Energy Research Centre


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Development & Mitigation Forum





The Energy Research Centre (ERC) is a multi-disciplinary energy research centre,
housed in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Cape Town.

The Centre conducts high quality, targeted and relevant research as well as offering
postgraduate opportunities at the Masters and PhD levels.



Technical background for mitigation INDC

South Africa has submitted its climate targets ahead of the negotiations in Paris in December, which are expected to reach a new Agreement. The ‘targets’ are formally known as intended nationally determined contribution (INDC). ERC provided technical inputs in support of developing the mitigation component of the INDC. A technical background document is available here. It is an ERC research report and not part of the official INDC.

The only official document is South Africa’s INDC, which is available on the UNFCCC INDC portal and the

DEA web-site



Paper on nuclear energy in Africa now available
With growing interest in nuclear energy generation from Africa countries, this study takes a closer look at nuclear energy from an African perspective and considers the emerging information in relation to nuclear energy supply in the countries that have advanced plans for nuclear – South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya
artin, B and Fig, D. 2015. Final report – Findings of the African nuclear study.
Heinrich Böll Foundation Southern Africa



Comments on the Draft National Greenhouse Gas Emission
Reporting Regulations

which are an important part of a climate change mitigation system 

The regulations were published for comment by the Department of Environmental Affairs (available here)





South African TIMES Model
The British High Commission recently funded the update of a full sector national energy system model. This model, the South African TIMES model represents both supply and demand side including all economic sectors on the IEA’s linear least cost optimisation platform TIMES. The full source file and supporting spreadsheets for running this model with the ANSWER-TIMES model builder are available at this link. This version was used to explore an emerging gas economy in South Africa and these scenarios and results are also loaded in the source file.


Papers and ERC research reports recently made available for download


CDKN project on linking sectoral and economy-wide models
Working papers now available for download

Climate change and upstream development impacts on new hydropower projects in the Zambezi
research initiative, by a range of researchers including from ERC, to address the major uncertainties facing hydropower development in the region, and to deepen understanding among stakeholders of the risks to hydropower from changes in climate and increased upstream water demand.  For outputs, click here.

South African TIMES Model (SATIM)
LATEST ADDITION: SATIM Methodology appendices version 3.2 (Excel file)
(click here for previous versions and Methodology files)