twitter Facebook Linkedin acp Contact Us


Nearly 2,500 delegates will be attending the conference in Barcelona. (Image source: aef)

More than 33 African ministers and 100 high-level public sector officials are expected to attend Africa Energy Forum (aef) running from 25-28 June at the Fira de Montjuïc in Barcelona, Spain

The 26th edition of aef will be held under the theme ‘Energy Systems of the Future – Balancing Africa’s Needs with Global Goals’ and will place Africa’s energy landscape at centre stage.

With Spain’s commitment of US$2.3bn in funding to South Africa and its recently announced support for green hydrogen projects in Mauritania, the country joins France, Germany, Italy, the EU and the UK as European nations step up their commitment to clean energy development in the African continent.

But is the private sector really ready for these opportunities? While renewable energy capacity on the continent has almost doubled across the last ten years, most commentators agree that this is not enough. Indeed, as indicated by Climate Analytics research, Africa requires US$100bn a year in climate finance to meet the COP28 renewable energy goals. This is five times more than current investment levels, indicating a substantial gap that must be addressed.

“The private sector has already demonstrated its willingness to commit billions to projects, but projects still aren’t moving fast enough,” said EnergyNet’s Simon Gosling. “It’s the industrialised nations that will be most affected if Africa cannot significantly increase its electrification rates and unlock the investment landscape that is inhibiting proven private sector players.

“World food security, access to minerals, textiles, and industrial growth are critical to future economic growth, health, and sustainability. With Africa forecast to be home to a quarter of the world’s population under 25 years by 2050, red tape must be reduced, and projects must start happening at scale and pace.”

Correcting the narrative in Barcelona

In Spain, there are high hopes that the solution to such a daunting challenge will be found as investors from nearly 90 countries are expected to be in attendance at the conference.

Public and private sector stakeholders will spend almost a full half-day together, behind closed doors, discussing the challenges both sides are facing. All attending ministers and vice presidents, as well as heads of utilities (national and municipal), regulatory bodies, DFIs, and private investors, will be in the room.

The new Corporate Leadership Roundtable will also give private sector developers and investors a platform to debate the opportunities and challenges they face in moving projects forward, sparking vital discussions before they meet with Ministers and utilities to establish an improved path for Africa’s energy sector.

This format will create the most high-level sessions ever held at the aef, where business leaders can spend exclusive, quality time with public sector counterparts.

Key topics on the agenda across the four days include the potential of hydrogen on the continent; grid management; energy storage and distribution; the future roles of gas and mining; advancing renewable energy projects, distributed power, and commercial and industrial (C&I) projects to accelerate universal access; navigating power markets; and Africa’s broader energy transition.

Discover African Review’s preview of the event in the latest issue of the magazine available here

Smart technology such as IoT can enable households to manage their electricity consumption more effectively. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

According to technology company Versofy SOLAR, consumers need to look beyond solar when planning their alternate energy approach, recognising that smart technology and the Internet of Thing (IoT), in the home, is where the future of solar is headed

Ross Mains-Sheard, co-founder and CEO of Versofy SOLAR, expressed that consumers need to become comfortable with IoT and the critical role it plays in managing the energy generated by solar panels.

He commented, “The use of IoT technology can assist in increasing overall household efficiencies, optimising the consumption of resources as well as eliminating waste and making the running of a home as cost effective as possible. Versofy’s aim is to bring these improvements into people’s homes to benefit the environment as well as household budgets.”

Managing power usage in the home through smart technology is only part of the trend that has seen IoT increasingly drive and control home appliances and devices remotely, Mains-Sheard continued. “Using this technology to manage our solar systems is just one step in the process to equip our homes to manage the planet’s, and our own resources better.”

The Versofy HOME app uses IoT technology and is putting control of the generation, storage and consumption of solar power into the hands of its customers. “For us, it is not about selling panels, rather it is about building a community of solar-empowered consumers that are able to benefit from all that solar technology has to offer,” Mains-Sheard explained.

