SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Webinar To X-ray Future Of Africa’s Energy Mix

…Transition And Investment Amid COVID-19 Also

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By Ifeoma Asika

A free webinar  being put together by the African Energy Chamber, that will look into the future of the energy industry in Africa is imminent.  The webinar will take place on Thursday, 28 May, 2020 at 15:00 SAST. The theme of the webinar is: Is Now the Time for Renewables?

Speakers will include: Chairperson of Matleng Energy Solutions, Nelisiwe Magubane, Senior Advisor of Policy & Communications at the US Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, Suzanne Jaworowski, and General Manager of Lekela Power Senegal, Massaer Cisse.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impacts on the growth and development of the energy sector. In particular, a recent study released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) concluded that the world is heading towards seeing a decrease in the development of wind turbines, solar power plants and other renewable energy installations.

Set to be the first annual decline in new renewable energy project developments in 20 years, this reduction will have a heavy impact on many countries’ plans to increase their renewable energy capacity and in turn, economic growth.

“Countries are continuing to build new wind turbines and solar plants, but at a much slower pace. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the world needed to significantly accelerate the deployment of renewables to have a chance of meeting its energy and climate goals. Amid today’s extraordinary health and economic challenges, governments must not lose sight of the essential task of stepping up clean energy transitions to enable us to emerge from the crisis on a secure and sustainable path,” said the IEA’s Executive Director, Dr. Fatih Birol.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Dr. Clinton Carter-Brown, Head of the Energy Centre at the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Africa Oil & Power’s Director of Programming, Caty Hirst.

“The global pandemic coupled with the low oil price is encouraging many countries to relook at their energy mixes and energy transition plans in line with the current global environment. With each day, there are new complexities in planning energy transitions that will not jeopardize government’s long-term energy strategies,” said Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, NJ Ayuk.

“While we may naturally want to look into solutions such as small scale nuclear reactors, wind, solar and hydro, we are unfortunately, faced with immense challenges presented by restrictions aiming at fighting the pandemic as the first step. Through this webinar we hope to provide insight on the ideal way, specifically for African countries, to plan ahead despite the challenges,” he added.

Those interested in the webinar are to click on the link: (https://bit.ly/2Xw0IsI).

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