21 October 2008 – As South Africa continues to register consistent and positive economic growth rates, there are serious concerns that the energy supply and access challenges are hindering the country’s overall growth prospects.

It is with this in mind that the French organisation for continuing education in the oil, gas and chemical sector, the IFP Training Institute, and South Africa’s Minerals and Energy Education and Training Institute, will host an energy conference during November this year.

The conference will allow representatives from respective South African companies the opportunity to learn about best practices in the South African context, debate on viable energy solutions, and to form collaborative mechanisms that will assist in addressing the energy challenge that is hindering the continent’s economic growth.

“The conference aims to showcase the various initiatives and solutions that South African companies have developed and to present these innovative solutions as a case study for African countries to utilise when these countries develop innovative solutions for combating the energy crisis in their respective countries,” said Minerals and Energy Education Training Institute director Dr Olga Svoboda.

The topics up for discussion include oil products supply and transportation, electricity in South African from State-owned power utility Eskom’s perspective, coal and synthetic fuels, and renewable energy in South Africa.

Speakers for the event will include representatives from the Department of Minerals and Energy, representatives from Eskom, and industry participants.

South Africa has vast renewable and non-renewable energy resources, which largely go unexploited. Statistics have stated that only about 7% of hydroelectricity, and less than 1% of geothermal potentials on the entire continent have been exploited.