Day two of the Enlit Africa digital event had a heavy focus on all matters utility related including metering.
Here are three key takeaways from the second day of Enlit Africa digital event
1. An experiment in minigrid business models
Successful deployment of Nigeria’s first rural commercial undergrid minigrid shows power developers need not be seen as competition to utilities when it comes to delivering reliable electricity to far-flung communities.
Albert Butare, CEO of African Energy Services, said as a person who has engaged will all manner of minigrid business models across the continent he found this model to be an innovative idea.
The experiment saw 230 residential, 48 commercial, 11 public and one anchor load customers connect within three months of operation commencement. While four additional major productive use loads are anticipated to come online over the next year.
2. The ultimate circular economy in cities
Local content prioritisation was a key theme. For a concept like recycling, “if nothing is being processed locally then you are essentially losing value. We need to look at opportunities of what can be done locally and really analyse current value chains”.
In addressing the waste hierarchy, reduction is a concept that needs to be driven more in communities and must be prioritised.
In terms of the business case, in principle there are many models that can be applied, but it is not a one size fits all type of situation. Everything needs to be tweaked to fit the country and the context. “You need to create a local context, governance, technology etc.”
3. Bringing renewables on the grid, according to G-PST Consortium
Isabel Fick, general manager Eskom system operator, speaking on the Global Power Systems Transformation (G-PST) Consortium panel: “One of the main issues we are interested in is on the [energy] mix is changing and the system is therefore changing. We are interested in the topic of inertia, which is a topic of interest worldwide, how do we actually predict it. We need to go to more probabilistic models of prediction, than deterministic, given the variability of the renewables space. That is applicable to any developing country. It’s not just a question of research and learning, but implementation. We need to modernise our control systems.”
Catch Day Three Live on 10 June!
The day kicked off with a Prime Alliance session on smart meters that even work on complex, underground grids. Prime Hybrid – offering the best of both worlds. This is a focus on the development of open, public and non-proprietary telecoms solutions which support not only smart metering functionality but also progress towards a smart grid.
Power Africa sponsored an exciting look at a case study into Preparing for how minigrids meet the national grid. Participants in a pilot project around building a commercial undergrid minigrid in Mokoloki Village in Nigeria explained how they collaborated to improve electricity service, support community development and reduce utility losses.
Brady Corp presented a session on cable labelling systems and Howden spoke on their latest compressors and turbines. Also, an interview took place with G3-PLC, a powerful communication technology for the African Smart Grid. Toshiba presented an interview on Externally gapped line arresters – fortifying networks to perform at their highest level of reliability.
Bringing renewables onto the grid was the topic of the G-PST Consortium presentation. The Global Power System Transformation (G-PST) Consortium provides support and knowledge for system operators pursuing clean energy transition. The presentation gave attendees insight into how utilities can tap into cutting edge research, support for workforce development and more.
A roundtable into The role of demand side subsidies for off-grid solar looked at ways rural electrification agencies and utilities setting up last-mile electricity access can tap into funds aimed at off-grid solar projects. A demand-side subsidy increases the purchasing power of the renter or potential buyer of a household solar system, but ascertaining how to give that person access to such a subsidy, differs from country to country. The audience weighed in on what methods are working in their region.
The other roundtable for the day took a look at Climate finance – adaptation and mitigation. While organisations and civil society pull together smartly to help when natural disasters strike, financing the long term infrastructure needed to adapt to long term climate changes, is more difficult to find. USAID sponsored this roundtable which also touched on ways the initiative gives voice to the new Biden administration’s stance on climate change.
More related to the future cities was a discussion on The business case for a circular economy.
Connect. Engage. Evolve.
Enlit Africa, formerly African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa, invites you to learn, connect and engage with industry leaders and Africa’s power and energy community across our three-day, not-to-be-missed digital event on 8 – 10 June 2021. Register for your front-row seat to highly topical, free CPD accredited webinars, roundtables, tech showcases and the world’s leading suppliers presenting their latest solutions and so much more.