The APPLES Project, in which Parallax led the activity in rural areas, was financially supported by the European Commission as well as the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in South Africa.
The project aimed to find a sustainable mechanism for the effective delivery of improved local energy services to poor communities in South Africa by contributing to the establishment and strengthening of existing energy centers.
The project identified four locations for targeted action: Highflats in Kwazulu Natal Province, Hluleka in Eastern Cape Province, Buffalo City in Eastern Cape Province and Cape Town. For each location, the following activities were implemented:
- Needs assessment: establish energy-related priorities of poor people
- Best Practice: Identify and demonstrate best practices for energy services provision
- Capacity Building: beneficiaries include end-users in poor communities, local entrepreneurs, government and the private sector
- Monitoring and evaluation of the impacts of APPLES: evaluating the lessons learned to enable results to be widely replicated.
The main results achieved were:
- Energy priorities in the selected locations were assessed through a consultative process which raised the awareness of end users and led to more rational choices over affordable, clean and efficient energy supplies.
- Best practices for the provision of energy services that address the identified energy needs were determined and demonstrated.
- energy services centres in the selected locations were established and/or strengthened, and a model was demonstrated for the alleviation of poverty through the provision of local energy services that could be replicated wildly.
A detailed overview of APPLES and links to the main project reports can be found on the European Commission’s Intelligent Energy Europe website. (Link: here)
Monitoring and evaluation: one of the focus areas for Parallax is monitoring & evaluation of development activities that involve renewable energy, energy efficiency and/or climate change issues. For example, Parallax was engaged by the Oak Foundation in both New Jersey (US) and Geneva (Switzerland) on multi-annual contracts to advise and monitor the operations of E+Co Africa and of The Climate Group.