The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) has initiated a "comprehensive" review of South Africa's National Energy Efficiency Strategy, which sets a target for energy-efficiency improvement of 12% by 2015.
The review is an output of the Industrial Energy Efficiency project, which is an initiative in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Energy (DoE), and other relevant parties.
Unido on Sunday issued a tender seeking a contractor to work with the DoE and undertake the review process and revise the current strategy.
The new strategy would be presented to Cabinet for approval before the end of 2010.
The scope of work would include investigating the technical potential for energy-efficiency solutions in industry, commercial buildings, the residential sector, the transport sector and the power sector.
An investigation into the mandatory requirements that may be necessary to achieve improved energy efficiency was also part of the work that would need to be done.
South Africa's National Energy Efficiency Strategy was drawn up in 2005, and allowed for two reviews of the strategy in its ten-year life. The first review workshop was held in October 2008, and the revised strategy was gazetted for comment in May 2009.
"However, the received comments were critical, indicating that circumstances have changed so much that a more comprehensive review process is required to formulate a new revised strategy that has to address all the major problems of the day," said Unido.
The organisation added that these included developments such as the power crisis in 2008, and the start of 2009, the world financial crisis and its impacts of South Africa, new agreements on climate change at the global level, and the commitments and targets made by the government of South Africa.
The initial Energy Efficiency Strategy set a target of improving energy efficiency in the country, and across all sectors, by 12% by 2015. This was further broken down into specific sectoral targets.
Many players in the energy industry have emphasised that energy efficiency was one of the cheapest and quickest ways to reduce demand in order to avoid electricity blackouts, which happened in 2008, and 2009, and were forecast to take place again in 2011.