SA cleantech innovators to compete on global stage

Fly larvae that turn organic waste into animal food, reusable sanitary pads and a shark barrier that is friendly to marine life have been recognised as the top innovations for 2017 by the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs in South Africa (GCIP-SA). Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor was the keynote speaker at a gala event in Pretoria where the winners were announced. The grand prize of R120,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to California was awarded to Bandile Dlabantu, whose mobile insect bio-conversion unit was announced as the winning SA cleantech innovation for 2017. Runners-up Sara Andreotti (Sharksafe Barrier) and Euodia Naanyane-Bouwer (Gracious Nubian washable and reusable sanitary pads) each received a prize of R60,000, and will be joining Dlabantu at the Cleantech Open Global Forum in California in January 2018 to compete against other GCIP top performers from across the globe. Three special category winners were also announced at the event, with each receiving R20,000 in prize money.

In addition to her runner-up prize, NaanyaneBouwer scooped the innovation for social impact award. The award for the best Women Team went to the TouchTap team, led by Stephanie Pons. Comprising a team of committed female members, the team was judged to contribute significantly to the mainstreaming of women in the clean technology space. Team leader Pontsho Moletsane received the award for the most promising Youth Team on behalf of Yellow Beast for Nosets™, an automated irrigation system designed to enhance irrigation efficiency for shallow root crop agricultural markets. It was the view of the judges that, through their innovation, commitment and enthusiasm, this young team would serve to encourage other young innovators to choose entrepreneurship as a career. These top performers were selected by three provincial panels of independent judges from a pool of eleven finalists from across the country, based on key business aspects such as product/market fit, business model, financing strategy, management team, sustainability, and innovation.

Over the past four years, the GCIP-SA has assisted a total of 102 cleantech entrepreneurs and innovators in validating their technologies and developing sustainable and investment-ready business models. The programme will be integrated into the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) as from January 2018, where it will be institutionalised as a legacy project. “The premise is simple: successful innovations, innovators and entrepreneurs create industries, jobs, and contribute to better living conditions, a sustainable environment and economic growth,” says TIA CEO Mr Barlow Manilal. Successful international partnership The GCIP-SA is part of an international initiative that aims to promote clean technology innovations and support SMEs in growing their innovations into viable and sustainable businesses. Over the past four years, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and TIA have successfully implemented the GCIPSA, which continues to contribute to the green economy in SA by bringing cleantech innovations to life through extensive training and mentoring, and connecting them to networks of local and international peers as well as potential partners and funders.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has been the principal project funder since 2014, while US-based Cleantech Open serves as the international knowledge partner. In her keynote address at the 2017 awards event, Minister Pandor said that the GCIP-SA’s highly successful programmatic approach accelerates commercial opportunities and creates platforms for participants to promote their product offerings and raise funding. “Through its ongoing support of entrepreneurs and innovation in the clean technology space, the Programme will contribute to strengthening the resilience of the complex South African entrepreneurial economy to operate within the global market, and will have measurable positive economic and social benefits for the country.”


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New climate innovation hub to Jumpstart Ghana’s green economy

The World Bank Group has inaugurated a multimillion climate innovation centre to support Ghana’s growth strategy to help more than 100 local clean technology businesses develop and commercialise innovative solutions to mitigate effects of climate.

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The launch of the first technology hub in the country on Tuesday came barely four months after the World Bank approved a financial package of $17.2 million to fund the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre located at Ashesi University College in Berekusu in the Eastern region.

The centre will support the country’s climate change policy to help over 300,000 Ghanaians increase resilience to climate change in the next 10 years.

It is also expected to support local clean technology ventures to mitigate 660,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the emissions of almost 140,000 cars in a year, World Bank said, and it will contribute to the production of over 260 million kWh of clean energy in the West African country.

Environmental scientists warn that if global temperatures rise by more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the consequences will be severe and, in some cases, irreversible and projected glaciers will continue to shrink, heat waves will be more frequent and the oceans will get warmer and more acidic.

UN special envoy on climate change and former Ghanaian president, John Kufuor, said at the launch that emerging countries like Ghana would be unable to mitigate climate change effects unless they joined global forces.

