Please summarise your areas of climate-change expertise (in terms of subjects and geographical areas)
- Environmental Education and need for low carbon development because Climate changes and peak oil issues
- SACAN and Climate Justice Now working groups for the definition of low carbon development policies
- Port Elizabeth and Eastern Cape Province
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Renewable Energy Centre summary (05/10/2008)
In the wake of the Eskom power crisis and the rise of their prices, it is felt urgent by quite a few people in PE to establish a Renewable Energy Centre (REC). The Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan (electricity & energy directorate) has welcomed this centre into their “Sustainable Energy Efficiency Centre” SEEC. The latter is chaired by Metro and includes Eskom, PERCCI (PE Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry), NMMU (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University), CDC (Coega Development Corporation) and CEF sustainability (Central Energy Fund).
This is very much complementary to the other SEEC entities in the sense that it promotes f.e. Eskom agreed suppliers/techniques for the solar water heating roll out and related regulation, Metro and CEF policies and pilot projects, NMM University researches….
Beside that, being part and parcel of the Metro SEEC helps securing the REC sustainability. This is crucial for achieving its long term objectives related to acceptance of renewable energy technologies through education and their adequate roll out through the definition of strategies, policies and related bylaws and subsidies.
It is not REC's intention to re-invent the wheel and pretend that it works on its own. It recognizes that these issues are already being tackled. It hopes to set a framework, which is conducive to a fruitful cooperation between various stakeholders for producing a change of mentality, which hopefully induces an increase in the use of renewable energies. It firstly focus its activities in PE and does not rule out the possibility of extending them in the Eastern Cape Province or further if need be. REC provides additional resources to the education department for an EE programmes. In order to bring the costs down and render the EE sector more viable , REC makes use of other resources from projects such as the 'sharenet EE”, the WESSA echo schools programmes as well as the Municipality echo school bus.
REC is registered as a Non Profit Organisation (reg. 064 673 NPO). Its chairman was the director of the Municipality Electricity & Energy Directorate. Its technical advisor is a NMMU lecturer at the Architecture faculty. Its secretary is a manager in a large private company. Another board member is managing projects at the NMMU education faculty. Two other members are boards advisers and responsible of the Life Sciences Curriculum at the Education Department. WESSA is also represented in board. The REC Coordinator has worked in different African countries in the fields of appropriate technologies, projects' planning & management and Institutional Support.
REC supports Environmental Education (EE) Programmes at schools and at the PE university on environment issues and Renewable Energy (RE) techniques. It will manage as well a “Research & Development” fund and initiate working groups on relevant topics related to RE, specially in relation to energy profile & policy definition. It will finally offer its premises as a venue for conferences on issues related to global warming and relevant policies and strategies to enhancing RE in various sectors.
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