Generating Economic Development from Renewable Energy: A City-Level Comparison of China and South Africa

Project leader: Mr Krish Chetty, Human Sciences Research Council

This project was a city-level comparison of China and South
Africa, building on its previous contributions that have studied the impact cities are making in addressing the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change commitments needed to respond to climate change.

The project provides an in-depth analysis of urban policies and local government action in four case study cities in South Africa
and China: Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Area, Beijing and Shenzhen.

The multi-disciplinary project was implemented in phases and encompassed qualitative and quantitative research methods.

The starting point was a literature and policy review, followed by key informant focus group discussions with South African
participants. In addition, a policy workshop was held with the South African participants to clarify the key points of view
gathered during the earlier discussions and a quantitative econometric analysis was conducted of South African renewable
energy trade, economic growth and emissions data.

To gather views from China, the research team gathered key documents that outlined the experiences from Beijing and Shenzhen, describing how renewable energy projects have contributed to economic development.