“I believe global action is crucial to fight the impact of climate change, I believe science and technology should be deployed at every stage, the effort must be global, this is what the world must be awakened to,” he said.

“If we are seeking green solutions to fight the impact, which is global, I believe public policy, donor community support, as well as private ventures should share the risk of investment to transition from fossil fuels to green energy.”

Kufuor urged donors to fulfil their pledges in terms of financial commitments and developed nations to extend technology to back developing countries in Africa’s fight against climate change.

“Africans cannot deal with the problem without global partnership,” he stressed, “we need the global community, the promises and pledges have been there for some time, unfortunately the pledgers have not fulfilled their pledges in terms of financial support, in terms of technological extension.

“No country is an island now, unless the world moves together to do something by 2020 or 2030 to put temperatures under two degrees Celsius, it will be like all of us being on the same boat, we either sail together or we sink together.”

Henry Kerali, World Bank country director for Ghana said, in a speech read on his behalf: “The Ghana CIC solidifies the role of the private sector in helping Ghana manage the effects of climate change.

“By enabling entrepreneurs and green innovators to test and scale new clean technologies, home grown business solutions can help the country build climate resilience, while also contributing to job creation and economic development.”

According to the World Bank report, Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change, without a proper green growth strategy, Ghana’s agricultural gross domestic product is projected to decline by 3 per cent to eight per cent by the middle of the century.

Coastal erosion from rising sea levels could result in significant loss of land and forced migration, while extreme weather events could further strain the country’s infrastructure.

To reduce the long-term cost of climate change and create opportunities for sustainable growth, the bank said the GCIC will provide local companies with the knowledge and resources they need to develop prototypes and market innovative clean technologies in sectors like climate-smart agriculture, waste water treatment, and off-grid renewable energy.

The services offered by the centre will include sea financing, policy interventions, and market connections, as well as technical and business training.

Similar centres have been established in the Caribbean, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morroco, South Africa and Vietnam.

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2015 Africa Electric Power Conferences

Sub-Sahara African countries continue to pursue development of their electric power sector to combat “energy poverty” and encourage expansion of power-hungry businesses. Much of this energy development centers around renewable energy, such as solar and wind technologies, as well as off-grid strategies for remote regions far from transmission lines.

With such demand for electricity in Africa and international investors eager to fund these power projects, the continent has become the poster child for new renewable energy development technologies and 2015 again sees the return of many long-running African energy conferences, as well as several new ones throughout Africa, the U.S. and UK.

So you can easily mark you calendars, we have broken down by month the 2015 electric power development conferences scheduled thus far.

January 2015

8th World Future Energy Summit (WFES) (Jan. 19-22, Abu Dhabi, UAE) With 30,000 attendees expected from 170 countries over four days, this conference unites the key players from the renewable energy and clean technology industry sectors. WFES takes place during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), a global platform to address the challenges of economic development, water scarcity, poverty, energy and climate change that affect the adoption of sustainable development and clean energy.

Powering Africa: Summit (Jan. 28-30, Washington, D.C.) Though taking place in Washington, this event is actually sponsored by UK-based EnergyNet to bring together African Ministries, American CEOs and U.S. government investment agencies to discuss the progress of programs such as “Power Africa” and highlight new investor programs currently being developed. Watch AFKInsider for pre-event coverage of this one.

Africa Power Summit 2015 (Jan. 29-30, London) The emphasis at this Summit is the latest “Smart Energy” technologies, including smart metering projects, the future of Africa’s energy sector, renewables and more. The conference also includes an exhibition showcasing the latest smart energy technologies and solutions.

February 2015

3rd West African Clean Energy & Environment Exhibition & Conference (Feb. 10-12, Accra, Ghana) Organized with the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana, this event draws technology leaders from Egypt, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Kenya, South Africa and the UK displaying their latest in clean energy and environmental technology.

Africa Energy Indaba 2015 (Feb. 17-18, Johannesburg, South Africa) Adopted by the World Energy Council as their African regional event and supported by the South African National Energy Association, the African Union and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, the program of this event is set by an international steering committee of government and industry leaders representing the oil, gas and renewables sectors.

