Innovation and blockchain tech high on the agenda at the tenth Africa Energy Indaba

Leading figures within the African energy scene will convene at the tenth Africa Energy Indaba, the World Energy Council’s annual African regional meeting, to discuss the importance of innovation and regional integration at a time when the energy sector is undergoing a major transition.

The World Energy Council will host a high-level energy leaders’ dialogue as part of the Indaba which is to be held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, between 19 and 21 February 2018.

Discussions will focus on energy sector innovations in Africa exploring near and long-term prospects for technological advancements such as blockchain, where decentralisation and digitalisation plays a more prominent role within the continent. Additional discussions will explore the role the private sector can play in supporting policies that drive innovation and financing of energy systems in Africa.

Christoph Frei, the secretary general of the World Energy Council says that in Africa, energy is at the forefront of the political and business agenda. There is a triple energy transition under way world-wide and impacting the African energy system, driven by decarbonisation, innovation and new business models, as well as new risks and resilience approaches.

Achieving a robust energy future in a context of the triple transition requires different approaches guided by innovative policies, he says, adding that digitally enabled and distributed energy sources point strongly to a future energy landscape where decentralised approaches create entirely new opportunities for rural Africa and beyond. He says this is an opportune time for energy leaders to exchange views and discuss critical issues impacting the energy sector.

Key speakers at the Indaba and Africa Leader’s Dialogue will include: Kornelia Shilunga, Deputy Minister of Energy, Namibia; Amadou Hott, Head of Energy, the African Development Bank Group; Dr Elham Ibrahim, Vice-Chair for Africa, World Energy Council; Viktor Polikarpov, Regional Vice-President, Africa, Rosatom; Leon Viljoen, CEO, ABB South Africa; Paddy Padmanathan, ACWA Power; CEO of Bboxx, Mansoor Hamayun, and many more energy luminaries will be present.

Liz Hart, the managing director of the Africa Energy Indaba, says the African continent has endless potential for solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal energy resources. The scope for Africa and all its respective countries to unlock its energy potential is immense – both conventional and renewable.

The African Union’s Agenda 2063, has highlighted the growth potential of renewable energy and identified it as a priority for the next decade and that by 2040 it is forecast that renewables could provide more than 40% of all power generation with off-grid solar set to triple. The business opportunity linked to the development potential of the energy sector in Africa will be highlighted throughout the Africa Energy Indaba with hosted CEOs from various African utilities, rural electrification agencies and regulators, amongst others, attending the event, seeking solutions to take back to their respective countries.

The World Energy Council will also host its Africa Regional Meeting as well as a workshop focussing on its World Energy Scenarios work, which envisions scenarios to 2060. Led by Angela Wilkinson, Senior Director, Scenarios and Business Insights. The workshop will aim to capture the reality of the energy world from a sub-Saharan African perspective. The interactive workshop will provide an opportunity for strategic knowledge sharing on the long-term energy outlook. It will provide an up-to-date regional African perspective and reflect on plausible, alternative scenarios, as well as new shared visions.

The Council’s scenarios propose three potential energy futures: Unfinished Symphony, a world in which a more “intelligent”, forward looking and sustainable economic growth model emerges; Modern Jazz, which represents a “digitally disrupted”, innovative and market driven world; and Hard Rock, which explores the consequences of weaker and unsustainable economic growth in a more fragmented world dominated by inward looking policies.

Using these metaphors, the scenarios allow people to test key assumptions that may or may not shape the energy world of tomorrow. These scenarios can help us assess which are likely to be the most dynamic areas and real game-changers of tomorrow within sub-Saharan Africa.

Contact Thembisa Bambathi, Africa Energy Indaba, Tel 073 788-6044,  thembisa@energyindaba.co.za

 

 

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