8th February 2014
9am - 5pm
Green Point Urban Park Cape Town
Free to public

About the Event

A festival to showcase and celebrate a brighter energy future for us all

Soaring electricity prices, rising unemployment andclmate change affect us all. Renewable energy is part of the solution to these big issues.

Cape Town’s Renewable Energy Festival 2014 offers a day of fun and learning for everyone.

  • Exciting exhibitions showcasing the latest technology and innovation in renewable energy solutions you can use in your everyday life
  • Informative talks where you’ll be able to learn more about things that directly impact you – like climate change and how to address the radical rise in electricity prices which we are all feeling
  • There will be the opportunity to ask those tough questions of the people who are making the decisions about electricity and climate change.
  • Chill out in between activities at the food court or catch live performances on the main stage, including performances by top South African band Hot Water, Marimba Band, comedy, kids’puppet shows, and much more
  • Shop for unique, proudly South African products made with empowerment and sustainability as part of their ethos
  • Learners, students and renewable energy enthusiasts - excel at your next project by attending breakaway sessions which offer fun training and workshops.


Event Programme

Festival opening by Rob Vember, 5FM DJ: 9am
Info forums & debate: 9am – 4:30pm
Fringe forum & debate: 9am – 4:30pm
Food market: 9-5pm
Craft market: 9-5pm
Film festival: 9am; 10:30am; 12pm; 1:30pm; 3pm
Gugulethu Tenors: 11am; 4pm
Kiddies puppet show: 10:30am; 1:30pm; 4pm
The Kiffness and Matthew Gold 1:15pm
Nik Rabinowitz: 12pm
Hot Water: 2:30pm
9:00 - 9:30 Rob Vember – 5FM DJ and MC for the day
11:00 - 12:00 Gugulethu Tenors
12:00 - 12:30 Nik Rabinowitz
13:30 - 14:15 The Kiffness and Matthew Gold
14:30 - 15:30 Hotwater
16:00 - 17:00 Gugulethu Tenors
09h00 – 10h55 Welcome address Saliem Fakir, Head of Living Planet Unit, WWF-SA
09h05 –09h30 Key Note Address
How does South Africa contribute towards climate change and the role of civil society in international climate change negotiations?
Tasneem Essop, Head of Low Carbon Frameworks, Global Climate and Energy Initiative
09h35 – 10h55 Session 1:   How severe is the climate crises and should South Africa be involved?  
09h35 The implications that climate change has on women in South Africa. Dorah Marema, Gendercc South Africa
09h50 How climate change will affect you. A look at how climate change impacts poor to middle class South Africans Ferrial Adam, Greenpeace, South Africa
10h05 Investing in coal power stations: climate change is big, but South Africa’s economic and social issues are bigger. Brian Mantlana, Department of Environmental Affairs
10h05 – 10h20 (15 mins) Panel response All
10h25 - 10h55 Open floor: Q&A  
10h55 – 11h15 (20 mins) Break  
11h15 - 13h25 Session 2: Panel discussion:  Can RE be a solution to South Africa’s energy crises? Moderated by: (5 mins)
11h15 – 11h30 What government is doing to respond to the energy crises? Ms. Nomawethu Qase, Director. New and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.
11h35 -11h50 It can, but remove the stumbling blocks please Johan van den Berg, Sarec Chair
11h55 – 12h10 The crises of energy poverty – is RE the answer? Gisela Prasad, Energy Research Centre, UCT
12h15 – 12h30 Panel response (15 mins) 5 mins per panellist
12h35 – 13h05 Open floor: Q&A (30 mins)  
13h05– 13h25 Break  (20mins)  
13h30 - Session 3:   Should RE be socially owned? Moderator: (5 mins)
13h35 – 13h50 What is wrong with how energy is currently owned and what does social ownership mean? Dinga Sikhwebu, Numsa (tbc)
13h55 – 14h10 One Million Climate change jobs: the potential of renewable energy for social upliftment Brian Ashley
14h15 – 14h30 Panel response (15 mins)  
14h35– 15h05 Open floor: Q&A (30 mins)  
Format of forums is 30 mins information, 10 minutes questions and 10 minutes between sessions
09h00- 10h30 Media training on renewable energy and climate change Leonie Joubert,  tbc Media, journalists, bloggers, corporate marketing and communications professionals
10h40 – 11h20 The City Sessions 1: i-SHACK. Making technology to work for the poor Professor Mark Swilling,  Division Head: Sustainable Development in the School of Public Leadership at the University of Stellenbosch and Academic Director of the Sustainability Institute  tbc Sustainability specialists, academics and government officials, Engineering students/professionals and industrial designers; planners and the public
11h20 – 11h40 Refreshment Break    
11h40 – 12h20 The Idiots Guide to Climate Change   Saliem Fakir, LPU  
12h30 – 13h10 The Basics about Renewable Energy Jocelyn Muller, Energy Research Consultant  
13h20 – 14h20 The climate job ecosystem: from secondary to graduate to the workplace. Learn how to get there. WWF South Africa Young Professionals Students, learners, professionals wanting to move to green jobs, teachers, teacher support and curriculum advisors
14h30  - 15h30 Break for headline act & lunch    
15h40 – 16h40 The City Sessions 2:  Sustainable cities: what does that mean for you? And what the city of Cape Town is doing to make your city a renewable energy city. Stephen Bland, ICLEI;  tbc Sarah Ward, City of Cape Town   All citizens
09h00 – 09h40 Where is RE technology at? A look at domestic energy technologies Dr Wikus van Niekerk, University of Stellenbosch  tbc All, students, industry professionals
09h50 – 10h30 What is carbon capture and storage and what role does it play in SA’s energy future? Kevin Nassiep, SANEDI Public
10h40 – 11h20 Renewable Energy Public Procurement Programme: Government’s roll out of renewable energy – how successful is it? Are REIPPP bidders investing in meaningful community development in their REOIPPP projects? Jason Schäffler, REEEP  tbc All citizens
11h20 – 11h40 Refreshment Break    
11h40 – 12h20 Fracking, Water and Climate Change – key debates explained Jonathan Deal, Chairman, Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG)  tbc All citizens
12h30 – 13h10 Nuclear – hot or not? Get the facts Tristen Taylor, Earthlife Africa tbc All citizens
13h20 – 14h20 Choose the right energy: what is climate justice and what am I entitled to as a South African citizen Makoma Lekalakala, Earthlife Africa, JHB All citizens
14h30  - 15h30 Break for headline act & lunch   All citizens
15h30 – 16h30 Why are we stalling in building a locally owned RE industry? ·       Localisation of REIPPP – the importance of building a local renewable energy industry Frank Spencer, CEO, Emergent Energy All citizens

