Dear prospective Donors,
I am a Zambian student, currently completing my Msc. Climate Change and Development at the University of Cape Town. I am affiliated with the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) and the Energy Research Centre at the University of Cape Town.
The focus of my research thesis is on the social acceptance of an innovative hybrid gas turbine renewable energy technology being developed by the University of Cape Town's Energy Research Centre. Recent international agreements, such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement have highlighted the need to decouple the world’s economy from fossil fuels and at the same time provide energy services in those areas of the world, notably within sub-Saharan Africa which have inadequate and/or poor access to energy services. In order to facilitate this, a paradigm shift is required whereby alternative clean energy technologies are deployed at a scale that will enable the targets of the fore-mentioned agreements to come to be fulfilled. However, barriers and challenges hamper the successful uptake of renewable energy technologies, and one of these is the societal acceptance of renewable energy technologies. Societal acceptance of renewable energy technology is an important factor that can enable or impede the successful development and implementation of a renewable energy project, whatever its technological or economic merits.
My research methodology is to undertake two case studies in rural Zambia and Mozambique to engage with communities and villages that have little or no access to electricity and assess the psychological, attitudinal and socio-economic and cultural factors that could hinder or aid in the community acceptance of a solar hybrid gas turbine technology. The purpose of this research is thus, to fill in the knowledge gaps with regards to the social acceptance of a hybrid thermal solar gas technology within a Sub-Saharan African context. This knowledge gained will then inform the developers of the technology as to what the issues of social acceptance factors that may facilitate or hinder the successful uptake of the technology. A framework based on the results of the case study will then be devised to inform future deployments of renewable energy technologies in rural African settings. The results will be published in a scientific journal.
Many thanks for your time and contributions.
Musiyani Gavin Chewe