The news was announced this week after a meeting of SADC Energy Ministers held in Johannesburg, South Africa, endorsed the establishment of the centre that will be known as the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE). The SACREEE Secretariat will be hosted at the Namibia Energy Institute (NEI) at the Poly. The NEI’s predecessor is the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Institute (REEEI).
The Poly Rector, Prof Tjama Tjivikua, congratulated the Ministry and the Government of Namibia on the achievement of this important milestone, and pledged to continue the fruitful collaboration since the centre is expected to be hosted on the Poly campus. “The selection of Namibia is testimony of its enabling conducive environment which will ensure that the SACREEE exercises its functions and fulfils its objectives in an efficient and effective manner,” Tjivikua said.
The overall objective of SACREEE, that is structured based on needs and desires of member states, is to contribute towards increased access to modern energy services and improved energy security across the SADC region by promoting market-based uptake of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies and services. The specific objective stipulates the need to create favourable framework conditions for regional renewable energy and energy efficiency markets by supporting activities directed at mitigating existing barriers.
Dr Zivayi Chiguvare, Director of the NEI, explained that SACREEE will strengthen SADC’s capacity to deal with renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE&EE) issues and provide a platform for the promotion of regional cooperation and coordination of RE&EE activities, as well as sharing of knowledge and best practices. The centre will work with the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (RERA) and other national and regional institutions. “Such work is expected to ensure policy coherence and alignment of RE&EE activities with other SADC and national policies, thus contributing towards donor harmonisation, coordination and creation of synergies with other on-going initiatives.
“The SACREEE will serve as a think tank, lobbying agent and advisory platform for RE&EE in SADC, and provide a framework for capacity building activities. Networking and co-organisation of conferences and exhibitions, forums and workshops, as well as development and execution of regional programmes and projects in cooperation with other partners and funding mobilisation will be part of SACREEE’s core business. This will facilitate north-south and south-south cooperation for knowledge and technology transfer, and SACREEE will become the focal point for the implementation of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative in Southern Africa,” Chiguvare said.