In line with the National development Plan, the department of science and innovation (dsi) seeks to facilitate the achievement of economic development and social equity by including locally developed cleaner energy technology solutions in south Africa’s energy system.


The DSI supports the implementation of government policies and initiatives relevant to clean energy such as:
• The transition to clean energy systems • Mineral beneficiation
• Climate change mitigation Government’s intention with these policies and initiatives is to stimulate the growth of new industries that can assist in addressing the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

The Energy Research Programme (ERP) is a national programme of the Department of Science and Innovation which seeks to develop renewable energy research capacity and expertise within the national system of innovation, using a hub-and-spokes model.

The programme focuses on key strategic areas within the renewable energy value chain as follows: • Deepening knowledge – undertaking research projects for knowledge creation and better understanding of renewable and sustainable energy.
• Technology development and deployment, encompassing all the necessary processes involved in developing renewable energy technologies.
• Human capital development – developing the required skills set to service the dynamic energy sector at postgraduate level.
• Market transformation – initiatives with government, industry and academia to assist the energy sector with innovative products and services.The hub-and-spokes model is a collaborative model that recognises and supports the distribution of research capacity and expertise in renewable and sustainable energy, across more than one institution. The hub is the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies, the central institution through which funding, reporting and general activities are co-ordinated. The spokes are paired institutions, which focus on a specific area of renewable energy, specifically solar thermal, solar photovoltaic and wind energy. The current hub-and-spokes is constituted as follows
• The solar thermal spoke is based at the Department

The solar photovoltaic spoke consists of the Department of Physics at the Nelson Mandela University, as well as the Fort Hare Institute of Technology at the University of Fort Hare. • The wind energy spoke is located within the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University, paired with the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Cape Tow

Since inception, the ERP has trained 600 students, registered 38 patents, published 496 papers, produced 17 new technologies and written four policy briefs pertinent to renewable energy. ‘The students we have trained have not only joined the renewable energy sector in this country, but some are working in the international arena as well,’ says Prof Sampson Mamphweli, director of the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies at Stellenbosch University.


Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies
T +27 (0)21 808 4069 E crses
4th Floor Knowledge Centre, corner of Banghoek and Joubert Street, Stellenbosch, 7600




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