energy and human habitat conference
Image: Unsplash.com - Davide Cantelli

This year the second Energy and Human Habitat Conference is themed Energy and Industry 4.0.

Held under the auspices of the African and International Use of Energy Conferences platform, the Energy and Human Habitat Conference will again be a digital event, on 26 July.

Last year the African and International Use of Energy (AIUE) Congress 2020 was held as a digital event and the AIUE advisory board and organising team decided to go the same route in 2021. A bonus for potential presenters to the Energy and Human Habitat Conference (formerly known as the Domestic Use of Energy conference) is no entry fee for submission of papers.

The DUE conference platform started as a Cape Peninsula University of Technology initiative but today comprises co-operation with academics from various universities under the AIUE platform, in particular the universities situated in Cape Town. 

Have you read?
S.African technology institute gearing up for 4IR progress

Professor Tariq Kahn, Research Chair: Energy and Director of the CPUT Energy Institute says they will emphasise Energy and Industry 4.0 as a technology theme this year to emphasise how technologies and applications are having an impact on human processes, including energy production and use.

Several advantages to this impact can be identified, such as increased economic efficiency and labour productivity; flexibility and intelligence; reduction of manufacturing costs; and increasing returns on investment.

How these have an impact on energy use and the human applications of energy intensive industries, transportation and living conditions are all part of the human environment/habitat. Thus the conference encourages researchers involved in energy policy formulation; energy and society; and energy economics to share their ideas.

“For instances the City of Cape Town and its interaction with Eskom, there could be some interesting thoughts from them,” suggested Kahn.

Energy and Human Habitat Conference to look beyond electricity to energy access for all

As research chair in Energy at CPUT Kahn is encouraging his researchers and students to focus on smart energy and not just the provision of electricity and this widened gaze is mirrored in the conference theme.

“I’m looking at it from an energy perspective not just electricity. Ultimately, how we deal with that is crucial to our sustainable energy future.”

“The vision is to provide innovations in energy that improve the quality of life and add value,” said Kahn, referencing the innovations that can impact on UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 (affordable, clean energy for all), Goal 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), Goal 11 (sustainable cities) and Goal 13 (climate change and action). Indirectly this approach also affects Goal 3 (good health and well-being).

“That is our vision in the focus areas of smart energy. We leverage that off the synergies across electrical, chemical, thermal and fossil fuels energy system. We are not leaving anything out because fossil fuel can be clean. There is a lot of research happening into getting better use out existing fossil fuels. It’s not about stopping it, it’s about finding new ways of getting more out of for clean systems and production,” explained Kahn.

This change in focus from only concentrating on power systems and electricity encompasses not only a transdisciplinary approach to subject matter but also collaborative in terms of how CPUT will work with other universities to expand the footprint of the conference going forward.

Submit your paper for inclusion in the conference

The Energy and Human Habitat Conference 2021 will be held online in conjunction with Initiate and Enlit Africa. The conference would welcome research in:

  • Energy and society
  • Distributed energy resources
  • Internet of Things in the energy sector
  • Digital Twin Technology
  • Smart Energy as part of a Smart City
  • Blockchain and smart contracts in energy
  • Smart Grids
  • Microgrids and Minigrids
  • EV and Electric Transportation
  • Energy Policy
  • Energy Economics
  • Energy Development

The call for papers and instructions for submission are to be found on the AIUE website. While submissions are free, papers will be peer reviewed to be included in the conference, and published in digital format on the day of the conference.

Conference delegates are expected to adhere to submission requirements spelled out on the AIUE website. Closing date for submission of abstracts and papers is 28 June.

Invited keynote speakers to the Energy and Human Habitat conference include top academics such as Prof Yousif Soufi of Algeria, an energy expert whose main and current research interests include renewable energy, electrical machine control, power electronics and drives; Cape Town based engineer Rogeema Kenny, expert in transport infrastructure and development projects that benefit marginalised and underserved communities; Dr Mlungisi Nkosi of iThemba Labs; and Prof M Taha, currently at Rafik Hariri University in Lebanon.