New Approach to Energy
For the past four years, the company has devised a new approach to ensure that energy underpins sustainable development in the real sense:
- Taking a people’s centered approach, reaching beyond the technical issues, to deliver energy services that meet peoples’ needs and priorities.
- Ensuring that communities have a voice in the decision-making processes on how best to meet their energy needs
- Working across all sectors to integrate energy more fully into development processes from project inception, planning throughout implementation
- Working at local, national and international levels, in order to develop pro-poor policies based on real evidence of impacts of energy on poor people
- Taking a holistic approach to energy rather than project-based approach
- Building a deeper understanding of the links between energy and poverty reduction
- Improving access to appropriate affordable energy technologies and services through: better management and regulation of the energy sector; increasing the efficiency of energy provision and use; increasing the cost of energy service; developing investment in energy services; providing access to finance at all levels and reducing costs; and designing smarter subsidies and other policies that work for poverty reduction
The many energy and poverty challenges create an opportunity for Dikepolana Resources to explore its passion for development and people, particularly women and youth empowerment and capacitation.
The current trends in South Africa, though slow, presents hope for the company and the people, given its tract record and partnerships over the years to facilitate access to and control over energy resources by the poor people, particularly women.
within the Poverty Context
It is important to recognize the role that energy plays in development. Our Company facilitates access to information, as well as to clean, efficient energy technologies and services to tackle poverty and make a difference to poor people’s lives.
We work with a wide range of people from different sectors and in different organizations, public, private, NGOs, and Civil society to address the overarching challenges of poverty and under-development, evidenced by poor or lack of innovative and sustainable solution to energy and water crisis.
Energy plays a crucial role in underpinning efforts to achieve development goal and improving the lives of people. Lack of access to adequate, affordable, reliable, safe and environmentally benign energy is a severe constraint to development.
The number of households without access and income to meet their basic needs in South Africa is staggering. Poor people see access to energy as a priority. Energy is not just about electricity, neither is the electricity always the best energy source for all needs.
It should be noted; however, that energy alone will not reduce poverty, but it does have an important role to play alongside other things: health, raw material, finance, local skills, etc.
Energy Options for consideration
Demand for energy is a ‘derived demand’: people do not want energy in itself but the ‘energy service’ it provides – cooking, lighting, heating, transport, charging cell phones, etc.
A full menu of options should be considered for providing energy services to the poor, which entail biomass, fossil fuels combined with cleaner and efficient energy technologies.
The benefits of cleaner technologies need to be balanced against the benefits that other technologies can provide. Reliance of fossil fuel and biomass will continue for many years, so policies and development plans should include these in the overall energy strategy, particularly sustainable management and cleaner, more efficient uses.
Energy does contribute to all three pillars of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental. The South African context – political, social, technical and economic – should be taken into account for all energy interventions since ‘one solution does not fit all’.
Flexibility of approach and intervention is needed to fit with the specific contexts and priorities. Co-ordination, facilitation and consistency are needed between sectors and stakeholders to maximize the benefits of providing access to energy for the poor. And more attention needs to be paid to social issues related to energy use than it the past.