About the Centre for Sustainable Energy Research (CSER)
The Centre for sustainable Energy Research (CESR) in the Faculty of Science and Engineering was approved by the University Senate in its meeting of 14 November 2017. It was launched by the Honourable Minister of Natural Resources His Excellency Mr. Peter N Bhembe on 17 October 2019. The CSER aims to help government develop modern energy policies and strategies and also to assist in their implementation. It is also aimed at addressing related environment matters such as climate change mitigation and adaptation. It is also to provide awareness-raising, provide education and training on issues of energy and sustainable development. The inaugural sponsors of the CSER, in no specific order, include the Department of Energy of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy, USA Distillers, Ubombo Sugar Limited, Eswatini Energy Regulatory Authority and Eswatini Electricity Company.
The Centre’s vision is to become a world class centre in the area of energy and cross-cutting themes, to be acknowledged as a premium hub for research and training in energy policy, renewable and conventional energy technologies, and energy management, conservation and efficiency.
The Centre’s mission is to strengthen the capacity of energy sector actors in Eswatini,in order to contribute actively towards the replication and scaling up of successful sustainable energy technologies, policies and management practices, and increasing access to energy services for socio-economic development, and being a source of data and information on energy and sustainable development.
he part of the name "Sustainable Energy" was to indicate that the CSER has a focus on energy and environment, and one of its objectives is to assist in the development of modern energy and environment policies. Thus the CSER is strategically positioned in the Faculty of Science and Engineering of the University of Eswatini so that it can:
- develop curriculum for teaching on energy and related matters;
- develop training and accreditation programmes for artisans to install and maintain renewable energy technology systems;
- support multi-disciplinary research, training and development in energy technologies, energy management, conservation and efficiency;
- provide support services to the energy industry including premium testing facilities for energy technologies, energy resources data consolidation and analysis;
- assist government in the development of appropriate modern energy related policies and their implementation strategies;
- engage in matters of energy and the environment including climate change mitigation and adaptation;
- participate in the food water energy nexus projects
- investigate the viability of new energy technologies and practices in the local context;
- help Eswatini to be in the forefront in the quest to meet sustainable energy access for all;
- conduct energy related project work for local and international organisations;
- collect, generate and disseminate information on appropriate renewable and alternative energy technologies;
- establish a data repository for energy and climate change mitigation and adaptation information;
- develop formal links with local, regional and international institutions of similar interests to the CSER; and
- provide a forum for discussion of energy and environmental issues
The organogram of the CSER is shown below and illustrates its governance.
Purpose: To provide guidance to the Centre.
To be constituted of staff representatives from faculties of UNISWA with interests in energy matters, executive staff from the energy industry, and representatives from associated Government departments and parastatals and funding organisations.
Purpose: To update CSER policy, create or remove positions, recruit personnel and ensure that all
projects are implemented timeously, effectively and within budget.
To be constituted of heads of departments in the FOSE.
Purpose: To implement projects.
Core research teams and project implementers shall be formed from the members of staff of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, based on their research expertise and experience for each project. In addition to the Faculty staff members, the work at the Centre may be carried out in collaboration with scientists, engineers and experts from other faculties, University departments, industry, government, and undergraduate and graduate students, depending on the project requirements.
Status of the CESER within the University
The CSER is a semiautonomous entity within the University:
- Financially independent - not drawing any money from the University coffers;
- Share the profit it makes with the University following established procedures;
- Invigorate research and community service in the FOSE and therefore enhancing the image of the University both locally and internationally;
- Purchase equipment that will belong to the University and accessible to the FSOE for research and teaching;
- Provide education, training and certification programmes for the installation of renewable energy technologies, thus increasing the local and regional relevance of the institution; and
- Has a separate back account to accumulate funds by rolling over funds not used at the end of a financial year to the following year in order to
- purchase needed expensive research and test equipment;
- furniture; and
- eventually construct its own premises.
The CSER has laboratory equipment for studying solar PV systems. It has installed a 82.56 kW solar PV system that is grid connected to supply power to the University and provide back-up power to selected areas of the Faculty of Science and Engineering.