Marketers and entrepreneurs are often the first to identify new opportunities because they are the mavericks with their eye on the horizon says Jacqueline Raw, Owner and Founder of Ycagel, a marketing consultancy in Kwa-Zulu Natal. She adds, “Their ability to mobilise, respond to and capitalise on impending innovation and opportunities means that they are never limited to certain industries or markets.” It is with this in mind that Jacqui offers her predictions as to where the three greatest opportunities will manifest this year: 1. Renewable energy: Being able to sustainably produce clean energy is no longer a pipe dream or a nice to have. With the ever-looming deadline for a global reduction in temperatures before we reach our tipping point of no return in 2035 – this industry is now taking centre stage on a global platform. It’s an absolute, that if you’re able to contribute as an entrepreneur to solving this burning question, you are sitting with a massive opportunity. 2. Agriculture: Yes, you heard me right. With the global food crisis worsening as you read this, and with world leaders like Bill and Melinda Gates taking this issue personally and driving hard for global focus, input and reform, the opportunity to get involved is now. The hard reality is that we are running out of food and we are running out of planet to farm on. This simply cannot go on. With massive innovations in agricultural technologies and big retailers like Woolworths taking a stand to support locally and ethically grown foods, it’s clear that an opportunity to impact change exists. All it takes is a consciousness around issues perpetuating our food crisis and an ability to innovate the right solutions that will impact change. We need the best minds focused on solutions – this means growth and opportunity for anyone ready to take on the challenge. 3. Education, education, education: Technology has enabled total access to learning; learning materials are now so easily . . .
Johannesburg, 11 February 2019 – Despite the large impact mines have on the environment, mining is a significant contributor to the local economy from both a financial and employment perspective - with an estimated worth of R20.3 trillion - and will therefore continue to play a critical role in the country’s future. However, mounting regulatory and socioeconomic pressures are driving a shift in the sector towards more sustainable and circular economy-based business models. Linked to this, as market leaders reflected on stable access to and pricing of power as a key business challenge during the recent Investing in African Mining Indaba, incorporating integrated waste management strategies at an operational level bodes impressive potential gains for mines. Jason McNeil, Chief Operating Officer, Interwaste, indicates that the South African mining sector is heavily regulated with compliance centred on receiving, converting and retaining all mining rights. “To ensure mines continue to meet their legal obligations, compliance is monitored by two board-mandated entities namely, the Sustainability, Risk and Compliance Committee as well as the Social and Ethics Committee. Therefore, running mining operations with approved Environmental Management Plans (EMPs) is fundamental to sustainability and legal compliance.” Linked to this, the Polokwane Declaration sets targets of zero waste to landfills by 2022 - although the set target of zero waste to landfill was revised to ensure 70% of waste is diverted from landfills by 2022. “What is encouraging to see is that the zero waste to landfill goal has been adopted by mining giants - with vested interests and operations locally – in support of their existing commitments to development and they have also ensured compliance with the regulatory framework, i.e. National Environmental Management Act (NEMA, Act 107 of 1998) and the Waste Act, 2008 (Act 59 of 2008),” adds McNeil. “Given this ongoing commitment, it would actually . . .
The power and water industries on the continent have responded with enthusiasm to the latest call for nominations for the sixth edition of the annual African Power, Energy & Water Industry Awards that returns to Cape Town on 15 May 2019. During the gala evening pioneering utilities, projects and people in the energy and water industries on the continent will once again be celebrated for their achievements during 2018/2019. Previously known as the African Utility Week Industry Awards, the new branding reflects the recent co-location of the POWERGEN Africa exhibition with African Utility Week. “Our awards have been extremely popular and prestigious right from the start” says African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa’s event director Evan Schiff, adding: “we love how competitive the power and water industries are as this stimulates innovation, entrepreneurship and progress, all needed to improve power and water services for all Africans. We look forward to honouring the continent’s leading people and projects, from the Lifetime Achievement Award and Young Leader Award, to the Power Service Provider of the Year and the top Renewable Energy Projects in small and larger scales.” Power and water professionals can nominate themselves or a colleague, project or organisation by completing the nomination form on the African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa website. The categories for the African Power, Energy & Water Industry Awards 2019 are as follows: Individual Awards: • Lifetime Achievement Award Sponsored by: Siemens The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual for prolonged and consistent achievements who has made a significant contribution to the development and future of the energy or water industries during his or her entire career rather than or in addition to a single contribution. The nominee can be from a utility, public or private company and should be someone who has helped to achieve strategic advancement of the . . .
