South Africa is richly endowed with forums where specialist proponents “preach to the converted” in their particular vertical fields of interest. Matters cantering around energy concerns are no different.
Energex Africa is different; it is an exhibition that will be implemented as ‘the continent’s most comprehensive energy event’. Not just another “talk shop” but a horizontal platform for practical solutions dealing in all aspects and addressing all sources of power saving, renewable energy and alternative power.
Energex collates the activities and business interests of ALL stakeholders, role players, suppliers, financiers and Industrial, commercial and domestic users of energy.
Launched by Exhibition Management Services (EMS) a company that has been organising exhibitions throughout the African continent since 1981, Energex, a new brand name, is the successor to many successful energy exhibitions previously staged.
Energex Africa which takes place at the Gallagher Convention Centre from 7-9 June is the only exhibition of its kind in South Africa endorsed by the Department of Energy, City Power and the Nation Energy Fund; it also carries the endorsement of the City of Johannesburg, Rural Energy Foundation-Netherlands, and Southern African Alternative Energy Association.
Major media backing for Energex comes from The Star and other publications in the Independent Media stable – the countries’ largest publishing house. Whilst other media partners include; Alternative Energy Africa, Africa Report, African Energy Journal, African Review, Renewable Energy News India, The Green Times, and Trade Invest SA.
While renewable energy accounts for 60% of newly installed capacities in Europe and 50% in the US, Africa is in dire need of sustainable energy projects. The urgency is worsened with the fact that some African countries are only 5% electrified and that South Africa is number 12 on the top 20 list of greenhouse gas emitters.
Says John Thomson, Managing Director of EMS: “It is estimated that by 2050 one billion people in Africa, south of the Sahara, will be living in cities. This requires a lot of clean energy.”
Energy that is generated should not only be clean, but also cost effective. Many families in Africa live on less that $5 per day and some on only $90 per annum. In the short run, expensive electricity will thus not be feasible on the African continent.
“Coal-fired power stations, although affordable, emit one kilogram of carbon dioxide per kilowatt that is consumed. This is almost 9 tons per capita per annum, as 90% of our electricity is generated by coal-fired power stations. Hydro, wind and solar power generation emits virtually zero CO2 gasses, as does nuclear generation. Each of these, however, has its own set of challenges. Hydro power, for instance, varies with the amount of rainfall received and, since the climate varies greatly over African countries, the power which will be generated will not be sufficient for many drier countries and thus not a viable solution for these countries,” explains Thomson. “There are many creative ways to generate sustainable energy. For example, in the state of Bilhar, eastern India, thousands of villagers produced rice husk waste. A gassifier was implemented to burn these husks, creating gas that, in turn, powered a generator. This was an environmentally friendly and cost effective initiative for the villagers.”
The energy that South Africa produces is not climate friendly and the economy has stripped the electricity generating capacity. “Shortly, South Africa will double its consumption and in the medium term, double it again,” says Thomson, “hence the absolute necessity for renewable and efficient energy.”
These opinions have been echoed by Ms. Dipuo Peters, Minister of Energy, who has been quoted to say that Government acknowledges that renewable energy has the potential to make substantial contributions towards energy supply security and have identified targets for renewable energy within the integrated resource plan (IRP).
“The exhibition will serve as a platform to encourage investment in this industry, specifically in Gauteng; to create employment opportunities within the sector; to promote the sales of energy efficient products, to benefit the region and country as a whole; to educate consumers regarding products and services that are available and how these can be utilised to save electricity and costs; and to promote the City of Johannesburg’s social responsibility in this regard.
Contact: Saki Magoxo. Tel: +27 11 783 7250
Exhibition Management Services