A worker paints a rooftop with reflective paint in the !Khies municipality in Northern Cape, South Africa. | Photo by Mothusi Guy of PEER Africa

Advances in technology and transportation have led to an increasingly interconnected world that provides unprecedented opportunities for U.S. businesses to grow while reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and spurring a global increase in clean energy use.

The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy  (EERE) helps increase America’s worldwide competitiveness in the clean energy sector through several high-impact projects that involve collaboration from both the public and private sectors.  One such project that holds promise is in the South African marketplace.

We are working in partnership with Global Cool Cities Alliance (PI), WinBuild Inc, University of South Florida Solar Energy Center, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), PEER Africa, and National Fenestration Rating Council, to boost energy efficiency in South Africa and break down barriers to widely deploying American-made clean energy technologies.

This new initiative, funded with $450,000 from the Energy Department earlier this year, seeks to grow a robust market for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in South Africa and provide business intelligence for large and small U.S. companies to better understand the South African business and policy environment, develop relationships with potential commercial partners, and demonstrate and deploy their products in new markets.

Leveraging existing relationships and significant progress achieved under the Global Superior Energy Performance Partnership (GSEP) Cool Roofs and Pavements Working Group, the project focuses on reflective “cool roof” surfaces, solar water heaters, off-grid renewable energy generation, building envelope efficiency, integrated renewable energy for buildings, and biogas.

The program also concentrates on increasing the availability of insulation, efficient heating and cooling equipment, passive ventilation, smart power control technologies, and more through knowledge-sharing, capacity-building, workforce training, and conferences on business development and policy.  These efforts will help open market access and facilitate entry of American and international clean energy companies into the South African marketplace.

“The collaboration is an excellent demonstration of how U.S. technologies can help other nations reach their energy goals.  It will spur growth of African markets for energy efficient and renewable energy technologies, providing an opportunity for American companies abroad, while also building a skilled domestic workforce,” said Rob Sandoli, Director of EERE’s International Program.

These efforts are part of the Energy Department’s overall strategy to increase opportunities to deploy clean energy technologies in Africa, which includes a recent U.S.-Africa Energy Ministerial in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, earlier this month.  The event emphasized the need to develop a clear roadmap to catalyze sustainable energy development across all African nations.

Go to eere.energy.gov/international to learn more about how EERE promotes greater understanding and use of renewable energy and energy efficiency worldwide.