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Overview of research at ERC

ERC undertakes quality research that is relevant to society, the economy and the environment. ERC research is published internationally, where it is subject to peer review. Further information on specific research activities can be found under the entries for the different research groups (see below).


Research has been commissioned by a range of organisations. International clients include United Nations Institute for Training and Research, SEI - Boston, United Nations Environment Programme, International Energy Agency, Energy and Stanford University Program on Sustainable Development, Helio International, Global Network on Energy for Sustainable Development, World Resources Institute, International Atomic Energy Agency

Local clients include various government departments - notably those of Environmental Affair, and Energy - as well as Eskom, the National Electricity Regulator of South Africa, City of Cape Town, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South African National Energy Development Institute.

Research areas

The interdisciplinary mix of the Centre's staff enables us to provide balanced insight into energy problems pertinent to Africa. This is reflected in the major research focus areas, which are outlined below, although many projects do, of course, overlap the concerns of these research groups.

Energy, poverty and development
The Energy, Poverty and Development group is concerned with energy issues that affect sustainable development and improved livelihoods for poorer communities in South Africa and other developing countries. 
Further details on the work of this group 

Energy efficiency
The group deals with energy efficiency at the demand level, looking at the effects on single businesses and the national picture.
Further details on the work of this group 

Energy systems analysis and planning
This team is dedicated to energy modelling with the aim of assisting local industry and government identify and assess technology and policy options. The focus is on modelling aspects unique to developing nations, where little expertise exists elsewhere.
Further details on the work of this group 

Energy, environment and climate change
This group researches the intersection between energy, local environment and global climate change. It aims to contribute to minimising impacts of energy use and production, from social, economic and environmental perspectives.
Further details on the work of this group 

Renewable energy
The group conducts research that aims at contributing knowledge and solutions to the technological, social and economic challenges of RE.
Further details on the work of this group