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Renewable Energy Centre of Research and Development (RECORD)


Renewable Energy Centre of Research and Development (RECORD) , within the Renewables programme, is specifically focussed on support and coordination of renewable energy (RE) research and development throughout South Africa. RECORD strives to be recognised as the foremost institution for renewable energy research coordination and collaboration in SA. This to be achieved through facilitating renewable energy research coordination, collaboration and dissemination of national and international renewable energy knowledge contributing towards a sustainable low carbon energy future.

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RECORD has four targeted focus areas:

Co-ordinate renewable energy research in South Africa

RECORD provides limited funding for applied renewable energy research conducted at various institutions in South Africa. To ensure efficient use of funds, RECORD coordinates RE research according to national priorities and stakeholder objectives.

Facilitate renewable energy research collaboration

RECORD fosters collaboration between renewable energy research and development stakeholders having common goals, through collaborative funding and sharing of resources to ensure that applied research is not duplicated within the same field.

Contribute to renewable energy skills development

RECORD recognises the importance of skills development to service the growing RE sector in South Africa and cooperates with a variety of actors providing training at different levels.

Marketing and awareness creation of RECORD and renewable energy in South Africa & Support to renewable energy business development

RECORD facilitates mutually beneficial interaction and information exchange between stakeholders in the renewable energy sector in South Africa, as well as at an international level. Through its website, RECORD endeavours to share studies, research results and other important documents in the public domain in order to support business development in the sector (www.record.org.za). RECORD strives through various means to create both local and international awareness regarding renewable energy and South Africa’s policies pertaining to this.


RECORD is involved in several collaborative projects.

Solar Energy Technology Roadmap (SETRM)

(Collaboration between DOE, SANEDI, DST, NT, dti, GIZ and IEA)

Mapping solar technologies under 4 main sections viz. solar PV, CSP, solar heating/cooling and solar high temperature applications; and the way in which these will play a role in South Africa’s long term energy plan up to 2050

Done in parallel with the DST solar technology study and the DOE IRP

Solar resource measurement project

(Collaboration between GIZ, SANEDI, DST, SU, NMMU, SAWS, USTDA, Eskom)

Construction of solar resource measurement stations in specific locations in South Africa, measuring both DNI (direct normal irradiance) and GHI (global horizontal irradiance)

Ultimate goal was to produce a verified ground measurement solar map of the resource available in SA. This can now be accessed at http://www.sauran.net/Page/About

Renewable Energy Testing, Training and Demo Facilities

(collaboration SANEDI, GIZ, CSIR, TIA, Green Cape, CPUT, SU, NMMU)

The South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) at Cape Peninsular University of Technology (CPUT) is a national facility that trains graduates in technical service to the wind and solar industries of South Africa.

The Centre for Energy Research (CER) at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) houses a PV testing and research facility largely supported by RECORD and the GIZ. One of the goals of this project is to map the performance of PV panels and simulate their response to different climates under South African conditions.

Microalgal Technology Development and Demonstration Centre (MTDDC) at Upington is managed by TIA (Technology Innovation Agency) and supported by RECORD and the Algal bioenergy platform.

RECORD platforms

In an effort to coordinate and drive research, RECORD has begun to form expert research platforms. These platforms are usually formed on the basis of a report that determines all the researchers and stakeholders in a certain sector, their skills and interests. This is then used to bring them together in an effort to channel research towards agreed goals and to leverage funding towards this research. The current platforms are listed below and can be contacted through RECORD.

  • ABP (Algal BioEnergy Platform) – Established April 2013
  • CPVP (Concentrated Photovoltaic Platform) – Established November 2013
  • SHTTP (Solar High Temperature Technology Platform) – Established August 2014
  • W2EP (Waste to Energy Platform) – Established November 2014
  • SWHTP (Solar Water Heating Technology Platform) – Established August 2015

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Other recent achievements include:


RECORD in partnership with the GIZ launched the St6ate of energy research report in August 2014. This report outlines the research being done across the energy sector and how research funds/resources are allocated.

RECORD has been invited to, and is currently, serving on the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) Strategic advisory Group for Energy (SAG-E) and advising on the Energy Standardization Roadmap

The RECORD Renewable Energy Research Excellence (RERE) award in 2014 in partnership (as platinum sponsor) the energy excellence awards given through the South African National Energy Association (SANEA).

