South African government leaders recently learned how they can efficiently advance their low emission development planning by using the Clean Energy Emission Reduction (CLEER) Tool. The CLEER Tool will help them estimate the impacts of clean energy activities that curb greenhouse gas emissions, improve local air quality and increase energy access and security.
The CLEER Tool allows municipalities to calculate reductions in current and potential emissions, savings that come about from expanding the use of renewable energy, improving energy efficiency in buildings and appliances and switching to cleaner fuels such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal and biomass. The training focused on understanding how to estimate, track and report on the potential benefits from these investments.
The CLEER Tool, developed under the USAID Resources to Advance LEDS Implementation (RALI) Project, was a focus of the USAID South Africa Low Emissions Development (SA-LED) Program three-day training in November 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa to 26 municipal, provincial and national government officials. The training built capacity within participating South African municipalities responding to the needs of South African municipalities to quantify the energy impacts and emissions reductions supporting the country’s objectives in its National Climate Change Response Policy and related plans.
National and subnational entities are moving forward to improve emissions mitigation measurement, reporting and verification to capture efforts that contribute to South Africa’s GHG mitigation strategy of “peak, plateau, decline”, as described in the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
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Expanding Use of the CLEER Tool
The CLEER Tool is a web-based platform that provides a consistent and streamlined approach to estimating and reporting emissions reductions across clean energy programs.
CLEER can be used by municipalities and other users to help track and report on the benefits of clean energy activities, and is the reference tool used by USAID to track such benefits. Key features of CLEER include:
- easy-to-use for those who may be new to GHG accounting,
- compliant with internationally-accepted GHG protocols, and
- contains country-specific default data for all countries.
These features will enable the municipality representatives to confidently use the tool. This was confirmed by comments following the training, including that the CLEER tool is “a good thing to use in our project”, and is “user-friendly and simple”. Other participants noted that the training was “interesting”, included “some good discussions” and was “informative and straight to the point”.
The CLEER Tool is helping planners, project developers and others calculate current and future GHG and energy impacts from current and proposed activities.
SA-LED works to strengthen the capacity of the public sector to plan, develop, finance, implement and report on low emission development projects and to accelerate the adoption of low emission technologies in both the public and private sectors. A particular focus is increasing the flow of investment into low emissions projects and to increase the size and quality of the project pipeline.
- The CLEER Tool website includes all CLEER materials, including the online tool, user guides, and (if needed) Excel-based calculators.
- The CLEER Tool Training Webinar video guides new users through use of the tool.
- The CLEER Protocol includes all technology-specific methodologies for estimating GHG impacts.
- The CLEER Fact Sheet provides background on the CLEER tool and resources.
- The SA-LED Fact Sheet provides further information on the approach of objectives of SA-LED.
Any feedback or questions on the CLEER Tool can be sent to [email protected].
Kevin Kurkul is an Associate at ICF, a global professional services firm that delivers consulting services and technology solutions in energy, climate change, and other areas. Kevin leads outreach and training for the Clean Energy Emission Reduction (CLEER) Tool, which enables users to estimate, track, and report GHG reductions from clean energy. Kevin also works on developing new methodologies to estimate GHG reductions from clean energy, and on developing GHG inventories and reporting guidelines.
John Venezia is a Principal at ICF, a global professional services firm that delivers consulting services and technology solutions in energy, climate change, and other areas. John manages the development of the Clean Energy Emission Reduction (CLEER) Tool, which enables users to estimate, track, and report GHG reductions from clean energy. He has 18 years of experience in greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory development, designing GHG estimation and reporting guidelines, and analyzing the costs and reduction potential of GHG mitigation strategies. He is an internationally recognized expert in energy GHG emissions and in national GHG emission inventories, and serves on the UNFCCC's Roster of Experts.