Smart grid, biomass and storage discussed at energy talk


Alf Hartzenburg

Between 2010 and 2015, the Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) Project assisted industrial companies to reduce energy use by 1220 GWh, saving participating companies some R1,7-billion in energy costs. Now in its second phase (2016 – 2019), the project, which is implemented by the National Cleaner Production Centre, South Africa (NCPC-SA) together with UNIDO, further aims to demonstrate the positive impact of energy management as a means of reducing carbon-dioxide emissions and to demonstrate the effectiveness and financial impact of in-plant energy management. Challenges and opportunities going forward are developing solutions to store energy, intelligent biomass technology development, and the smart power grid.

This according to Alf Hartzenburg, national project leader of the NCPC-SA’s South African IEE Project, in his keynote address at the energy efficiency workshop held at the Africa Energy Indaba in Sandton on 22 February 2017. The talks were hosted by the NCPC-SA, the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa and the Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association.

The workshop highlighted challenges and delegates discussed solutions to the energy challenges facing industry and business. The common consensus was that although the country has made significant strides and is even a world-leader in some aspects, overall energy efficiency is currently stifled by bottlenecks from a policy, regulatory and legislative perspective – leading to private sector apathy.

Hartzenburg defined the NCPC-SA as a centre of excellence, a place where developments and expertise are not wasted and a place to make sure that tools developed by it are used. The organisation works closely with academia, government and industry and conducts technical assessments on power plants, evaluates the behavioural change in society towards energy efficiency and renewable power, and constantly seeks solutions to energy challenges and disruptors.

Hartzenberg highlighted that it is also important to foster women empowerment in energy. He said that gender equality is very important and the organisation would like to see more women in energy efficiency management roles in the coming few years.

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Source: EE plublishers

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