2018 GAINS IN THE ENERGY MANAGEMENT SPACE IN AFRICA AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR 2019

Introduction

2018 was a momentous year for the energy management space in Africa. We made huge strides forward in creating a better working energy management environment. This is significant for the continent as with the right energy management policies, the world could achieve up to 40% emission cuts that are needed to attain its climate change goals without the use of any new technology. This is actually about 8% higher than what shifting to renewable energy would cut in terms of emissions. Energy management is therefore a subject that requires focused attention, and below are some 5 key things that happened in 2018 and will influence the way 2019 shapes up:

  1. New Leadership at Both AEPEA and SAEEC

The Association of Energy Professionals Eastern Africa (AEPEA) voted in a new executive committee to steer its operations for the years 2018 to 2021. The new AEPEA President is Eng. Simon Ngure. Simon is an astute leader with over 35 years experience in the energy industry. He has previously served as the Vice President of AEPEA and was one of the founding members of this local chapter. He also doubles up as one of the Directors at Kengen, Kenya’s biggest energy generating company. The South African Energy Efficiency Confederation also elected a new executive board that will later select a President for their chapter.

With new leadership in place in both these two pivotal energy associations, we expect renewed vigor in the promotion of energy management activities in Africa. Great leadership is what has been missing in the energy management space in Africa to create the needed change. The new leadership teams will work with the existing systems to create the right environment in terms of policy development, networking and awareness, that is key to the growth of the energy management market.

  • New Chapter Formation Activities in Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana

There was important progress in formation of Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) local chapters in Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana. The necesary meetings have already been held and it is anticipated that before the end of 2019, these three countries will have their very own AEE chapters in their respective countries.

These new chapters, have heightened the expectations of stakeholders, with a lot of activities anticipated to be coming forth from these countries in line with energy management. Nigerians have already successfully conducted a Certified Energy Manager training programme, in addition to two other energy efficiency courses. The African continent is in need of more energy professionals and specifically more energy managers who will be instrumental in providing direction and efficient energy management. Most African countries have no human professional capacity to effectively manage energy, and this creates a gap in the bid towards changing the continent’s energy use and management. With these local AEE chapters, more energy managers will be professionally certified and released to deliver effectively in their different spaces of influence.

  • Three Key Energy Management Conferences

There were three energy conferences held in 2018 that were of key importance. This began with the AEE – Tunisia chapter having an opening ceremony to celebrate their chapter formation. This year, the 2019 theme for the Tunisia Energy Conference has been: Job Opportunities & Women Empowerment in the energy sector, addressing a subject that requires attention.

In Kenya, The World Energy Day Conference was conducted by AEPEA and Eenovators with the theme: The Future of Energy in Africa: The Sustainability Agenda. The two day conference was held on 25 and 26th of October 2018 with more than 100 delegates attending from across Africa and hosting key note speakers from around the continent.

World Energy Day Participants pose for a group photo with Chapter President Simon Ngure (Seated Far right)

Finally the South African Energy Efficiency conference took place in November 2018 in Johannesburg with the theme on Climate Change. This was the 13th time the South African Energy Efficiency Confederation was hosting this conference and important energy discussions continued to be held.

In 2019 we expect each of these chapters to hold their energy conferences to promote awareness and networking in the energy management space. The Tunisia chapter has just successfully concluded their Conference called Wenercon in February 2019.

The World Energy Day Kenya Confernce is expected in October 2019 with the theme: Energy Sustainability in Africa: Unlocking the Energy and Climate Change Equation. We expect the South African Energy Efficiency confederation to host their 14th annual conference in November as per tradition.

  • Training License Given to Energy Training Foundation in Partnership With AEPEA

The sole training license for the Africa and Indian Ocean Island region was awarded to the Energy Training Foundation. In Kenya, the Association of Energy Professionals Eastern Africa are mandated to conduct training in the Kenyan region in partnership with the Energy Training Foundation. There will be a lot more Certification Training happening across Africa this year and this will serve to build the much needed professional capacity.  Seychelles has already conducted a Certified Energy Auditor course in February 2019 with other African countries earmarked to conduct more courses. Kenya is planning to conduct a Certified Energy Manager course in April 2019 while Nigeria is planning to run a certification course before mid year. The energy professional statistics are worth taking note of as ther is already a worldwide shortage of about 71% of energy professionals. About 48% of the current energy professionals globally are going to retire in the next decade. Acquiring these certifications will open up opportunities for the certified experts not only in Africa but worldwide to address the existing and emerging energy needs.

Yolanda de lange (right), Chris Mbori and Eng. Simon Ngure at the AEE Charlotte NC
  • Regional Energy Awards Nominees and Uganda Awards

In 2019, Energy Professionals from Africa were recognized in the World Energy Engineering Congress for their work in the energy management world. These eminent group of energy professionals included:

Yolanda de Lange who won the Energy Innovator of the year

Daniel Bungey who won the Young Energy Professional of the Year Sub Saharan Africa

Albert Williams who also won the Young Energy Professional of the Year Sub Saharan Africa

Enron Awase who won the Energy Manager of the year

Daniel Bungey and Enron Awase received their Energy Awards at the AEE Charlotte NC

Earlier in the year, Ugandans also had their energy management awards held in Kampala, where they identified different stakeholders who were keen on implementing saving energy initiatives and presented them with energy awards. This was the first time Energy Management Awards were being held in Uganda and this has set an excellent precedent going forwards. These awards were organized with an aim to boost adoption of energy efficiency practices among high-energy consumers in Uganda.

Conclusion

With the active involvement of various players in energy management on the African Continent, 2019 is bound to be very engaging with lots of new activities and energies. Africa’s projected GDP is expected to rise to $2.6 trillion by 2020 with about 122 million people added to the work force. Africa’s steady economic growth forecasts and its largely untapped market potential have led to new investments. Already two thirds of sub-Saharan African countries are growing at rates higher than the global rates ,which thus creates a raft of incredible opportunities especially in the energy space…. 2019 is a very promising Energy Year in Africa – Watch this space…

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