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Samantha Keen

Academic Profile

Samantha Keen is an environmental scientist with a MPhil in Environmental Management modeling the transport of air pollutants across South Africa. Her work focuses on devolution and tracking national climate change mitigation, and also making contributions in greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting; modeling of climate change mitigation and development pathways; analysis of externalities; particularly local air pollution.

Her research interests include impact pathway analyses of climate and energy policy on public health, and on the costing of energy externalities, and the linking of models in this work.


  • MPhil in Environmental Management from University of Cape Town
  • B.Sc. in Environmental and Geographical Sciences from University of Cape Town


Energy, Environment and Climate Change Group Co-Leader, Research Officer



air quality health impact assessment

atmospheric transport modelling

climate change mitigation 


Current Research

 Current research includes 

  • modelling the health impacts and associated costs of energy policy related changes to air quality;
  • community co-generation of research design to address energy associated air pollution and health problems;
  • analysis of the current status of renewable energy technology in South Africa as a technology innovation system;

joint design for building national capacity in GHG accounting;

  • analysis of the energy investment in Africa;
  • mapping renewable energy resources in South Africa.



Current Projects

Assessment of ability and implementation  options for renewable energy in rural and low income urban areas in South Africa

Citizen Science and Intersectoral initiative on Health inequality, Energy-efficiency, Air quality and Poverty nexus in context of Africa

COP21: Results, Implications, Pathways and Policies for Low-Emissions Societies



Current Teaching

GHG accounting, Masters level


List of Last 10 years publications (newest to oldest)

Keen, S.L. and Altieri, K.E. The health benefits of attaining and strengthening air quality standards in Cape Town, Clean Air Journal, 2016.

Keen, S.L. and Altieri, K.A., “Assessing the benefits of attaining and strengthening ambient air quality standards in Cape Town” Oral presentation at the National Association for Clean Air Conference, Nelspruit, South Africa, 2016. One of the top 5 submissions.

Altieri, K.E. and Keen, S.L., “BenMAP as a tool for analyzing the health benefits of reductions in ambient air pollution in South Africa,” Oral presentation at the National Association for Clean Air Conference, Nelspruit, South Africa, 2016. Best Presentation Award.

Altieri, K.E. and Keen, S.L., “Health impacts of energy-related air pollution in South Africa,” International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Conference, Breckenridge, CO, 2016.

Madhlopa, A, Sparks, D,  Keen, S,  Moorlach, M, Krog, P and Dlamini, T. 2015. Optimization of a PV-wind hybrid system under limited water resources.Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 47, 324-331. DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2015.03.051. Article can be accessed here.

Boulle, M., Boyd, A., Cunliffe, G. & Keen, S. 2014. National and international MRV requirements for local mitigation action: The case of South Africa’s renewable energy procurement programme.

Boyd, A, Keen, S and Rennkamp, B. 2014. A comparative analysis of emerging institutional arrangements for domestic MRV in developing countries.- See more at:

Madhlopa, A, Keen, S, Sparks, D, and Moorlach, M. 2014. Water considerations in selecting energy technologies. Report submitted to the Water Research Commission.

Madhlopa, A, Keen, S, Sparks, D, and Moorlach, M. 2014. Draft policy framework for efficient use of water in energy production. Report submitted to the Water Research Commission.

Abiodun, B.J., Ojumu, A.M., Jenner, S. and Ojumu, T.V., 2014. The transport of atmospheric NOx and HNO3 over Cape Town. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics14(2), pp.559-575.

Jenner, S.L. and Abiodun, B.J., 2013. The transport of atmospheric sulfur over Cape Town. Atmospheric environment79, pp.248-260.

Madhlopa, A., Sparks, D., Keen, S., Moorlach, M., Dane, A., 2013. Renewable energy choices and water requirements in South Africa.   Report for the Water Research Commission.


Contact Details

Telephone: +27-21-650-2831