The rise and rise of Powering Africa Summit

By Oke Peter
In its determination to make a difference in the world’s dwindling energy resources and tackling energy poverty, EnergyNet Limited United Kingdom has been proffering workable solutions through generation of ideas, discovery of new opportunities, as well as facilitating investment summits, where international investors build relationships with credible public sector stakeholders across Africa and Latin America.

One of such platforms designed for this is ‘Powering Africa Summit’. An annual summit organised by EnergyNet exclusively for investors from across the North America, Africa and Europe — and are expected to present energy projects, discuss investment opportunities as well as build relationships within the international power community. The company organises investment meetings focused on the power and electricity sectors across Africa and Latin America.

EnergyNet is an emerging market-focused team of researchers and experienced power professionals, owned and supported globally by the UK’s largest conference and exhibitions organisation, Clarion Events. With over 500 people covering defence, energy and utilities in Brazil, Germany, London, New York, San Francisco, South Africa, Turkey, Abu Dhabi and Singapore.

The firm places economic development at the heart of industrial solutions, helping to generate a more stable and viable investment option for organisation in emerging markets.

Accordingly, the fifth edition of the Powering Africa Summit (PAS) will take place for the first time in Miami between February 25 and 27, 2019 at the JW Marriott Miami. It will be co-located with the third Latin American Energy Forum (LAEF) with focus on regional investment structures across Bolivia, Argentina, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, Peru and Brazil. The event will address the needs of Latin America’s evolving energy sector as well as exploring the evolution of the region’s energy mix and the role of gas in supporting the increased use of nonconventional renewables.

PAS 2019 agenda
Consequently, PAS 2019 agenda will host case studies and exclusive presentations on: The Cerro Dominador 210mw solar project in the Atacama Desert in Chile, by the chief executive officer of the company, Fernando Gonzalez; as well as Waste-to-energy: a niche in the energy mix by Wieland F. Uchdorf, Facility Engineer, Resources Recovery Facility, Department of Solid Waste Management, Miami-Dade Country.

The programme will also feature the United States Policy on Africa, US/Africa ministerial roundtable, gas policies and generation, the alliance between IFI and public sector utilities; FinTech — increasing efficiency and collections and off-grid energy access.

As a result, over 340 investors from across North America, Africa and Europe are expected to meet with the leaders of Africa’s energy sector to form partnerships, sign deals and move the industry forward.

The meeting will also examine: How Florida shaped its energy mix, the Power Africa Gas Roadmap outlines a plan for achieving up to 16,000 MW of additional gas-fired power generation in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.

There will be a special spotlight on Ethiopia – A country united: With projects such as Dii (Desert Solar) and the potential of Sub Saharan countries to develop massive solar farms. How has Ethiopia transformed its credentials on the world stage and what does this mean for the energy sector nationally and regionally.

There will also be a technology review on Battery Storage and Utility Scale Development: Mozambique’s gas reserves offer a transformative opportunity for the country, but also the SAPP community: Mozambique and South Africa – a partnership underdevelopment; How Mozambique’s power sector is growing to support industrial development from gas.

However, there will be investors’ debate on Early Stage Finance and Private Equity, Technology Review on Block Chain and Payments Innovation within the Utility Supply Chain as well as case study on Block Chain in Action: From conception to application.

Following the publication of Power Africa’s Transmission roadmap, the summit will explore the next steps towards expansion of networks. As the success of the off grid energy projects in disconnected communities hinge on the ‘right partner,’ with focus on how household energy can be managed and boosted through the engagement of brilliant women on the continent.

Networking opportunities
The summit will present opportunity to engage and network with senior decision makers from professional services, EPC, financial institutions, developers, government’s representatives, technology provider, law firms, non-governmental organisations and distribution companies. There will be answers to pressing questions challenging businesses in Africa. Participants will also meet with some of the solution providers behind many of Africa’s and Latin America’s energy projects.

Interestingly, the US has announced its readiness to further support the objectives of the power sector on the continent through: Confirmation of the BUILD Act (Better Utilisation of Investments Leading to Development); Injection of US$60 billion for growing economies and Power Africa’s increasing positive presence in countries across the continent.

Consolidation on the success of 2018 PAS
PAS 2018 recorded remarkable attendance from some of the industry’s most credible investors, developers and public sector officials. The two-day summit gave participants an exclusive opportunity to hear directly from government representatives from across Africa and the United States providing a clearer vision on the ever-changing current climate and path forward for the industry. Dignitaries at the event include: the Secretary of State of Energy Affairs, Angola, Honourable Antonio Belsa da Costa; Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda, Honourable Irene Muloni; Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Somalia, Honourable Salim Alio Ibro and the Deputy Minister for Power, Ministry of Energy, Ghana, Honourable William Aidoo, among others.

Also, there were insights and announcements from relevant US Government agencies including Power Africa, OPIC and USTDA Ministeral delegation from Uganda, Angola, Ghana, Somalia, Nigeria and The Gambia as well as attendance of senior decision makers from MODEC, Wartsila, Manitoba Hydro International and DLA Piper.

Why Miami?
However, over 340 delegates, 80 speakers and four ministers will be on attendance while 18 African countries will be represented with 30 per cent suite attendance. The Powering Africa Summit 2019 is hosted in Miami, the only Eastern seaboard state with utility scale solar. In the last five years, Miami has also established a major technology and innovation hub for the country as well as a creating a dynamic and impactful entrepreneurs programme which is creating thousands of opportunities and an environment which many African nations could explore and potentially consider as a development model and partner. Not only that, Miami’s energy mix is a highly efficient blend of Gas, Coal, Nuclear and Renewables, with gas by far playing the biggest role — it is therefore going to be exciting to see how Miami developed its gas sector and the technologies that made it happen and brought those molecules to the market.

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