biodiversity and Heritage Study: This study establishes the biodiversity and heritage sensitivity of the site and makes accordingly.
  • Public Participation Process: This part of the EIA deals with all stakeholders of the project, notifies them of the project activities and related works, provides a platform for the public to engage with the project developers and raise any issues or concerns about the project.
Wind Repowering – Mini Turbine
The aim of this project is to install a 2kW wind turbine. The turbine was originally installed on a office block roof top with the Durban CBD. However this site was found to be unsuitable and a new site is currently being assessed.