“There’s no doubt that renewable energy as well as smart technology are changing the way power and water utilities operate and deal with their customers. The industry is constantly challenged and presented with new opportunities and it is therefore vital for power and water professionals to share knowledge and collaborate on a regional basis.”
This is according to Evan Schiff, who heads up the 16th African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa conference and trade exhibition that returns to Cape Town from 17-19 May 2016 – gathering some 6000 engineers, stakeholders and solution providers from around the globe.
The event will feature 250 exhibitors, 250 speakers, a six stream strategic conference, free-to-attend technical conference on the expo floor, three high-profile keynote sessions, technical site visits and the coveted industry awards gala dinner.
Evan adds, “We are very proud of our African Utility Week Advisory Board which comprises senior decision makers from utilities, large power users, IPPs, consultants and contractors from across the continent. They take a very active role in making sure our programme addresses the latest challenges, developments and opportunities in the power and water sectors: ranging from generation, T&D, metering, clean energy, finance, reliability, water supply or energy efficiency. We will once again showcase many success stories in clean energy; look at bankable power projects and energy storage will be discussed as a possible game changer for energy independence. We also have a strong focus on water for 2016, including the water-energy nexus, water efficiency and wastewater management.”
Dr Lawrence Musaba, Co-ordination Centre Manager, Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) in Zimbabwe is already confirmed as a high-level keynote speaker at this leading annual industry meeting. He says current challenges facing the energy sector include “low tariffs making it difficult to invest, power shortages leading to load shedding, poor maintenance of the electricity infrastructure and poor governance and management.”
He says “moving towards cost-reflective tariffs would be advantageous while attracting the private sector would provide the much needed investment capital.” He adds that utilities “should be operated as commercial entities.”
Dr Musaba was also the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 African Utility Week Industry Awards. Next year, the third edition of the prestigious African Utility Week Industry Awards will again celebrate the triumphs and successes of Africa’s leading power and water projects and people in twelve awards categories, including Water Utility Executive of the Year, Clean Energy Project of the Year and Outstanding Woman in Power.
CEO Forum: important platform
During African Utility Week, the Power Utility CEO Forum gathers C-level executives from Africa’s leading utilities together to discuss pressing topics within the industry and to accelerate cross-border collaboration across Africa. Utility executives from countries such as Nigeria, Uganda, Namibia, Ghana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa are expected to return. For 2016, a new Water Utility CEO Forum will run in conjunction with the Power Utility CEO Forum.
Ayanda Nakedi, Executive Director: Renewables, Eskom in South Africa describes the CEO Forum as “an important platform where African utilities could share the challenges and learnings which are critical for survival in a dynamic changing environment. We still have a challenge of electrifying our dark continent and take advantage of our abundant resources. Africa is full of opportunities.”
Eskom is again the host utility for the event while the Department of Energy is the host ministry. Other event partners are the South African Independent Power Producers Association and the South African Electrotechnical Export Council.
Global suppliers of technology and services to the sector have already signed up as high-profile partners at African Utility Week, including Accenture, Edison Power Group, KPMG, Landis+Gyr, Rubbytad and Shell, who are all platinum sponsors.
The African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa trade exhibition will be free when registering in advance and showcase energy saving technologies and services for the industry and feature hands-on demonstrations and CPD-accredited technical workshops on the exhibition floor.
African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa are organised by Spintelligent, leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, and the African office of Clarion Events Ltd, based in the UK. Other flagship events in Spintelligent’s power portfolio are East African Power Industry Convention (EAPIC), West African Power Industry Convention (WAPIC), iPAD Rwanda Power & Mining Investment Forum and iPAD Cameroon Energy & Infrastructure Forum.
South Africa’s Department of Energy is throwing its full weight behind efforts by the utility industry to find urgent and sustainable solutions to current energy challenges, says African Utility Week event director Evan Schiff. The Department has committed to a three-year partnership with the conference and exhibition that annually attracts more than 5000 power professionals from across the globe and takes place from 12-14 May in Cape Town.
“We take this official host ministry partnership with the Department as seriously as they do”, says Schiff. “Not only will the Honourable Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson address our opening session, she will attend our unique CEO Forum, that brings together utility leaders from across the continent. Moreover, as a member of our Advisory Board, the department is helping to shape the conference programme and set the debate agenda. This fits seamlessly with our aim to remain relevant and be an event for and by the industry. We have similar partnerships with various integral industry bodies such as Eskom, Power Africa, SAEEC, SAAMA and the City of Cape Town.”
Department engaging with the industry
Says Schiff: “Every year African Utility Week gathers the industry to learn, share knowledge and debate the key topics that will secure the future development of Africa’s power and water industries. Topics will range from regional collaboration in the power sector to the untapped potential of renewable energy and investment challenges.”
He adds: “We look forward to the Department engaging with the industry and to join the debate to find creative and sustainable solutions to the energy challenges we all face. We are excited to have the Department as an official partner of such a long-standing event as African Utility Week that has become an important fixture and meeting place on the energy calendar for the continent.”
More event highlights
The 15th African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa is expected to again attract more than 5000 attendees and feature 250 exhibitors, 190 speakers, eight conferences, free technical workshops on the expo floor, site visits, three high-profile plenary sessions and the coveted industry awards gala dinner.
DNV-GL has already confirmed its exclusive diamond sponsorship of the event while Accenture, Building Energy, MarelliMotori, Rubbytad and Edison Power Group are the platinum sponsors.
African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa are organised by Spintelligent, leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, and the African office of Clarion Events Ltd, based in the UK.
African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa dates and location
Exhibition & Conference: 12-14 May 2015
Industry awards: 13 May 2015
Site Visits: 15 May 2015
Location: CTICC, Cape Town
Source: African Environment
Book your seat here.
Join the discussion here.
Follow Alive2Green on Social Media