Debate Background: ASSAF Energy Report

The Academy has released a consensus study entitled The State of Energy Research in South Africa.

The study aimed to improve the understanding of the energy research landscape in South Africa in order to support the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) to fulfil its functions in terms of energy research support and co-ordination. The study is seen as an important baseline assessment that can inform future energy research investment in the country.

According to the study report, investments in coal research and development are inadequate despite the fact that coal will dominate South Africa’s energy supply for the foreseeable future. Clean coal technologies are also not sufficiently funded, carbon capture and storage research programmes are insufficient and the bulk of coal research and development (R&D) is being performed by only four entities.

Key recommendations of the study relate to a formal coordination mechanism to guide energy and energy-related R&D investment, increased funding and the prioritisation of human capital development in the sector.

The study is available on www.assaf.org.za