Mini grid solutions for Africa

Mini grid solutions for Africa in the spotlight at Energy Revolution Africa 2017

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An estimated 600 million people in Africa live without access to electricity, the majority of which are in remote communities; requiring major capital expenditure and time to get connected to the grid. The role of the private sector is more and more important in reaching the goal of giving people access to basic energy services. This is why Energy Revolution Africa 2017 has identified mini grids and new technologies as integral topics in their programme for the co-located event at African Utility Week at the CTICC from 16 to 18 May.

Energy Revolution Africa 2017 will bring insights from private and public sector experts involved in mini grid projects across Africa as part of the three-day strategic programme focused on renewable energy and community scale projects.

Andrew Tonto Barfour, project coordinator for Ghana’s Ministry of Power, Benon Bena, head of off-grid renewable energy at the Rural Electrification Agency of Uganda and Faruk Yusuf Yabo, Deputy Director of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing are among the speakers who will discuss mini and micro grid projects that are currently underway and that are anticipated for the future. This will include discussions about the development of mini grids through public and private partnerships, including communities, and how government policy is accelerating this development.

On Wednesday, 17 May, the focus will be on how businesses, governments, communities and households can benefit from an investment in energy efficiency. A case study of South Africa’s National Business Initiative around tax incentives for energy efficiency will be presented by:

  • Barry Bredenkamp, General Manager, Energy Efficiency and Corporate Communications at the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI).
  • Karel Steyn, Senior Consultant on Energy Performance Verification at Eskom

Other speakers and topics on the programme for 17 May include:

  • Werner van Antwerpen of Growthpoint Properties and Justin Smith of Woolworths Holdings will present examples from shopping centres, mines, farms and green buildings of how energy efficiency and sustainability practices are tailored for various types of companies
  • Victoria Cuming, Head of Policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in the UK will be one of the speakers discussing the future direction for embedded power generation and how it can reduce a country’s dependency on a single source of energy.
  • Alastaire Dick, Operations Lead for Carbon War Room’s Sunshine for Mines in South Africa will present a case study on embedded power generation for the mining sector.

New renewable energy markets in Africa are already showing greater appeal to international and local investors and as such, Frank Rizzo (Partner and Technology sector leader for Africa at KPMG) and Evan Rice (Business Development Manager, Energy Products at Tesla, South Africa) will discuss exciting technology developments for the African power industry and renewable solutions to profitably reduce reliance on diesel. The technology session will conclude with discussions about storage solutions to help utilities and grid operators manage the integration of renewables and meet their specific demand requirements.

“We are very excited about the global and African energy experts, ranging from solution providers and renewable energy producers, to financiers and policy makers who will be meeting at this event,”  said Evan Schiff, event director of African Utility Week and Energy Revolution Africa.

“It will no doubt be of immense value to new energy purchasers and large power users, from commercial property developers and the agricultural sector to mines and metros as well as anyone interested in the exciting opportunities in the renewable technology sector.” Schiff said.

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Issue 39