The Shisa Solar Programme is one of the Energy Office’s flagship projects. Together with the Strategic management of the Municipality and the Political leadership, the Energy Office realised that Durban has excellent solar resource potential (the city can boast an average of 300 days of sunshine per annum) and that this was not being exploited as it should be.
Nationally, the challenge of increasing uptake of solar water heaters (SWHs) was put forward by the Minister of Energy. In 2009 she stated that “the Department will ensure that one million SWHs are installed in households and commercial buildings over a five year period”. Though a commitment had been made nationally, it was unclear what role local governments would play in achieving this.
By registering on the Shisa Solar Programme website, a Durban resident wanting to ‘go solar’ can participate in the program by registering on the website. The resident enters their details onto a database which is then sent through to the pre-approved suppliers who will then contact the interested party and provide a no obligation quotation.
The quotations supplied to the home owner will be less the ESKOM rebate as well as a R500 Shisa Solar discount. So far over 4000 people have registered on the site, with the numbers increasing every day.
This simple intervention demonstrates how municipalities can play a facilitatory role by bridging the gap between supply and demand in a sector where their role is still unclear Municipalities can still achieve their imperative of growing the renewable energy sector without acting as the primary developer. However, the Municipality still had to invest significant resources into the project, publicising the project through various media channels and enlisting the services of state-of-the-art web designers.
So why would a South African resident want to install a Solar Water Heater?
Installing a Solar Water Heater can save you up to 30% on your electricity bill, with a payback period of about 5 years. After which, you will be receiving most of your hot water free of charge, made possible by our abundant resource, the sun! In a climate of energy scarcity and associated rising energy costs it makes financial sense. In addition, the environmentally conscious homeowner could make massive improvements to their own carbon footprint.
The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory (GHGEI) identifies the sources of the GHG emissions from both the government and public sector within the eThekwini Municipal Area (EMA). The inventory was compiled to help plan climate change mitigation strategies within the Municipality.
The GHGEI is divided into two sub-inventories, one for the broader eThekwini community and one for the Municipality or local government emissions. The local government "sub-inventory" includes GHG emissions from activities under the control of the eThekwini Municipality entity, whilst the community inventory includes GHG emissions from various sectors within the boundary of the EMA.
The eThekwini Municipality started reporting to the Carbon Disclosure Project in 2012 and now reports annually to the CDP. The CDP is "an international, not-for-profit organization providing the only global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage and share vital environmental information."
The Energy Office manages a large number of projects. These projects, while falling under the banner of Climate Change Mitigation, can be classified into Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Climate Change, Transportation and Green & Knowledge Economy. Frequently other Municipal Units and Departments are partnered to implement projects. In addition, the Energy Office frequently participates in national and international projects.
An example of participation in an international initiative is the Global Protocol for Community Scale Emissions (GPC) (http://www.ghgprotocol.org/). “The GPC serves as the global standard for accounting and reporting city and community-scale GHG emissions that covers scope 1, scope 2, and some scope 3 emission sources” (http://www.ghgprotocol.org/city-accounting).
The eThekwini Municipality was one of the Pilot Cities for the standard and provided input for the final version which should be release towards the latter part of 2014.
The Durban Solar Financial Model was developed by the Energy Office, in collaboration with EAB Astrum. The Financial Model is intended to provide guidance on costs for small-scale (<100kWp) installations.
The eThekwini Municipality makes no warranty – implied or expressed – with respect to the accuracy, correctness, completeness or appropriateness of any information in this Financial Model. The eThekwini Municipality undertakes no duty to and/or accepts no responsibility to any party who may rely on this Financial Model. It is the User’s responsibility to thoroughly check that the assumptions are appropriate for their purposes, entered and utilised correctly in the Financial Model.