“The African Utility Week conference has a longstanding reputation of producing innovative, topical and high-level content, discussion and engagement” says event director Evan Schiff, adding: “the 19th edition of the event from 14-16 May in Cape Town this year will, once again, not disappoint.” The new co-location of POWERGEN Africa in 2019 will add an expanded focus on generation, including renewables, off grid, fossil fuels and nuclear, while still concentrating on transmission, distribution, metering, new technologies including storage, mini grids, micro grids, IOT and ICT systems, as well as water. Along with multiple side events and numerous networking functions the event boasts a five track strategic conference with over 300 expert speakers. An extensive Knowledge Hub programme that is CPD accredited and free to attend, offers hands-on presentations taking place in defined spaces on the exhibition floor. These discuss practical, day-to-day technical topics, best practices and product solutions that businesses, large power users and utilities can implement in their daily operations. Keynote speakers confirmed so far are: - Dr Mark Swilling, Programme Coordinator of the Sustainable Development Programme in the School of Public Leadership; the Academic Director of the Sustainability Institute; and the Co-Director of the Stellenbosch Centre for Complex Systems in Transition. - Prof Anton Eberhard, who the directs Managing Infrastructure Investment Reform Regulation In Africa (MIRA) at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town. He is also chairing a team appointed by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to advise on turning Eskom around and restructuring the power sector. African Utility Week connects experts from the entire power, energy and water value chain, including: • BEHAVIOUR TRANSFORMATION: “We are inspired to ensure quality utilities are provided to Africa to give the individual the opportunity to independently . . .
One of the biggest salepersons around moved into South Africa recently. In Solar PV Systems we call that person; "Sir Eskom Loadshedding!" "Phone and web site enquiries have escalated somewhat since the start of loadshedding," says Alan Straton from Straton Solar. "Everyone wants to be free of Eskom and loadshedding and most are of the impression that Solar Power is the magic bullet to do that," explained Alan. The price of Solar Panels has plummeted over the last 8 years and the electricity price per unit (Kw) manufactured from a pure grid tie solar installation is now less than 70c per unit amortised over the 20 year expected life of an installation. On the other hand the price of batteries still needs to reach that tipping point before beginning to plummet. "Batteries are the next frontier in terms of lower price and higher storage capacity," says Straton. Solar PV comes in 3 'flavours: Grid Tie only (here you will still be affected by loadshedding) Grid Tie with Battery Backup, referred to as a Hybrid System (load shedding will not affect you - depending on the size of your batteries) Off Grid - Here you are on your own with no connection to the grid at all. Taking the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality as an example Straton said: A Grid Tie system for a single phase installation may only be a maximum of 5 KW in size. This is good enough for an annual average of 960 units of electricity each month (more in summer, less in winter). The pay back on such a system is around 6 to 7 years. IF the system is installed in a business then the payback is from the time of switching on as Section 12B of the Income Tax allows an immediate 100% depreciation allowance on renewable energy installation. If you do not have mission critical items then Grid Tie only is the way to go. A Hybrid System also operates under the same constraints as the Pure Grid Tie system above. In addition the conversation around batteries is that one must remember . . .
The partnership between the University of South Africa (Unisa), mining company Exxaro Resources and the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) officially launched its first institutional anaerobic biogas digester at Earth Centre in Johannesburg on the 28th November 2018. The 10 cubic metre bio-digester uses a feedstock of horse manure diluted with a sustainable volume of water, including grey water, to produce biogas fuel for heating applications. In households, schools, early childhood development centres and community facilities, the fuel can be used for as a substitute for electricity or LPG. It can be used for cooking, water heating, space heating and lighting. The installation and utilisation of the biogas from the biogas digester will not only improve people’s standard of living but will also help the environment by minimising organic waste that is left to decompose uncontrolled. After the processing of horse manure, the resultant digestate is an organic fertiliser which can be used to support organic gardening and other farming processes. Due to the nature of the project, there are opportunities to create primary jobs in the implementation, operation and maintenance of the biogas systems. The project is also able to support secondary job creation in supporting food security initiatives and other farming activities. The biogas projects can also help to mitigate climate change-related challenges in capturing methane and combusting it into heat and carbon dioxide. It minimises bio-wastes sterilises them into digestate that can be valorised. This initiative adds to the skill development of the operators who ultimately can diversify their skills into renewable energy services and stimulate an interest in renewable energy and energy diversity. “This 10 cubic metre digester, has been inoculated for a period of three months to enable the bacteria to produce biogas. It is the first time in the works of SANEDI and UNISA that this kind of . . .
Mother City to welcome back 10 000+ energy and water professionals Photo: Spintelligent and U.S. Department of Commerce The 19th edition of the multi-award-winning African Utility Week conference and exhibition in Cape Town has obtained official U.S. Trade Fair Certification from the U.S. Department of Commerce, paving the way for a greater American participation at the event in Cape Town from 14-16 May next year. Along with the recently acquired, co-located event POWERGEN Africa, the event gathers the largest group of power, energy and water professionals in the African market. “We are delighted to announce that U.S. Trade Certification has been granted, with the United States officially endorsing the event. We are looking forward to working with the U.S. Commercial Service over the next few months to facilitate U.S. participation at the event” says Edgar Baron, International Sales and Business Development Manager for Spintelligent, the organisers of African Utility Week. He adds: “U.S. exhibitors will be able to connect with 10 000+ attendees from over 80 countries over the 3-day exhibition and conference and generate leads and qualified business enquiries showcasing their innovative solutions and build partnerships at the leading power, energy and water expo in Africa.” The U.S. Commercial Service/ITA team will be providing export assistance to U.S. exhibitors. B2B matchmaking meetings with utilities, energy providers and Government officials will be available to U.S. exhibitors. Apart from the official U.S. country pavilion at African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa showcasing specialised technology and services for the utility, metering, renewable and water industries, country pavilions from Germany, India, Denmark, France and Canada have already confirmed their presence at the 3-day event in May 2019 at the CTICC in Cape Town. At least four more country pavilions are expected on the exhibition floor. Industry support A multi-award-winning . . .
