With an emphasis on educating and inspiring residents, Durban has created a framework enabling solar technology to flourish amongst its citizens.

The Challenge

Ninety-three percent of South Africa's primary energy consumption came from coal and oil in 2014. Establishing renewables in the energy mix will require an intelligent combination of national strategies as well as educational campaigns such as Durban's calling individuals to action.

The Solution

Durban has created an evidence-based solar framework to promote the uptake of solar technologies in residential and commercial properties, stimulate local industry, and promote information sharing among municipalities to encourage further solar development. In a learning-by-doing approach, the city has installed 300 kW of PV on five municipal buildings. The lessons learned from these initial projects will feed into future policy developments and installations as the city adds to its solar portfolio on the 2,000 available municipal buildings. In order to encourage solar uptake more widely, the city created the first African PV mapping tool, enabling residents and businesses to calculate the PV potential of their roof, estimate savings, payback time, and find a local installer. Additionally, they are developing an online short course about renewable energy as well as an educational website for people to learn more about the potential of solar technology.

Environmental Benefits – The rooftop PV pilot project delivered an estimated 82 metric tons of CO2 reductions in February and March of 2017 alone.

Economic Benefits – Estimated annual savings from the pilot PV installations are more than $5,000. If the project was scaled to cover all municipal buildings, the city would save around $10 million annually.

About Cities100

Presented by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Sustainia and Realdania – Cities100 2017 showcases leading solutions to urban climate challenges in five sectors: Energy, Waste, Adaptation, Mitigation and Transportation.

Available online and in print, Cities100 provides stakeholders an accessible format to explore achievable solutions for climate action in cities, and will be a useful tool for relevant groups ranging from impact investors and development organizations, to mayors and city governments. You can access the full Cities100 2017 publication online here.

  • Economic
  • Environmental
Key Impact
5,710 MW is the estimated solar rooftop capacity of Durban
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