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USA Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy visits SANEDI

By Lauren Smith, 10 June 2015

USA Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy visits SANEDI

The USA Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy, Christopher Smith, along with officials from the administration, visited SANEDI on Friday, 5 June 2015. The delegation was on a general fact-finding mission to South Africa, and other African countries, to gather information about fossil fuel matters, particularly Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). They shared what was currently happening in the USA, with focus on the fact that financial support was available for CCS, and were very interested in what SANEDI does in the space.

Another topic that was of great interest and was up for discussion at the meeting, was a Solar ‘Housing’ Decathlon. This competition, which involves building Solar Houses, and a winner being selected, is a project done in partnership with Universities in the USA. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. Decathlons were done in Europe, Latin America and one in the UAE. SANEDI could become the point of contact in South Africa, between the US government, banks and property developers, to sponsor or co-fund the project. The winning house could possibly serve as a legacy project, which can be transported to a community to be lived in. The delegation reiterated that it was interested in creating lasting partnerships with South Africa (and SANEDI) on these matters, rather than just forging a donor-recipient relationship.