CSIR - Council for Scientific and Indusrial Research

Year created: 1945 No of staff: 2000

Sources of Funding

50% - National
10% - Regional
10% - Local
30% - Private

CSIR campus<br/>Jan Cilliers Str
South Africa

27 218882466
27 218882693

Web site: http://www.csir.co.za/energyfutures

Primary contact

Research group leader: Sustainable Energy Futures Alan BRENT

Click to see all contacts

General Info

CSIR research within the Sustainable Energy Futures (SEF) group is focused on finding solutions to amongst others, the challenge of increasing access to affordable energy services in order to facilitate productive economic activities, improve the quality of life, and reduce poverty. The aim is to achieve this while minimising harmful implications of those services, which may negatively affect access to future energy services. Through its internal and external collaborations, partnerships and alliances, the group has developed a detailed understanding of four domains which are key to achieving the goal of supporting the optimal utilisation of the natural resource base for sustainable development in the energy sector of South Africa and Africa. These include:
- the condition of the resource base, and how it is changing
- the consequences of change
-options for the management and utilisation of resources for optimal benefit, as well as for avoiding harmful consequences and
- ensuring that good and relevant science is applied.

From these domains SEF addresses the complex interactions between implemented energy-related systems, society at large, and the ecosystem services that sustain them - often, overarching problem that decision-makers of technology management oriented practices and policies do not consider, in a holistic manner.

Areas of expertise: SEF has played a key role in developing the South African energy R&D strategy and formulating the Sustainable Energy Base flagship programme of NEPAD. Supporting research initiatives include:
technology fore-sighting for alternative energy technologies,
- future supply and demand side scenario modelling for the energy sector of Southern Africa,
- resource-economic, social and environmental life cycle assessment of energy systems in the initial R&D phases of the technology management life cycle,
- development of sustainable technology management models to support the implementation of renewable energy systems for off-grid applications,
- development of models to assess the sustainability of energy systems in a local context,
- development of policy, management and decision-making frameworks for the integrated environmental management of renewable energy systems by authorities, together with stakeholders, with performance indicators, and
- strategies to energise rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa with a view of addressing poverty, one of Africa's most pressing problems.

Target audience: Society at large.