The role of digitalisation within the African energy sector is growing rapidly and will result in demand for innovation, adaptation to new market technologies as well as the development of a new skill set within companies. Adoption of digitalisation and energy transition in Africa has been slow, but can leapfrog development across sectors. Energy is a key driver of economic growth and development, and the provision of access to modern energy contributes tremendously to improved health care, better education and economic opportunities in urban and rural areas in Africa.
Energy systems are experiencing rapid change at local, national and global levels driven by a blend of innovation; changes in policy and consumer demands; and the reducing costs of new technology. Digital management of distributed energy sources has already begun and brings opportunities and a market, especially for the Private sector. An energy revolution through decentralisation is occurring through off-grid and micro-grid systems. Renewables, distributed energy and smart grids demand new capabilities, new business models and regulatory frameworks.
African countries can add a value of R4 trillion ($300billion) to the continent’s economy by 2026 by adopting digitisation.*
*Source: Africa Digitisation Maturity Report, 2017
At the Africa Energy Indaba 2019, a panel of industry experts will discuss this issue and engage with the audience to explore the implementation of digitisation and the benefits attached to the adaption of this new-wave of industry technology in the conference.
- Job creation and new opportunities as a result of the 4th Industrial Revolution: Advancements, such as energy storage, off-grid technologies, smart grids, renewables, clean coal and nuclear allow for new opportunities of investment and development.
- Understanding the driving global trends such as population growth, climate change and evolving technology towards innovation and a sustainable Energy future
- Innovative financing options, because potential energy suppliers find it challenging to access funds and increased support from developmental funders / financiers is required.
- Risks and challenges of digitalisation: Africa risks being marginalised if it is not prepared for the Fourth industrial revolution and many NEW challenges arise e.g. data ownership, server locations, cybersecurity
- The importance of education, training and skills development in order to retain jobs as the energy transition occurs.