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Community-scale projects are Africa's energy future

The 17th annual African Utility Week will take place from 16-18 May 2017 at the CTICC in Cape Town. The conference programme address the latest challenges, developments and opportunities in the power and water sectors.
“The power and energy landscape in Africa is undergoing significant change,” says Evan Schiff, African Utility Week event director, adding that current trends include “the availability of private investment for power and energy projects, the fast development of energy storage, renewable energy is becoming cheaper, gas that is an increasingly attractive mode of power generation in Africa, and that, in the next 10 years, nuclear will become an increasingly important mode of base-load power generation.”

The investment, trade and development opportunities in the sub-Saharan Africa’s electricity sector are estimated at $835bn of capital investment, $490bn for generation capacity and $345bn for infrastructure.

New platform: Energy Revolution Africa

“Another strong trend in the sector,” says Evan Schiff, “is that the energy consumer is becoming more aware of their environment and how their power is generated and distributed, whether they are a residential home, a mine, a village, a shopping centre or manufacturing plant. Cleaner, more affordable energy generating options will increasingly become the norm rather than the exception. All these factors will mean that the utility as we know it will not look the same within 10 years… change will happen. We are therefore launching Energy Revolution Africa, a new platform for community scale projects.”

Energy Revolution Africa will provide a forum for solution providers to meet with the new energy purchasers such as metros and municipalities, IPPs, rural electrification project developers and large power users, including mines, commercial property developers and industrial manufacturers. The latest innovations and projects in the sectors of renewables, future technology, energy efficiency, micro/off-grid and energy storage will be showcased.

Side events that are part of the African Utility Week platform include:

African Power Finance & Investment Forum: Financiers and project owners will hear from speakers who will identify the key trends impacting project finance in regional energy markets with updates on and insights into market opportunities, sources of capital, financing instruments and access to project finance. A featured session on regional power integration will explore new methods of developing cross-border power projects on a PPP basis, explore the opportunities for investors, and show how regional power integration can substantially save capital investment costs.

The Gas-to-Power World Congress reflects the continuing transformation of the energy ecosystem in Africa and beyond. Gas and renewables are perfect partners to help address an array of future energy challenges, including climate change, energy security and energy finance, currently three of the world’s largest and most important challenges. The event will look at new business and investment opportunities in gas-to-power, energy infrastructure, FSRU, LPG and LNG.

The Utility CEO Forum is held as a three-day by-invitation-only board meeting alongside African Utility Week, where the men and women who lead and guide Africa’s power and water sectors discuss the path of transformation. Discussions centre on areas of co-operation, development plans and the advancement of regional centres of excellence throughout Africa.

The Nuclear Power Africa Conference features expert speakers who will address the myths and realities, latest technologies, regulatory and financing challenges and the economic spin offs created by a nuclear new build programme. Nuclear stakeholders and prospective suppliers will gain first-hand insights into prospects for new jobs, training programmes, and the business opportunities created by the localisation of the supply chain of a nuclear new build.

The fourth edition of the African Utility Week Power Industry Awards brings together 800 of Africa’s most renowned power and water industry professionals. The Power Industry Awards recognises, rewards and celebrates the successes of Africa’s power and water sectors during 2016/17.

Africa Utilities Technology Council: a Telecommunications/ICT conference track programme to be presented that will cover topics such as IT/OT convergence, IPnetworks and utility telecoms network performance measures. The AUTC content will continue in three dedicated sessions – one each in the T&D, Metering and Water tracks of the main strategic conference.
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