THE URBAN MOVEMENT INCUBATOR ENERGY DEMOCRACY PROJECT

community solar installationThis exciting ground-breaking project brings together three South African social movements from different urban locales, supported by two service NGOs to re-construct and implement a campaign that realizes widespread installation and operation of community-led socially owned renewable energy solutions.

The Project
The project represents new ground in locating advocacy for a just transition within the social movements.  The goal is to strengthen and enable social movements in South Africa to engage all tiers of government towards realising renewable energy community solutions that can become implemented at scale. Increasingly informed and organised social movement engagement with bolster the demand for local government to develop and implement policies, instruments and delivery modalities that incentivise/enable renewable energy delivery to communities they represent. The project seeks to nurture and support champions within partner movements to engage effectively with local governments, and other actors, towards a just transition which promotes/enables renewable energy solutions.

Project Partnership 
The project is a partnership consisting of three community based organisations Vukani Environmental Movement (VEM), Abahlali Base Mjondolo (ABM) and South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) supported by two service organisations, groundWork, and Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA) each with more than 20-years’ experience each in campaign and technical support to communities.

Project Activities
The first year of the project included an Inception Phase for partners to forge a collaborative working arrangement and through a Strategic Planning Process to map out the work for the year, which included community research and a Feasibility Study to estimate the scope of renewable energy options that could become affordable and scalable. The Implementation Phase included the Installation of Demonstration Units, the Development of Learning Materials, and a series of Community Workshops, which provided learning opportunities to understand how renewable energy works. Finally, Year 1 concluded with the Reflection and Adaptation Phase, which provided an adaptive approach to reflect on lessons learnt and to take stock of upcoming opportunities, parts of which will be covered by an Independent Case Study and Documentary.

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