The amount of embedded renewable energy generation, and particularly solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, has been rapidly increasing in South Africa. The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA), which tracks installed distributed solar PV capacity, has reported a jump from 4 456 to 5 659 megawatt peak (MWp) between the last quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023. This research aims to understand the role of embedded generation in evolving urban electricity systems (including commercial, industrial residential, Eskom and municipal generation) in South African cities.
Mpumalanga’s subnational government actors are not adequately prepared to navigate the systemic changes that the just transition, including the coal phase-out, increase in renewable energy, and economic diversification will bring. This report aims to take stock of relevant municipal capacities and capabilities, as well as identifying opportunities for intervention to facilitate transition readiness in the province.
In 2022, Stellenbosch University Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES), WWF South Africa and the Just Urban Transitions Project facilitated two workshops that aimed to characterise the challenges and opportunities for local governments in South Africa’s just transition, focused on the electricity system at the local level. This report distils insights from these workshops, additional engagements and a policy and research review to identify, characterise and prioritise technical, financial and systemic challenges, as well as potential goals or decision-making parameters for just urban transitions.