Energy4Wellbeing project members received Newton Award for their collaborative work done in 2016-2019
By Capritto Federico, University of Exeter
It is a pleasure to announce that two of our project team members, Prof. Federico Caprotti (University of Exeter) and Dr. Jiska de Groot (University of Cape Town) were awarded the Chair’s Prize at the November 2020 Newton Prize awards ceremony. See the UKRI press release here.
The Chair’s Prize was awarded on the basis of Federico and Jiska’s previous collaborative work, in 2016-19, on an ESRC-NRF project on urban energy transformations. However, the £500K prize will be spent on a highly innovative project aiming to link our Energy4Wellbeing work on solar microgrids in informal settlements, to ways of addressing the need for refrigeration in the communities we work with. To that end, we will be working closely with Zonke Energy as our private sector partners with deep experience in solar microgrid development, installation and operation in the community. Zonke Energy will lead on the technical aspects of developing refrigeration capacity and business models.
The result of all this is the new, UMBANE project, which will kick off in April 2021. It will see an expansion of our work in Quando Quando, and will also involve the use of refrigeration appliances as small-scale businesses for local entrepreneurs.
This is an exciting development, since the project team are keenly aware that it isn’t just electricity that is a key need to be addressed in off-grid spaces, but also a range of other needs that have, so far, largely been ignored in the development and innovation literature. Refrigeration is one of these (data is another), and we are excited to be engaging in this work.