Leading figures and global experts within the African energy sector convened at the 2018 Africa Energy Leaders Dialogue for debate on the key issues keeping Africa’s energy leaders awake at night. Discussions focused on energy sector innovations in Africa and exploring near and long-term prospects for technological advancements such as blockchain, where decentralisation and digitalisation plays a more prominent role within the continent. A few points about the need to decarbonise, decentralise and digitalise the energy sector are included below:
There is a need to strike the right balance in our pursuit of a lower carbon future. Highly subsidised tariffs make it difficult to switch to new zero emissions technologies. Each country in Africa can use their competitive advantage to move towards energy security with a diverse energy mix that addresses all aspects of the Energy Trilemma: 1. Energy Security 2. Energy Equity 3. Environmental Sustainability.
Decentralised energy sites can play a big role to increase access, especially to marginalised communities. Regional energy integration and interconnectivity efforts have been made but progress is still slow. New business models for rural energy access are starting to emerge for standalone systems as well as the extension of existing utilities. Solutions should be well-matched to the customer needs and can vary in size (decentralised does not need to mean ‘small’). It can be a combination of on/off grid solutions, minigrids and hybrids.
Adoption of digitalisation and energy transition in Africa has been slow, but can leapfrog development across sectors. The discussion included some inspiring examples from Africa that successfully combine innovative approaches to data, finance and renewables. Advancements, such as energy storage, off-grid technologies, smart grids, renewables, clean coal and nuclear energy all allow for new opportunities of investment and development, as well as achieving SDGs.
Topics and insights from Energy Leaders’ Dialogue are used to form the foundation of the critical themes for the upcoming 2019 Africa Energy Indaba. The 2019 overarching event theme is “Africa’s Energy Future”. Join us as we explore these topics further at the 2-day event on 19-20 February 2019.
ABOUT AFRICA ENERGY INDABA
An African Energy event for Africans and by Africans
Africa is the continent of opportunity for the serious energy investor. With vast natural energy resources ranging from coal, oil, gas, hydro, solar, wind and geothermal, there is ample choice for the discerning energy entrepreneur. Lack of access to electricity means that there is an opportunity for regional governments, energy businesses, organisations and investors to unlock electricity access to millions of people who have don’t have power. The Africa Energy Indaba is the continent’s premier energy conference and exhibition: bringing together leading African and global energy players to unlock energy and business opportunities across the African continent. The Africa Energy Indaba has strategic partnerships with the World Energy Council (WEC), the South African National Energy Association (SANEA) and the NEPAD Planning & Coordinating Agency (NPCA).
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19-20 February 2019 at Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg