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Students tell all about Open Africa Power 2020 experience

During the week of 10-14 February 2020, Enel Foundation together with the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business conducted lectures under the programme titled Open Africa Power 2020 (OAP).

The programme is aimed at empowering a new generation of leaders to drive Africa’s clean energy transition. At the end of the lectures, Enel Foundation asked students to give a wrap up of the day, highlighting their key aways.

Glory Oguegbu from Nigeria

According to Glory Oguegbu from Nigeria, Day 2 of the programme began with a topic of renewable technologies in Africa by William G. Price who highlighted enormous renewable potential in Africa in onshore wind, solar PV, geothermal energy and hydropower. In his words – Africa has plenty renewable energy potential and large economic potential. But limited use and deployment have taken place.

Bruno Maven from International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) spoke on renewables and energy modelling. Long term energy planning, if done properly, creates consensus among stakeholders, avoids investment mistakes, reduces uncertainties in policy direction and accelerates service delivery.

Giovanni Tula head of sustainability for Enel Green Power lectured on energy and the SDGs. He highlighted the incredible result attained by integrating sustainability into their business process, improving their financial performance also by embedding sustainability into their work.

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Gracia Munganga from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Gracia Munganga from the DRC said Day 3 started with discussion about how the power sector, particularly in the Northern hemisphere, switched from vertically integrated utilities to a liberated retail competition model across the sector supply chain. Munganga further started the lecture continued covering topics related to carbon trust, looking at how low carbon development policies – particularly the Paris agreement – have shaped the power sector and more importantly business strategies of utilities.

Enel Group for example, with 73 million distribution customers, integrated sustainability to its business strategy and committed to decarbonise their generation fleet through Enel Green Power.

Munganga said: “As one of the only two Congolese on the programme, I believe the power sector transition in sub-Saharan Africa has to:

1. Increase generation capacity,

2. Build a network not only at a national but also at a regional level to enable smart network infrastructure,

3. Develop a clear regulatory framework, planning and modelling scenarios to ensure efficiency across the value chain,

4. Mainstream sustainability to build resilient infrastructure.”

Dorothy Kanini from Kenya

Wrapping up Day 4, Dorothy Kanini from Kenya said the day started with a presentation by Wikus Kruger on how to successfully attract private investments for independent power projects. After going over the terms used in the discourse and the players involved with project finance, Kruger expounded on the phases of project development.

In the afternoon, Manuele Battisti took the floor to discuss the steps that Enel Group is taking for its business development, and Massimo Raduazzo presented the road map towards its achievement. “We looked at analyses of potential new markets that are ready for renewable energy projects, discussing the criteria for selecting and then developing them,” Kanini stated.

Tenders were then taken under consideration, especially their features and structuring process. Nontokozo Nkosi gave a captivating presentation on the trends in renewable energy that try to reduce the cost of energy for consumers. According to Kanini, the issue of corporate decarbonisation was elaborated in enlightening detail, together with ways to “green” C&I electricity supply and the available types of PPAs. She closed with a look at opportunities and challenges of PPAs in South Africa.

Enel Foundation is a Knowledge Partner at the African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa conference. Click here to register to attend or for more information about the event.

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.