State of Energy in South African Cities 2015

This third State of Energy in South African Cities report examines the sustainable energy development path of 18 key cities in South Africa. It builds on the data collection and analysis work of the first two reports dated 2006 and 2011. The 2006 State of Energy report was the first of its kind and highlighted the important role of cities in the South African energy picture. The report found that the 15 study cities were responsible for consuming almost half of the country’s energy, making them extremely energy intensive nodes in the national fabric, and made the case for development of city-level energy planning. The second report, in 2011, provided an updated picture of the energy profile of the cities studied. It included a more qualitative story, tracking the progress towards low carbon, energy efficient, resilient and more productive cities. The report revealed that cities were taking enormous strides in tackling energy and climate change issues. This third report builds on the first two reports. For the first time, we are able to track changes and identify possible trends emerging in the sustainable energy development of cities over almost a decade, particularly the metros. The report also includes some of the growing secondary cities in South African and examines their energy-related development trajectory. The report finds that cities have overall slightly increased their energy consumption and related emissions. Given the growth in population and the economy, a higher increase might have been expected. The modest change is partly due to electricity supply challenges and rising prices, but also reflects the results of actions taken by the cities. Many cities have adopted sustainable energy strategies and solutions in all the sectors – residential, transport, own buildings, commercial – and are even looking at generating renewable supply of their own. Indeed, compared to the picture in 2006, the report confirms that cities are the seat of pioneering transformation.