Hosts and takes part in strategic knowledge sharing events with renewable energy industry through support to the industry associations such as SAPVIA, SASTELA, SAWEA, SESSA/SOLTRAIN

RECORD has for the third year running supported the Douglas banks renewable Energy Vision (DBREV) bursary. Have a look at our history here http://record.org.za/programmes/capacity-building-and-education-programme-cbep

Pic 1 SANEDI/RECORD Renewable Energy Research Excellence (RERE) Young Researcher Award 2014: Karel Malan, PhD Student at the University of Stellenbosch; and a commendation of excellence to Molelekoa James Mosesane, PhD student at Tshwane University of Technology. From left to right: Dr Karen Surridge-Talbot, James Mosesane, Dr Thembakazi Mali, Karel Malan, Marlett Balmer
Pic 2 SANEDI/RECORD Renewable Energy Research Excellence (RERE) Commercial Application Award 2014: EcoVest holdings (Represented by Christiaan Taljaard). From left to right: Dr Karen Surridge-Talbot, Dr Thembakazi Mali, Christiaan Taljaard, Marlett Balmer

meet our team

Hi there! My name is

Dr Thembakazi Mali

Senior Manager : Renewable Energy Programme

Thembakazi Mali holds a Ph. D in Chemistry and a Graduate Diploma in Engineering in Environmental Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand. Her career spans over a decade in the chemical and petrochemical fields. Presently, she is the Senior Manager: Renewable Energy Programme, at the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), which is a state-funded energy research organisation that focuses on public interest energy R&D that seeks to assist government in meeting the national goals of economic development and the improvement of quality of life of all citizens. Dr Mali serves as the South African representative and executive committee member to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Implementing Agreements on Ocean Energy Systems, Bioenergy and Solar Cooling and Heating. She is the director of the Southern African Regional Secretariat for the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) which is hosted by SANEDI.

Hi there! My name is

Dr Karen Surridge-Talbot

Centre Manager

Dr Surridge-Talbot was born in New Zealand and educated in South Africa. She was awarded her PhD in 2007 and during 2007-2009 she was a postdoctoral Fellow of the Claude Leon Foundation. Throughout this time, she established the soil microbiology lab at the University of Pretoria. During her academic career (2002-2011) she has published over 10 papers in internationally accredited peer reviewed journals, has more than 20 conference proceeding publications, graduated numerous masters and doctoral students and spent time overseas gaining experience in molecular microbiology techniques. Also during this time she established a consulting company specializing in environmental analyses, environmental impact assessments (EIA's), laboratory setup and establishment and consulting to, among others, large energy, environmental consulting and metal industry in South Africa. From November 2011 to present, Dr Surridge-Talbot was engaged as Centre Manager for the Renewable Energy Centre of Research and Development (RECORD) at the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI). This centre is mandated, through the government act (National Energy Act 2008, no. 34) that established SANEDI, to coordinate renewable energy research and development in South Africa. During 2012 Dr Surridge-Talbot visited many solar installation and research facilities in Spain and Germany to observe and learn from global expertise and experience in this sector. Finally, Dr Surridge-Talbot is also currently serving on the council of the South African Coal Ash Association (SACAA) as well as on the executive committee of the South African Solar Energy Association (SASEA).

Hi there! My name is

Khothatso Mpheqeke

Project Officer

Khothatso Mpheqeke was born and educated in South Africa. She has an engineering background with a college National Diploma in electrical engineering. Khothatso has been involved in the Energy sector for just over year. She held a TIA internship at SANEDI under the Renewable Energy Portfolio, and worked in both the RECORD and REEEP programs. This included work in climate change, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects such as access to energy and the benefits thereof on a social and environmental scale. She was also involved in various research and data management projects for renewable energy technologies in the sector, including bioenergy. She has since been retained by RECORD as a Project Officer and through this continues her work in the RE sector.

Hi there! My name is

Marlett Balmer

Senior Energy Advisor, SAGEN

Marlett Balmer has been working in the South African and regional energy sectors for more than 20 years. She holds a Masters Degree in Development Studies and a B.Com Energy Studies degree from the Univeristy if Johannesburg. Marlett worked as an independent consultant in the energy sectos before joining GIZ in 2007 in the Programme for Biomass Energy Conservation (ProBEC). She is currently working in the South African German Energy Programme (SAGEN) with a focus on building technical capacity in the renewable energy sector in South Africa.