Renewable Energy Technologies for Poverty Alleviation South Africa: Biodiesel and Solar Water Heaters

“In this report, two RE technologies – solar water heaters (SWHs) and biodiesel – have been identified where renewable energy could make a significant contribution towards poverty alleviation in terms of improving the general welfare of households as well as developing productive activities to generate employment. The country has high levels of solar radiation and an established manufacturing infrastructure for SWHs. They can contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions, and their manufacture and installation can contribute to job creation and skills development. However, the high upfront capital cost of SWHs is one of the key barriers to the development of a market in South Africa. Biodiesel has the potential to contribute to job creation,
economic development in disadvantaged rural communities, energy security in the light of rising oil prices, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the key challenges to the development of a biodiesel market are food security and limited water resources.”