2nd Nuclear Industry Congress Africa 2015 (Feb. 12-13, Cape Town, South Africa) Over 150 nuclear industry professionals will gather for networking and panel sessions covering topics that include: Nuclear Power in Future Africa; Kenya’s Plan of Nuclear Power; Challenges and Opportunities for Private Sector Participation; Regulatory Authority Perspective on Nuclear Power; and Cooperation on the Development of Nuclear Power and Clean Energy in Africa.

March 2015

Solar/Diesel Africa (March 3-4, Johannesburg, South Africa) This two-day business and technology development event gives participants the opportunity to learn about the best practices and new developments of solar-diesel hybrid power systems in Africa’s remote communities, mining sites and large energy users.

Solar Energy East Africa Conference (March 10-11, Nairobi, Kenya) Supported by the Kenyan Association of Manufacturers, Tanzania Confederation of Industries and Tanzanian Ministry of Mines & Energy, this two-day program will bring together domestic and international solar developers with East African commercial power users to explore grid-tied and off-grid commercially viable opportunities for solar PV projects.

Africa Future Energy Forum (March 18-19, Nairobi, Kenya) With the theme “Unlocking Africa’s Energy Potential,” this forum will bring together major stakeholders to discuss policy, technology and financing aspects of Africa’s energy sector. Issues covered in plenary sessions and panel discussions include: energy security; trends in the renewable sector; and energy policies.

Power & Electricity World Africa 2015 (March 24-25, Johannesburg, South Africa) This event brings together African power producers, large energy users and governments to share ideas on the latest electricity generation innovations throughout the entire energy value chain with speakers, regional project case studies, roundtable discussions and seminars.

Powering East Africa (March 25-27, 2015 Nairobi, Kenya) This conference welcomes ministers from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Zambia as well as regional utilities, financiers, donor organizations and power developers to focus on what is needed to unlock investment in power transmission for regional growth and development.

April 2015

CSP Today South Africa 2015 (April 21-22, 2015 Cape Town, South Africa) Over 300 of the concentrated solar power (CSP) industry’s top executives will gather in one place to focus on key topics, including project finance, meeting “Local Content” requirements, storage optimization and more.

Solar & Off-Grid Renewables West Africa (April 21-22, Accra, Ghana) The sister conference of Solar Energy East Africa, this event will explore the huge on- and off-grid market opportunities with over 45 international expert speakers, panel discussions, and offer West Africa networking opportunities.

4th Power & Energy Africa 2015 (April 27-29, Nairobi, Kenya) The industry’s largest gathering of decision-makers from all over East and Central Africa, this event brings together regional trade bodies from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Somalia, Mozambique and Congo.

May 2015

3rd Southern African Solar Energy Conference (May 11-13, Kruger National Park, South Africa) This conference concentrates on all the technical, scientific and engineering aspects of solar energy research and development, providing a forum for solar scholars to present the latest progress and developments in their fields and initiate collaboration in research.

15th African Utility Week (May 12-14, Cape Town, South Africa) The untapped potential of renewable energy and investment challenges is the agenda at this conference that brings together 5,000 attendees and features 250 exhibitors and 190 speakers during eight conferences to share knowledge and debate the key topics of the future development of Africa’s power and water industries. Utility executives from Nigeria, Uganda, Namibia, Ghana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa are expected to attend.

7th Middle East & North Africa Solar Conference (May 13-14, Dubai, UAE) MENASOL 2015 promotes solar business in the Middle East and North Africa, covering topics of finance, grid capacity, off-grid opportunities across the region and new solar desalination projects.

2nd UN ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ Forum (May 18-22, UN Headquarters, New York) The second annual Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Forum will continue the momentum from the launch of the UN Decade of SE4ALL (2014-2024) and will include governments and civil society organizations updating their progress towards universal energy access and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

JUNE 2015

17th Annual Africa Energy Forum (June 8-11, Dubai, UAE) This international forum draws over 1,200 industry stakeholders, including government representatives, utilities, investors, power providers, developers and more. According to organizers, “over $25 billion of investment capital was represented at AEF 2014 in Istanbul and 2015 looks to be bigger.”

July 2015

POWER-GEN Africa (July 15-17, Cape Town, South Africa) POWER-GEN Africa provides comprehensive coverage of the power needs, resources and issues facing the electricity power industries across sub-Saharan Africa and brings together leading power equipment suppliers and companies developing power infrastructure.

