The South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) is in the process of deploying solar-reflective roof coatings cooling solutions in communities across the country following their victory at the Million Cool Roofs Challenge last year, where they were awarded with a grant of $100,000.The initiative is driven by the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) with the aim of rapidly scaling up the deployment of highly solar-reflective ‘cool’ roofs in developing countries suffering heat stress and lacking widespread access to cooling services.
“The grant came just in time for the scorching South African summer, which is felt most in the Limpopo province reaching an average of 35°C,”. We found that we can reduce indoor daytime temperatures in low-cost housing by almost 10°C by applying the reflective coating,” said Denise Lundall, Project Officer, Energy Efficiency Cool Surfaces at SANEDI. The reflective coatings will make life more comfortable for people living in rural areas where there is no access to cooling technology, cool roofing also brings benefits to urban areas. In South Africa, the project has been undertaken with local municipal authorities to coat no less than 25,000m2 of roof area.
The next grant, at a sum of $1m, will be awarded to the country-team that has demonstrated the best sustainable and transferable model for rapid deployment of cool roofs and best meets the judging criteria. Nine teams from Bangladesh, Senegal, Philippines, Niger, Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Indonesia and Mexico will be competing for this grant. They will be rolling out thousands of square metres of cool roofing, while meeting certain standards and criteria. “Developing countries are a clear target for the Cool Roofs initiative, as it is not just about lowering ambient air temperatures but also supporting socio-economic development in those affected communities,” said Lundall.
SANEDI provides energy efficiency awareness training to the communities. In each community, a group of unemployed local residents is selected, professionally trained and certified, and then employed by the project to apply the specialized coating. This makes South Africa an ideal candidate, as the country faces the highest unemployment rate out of the ten countries aiming for the larger 2021 grant.