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Call for ideas to help mitigate energy crisis

The City of Cape Town calls for innovative and smart ideas that will help to mitigate the current energy crisis that will move the city toward cleaner energy sources and lower carbon development and that will also better enable a growing green economy.

Whether it be powering communities through wave energy; using the city’s stormwater infrastructure to create localised hydro-electric energy schemes; smarter metering; smart street poles; or mini-grids for informal settlements and backyard dwellings, the city wants to hear all potentially workable proposals.

The focus is also on the use of artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and Internet of Things (IoT) to ensure that Cape Town is future-fit.

A Request for Information (RFI) has thus been issued to appeal for innovative solutions to the energy crisis, among other objectives.

‘As part of the City’s ongoing efforts to become more sustainable and resilient, it continues to look at an array of innovative energy solutions. This is to ensure that Cape Town moves away from the country’s current sole dependence on Eskom for power and to drive cleaner sources of energy to best perform on the City’s commitment of reducing carbon emissions drastically in the face of climate change. To make sure that the city is able to create the environment that would be required for such alternative, sustainable innovations the city wants to get a better idea of what could be realistically possible within the legislative and municipal framework that the City operates in,’ said the City’s Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato.
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The main objectives of the RFI are:
  • to gather information and assess market interest to conceptualise, fund and implement sustainable energy and green economy projects.
  • to improve service delivery to residents
  • to alleviate energy poverty and;
  • to contribute to the low carbon development pathway that the City is pursuing

‘We have made it very clear that the current energy regime needs to change. We are looking for a regime that is future-fit, resilient and sustainable. It is important for municipalities to be able to use various energy sources. If we were to be allowed to purchase power from independent power producers (IPPs) in addition to that which we have access to from Eskom, we would be able to have access to cleaner and diversified resources which we could harness to increase energy security for our residents. This is what our current court case against the Minister of Energy and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa is also about. We want municipalities to be allowed to purchase energy from IPPs. Currently, this is not allowed.

‘The RFI will also help us to enable the extraction of greater economic and employment benefits in the green economy in a sustainable manner. Technology is changing rapidly and we are looking to the market, universities, our residents and other stakeholders to help build a greener, more sustainable future as climate change will affect us all.

Alternative sources of energy, alternative ways of meeting our energy needs and alternative ways of thinking of solutions will also help us to decrease the divide that exists in our society in general by ensuring that all residents of Cape Town and citizens of South Africa, for that matter, have equal access to safe and cleaner energy through a mix of resources and approaches,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy and Climate Change, Councillor Phindile Maxiti.

Some areas of interest for the City:
  • renewable energy
  • demand side management and load shifting
  • energy efficiency
  • smart metering
  • micro-grids in un-electrifiable areas and backyard dwellings
  • alternative mobility
  • alternative waste management
  • the use of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and Internet of Things

The City would also look at the institutional or political changes that are required to support the options. This list is not intended to be exhaustive and responders are welcome to propose new ideas.

How to submit an idea

  • Submit workable proposals by no later than close of business on 14 June 2019
  • Participants may submit one or more submissions depending on which areas of interest they are addressing
  • Visit and click on the trending button labelled “submit a sustainable energy solution”.
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