Key players to facilitate high-level dialogue at Africa Energy Indaba 2017

21st December 2016

News ArticleAfricaEventsInnovationPolicy

As we enter 2017, key players in Africa’s Energy Scene will gather in Johannesburg to facilitate high-level discussions on the new realities for the sector at the World Energy Council’s Annual Indaba Energy Leader’s dialogue in Johannesburg.

In Africa, energy is at the forefront of political and business decision making. With the visionary agreement at COP21 in Paris, the challenge is to now turn words into measurable actions at both national and regional levels to accelerate the energy transition. The ability to deliver and deploy the most effective and innovative solutions at scale will be key to achieving secure, equitable and environmentally viable energy systems. But without clear leadership, regional integration and collaboration beyond the borders of individual nations, African nations could fall short on their ambitions.

New energy realities: Africa’s critical pathways to 2060
The global energy sector is beyond the tipping point of a grand transition. Industry and governments are addressing the impact of high volatility in commodity prices, the dynamism in renewables, uncertainty in future CO2 prices, emerging new risks such as cyber, extreme weather, and the energy water food nexus, and an imperative to be part of the innovation frontier.

The sessions held during the Africa Energy Indaba between 20-24 February event will address these new energy realities and what these mean for Africa. What are the major challenges that Africa’s energy sector will face on its pathways to 2060?  Which will be the most critical innovation areas and what are relevant time frames? What does it take for businesses to navigate the grand transition in a world in of finite resources.

Discussion leaders include Dr  Elham Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, African Union; Vice-Chair, Africa, World Energy Council, Ethiopia, and Karl Rose, Senior Director, Scenarios & Policies, World Energy Council, Austria.

A high-level Ministerial dialogue to be held during the Indaba :' Africa’s shifting energy trilemma" highlights the challenge facing policymakers as well as energy and finance industry leaders. It refers to the trade-offs between three dimensions: energy security, social equity (energy access and affordability) and environmental impact mitigation (climate change and local pollution). Balancing these three core dimensions is the basis for prosperity and competitiveness of individual countries.

Key questions which will be addressed are: What  are the critical challenges to balancing energy security, environmental and social objectives in a national context, with a view to securing the required investment in energy infrastructure? What are the success stories of renewable or energy efficiency projects? What were critical success factors and what does it take to replicate these?

The Africa Energy Indaba will also encompass a World Energy Council Scenarios workshop, Africa Regional meeting, Women in Energy Conference, Africa Gas Forum and SANEA Open Industry dialogue on day five.

Disruptive Business Models: Redefining rural opportunities

The rise of innovative and disruptive business models for off-grid power solutions is reshaping rural development in Africa. By combining state of the art renewable technology with high-efficiency appliances, latest battery technology, and innovative mobile payment systems that have emerged from the mobile phone revolution, entrepreneurs are delivering household solutions that increase rural electrification rates and scale up renewables in Africa. These innovative business models are challenging the conventional wisdom of energy infrastructure development in Africa and are fueling debates on off-grid versus on-grid solutions as well as small-scale versus large-scale projects.

The questions  energy leaders and professionals will have to ask themselves at the Indaba are what are the key opportunities and challenges for developing off-grid solutions in Africa? How can these new business models accelerate their reach by accessing additional commercial financing? What are enabling policies to further accelerate the momentum of off-grid electrification?

The Indaba Energy Leaders’ Dialogue are exclusive events organised by the World Energy Council for the global energy leaders’ community to facilitate on-going high-level dialogue on critical issues affecting our energy future. These exclusive community gatherings are typically held in countries of interest to the global energy transition.

The agenda is built around the issues that keep global energy leaders most awake at night, as identified with the World Energy Council’s Issues Monitor with input from over 1000 energy leaders globally every year. Key insights from the Council’s studies are shared and the take-aways from the dialogue feed back into the Council’s studies.

Recently held dialogues took place in Addis Ababa, October 2015 and in Beijing, March 2016, Rio, June 2016, and at the 23rd World Energy Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, October 2016.

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