Addressing rural electrification and climate change challenges

September 7th, 2015, Published in Articles: Energize


The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched an innovative microgrids programme recently as part of its Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative (LCTPi). The launch is the first of a series of national dialogues known as the Action2020 Climate Dialogues, taking place across the world during September and October. The dialogue brings leading business figures and South African policymakers together to encourage the use of low carbon technology solutions ahead of COP21, the UN’s global climate negotiations in Paris this December. During the South African Action2020 Climate Dialogue, WBCSD will launch the latest program in its Low Carbon Technical Partnerships Initiative (LCTPi): microgrids.

Speaking to Energize, Peter Bakker, the president and CEO of the WBCSD, said that the WBCSD is working with forward-thinking companies to develop new and innovative low carbon solutions that can address the climate challenge. The new Microgrids working group is focused on developing and delivering this innovative new technology with some of the world’s leading energy companies.

It is estimated that 1,3-billion people across the globe are without access to energy. The companies and partners in the LCTPi microgirds programme believe that low carbon microgrids are an essential solution in areas where centralised grids do not meet customer needs, are not available or rely on high-emission alternatives.
Mandy Rambharos, the head of Eskom’s Climate Change and Sustainable Development, says that as the country transitions to a lower carbon future, the availability and accessibility of all technological solutions will be crucial. Microgrids will play an important role in the suite of technologies available to developing countries especially as the distributed and embedded generation market grows in South Africa.

The working group brought together as part of the LCTPi program contains some of the leading innovators in the main solution areas for delivering microgrids.  By working together, the group will develop action plans and firm policy recommendations designed to enable accelerated and scaled-up deployment of low-carbon microgrid solutions.

Leon Viljoen, the managing director of ABB South Africa says that microgrids can help provide access to electricity, contributing to social development and economic growth while enhancing the integration of renewable energy and lowering environmental impact. A supportive regulatory framework can help to create the right investment climate and accelerate the deployment of microgrid technologies.

The WBCSD’s microgrid programme aims to provide a low-carbon solution to communities where energy supply can be either eratic or non-existent.


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