BY PAUL TENTENA
NAIROBI, KENYA-“We’re not only celebrating 20 years of gathering energy experts in the East African region” says Future Energy East Africa event director Claire O’Connell, “but along with our longstanding partners, we are celebrating the accomplishments of the power industry and looking forward to continue improving access to energy for all, from mini-grid to utility scale.”
Access to energy and the speed that the region is achieving this is a strong theme of the 20th edition of the Future Energy East Africa conference and exhibition, formerly known as EAPIC or the East African Power Industry Convention, which returns to the KICC in Nairobi from 12-13 September.
“Targets very ambitious”
“The energy sector in the region, and in particular the renewable energy sector, is very much in flux” says Wim Jonker Klunne, Lead Coordinator for EEP Africa (the Energy and Environment Partnership covering Southern and East Africa) and a Future Energy East Africa advisory board member.
He adds: “I do see a very clear increase in the attention to renewable energy and in particular on the possible role for the private sector in this. In the region most governments have set targets for universal access to energy. But we all know that, to say the least, these targets are very ambitious. If providing energy access will be based on extending the national grid only, I really doubt whether those deadlines will be met.”
“However, very positively,” Wim Jonker Klunne continues, “we do see the first signs of discussions between government and private sector on how they, together, can advance this access to energy. From EEP Africa we have supported more than 200 projects in Southern and East Africa that proves that the private sector can play a significant role in providing basic energy access.“
Leading energy forum
A firm favourite and a fixture on the region’s power calendar for the last 20 years, Future Energy East Africa will once again host many of the region’s leading energy decision makers from 12-13 September 2018. This leading energy forum comprises a high-level, strategic conference focusing on energy access, Finance, renewables and transmission & distribution with session titles that include:
– Panel discussion with East Africa’s decision makers: What is the energy access road map for each East African country?
– Alternative energy solutions: An integrated approach – Grid and off-grid electrification
– How commercial investors get comfortable with the risk and economics of mini-grid companies across Africa
– Embracing digital disruption – what have we learnt from the digital utility shift?
– Changing the investment paradigm through a creditworthy intermediary off taker
– Tariff models that encourage economic growth and private sector participation
Future Energy East Africa’s expo will feature some 80 leading global and local technology and services providers, including several country pavilions, as well as free, technical workshops for visitors. Co-located is the invitation-only Utility CEO Forum: East Africa, which will provide a unique, private meeting and discussion space for utility leaders in the region.