Africa’s leading power generation and distribution stakeholders are set to converge in Sandton, South Africa for talks on creating power for sustainable growth in Africa.
With effective power generation and distribution having been identified as a critical component of Africa’s economic growth, sector stakeholders will participate in the POWER-GEN and DistribuTECH Africa conference and exhibition at the Sandton Convention Centre in July 2016 to address the challenges, strategies and technologies needed to fast-track power provision across the continent.
Keynotes to be delivered during the three days of the event will include Energy Models for Africa, Financing Renewable Energy Projects, Managing Ageing Assets and Renewable Integration. A dedicated nuclear energy session will also be staged.
“These issues have been identified as those most pertinent to Africa’s power sector today,” explains Event Director Feraye Gurel.
Chris Edeh, Director of POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa 2016 supporting association African Sustainable Energy Association (AFSEA), says AFSEA, with representation in around 18 countries in Africa, sees the event as a good opportunity to engage with African policymakers.
“It is typically difficult to access the right government decision-makers to discuss policies that support the advancement of renewable energy programmes,” he says.
Edeh notes that renewable energy, mainly solar, wind and hydro, is gaining traction in a number of African countries.
“In South Africa, more than 3000kW of renewable energy is already being produced, in Kenya it is over 1500kW, and projects are being rolled out in Egypt, Morocco, Rwanda and Nigeria. However, there are challenges in the way of Africa realising the full potential of renewables – these include policy and regulation, access to funding, and access to data to support new projects,” he says.
“Africa must overcome these challenges and learn from what Europe has done. In Europe, some countries are running on 30 to 50% renewable energy, and they don’t even have the kind of resources we have in Africa. Renewables are the way to go for Africa.”
POWER-GEN Africa and DistribuTECH Africa, which initially focused heavily on South Africa, has stepped up its pan-African focus in recent years.
Sisa Njikelana, former MP, chair of South African Independent Power Producers Association (Saippa) and member of the event advisory board, notes that it is important for events such as POWER-GEN and DistribuTECH Africa to consider power challenges and seek solutions from a pan-African perspective.
“Uneven development among African countries is not in the interests of any of those countries,” he says.
“Collaboration is already taking place in the form of bodies such as the Southern African Power Pool, and increased intra-African infrastructure development and trade, but increased collaboration would be beneficial. The planned BOSA power transmission interconnector project between South Africa and Botswana, opportunities for further exploitation of gas and coal reserves in various countries and the potential for countries such and Namibia and Botswana to capitalise on their solar potential to meet cross-border demand are examples of initiatives that would benefit the region as a whole.”
View the conference programme here.
For more information and to register : www.powergenafrica.com.