This past February saw the annual meeting of the African Energy Indaba Conference. The 2018 event took place at the Sandton Convention Center, Johannesburg, South Africa. The lead hosts this year were the South African National Energy Association. This was a fitting leader for the energy conference designed to bring together the best of national energy leaders. It was also co-hosted by the World Energy Council, SANEA, and NEPAD.
This conference is an annual review of current trends and the state of the industry across the continent. It is a chance to bring key players together under one roof to debate ideas, new policies, and alternative approaches. In addition to the talks at the conference, there is always a range of exhibitors with key products. Here African green organizations can improve their options and tech with new ideas.
The theme for this year’s African Energy Indaba Conference was realizing Africa’s energy potential.
Africa’s Energy Potential
Potential is an important word here. There is a lot of potential for growth in different areas of African energy. This means a focus on African green organizations as well as more traditional approaches. Energy ministers and leading developers need to look at the potential in all kinds of energy production. This includes all kinds of renewable sources. They also need to find solutions to the growing challenges of sustainable energy.
Then there is the potential for new solutions in both rural and urban areas. The industry experts, manufacturers and government officials need to work together. This is the only way to ensure fair energy supplies across all communities. The African sector needs regular investment to meet demands. This conference was the perfect opportunity to capture the interest and signatures of major players.
The African Energy Indaba Conference 2018 To Improve The Energy Industry
These conferences are all about the chance to come together and build upon the year that has passed. Experts and leaders from different areas of the energy sector can meet and discuss current challenges and solutions. This is definitely a chance to come together, learn and improve. There are many talks and events in different areas of interest. Afterward, delegates and ministers can meet exhibitors and developers. This provides a chance to find solutions to the points raised.
This is an event for young minds as well as older experts. Newcomers are welcome if they can bring new ideas to the table. It is also worth noting there are other concurrent events at the same time as this African Energy Conference. This year also saw another edition of Women in Energy Conference. This is still a much smaller affair than the national one. There are fewer exhibitors and visitors, and less of a buzz around it. But this is an important part of the overall program for the power and energy industries in Africa. It is also an important step towards gender equality in the industry.
Youth Category In The Energy Conference
This idea of a conference for younger minds is important because of the awards ceremony.
The Africa Energy Indaba 2018 Conference likes to reward the ideas and creativity of younger delegates. This year saw the 10th edition of this African Youth Energy Innovator Award. There were one overall winner and four worthy runners-up. Each now has global recognition thanks to their effects to improve energy production and use in Africa.
The winner was Matthew Wainwright for his new ideas on power generation for rural communities in Zambia. His ideas could help to transfer many lives in areas that are more difficult to access. The runners-up in these awards were as follows:
Tichaona Matte from Zimbabwe, who developed a system of an eco-friendly green kidney algae biofuel.
Amartei Kisseih, who focused on the use of green power generation via coastal power and wind turbines. This is an interesting blend of ideas. Plastic waste comes to us in the generation of portable, manageable Vertical Axis turbines. These turbines could then help vulnerable coastal areas.
John Magiro Wangari from Kenya, who turned to a different approach to energy production with hydrodynamic energy. His project focused on improved desalination for improved energy production.
Glory Esse from Nigeria, who turned to energy use in rural areas rather than energy product. Her new stove sounds like a more simplistic prospect, but again is one that could improve many lives in more rural, remote areas.
The Key Stories From The Conference
In addition to highlighting new innovators in the world of energy production, there are presentations from leading giants. These presentations or workshops help to highlight problems and solutions on a more continental, or even global level. Nuclear power leader Rosatom came to the conference to discuss the potential of nuclear energy. They singled out Nigeria as a country that could benefit. Blue World Power Energy discussed the possibilities of mini-grids as a more efficient means of rural energy transfer. Meanwhile, representatives from the Clinton Foundation spoke about the impact of climate change.
Many people are already looking ahead to the next conference in 2019.
The 2018 conference raised some important issues about the future of renewable systems in Africa. The hope is that this meeting of developers, ministers and investors leads to positive change and growth in many areas. The awards for the young innovators show that there are plenty of talented minds out there.
They are sure to continue to find solutions and opportunities to transform power generation and use for Africa. The next conference in 2019 will provide a chance to see the fruits of these labors. Did the warnings about power use and needs come true? Were these attendees able to work together to create something positive?
The next Indaba conference will occur February 19th – 20th, 2019 and once again in Johannesburg. Those African green organizations looking to take part can register for their place at the Sandton Convention Center now. The aim is for this event to be bigger than ever. Current estimates talk about more than 10 African energy ministers, 60+ CEOs, 100+ exhibitors, and 80+ media reps. The growth of this and the women’s conference highlight great potential for the energy industry.