Universal, equitable energy access is an international and national sustainable development goal. Within the South African context, energy subsidies are the main response available to local governments to address the problem of enduring energy poverty at the municipal scale. Where these subsidies function well, they make a much-needed contribution to household energy access. However, subsidies are blunt instruments and limited by the fiscal and contextual constraints facing specific local governments. To adapt these subsidies to better facilitate just urban transitions, key questions are:
- a) How might subsidies be optimised to best respond to different kinds of energy poverty in different contexts? AND
- b) What complementary interventions made possible by renewable energy innovation are needed?
The webinar consists of a case study based on City of Cape Town’s ongoing work to respond to energy poverty. The IISD shares insights into modelling for policy development, drawing on their collaboration with the City of Cape Town. The relevance of this kind of modelling for other municipalities is outlined (links to the modelling tool are included in the webinar summary. Following these inputs, the conversation shifts to the national context with a panel discussion with inputs from Sustainable Energy African and the Ishack Project.