Energy4wellbeing involves a team of social scientists, engineers, NGOs and a solar energy social enterprise. Our social enterprises partner Zonke Energy provide electricity through off-grid renewable energy technologies in informal urban settlements, especially around Cape Town. Academic and NGO partners conduct quantitative and qualitative work through digital and interview-based approaches to measure the wellbeing impacts of our microgrid intervention,
OUR TEAM PURPOSE
As a project team, we are committed to engaging with off-grid and 'not quite on-grid' spaces, especially in those urban informal settlements that have waited for decades for the delivery of basic services (such as electricity) that others, both in the same city and internationally, have taken for granted for a long time. We believe that addressing these service provision bottlenecks through disruptive innovations such as solar microgrids provides an interim improvement in wellbeing and knock-on effects such as improved local environmental conditions and educational opportunities, and an improved environment.
Catherine Butler Catherine Butler works on the wellbeing assessment and research side of the project. She is an environmental social scientist at the Department of Geography, University of Exeter. She has a a background in interdisciplinary collaborations. Her work examines processes of environmental governance focusing on major themes including energy and low carbon transitions, and climate change adaptation. Her work has been funded by the ESRC, EPSRC, AND UKERC/NERC.
Norman Mathebula Norman Mathebula is the Project Coordinator. He carries out qualitative data analysis, runs the project website and social media presence, and is responsible for internal project communications and logistics. He works at the African Climate and Development Initiative, University of Cape Town. His background is in environmental management in South Africa, and has a track record working with Co-I de Groot and Zonke Energy on delivering the Jabula settlement baseline survey.
Kimenthrie Pillay Kimenthrie Pillay is a sustainable energy consultant and founder of Thrie Energy Collective: she is responsible for app-based wellbeing data collection and our baseline survey. Thrie Energy Collective works to apply digital methods to enrich energy and development practices. Prior to founding Thrie Energy Collective, Kimenthrie worked on improving and diversifying low-income energy service delivery in the Energy and Climate Change Unit at the City of Cape Town.
Hendrik Schloemann Hendrik Schloemann is founder and director of Zonke Energy. He has oversight on site selection, procurement, installation and community relations. A geologist and entrepreneur with more than twenty years of operational and corporate experience in Africa, South America and the United Kingdom, he is driven by renewable energies' potential for Africa. His ambition is to prove a model for a micro-utility company utilising renewable energies to service off-grid communities with electricity.
Alex Densmore Alex Densmore is technical director at Zonke Energy, with a decade of experience in off-grid energy. At Simpa Energy India, he led development of pay-as-you-go metering systems. Alex has worked as a consultant and volunteer for universities and manufacturers at the intersection of health, ICT and energy. He holds a Masters degree in power-electronics from the University of Cape Town and a Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mascha Moorlach Mascha Moorlach works the University of Cape Town. On the project, she is at the interface between engineering and social science approaches to energy and wellbeing, and is responsible for contracting. She holds an MSc in Building Systems from Eindhoven University of Technology, and works on energy efficiency projects in support of the Eskom Demand Side Management Programme and the Skills and Expertise Development programme as part of the Transforming Energy Access project.