The South African National Energy Development Institute(SANEDI) is rolling out a cooling solution to communities across the countryafter receiving a $100,000 grant by the international Million Cool RoofsChallenge last year to deploy solar-reflective roof coatings.
This initiative is driven by the Kigali Cooling EfficiencyProgramme (K-CEP) with the aim of rapidly scaling up the deployment ofsolar-reflective ‘cool’ roofs in developing countries, suffering heat stress and lackingwidespread access to cooling services. “We werethrilled when we received the grant last year and couldn’t wait to get underway with rolling out this initiative. Starting inAugust, the grant came just in time for the scorching South African summer,which is felt most in the Limpopo province reaching an average of 35°C,” said Denise Lundall, Project Officer,Energy Efficiency Cool Surfaces at SANEDI. Lundall added: “We have found that we can reduce indoor daytime temperatures inlow-cost housing by almost 10°C by applying thereflective coating.” This can make a substantialdifference to the daily lives of many South Africans.
Read more about SANEDI According to a press release, thedeployment has been smooth thus far, with sights set on the next large MillionCool Roofs Challenge grant to be awarded in 2021. The next grant, a sum of $1million, will be awarded to the country-team that has demonstrated the bestsustainable and transferable model for rapid deployment of cool roofs and bestmeets the judging criteria. “With nine otherscompeting for this grant, we have our challenge set out for us,” stated Lundall. Teams from Bangladesh, Senegal, Philippines, Niger,Rwanda, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Indonesia and Mexico are hard at work rolling outthousands of square meters of cool roofing, while meeting certain standards andcriteria. “Developing countries are a clear target forthe Cool Roofs initiative, as it is not just about lowering ambient airtemperatures but also supporting socio-economic development in those affectedcommunities,” she said. For South Africa, the projecthas been undertaken with local municipal authorities, to coat no less than25,000 m2 of roof area.
SANEDI provides energy efficiency awareness training to thecommunities for their buy-in. In each community, a group of unemployed localresidents is selected, professionally trained and certified, and then employedby the project to apply the specialised coating. “Through awarding these grants, part of K-CEP’s aim is to demonstrate the benefits of cool roofs and stimulatedemand so that a market can be developed and eventually self-sustained in thesedeveloping countries,” noted Lundall. This makes SouthAfrica an ideal candidate, as the country faces the highest unemployment rateout of the ten countries aiming for the larger 2021 grant. “While the reflective coatings can make life more comfortable forpeople living in rural areas where there is no access to cooling technology,cool roofing also brings benefits to urban areas.
Substantial energy savings can be achieved inbuildings which make use of mechanical cooling technology (air conditioners),as the intervention reduces base and peak demand for cooling energy.” Added to that, the environmentalbenefits are clear. “The whitening of 100 m2 of greyroofing cancels the warming effect of 10 tons of CO2 emissions. Globally, thiscancels 500 medium sized coal power stations’ worth ofgreenhouse gas emissions,” concluded Lundall. Energyefficiency is a key topic at the African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa conference.