South Africa to Stimulate Research and Development in Clean Energy

South Africa together with the International Energy Agency are hosting the first joint collaborative workshop in Johannesburg February 20-22, 2007. Saneri, a state-funded research company tasked with stimulating energy research and development, will be officially launched during the event.

Johannesburg, February 20, 2007

South Africa is set to play a more meaningful role in international energy affairs, particularly in the research and development of new energy technologies and strategies.

South Africa, through the newly-established South African National Energy Research Institute (Saneri), together with the International Energy Agency (IEA) are hosting the first joint collaborative workshop to be held in South Africa.

The event, the first of its kind in developing countries, is supported by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), and the Fossil Fuel Foundation (FFF). It will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, from the 20th to the 22nd of February 2007.

The International Energy Agency, as part of its own outreach programme has chosen South Africa as a partner and forerunner in its programme to bring non-IEA member countries closer to their OECD counterparts. This outreach programme initially targets the five non-G8 member countries, namely Brazil, China, Mexico, India and South Africa that have participated in various G8 structures.

These five countries are seen as developing countries with rapidly emerging or growing economies. They are expected to play a key role in assisting the developed world in mitigating the impact of climate change through deployment of cleaner, more sustainable energy options.

Saneri, a state-funded research company housed under CEF (Pty) Ltd. will be officially launched during the event. CEF (Pty) Ltd is a public company which is involved in the search for appropriate solutions to meet the future energy needs of South Africa, the Southern African Development Community and sub-Saharan region.

Saneri has been tasked with stimulating the culture of innovation in energy research and development. At the launch, the Ministers of the two portfolios to which SANERI reports - Minerals & Energy and Science & Technology - are expected to reiterate the South African government's commitment to investigating sustainable energy options for the country and advancing the country's competitive position in energy technology development through research, as well as human capital development in the energy sector.

The three-day workshop is first in a series of workshops to be held in emerging economies with the aim of expanding the international network of energy researchers. The status of selected energy technologies (for example, solar heating and cooling, wind energy development) in the international arena and in South Africa in particular, will be discussed.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Hon. M. Mangena, is expected to open the workshop on Tuesday, 20th February 2007. More than 20 international and 100 local energy researchers are expected to participate.

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