Learning from the literature on community development for the implementation of community renewables in South Africa
Implementation of large-scale wind, solar and hydro projects in South African communities is intended to contribute to local economic development. Government policy, through the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Prog-ramme (REIPPPP), obliges energy companies to share revenue and ownership with local communities, thus providing renewable energy companies with a significant opportunity to position the industry as a significant contributor to community development and thus to the country’s transformation and development agenda. This investigation draws on policy documents and interview data to establish that the policy’s lack of appreciation for existing community development tradition and frameworks, commonly applied in South African development policy and programmes, has weakened its potential. Furthermore, it theoretically positions the emerging practice employed by the renewables industry in the implementation of the REIPPPP requirements, and outlines how existing academic and practical knowledge about community development and company-community relations can provide guidance and support in building an impactful practice.
Keywords: community relations and development, REIPPPP, community benefit, project implementation, social performance
• South Africa is implementing a unique version of pro-poor renewable energy policy.
• Industry and local communities and government need to build quality relationships to successfully implement the policy requirements.
• The policy and practice ignores established community development traditions and frameworks.
• Existing knowledge grounded in South African practice and policy experience can guide the sector’s understanding of and vision for development.
Alinsky, S. 1971. Rules for radicals: A pragmatic primer for realistic radicals. New York: Random House.
Baker, L. and Wlokas, H.L. 2014. South Africa’s Renewable Energy Procurement : A new frontier South Africa’s Renewable Energy Procurement : A New Frontier, Energy Research Center, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Bode, C.C., 2013. An analysis of collective ownership models to promote renewable energy development and climate justice in South Africa. Thesis, North West University.
Cowell, R.J.W., Bristow, G.I. and Munday, M.C.R. 2011. Acceptance, acceptability and environmental justice: the role of community benefits in wind energy development. Journal of Envir
nmental Planning and Management 4(54): 539-557. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09640568.2010.521047.
Del Río, P. and Burguillo, M. 2009. An empirical analysis of the impact of renewable energy deployment on local sustainability. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 13(6-7): 1314–1325.
Department of Energy. 2011. Request for qualification and proposals for new generation capacity under the IPP Procurement Programme. Part C: Evaluation Criteria
Electricity Governance Initiative. 2014. Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme Review 2014, Research Report, Cape Town, South Africa. Available at: http://www.egi-sa.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/EGI-REI4P-review-2014-pdf.pdf.
Energy Research Centre. 2013. Addressing the challenges in fulfilling the community benefit requirements in the RE IPPPP. Report back on consultative workshop held on 7 March 2013, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Haggett, C. and Aitken, M. 2015. Grassroots energy innovations: The role of community ownership and investment. Current Sustainable/Renewable Energy Reports 2(3): 98–104. Available at: http://link. springer.com/10.1007/s40518-015-0035-8.
IPP Office. 2015. Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (IPPPP). Available online at: https://www.ipp-projects.co.za/Home/Publications.
IPP Office. 2016. Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (IPPPP): An overview as at 30 September 2016. Available online at: https://www.ipp-projects.co.za/Home/Publications.
Lochner, M., Wlokas, H.L., de Groot, J., Dube, N., Scheba, A. (Forthcoming). Renewable energy and local development: Seven lessons from the mining industry. Development Southern Africa.
Luka, S. and Maistry, M., 2012. The institutionalization of community development in democratic South Africa. In Conference Proceedings Towards Carnegie III, 3-7th September 2012, Cape Town, University of Cape Town. Available online at: http://carnegie3.org. za/docs/papers/158_Luka_The%20institutionalization %20of%20Comdev%20in%20a%20democratic%20SA.pdf
McEwan, C., 2017. Spatial processes and politics of renewable energy transition: Land, zones and frictions in South Africa. Political Geography, 56:1–12. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo. 2016.10.001.
Munday, M., Bristow, G. and Cowell, R. 2011. Wind farms in rural areas: How far do community benefits from wind farms represent a local economic development opportunity? Journal of Rural Studies, 27(1): 1–12. Available at: http://linkinghub.elsevier. com/retrieve/pii/S0743016710000549 [Accessed August 6, 2014].
Owen, J.R. and Kemp, D. 2012. Assets, capitals, and resources: Frameworks for corporate community development in mining. Business and Society, 51(3): 382–408. Available at: http://bas.sagepub.com/ cgi/doi/10.1177/0007650312446803 [Accessed August 18, 2014].
Slee, B. 2015. Is there a case for community-based equity participation in Scottish on-shore wind energy production? Gaps in evidence and research needs. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 41: 540–549. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/ j.rser.2014.08.064.
Tait, L. 2012. The potential for local community benefits from wind farms in South Africa. University of Cape Town, Thesis, University of Cape Town.
Tait, L., Wlokas, H.L. and Garside, B., 2013. Making communities count, International Institute for Environment and Development, London. Available at: http://pubs.iied.org/16043IIED.html.
Walker, B.J., Wiersma, B. and Bailey, E. 2014. Community benefits, framing and the social acceptance of offshore wind farms: An experimental study in England. Energy Research and Social Science 3: 46–54. Available at: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/ retrieve/pii/S2214629614000814.
Walker, G., Devine-Wright, P., Hunter, S., High, H., Evans, B., 2010. Trust and community: Exploring the meanings, contexts and dynamics of community renewable energy. Energy Policy 38(6): 2655–2663.
Walker, G. and Devine-Wright, P., 2008. Community renewable energy: What should it mean? Energy Policy 36(2): 497–500. Available at: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0301421507004739 [Accessed July 9, 2014].
Westoby, P. 2014. Theorising the practice of community development. A South African perspective, Surrey (UK): Ashgate.
Wlokas, H., 2015. A review of the local community development requirements in South Africa’s renewable energy procurement programme, WWF South Africa, Cape Town. Available at: http://awsassets. wwf.org.za/downloads/local_community_development_report_20150618.pdf.
Wlokas, H., 2016. Economic development in REIPPPP: Collaboration for scale and impact. Roundtable report, Transformation Energy Trust, Cape Town, South Africa. Available at: http://www.sawea.org.za/ index.php/resource-library/round-table-conversation-series.
Wlokas, H. and Soal, S., 2016a. Economic development in REIPPPP Managing community unrest: Roundtable report, Transformation Energy Trust, Cape Town, South Africa. Available at: http://www. sawea.org.za/index.php/resource-library/round-table-conversation-series.
Wlokas, H. and Soal, S., 2016b. Economic development in REIPPPP Supporting sound community trusts, Transformation Energy Trust, Cape Town, South Africa. Available at: http://www.sawea.org.za/ index.php/resource-library/round-table-conversation-series.
Wlokas, H., Tait, L. and Soal, S., 2013. Implementing local community development benefits in the RE IPPPP – inspiring good practice. Report back on a consultative workshop held on 12 July 2013, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Wlokas, H.L., Boyd, A. and Andolfi, M., 2012. Challenges for local community development in private sector-led renewable energy projects in South Africa: an evolving approach. Journal of Energy in Southern Africa 23(4): 46–52.
World Wind Energy Association, 2011. WWEA press release: WWEA highlights community power. Not available online.
Copyright remains with the author(s).
Publishing rights remain with the author(s)
All articles published in JESA can be re-used under the following CC license: CC BY-SA Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.