At the 2018 South African National Energy Association (SANEA) awards evening, held at the end of August 2018, the Renewable Energy Centre of Research and Development (RECORD) unit of the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) presented two awards in the RECORD Renewable Energy Research Excellence (RERE) categories. Both were won by women. Ms Gamuchirai Mutezo, a PHD candidate at the School of Chemical & Metallurgical Engineering at Wits University, won the Young Researcher award for her contribution to renewable energy research. She is an independent researcher, conducting academic and applied research in the field of waste-to-energy, primarily biogas development in Africa's peri-urban and rural areas and is the Chief Operations Officer at SEA Africa, a research firm that aims to ‘Link Business to African Markets’. Ms Kimenthrie Pillay, a director and principal consultant at Thrie Energy Collective, won the Commercial Application award for her novel and commercially viable renewable research. She is part of a young, innovative and passionate sustainable consulting agency. It works with businesses, organisations and local government to help improve the sustainability of energy practices, enhance understanding of the needs of communities and advance the potential for technology and development to thrive in Africa. “We applaud the efforts of all of the candidates for awards this year but are particularly pleased to be able to make these awards to women in science,” says Thembakazi Mali, interim CEO at SANEDI. “They serve as role models to encourage young girls to enter the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), which we need given the low percentage of enrolment in these subjects. We wish then every success, as they continue in their career of renewable energy.” The South African government established the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) to direct, monitor and conduct . . .
For the second year in succession, the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) received a clean audit. SANEDI, an agency of the Department of Energy (DoE), is mandated to direct, monitor and conduct energy research and development, promote applied energy research and technology innovation, as well as undertake measures to promote the uptake of green energy and energy efficiency throughout the economy. Its mission is to use applied and energy research and resource efficiency to develop innovative, integrated solutions that will catalyse growth and prosperity to meet its vision of sustainable living for growth and prosperity in Africa. “As an organisation, we are delighted that our sound governance and financial protocols have again led us to a clean audit,” says Dr Thembakazi Mali, interim CEO at SANEDI. “We thank Lethabo Manamela, our CFO, and Tuleka Mpotulo, our Corporate Planner, and their teams for all their hard work in achieving this triumph. We would also like to thank the Board, under the leadership of Nkululeko Buthelezi, which has enabled us to deliver on so many of our objectives.” “The success of SANEDI is not only predicated on the availability of human and financial resources but also on its effective policies and procedures, systems and relationships, which enable it to adhere to its governance requirements. The Board is proud of SANEDI’s achievements in securing another clean audit,” adds Nkululeko Buthelezi, interim chairperson of the SANEDI Board. “SANEDI’s activities contribute to all of society, across the entire energy landscape, through cleaner fossil fuels, Smart Grids, cleaner mobility, data and knowledge management and key projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency programmes and Working for Energy job creation programmes,” continues Mali. “In addition to our close cooperation with the DoE, we also have strengthened our ties with the Department of Science & Technology, the Department of . . .
“Reliable, cost-effective electricity is vital not only to improving people’s lives but to the economy’s ability to attract investment and create jobs. Our Integrated Resource Plan must be carefully calibrated to ensure that energy security is not compromised,” says Black Royalty Minerals CEO Ndavhe Mareda. “In particular, a rapid and aggressive transition away from coal will put the entire economy at risk. We need to strike the right balance.” Mareda argues that South Africa’s current draft Integrated Resource Plan is too ambitious and that attempts to meet the targets will have serious consequences. It is important to recognise that coal provides 76 percent of South Africa’s energy at present, and the country is still investing large amounts of money in new coal-generation. In addition, the country has large reserves of coal. It is thus important that the nation gets a proper return on its investment in this technology. At the same time, the coal industry employs some 82 000 people earning more than R22 billion, and it supports economic activity related to its value chain valued at R61 billion. “It is vital that we plan carefully to ensure that new jobs are created to counterbalance those that are lost, and that the economic contribution of the coal value chain is replaced. It is also very important to consider affordability - if electricity is too expensive, it will deter investment and will also impact the poor,” he points out. One also needs to recognise that South Africa currently lacks a significant domestic renewable technology sector, and thus its capacity to provide significant numbers of new jobs is non-existent. In addition, a high reliance on imported technology and skills will reduce the multiplier effect the industry will have on the economy as a whole. The truth is that while renewable energy is making huge strides, it is not yet ready to provide the all-important base power that any economy depends on. It is subject to the vagaries . . .