Venue Map


Content to Come

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For information about the event, WWF and or the AIDC,
please contact Claire on +27 ( 0)82 490 3796

There will be a press launch on the 3 February 2014. For more information or to RSVP,
please contact Alexis or call on +27 (0) 21 657 6600.

 Press Release

Coming soon!

Contact us

General information
For general information on the Festival contact: Alexis on (021)657 6600.
For media enquiries contact: Claire on
+27(0)82 490 3796
For exhibition enquires contact: Russell
+27(0)21 4475770
Sponsorship / Partner
To sponsor or partner contact: Alexis
on +27(0)657 6600
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About the Event

The Renewable Energy Festival is a product of collaboration between the Alternative Information Development Agency (AIDC) {hyperlink to AIDC website} and the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA) {hyperlink to WWF SA website}. The festival is inspired by each organisation’s current campaigns – the One Million Climate Jobs Campaign {hyperlink to campaign page} and the Seize Your Power campaign {hyperlink to SYP campaign page}.


AIDC was formed in 1996 in response to the democratic transition in South Africa and the new opportunities and challenges it brought those seeking greater social justice within the democracy.
Its Vision is: A sustainable society free of racism, xenophobia, sexism, resource degradation, oppression, exploitation and alienation, where people live in dignity and govern by participatory democracy are respected and free to realise their potential productivity and creativity and live in peace without fear and in harmony with the environment.
One Million Climate Jobs Campaign:
The campaign is an alliance of labour, social movements and other civil society organisations in South Africa that recognise the value of A collective approach to the crises of unemployment and climate change. It is based on well-researched solutions for how South Africa can immediately begin a just transition to a low carbon economy.

WWF South Africa

WWF-SA is part of an international conservation organisation which prides itself on science-based interventions.
Its aims are to:

Seize Your Power Campaign

WWF is campaigning globally to seek major public commitments from governments and international financial institutions to make new investments in the renewable energy sector. In the South African context WWF is calling for double the effort and double the ambition.  In other words, government needs to pull out all the stops to remove outstanding barriers and to look at innovative ways of reducing the financial cost of renewables. WWF believes that such ambition is vital, not only in terms of climate change in the long term, but in terms of South Africa's current energy crisis. 

Terms & Conditions

Coming soon.

