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Small off-grid power installations focus for upcoming African Utility Week

Small off-grid power installations focus for upcoming African Utility Week

Off-grid power generating facilities that only supply in the immediate demand of residents in specific rural districts, are seen as one of the solutions to rural Africa’s pressing electricity problems.

More often than not, these small and micro power stations comprise so-called hybrid installations, deploying the energy from several avaialable low-cost sources in conjunction with more conventional generating technologies like diesel, coal or even wood and charcoal.

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.

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

Other speakers and topics

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.

Over the last 16 years, African Utility Week has hosted the most comprehensive meeting for power and water utilities in Africa through exploring business opportunities and sharing knowledge about Africa’s power and water sector planning, technology and engineering.

New for 2017, the co-located Energy Revolution Africa explores the transitioning energy landscape in Africa. With a focus on small scale and off-grid projects, Energy Revolution Africa provides a unique platform for solution providers to meet with the developers and end customers.

African Utility Week 2017 and Energy Revolution Africa is scheduled from 16 to 18 May 2017 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

About The Author

SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.