August 2015

17th annual East African Power Industry Convention (EAPIC) (Aug. 27-29, Narobi, Kenya) EAPIC is the longest running power sector conference and expo for the entire East African region and draws the Kenyan Ministry of Power and Petroleum, as well as large East African utilities from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

Power & Energy Africa (Aug. 27-29, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania) Spread over 3 days, this event brings together decision makers and technical experts from leading companies involved in Africa’s power generation, transmission and distribution sectors in collaboration with regional trade bodies in Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Somalia, Mozambique and Congo.

October 2015

South Africa International Renewable Energy Conference 2015 (Oct. 4-7, South Africa) The Government of South Africa together with the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) are hosting this 4-day event aimed at showcasing Africa’s renewable energy opportunities.

November 2015

12th West African Power Industry Convention (WAPIC) (Nov. 25-26, Lagos, Nigeria) WAPIC showcases the latest technologies and services for the industry while the technical workshops offer practical solutions and case studies. The site visit program will include the Island Power Project and the new urban development city of Eko Atlantic project.

 Source: AFK Insider

Cape Town City Council pushes for establishment of green technology hub in Atlantis

The City of Cape Town’s Council has supported the Western Cape Government’s application to the National Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the designation of the Atlantis industrial area as a Green Technology Special Economic Zone.

This is the latest development in the City and its partner’s quest to unlock economic opportunities in this impoverished area, while at the same time contributing to the financial and environmental sustainability of the metro.

If so declared, this will be the Western Cape’s first Green Technology Special Economic Zone and we foresee that this hub will help to drive much-needed job creation. This also forms part of the City’s overarching efforts to ensure that investors increasingly choose Cape Town and the Western Cape as the top investment destination in South Africa. It is also expected that the interest from local and foreign investors in purchasing land in this green technology hub will grow.

In January 2011, the Western Cape Government’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT,) through the Green Cape Initiative, started developing plans to establish a clean technology manufacturing hub in Atlantis.

This initiative was sparked by indications that the National Government was planning to procure large quantities of renewable energy from independent power producers. According to the Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity, proposed investments of between R10 – 20 billion annually over a 20-year period were foreseen.

Wind potential studies conducted over the past decade suggested that the Western Cape had the potential to generate 3,000 MW of wind power and had good solar irradiation potential. The location of renewable energy power plants in the Western Cape held the potential for localising manufacturing in this sector and for the attraction of catalytic investors to attract suppliers.

The City was, therefore, approached to release currently unoccupied land with industrial zoning in Atlantis for the proposed manufacturing hub. On 8 December 2011, the City’s Council approved a process for the establishment of a green technology manufacturing cluster on vacant City-owned land in the Atlantis industrial area. The sale or lease of two designated sites (or portions thereof) by way of a specialised land disposal management system was also approved. This system includes a rapid application and adjudication process available to qualifying applicants.

The City has already sold 7,8 ha of this 68 ha-site to Red Planet Horizon Trading, owned by Gestamp Wind Steel South Africa, to manufacture wind towers. This purchase is part of the City’s quick access-to-land programme for industries operating in the green economy.

To boost efforts in this area further, Council last year approved the Investment Incentive Scheme to boost job creation in Atlantis. Over 30 companies have taken up the incentives, resulting in more than R8 million in savings for companies from financial incentives. R500m in new industry investment has also been leveraged and this has helped to retain over 2 000 jobs.

There are a number of businesses in the pipeline who are looking to establish themselves in Atlantis. Currently on site is Gestamp Renewable Industries (GRI,) a Spanish company with a 100% shareholding in GRI Wind Steel South Africa, creating employment for 220 workers.

The expansion of a can manufacturing company is also underway. A total of 700 potential jobs will be created should the enquiries and pending business decisions materialise, including the number of jobs that the GRI investment has brought into Atlantis.

As an opportunity city, which is dedicated to redress, Atlantis is one of Cape Town’s priority areas.

The DTI’s feasibility study on Atlantis has shown that it is a feasible area for the establishment of a special economic zone.

The city is calling on its partners in the green technology sector to consider investing in Atlantis in order to make progress possible together. A development facilitation team has been established to fast-track investments and to assist potential investors.

Source: Cape Business News