South Africa : Kuyasa low-cost urban housing energy upgrade project
|Total savings:||6,500 tonnes of CO₂ per year, over 5 years|
|Technology transfer:||Technology to promote energy efficiency in low-income houses in Kuyasa|
|Local environment:||Lowering the consumption of non-renewable Energy|
|Further advantages:||Lowers expanse for household energy, reduces indoor pollution, Creates jobs in the construction and maintenance of the solar water heaters, improves health condition|
|Project partner:||South South North|
Cold huts in Khayelitsha
The township of Khayelitsha lies some 30 km away from the city center of the metropolis Cape Town. The name is of Xhosa and means ‘new home’ and was founded under the dark chapter of the apartheid in South Africa. According to the last population census, there are about 400,000 inhabitants living in Khayelitsha. Inofficial estimates however say that there are more inhabitants living in the area, although the infrastructure is only designed for 250,000 people. The majority of the people lives under the poverty level and still a lot of them in informal housing. Under the reconstruction and development program in the 1990’s there were a lot of formal houses built to improve live quality of the poor. Nevertheless most of the houses have poorly isolation, fluctuations in their electricity and a bad energy balance sheet. Various people use paraffin and wood to heat their houses. In the winter time the interiors get wet and cold, due to poor isolation. This leads to serious health damages and especially provokes respiratory diseases.
Warm water and warm homes combined with energy savings
The Kuyasa project aims to improve energy balance sheets of the of the low- income households and at the same time reach clear social and health advantages for the local population. Therefore the ceilings get insulated, a solar water heater is installed on the rooftop and energy efficient lightning is provided. On the one hand emissions are reduced and on the other hand the households save energy. This leads to ‘energy poverty’ alleviation of the communities. Another advantage of improved energy efficiency and the herewith accompanied reduction of paraffin and fuel wood especially used for heating, is the decreased risk of respiratory diseases and fires within the houses. Thus, the project does not only achieve clear emission reductions but additionally holds particular social improvements in the general living conditions and health of the people of Khayelitsha.
Another feature of the project is that it is the first CDM registered project in Africa and the world's very first Gold Standard project. The project partner and co-founder of this pioneering project is the South African non-profit organization South South North, which is responsible for project site implementation and monitoring. The implementation and installation of energy-efficient technologies already started in 2008. Until today, the energy efficiency of around 2,300 homes by retrofitting solar powered water heaters, insulation and light bulbs has been significantly improved. Due to financial and organizational hurdles, previously generated emissions have not yet been issued. atmosfair supports SouthSouthNorth especially in the further steps as part of the verification process under the CDM and Gold Standard. The success of the pioneer project in Khayelitsha in terms of technology and the attendant social and health improvements led to similar energy efficient projects in other places in South Africa as well as within other countries.