Maximising energy efficiency

Going beyond a simple solar installation, he says that Versofy’s systems manage electricity consumption in the home, taking advantage of daylight hours and diverting power usage for optimum performance. The smart system, together with IoT devices, will shift electricity loads when batteries are reaching capacity. Once a battery is full, any power generated by panels is redundant and effectively wasted and so incorporating this kind of technology into the home maximises the utility and cost effectiveness of the system.

“Versofy’s HOME app is the foundation on which other technologies will be integrated in the future, including managing water and related devices such as heat pumps, pool pumps and geysers,” surmised Mains-Sheard. “We are not just a solar company, rather we are a technology focused, alternate energy company committed to growing a local community of solar-powered consumers.”

According to Mains-Sheard, intelligent and connected living spaces using IoT are the future for environmentally and budget conscious homeowners. Monitoring and controlling heating and lighting systems, home security, smart entertainment and even environmental factors such as humidity and air quality, using technology via a centralised app, helps people better manage their consumption of the world’s natural resources and to run a home as efficiently and cost effectively as possible, and this starts with a fully integrated solar system.

Vertiv DynaFlex BESS provide utility-scale energy for long duration support. (Image source: Vertiv)

The Vertiv DynaFlex BESS, a battery energy storage system designed to enable energy independence and bolster sustainability efforts at mission critical facilities, provides flexibility in the use of utility power and is a critical step in the deployment of a dynamic power architecture

The system allows organisations to fully leverage the capabilities of hybrid power systems that include solar, wind, hydrogen fuel cells, and other forms of alternative energy.

The lithium-ion batteries in the Vertiv DynaFlex BESS provide utility-scale energy for long duration support, allowing seamless and repeated transitions between energy sources. When paired with the optional Vertiv DynaFlex EMS (Energy Management System), the Vertiv DynaFlex BESS enables advanced energy management strategies, such as demand management and sharing or selling energy back to the grid that can result in a reduction of utility energy consumption and costs and potentially generate revenue for the parties involved.

“Sustainability has become a core tenet of many organisations’ growth plans, but concerns about operational resilience and growing stress on the grid have limited efforts to adopt alternative energy sources,” said Peter Panfil, vice president, global power, Vertiv. “The Vertiv DynaFlex BESS opens the full energy management toolbox. It allows organisations to leverage the strengths of these new energy generation assets and relegates the traditional utility provider to a complementary role in a more dynamic, efficient, and reliable mix of energy sources.”

Supporting mission critical environments

“Mission-critical facilities across the globe must find reliable sources of energy that can handle significant events or fuel access restrictions, and even more so within Africa, where many countries are experiencing serious grid constraints,” remarked Wojtek Piorko, managing director, Africa at Vertiv. “The African Legal Support Facility, in partnership with the Commercial Law Development Program and Power Africa, notes the implementation of BESS solutions in their ‘Understanding Energy Storage’ handbook as an alternative to traditional power solutions, saying that ’energy storage is a powerful tool that can change the pathways to power that sector decision-makers can pursue’. It also refers to BESS as potentially being used as a mitigation measure to unlock grid capacity.”

The Vertiv DynaFlex BESS is designed specifically for mission-critical environments, such as commercial industrial facilities, high-value manufacturing plants, data centres, and more. The system’s power conversion system (PCS) is designed to support 2 millisecond output, virtually eliminating any delays while shifting the load between hybrid power sources.

Vertiv was recently named as ‘Intelligent Power Partner of the Year’ for 2024 at the inaugural Intelligent ICT Awards that took place in Johannesburg, South Africa. Based on the judging panel's five criteria - sustainability, innovation, scalability, costs benefits and future proofing – the Vertiv DynaFlex BESS solution was named as the clear winner of this category.

Click here for more information on the Vertiv DynaFlex BESS

A Vertiv infographic showcasing its energy solutions

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a top priority for petrochemical and oil and gas companies. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

SEGITEC, an integrator of control and instrumentation solutions with roots in North Africa, has become the official distributor of Fluenta, a global leader in developing ultrasonic sensing technology to measure flare gas

Fluenta’s technology enables accurate measurement and reporting of flare gas emissions, an incredibly pertinent issue in the oil and gas industry amid increasingly stringent environmental regulations. The company offers real-time data for immediate response to irregularities, supporting regulatory compliance, environmental sustainability, safety, and operational optimisation. With precise monitoring, petrochemical companies can balance economic efficiency and responsible environmental management. With SEGITEC providing its expertise as an integrator of control and instrumentation, the new partnership will help organisations enhance their sustainable practices.

