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Day 1 of the Green Energy Africa Summit at CTICC2, Cape Town, saw a range of high-powered speakers and delegates from across the energy sector sharing insights and ideas around how to help pave the way for a just energy transition in Africa.

Several speakers advocated for policy reforms to support the transition, harmonise development of Africa’s natural resources, and to ensure Africa remains competitive and attractive to global finance.

Held under the theme, “Unlocking Africa’s Sustainable Energy Potential”, the Green Energy Africa Summit offers a two-day programme, and provides opportunities for stakeholders across the energy value chain to collaborate, offer solutions and build partnerships to help unlock Africa’s true socioeconomic potential.

Key themes have included discussions of opportunities and challenges in the renewables space; the use of gas as a transition fuel in the move to renewables; and the responsible development of natural resources for local benefit to ensure a truly just transition.

First day highlights:

MINISTERIAL PANEL DISCUSSION: African Energy Transition Plans

Government ministers from several African nations discussed their countries plans to diversify their energy mix to deliver consistent supply of power and unlock opportunities that will catapult public and private sector participation in their energy transition.

Panellists:

• Hon. Lefoko Moagi, Minister of Minerals and Energy, Botswana

• Hon. Dr. Ing. Habtamu Itefa Geleta, Minister of Water and Energy, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

ESKOM TRANSMISSION UPDATE

Eskom South Africa transmission division managing director Segomoco Scheepers provided an overview of transmission and infrastructure and the investments needed for new power lines and transformation capacity.

Speaker: Segomoco Scheepers, Managing Director, Eskom Transmission Division

PANEL DISCUSSION: Energy Leaders Debate

Major players in the private sector discussed the issue of how the African continent could attain sustainability and increase access to modern energy services for its people.

Moderator: Emma Champion, Head of Regional Energy Transitions, BloombergNEF

Panellists:

• Dr Ainojie ‘Alex’ Irune, President, Oando Clean Energy Ltd

• Adonis Pouroulis, Chief Executive Officer & Founder, Chariot Energy Group

• Zaher Ibrahim, Vice President, EMEA, Baker Hughes

• Thabo Molekoa, Chairman and Managing Director, Siemens Energy

COUNTRY SPOTLIGHT: SOUTH AFRICA

The Role of Private Sector in the Energy Transition: Growth areas in South Africa, along with the challenges and opportunities to expand renewable energy production, grow investment opportunities and diversify power infrastructure.

Moderator: Igor Lakic, Managing Director and Partner, Boston Consulting Group

Panellists:

• Rentia van Tonder, Head of Power: Corporate & Investment Banking, Standard Bank

• Jonathan Hoffman, Chief Development Officer, Globeleq Africa Limited

• Richard Doyle, Managing Director, JUWI

• Jan Fourie, Executive Vice-President, sub-Saharan Africa, Scatec ASA

A DECENTRALISED ELECTRICITY MARKET

A presentation in South Africa and regional electricity markets, highlighting the clear shift toward a more competitive, innovative electricity sector away from monopolistic electricity supply industry models. The presentation showcased the benefits of a multi-market structure including physical, competitive and regulated transactions and the role of traders in linking the markets, customers and buyers.

Speaker: Cathy Oxby, Co-Founder & Chief Commercial Officer, Africa GreenCo

PANEL DISCUSSION: THE POLICY AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK NEEDED TO ATTRACT INVESTMENT

Leaders in finance and energy, social activists and regulators identified the regulatory risks deterring investment in sustainable energy; and what can be done to mitigate them.

Moderator: Laura Peinke, Acting Executive: Economic Development, Eastern Cape Development Corporation

Panellists:

• Nhlanhla Gumede, Head of Electricity Regulation, NERSA, South Africa

• Dr Harold Obiga, Director of Legal Services, Electricity Regulatory Authority, Republic of Uganda

• James Manda, Technical Manager, African Forum for Utility Regulators

PANEL DISCUSSION: FINANCING SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

Leaders in finance and energy came together to identify what is needed to attract the necessary scale of investment for the economic and social development of Africa’s people, while activists and regulators also set out their needs.

Moderator: Garyn Rapson, Partner, Webber Wentzel

Panellists:

• Vukile Davidson, Chief Director Financial Markets and Sustainability Treasury, South African National Treasury

• Theuns Ehlers, Head Resources & Project Finance, Absa Corporate and Investment Banking

• Nigel Beck, Head of Sustainable Finance and ESG Advisory, Rand Merchant Bank

• Ryno Verster, Senior Business Development Officer and Vice President, KfW IPEX-Bank

• Alastair Herbertson, Director, Ninety-One

PANEL DISCUSSION: SOUTH AFRICA’S ROADMAP TO A HYDROGEN FUTURE

With significant potential to take advantage of the hydrogen economy due to its abundant platinum group metal reserves, its huge potential for renewable energy production and well-developed infrastructure, South Africa is at the cusp of leading hydrogen projects In Africa. The session highlighted strategy driving hydrogen, research and development and Investment opportunities.

Moderator: Simon van Wyk, Director, Deloitte Africa

Panellists:

• Merita Wickens, Project Director, Workstream Lead Operationalisation of Hydrogen Society Road Map, Turner & Townsend

Fergus Feltman, Chief Executive Officer, Atlanthia

• Donovan Hart, Sector Specialist – Oil & Gas, Group Business Development, Transnet SOC Ltd

• Matthew Cullinan, Chief Executive Officer, Atlantis Special Economic Zone

PANEL DISCUSSION: THE ROLE OF AFRICAN CRITICAL MINERALS IN THE GLOBAL ENERGY TRANSITION

The rise of low-carbon power generation to meet climate goals also means a tripling of mineral demand from this sector by 2040. A panel of experts looked at how Africa can capitalise and supply the huge demand for critical minerals to power the global energy transition. Manufacturers, technology providers and mining companies shared ideas around how the critical minerals market and the energy transition.

Moderator: Deshan Naidoo, Managing Director, Aqora

Panellists:

• Shirley Webber, Managing Principal, Coverage Head – Resource & Energy, ABSA

• Oghor Okhai-Akhigbe, Principal Legal Counsel and Head of Capacity Building Unit, African Legal Support Facility

• Phinda Mangolothi, Director, Arushvest Capital Advisory

• Kimberly Dana Harrington, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Energy Resources, US Department of State

• Chiza Charles Chiumya, Ag. Director, Directorate of Industry, Minerals, Entrepreneurship and Tourism, African Union Commission

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