Government set aside R66,5-million in its 2011 Budget for the establishment of the ‘South African Energy Development Institute’, which will conduct research and development (R&D) into energy-efficiency technologies and solutions.
The initiative is designed to reduce “wasteful” electricity consumption patterns, as well as South Africa’s carbon usage.
Funding for the institute forms part of a larger additional allocation to the
Department of Energy of R369,7-million to support demand reduction, which will be disbursed over the three-year expenditure period from April 1, 2011, to March 31, 2014.
“Research and development conducted by this institute will support energy-efficiency objectives pioneered through the electricity demand-side management grant, which is scheduled to come to an end at the end of 2011/12,” the Budget Review states.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan also confirmed the funding of R800-million “green economy” initiatives, but said specific allocations will be made in the ‘Adjustments Budget’.
The emerging New Growth Path, which seeks to generate five-million jobs by 2020, has also emphasised promoting innovation through “green economy” initiatives.