"Fluenta's mission to help operators comply with environmental regulations is complemented by SEGITEC's expertise in providing value-added services, which include project management, engineering, commissioning, operations, and maintenance,” said Julian Dudley-Smith, Fluenta managing director. “The partnership will support operators' decarbonisation plans, enhance environmental credentials, and ensure compliance with regulations and safety standards.”

“We are excited to partner with Fluenta, a company that shares our vision for a sustainable future," added Omar Ben Ayed, SEGITEC's CEO. “This partnership is a significant milestone, as it allows us to offer energy companies in North Africa and Gabon the best-in-class solutions to meet tightening environmental standards. Together, we are committed to empowering the region's oil, gas, and petrochemical industries to achieve their environmental goals while maintaining operational excellence.”

The report says that investment in pipelines would help alleviate the region’s higher rates of traffic accidents, productivity losses, pollution and supply disruption. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

A CITAC report commissioned by Puma Energy, a leading downstream energy company operating largely in sub-Saharan Africa, has identified bottlenecks and constraints in the liquid fuel supply chain that are impacting energy security and hampering economic development throughout the region

The report, titled “Fuelling Africa's Potential: Bridging the Gap in Energy Infrastructure”, finds that African fuel supply chains today are fragmented and insufficient, leading to energy security challenges as well as inefficiencies that are driving costs higher for governments and consumers. The report forecasts that liquid fuels, predominately traditional fuels for transportation and power, will remain prevalent for the immediate future, while the share of lower carbon and clean energy continues to steadily grow.

“In recent years, we have witnessed the fuel security impact resulting from insufficient infrastructure in our markets – from ports, to storage, to pipelines. This has resulted in costly stock outs and shortages that have grounded planes and disrupted businesses and transport sectors,” said Fadi Mitri, head of Africa for Puma Energy.

Rising demand for energy

Population growth combined with rapid urbanisation in sub-Saharan Africa is leading to rising demand for energy, especially transportation fuels, which CITAC forecasts will grow by 56% by 2040. These demographic trends will strain an already fragile and underdeveloped energy distribution system and require the scale-up of key infrastructure, such as ports, storage and pipelines, to improve supply chain efficiencies of fuels such as gasoline, diesel, jet and kerosene fuel to meet growing demand and ensure energy security.

“In advanced economies, pipelines are the preferred mode of transport for moving large volumes of product inland. This is for reasons of reliability, security of supply, road traffic congestion and safety. Every day the US Colonial Pipeline alone moves more transport fuel than the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa consumes,” said CITAC.

The report maps out the bottlenecks to come in key supply corridors in the next five to ten years and explores potential investing opportunities in pipeline infrastructure that present economically viable options to debottlenecking an increasingly congested system.

Collective investment

A collective investment in extending or building pipelines – mainly across Eastern and Southern African supply corridors – is estimated at US$9bn, and would help alleviate the region’s higher rates of traffic accidents, productivity losses, pollution and supply disruption. Furthermore, a total of 750kt of GHG emissions could be saved annually from 2030 onwards through the adoption of pipelines – removing as much as 95% of the trucks required to transport fuels in this part of the supply chain.

“The situation calls for increased international master-planning of infrastructure development to ensure Africa’s growing economies have security of supply critical to achieving their economic ambitions. The CITAC report highlights the potential for public-private partnerships to address the region’s energy challenges and to open up avenues for international trade and investment,” said Mitri.

“Energy sits at the core of economic growth and shortages directly impact people’s lives and economic development,” says CITAC. “The challenge going forwards will be to ensure that future members of Africa’s society are not subject to energy poverty but, rather, prosper.”

More Articles …

Most Read

Latest news