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‘Energy is a key prerequisite for improving economic activity and quality of life’, this phenomenon was among the many highlighted points at the power and energy conference in Rome, Italy.

This year the annual Renewable Energy Solutions for the Mediterranean (RES4Med) conference hosted in partnership with Enel Green Power, was dedicated to Africa under the theme, Innovation as the key enabler to power Africa.

A press release noted that Africa is a continent characterised by a very young population and is increasingly becoming a technology testing laboratory.

To this end, access to energy is fundamental for all and for this to happen, Africa still needs important infrastructure.

“There is an urgent need for renewable energy in Africa, President of RES4Med, Antonio Cammisecra, stated. Read more…

Innovation

Cammisecra continued: “There are many obstacles, but many innovative solutions are on the horizon, presenting an exciting challenge to take on. RES4Med and RES4Africa have a clear vision of how to use the best energies to achieve this goal.”

Head of Enel’s Global E-Solutions, Francesco Venturini, also commented: “Africa is increasingly becoming a great technology testing lab, which can make a fundamental contribution to the future of the industry.

“Solutions like minigrids, which combine the use of batteries with renewables, are a valid response to the issue of energy access as well as acting as a catalyst for development.”

Africa is known for being rich in resources and having high economic growth rates but its people still have limited access to energy.

According to press statement, energy demand in sub-Saharan Africa has increased by 45% since 2000, however, still accounts for only 4% of the world’s total. Read more…

The importance of different and innovative business models such as mini-grid, off-grid, urban and suburban network development, energy access, and the opportunities arising from the development of new technologies has emerged.

Innovative solutions

The press release further highlighted some positive developments that are aimed at driving innovative solutions.

Kenya Power International director, Dr. Jeremiah Kiplagat, is said to have recently announced the country’s fibre optic network upgrade programme for use by telecommunications companies.

Additionally, Kenya Power Lighting Company recently signed a MoU with RES4Africa intended to build a 30kW mini hybrid network in Nairobi for training purposes.

Furthermore, the Ethiopian government, with deputy industry minister, Mebrahtu Meles, has announced a partnership with UNIDO, UNDP, FAO and Italian Development Cooperation for the construction of new agro-industrial parks intended to set up private companies operating in the food chain.

 

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