Minister Dipuo Peters to highlight energy needs for 2010 at African Utility Week next month

South African Energy Minister Elizabeth Dipuo Peters will open the annual African Utility Week conference and exhibition in Durban next month.  The minister will highlight the Department of Energy’s 2010 goals, milestones, challenges and plans for the crucial year ahead for South Africa.  The Honourable Minister will also be engaging with her peers from other African ministries, neighbouring utilities, the private sector, potential investors and South African municipalities.  The African Utility Week and Power Indaba conference and exhibition is held at the ICC in Durban from 22-25 February 2010.

According to Nicholas McDiarmid, the editor of ESI Africa, the minister’s top priority remains to ensure access to electricity by the poorer communities.  “This is a goal she is passionate about and which is sure rub off on all the South African utilities and municipalities in order for them to stay on course during 2010, despite the possible distraction that the World Cup might provide”, says McDiarmid.

The Minister recently drove the approval of the energy feed-tariff (Refit), which will create incentives to the increased implementation of renewable energy and ultimately enabling a diverse energy mix.   Says Nicholas McDiarmid, “She has remained realistic about the capacity challenges facing South Africa and will be appealing to the industry to assist in improving the mindset of consumers on energy efficiency measures in order to meet the ambitious targets.”   Minister Peters has said that these targets and the diversification of the energy mix can only be met if all stakeholders within the energy sector are working together, it cannot be done by legislation alone.
 
Minister Dipuo Peters will be lobbying, informing and encouraging the sector and neighbouring countries for assistance, dedication and co-operation during the 2010 World Cup as this will be a challenging time for South Africa’s under-resourced electricity infrastructure.

Says ESI Africa editor Nicholas McDiarmid:  “If the initial signs are correct, 2010 will be a year of global economic upturn and there will be no stopping the minister implementing the Department of Energy’s ambitious five year road map.”

African Utility Week/Power Indaba unites 2000 senior power industry executives and decision makers from over 40 countries, representing the key stakeholders from the entire power utility eco-system, focusing on power infrastructure investment, renewable energy and new industry technologies.  Eskom is the host utility for the event.