Johan van den Berg

Johan van den Berg is the CEO of the South African Wind Energy Association, the Interim Chair of the South African Renewable Energy Council and the African Private Sector Focal Point for the Africa-EU Energy Partnership. An Advocate since 1993, he has spent the last fifteen years in environmental dispute resolution; environmental mediation; climate change avoidance/emissions trading and support for renewable energy deployment in Southern Africa.

Ferrial Adam

Ferrial Adam is an environmental justice activist who has been working on environmental issues for more than 15 years. She is presently a senior energy and climate change campaigner for Greenpeace Africa. She holds a masters in environmental management. Her areas of interest include mobilisation around climate change and developing sustainable models for energy efficiency and development.

Achmad Chotia

Achmat has been a teacher since 1977 and has been teaching at Glendale Secondary School in Rocklands, Mitchell’s Plain, since 1983. Glendale played a prominent part in the struggle against apartheid education during the 1980s.

He was appointed Principal of this large school in 1995 and is still Principal of the school some 19 years later. His presence has provided the stability needed to transform his school into a model of what can be done, despite the challenges of the deprivations of the neighbourhood and many of the school’s learners. He is the first to acknowledge that the success of the school would not have been possible without the dedicated support of a hard-working and committed group of teachers.

A measure of his success was that Glendale was selected to host visits by both Presidents Mandela and Zuma.

Achmat responded with huge enthusiasm to his school being one of the two selected for the Alternative Information & Development Centre’s pilot project on Sustainable Schools.

Frank Spencer

Frank Spencer, commonly known as “the solar boy genius” is multi-disciplinary engineer and businessperson, with over 13 years’ experience in solar Photovoltaics. As the CEO of Emergent Energy, he has been involved with the design, delivery and financing of solar PV projects in the off-grid and on-grid markets of Southern Africa, and led the development of a pipeline of over 9MW of commercial-scale solar projects, with the first 100s of kW under construction. In addition, he has worked on a number of energy efficiency, green building and policy related projects.

Jason Schäffler

Jason Schäffler is an experienced project developer and technical and policy analyst specialised in renewable energy. He has researched the environmental and economic benefits of distributed electricity generation in depth, and has been an advocate for renewable energy policy at both the provincial and national levels in South Africa.

Dinga Sikwebu

Dinga Sikwebu is the Head of Education at NUMSA, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa. He is responsible for shop steward training; political education; the production of internal education material; leadership and staff development within the union.

Dinga has recently coordinated the work of worker-based energy research groups within NUMSA focusing on the development of the renewable energy technology sector in South Africa and union approaches to workplace energy efficiency programmes. As the Head of Education, Dinga has been instrumental in the development of NUMSA’s climate change policy. In February 2012, he jointly coordinated NUMSA’s first international conference on building a socially-owned renewable energy sector in South Africa.

Mark Swilling

Mark Swilling is appointed as Professor of Sustainable Development in the School of Public Leadership, University of Stellenbosch ( and Academic Director of the Sustainability Institute ( He is responsible for the design and implementation of a Master’s and Doctoral Program in Sustainable Development that gets delivered at the Sustainability Institute in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He also heads up the TSAMA Hub, a new Center for the transdisciplinary study of sustainability and complexity at Stellenbosch University ( The TSAMA Hub hosts a new transdisciplinary Doctoral Program that involves collaboration between seven of Stellenbosch University’s Faculties. Professor Swilling obtained his PhD from the University of Warwick in 1994.

Gisella Prasad

Gisela has a PhD in geology from the University of Paris (Sorbonne) and taught geology at the Universities of Khartoum/Sudan, and Dar es Salaam/Tanzania. She was the director of the Institute of Southern African Studies, a development- and policy-oriented research centre at the National University of Lesotho. In 2001 she joined the Energy Research Centre at the University of Cape Town. She is Programme leader for the Energy, Poverty and Development group.

Current research interests are include the supply, use and development impact of energy and energy technologies on the poor. Policies, strategies and business models of improving energy access for the poor and climate finance for energy access. Energy transition for poverty alleviation.

She teaches in the masters course on Energy, Poverty and Development and supervises masters and PhD students.

Philip Goyn

Dr Philip Goyns is the Supply Option Modelling Specialist at the Department of Energy.

He joined the Department four years ago as part of the Energy Planning team. Dr Goyns is involved in the Development of the Integrated Energy Plan and his key responsibilities include developing and maintaining an energy system optimisation model, quantitative analysis of the impact of government policies on the current and future structure of the energy sector and research into existing and potential energy supply options to inform energy policies and planning processes.

Dr Goyns’ has an Masters in Mechanical Engineering and a Doctorate in Energy Studies. He has also been involved in Postdoctoral research in Energy Economics. Carolyn Cramer