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EnergyNet’s combined Powering Africa Summit and Latin America Energy Forum proves renewable energy is the only option

Last week's conjoined events, the Powering Africa Summit & Latin America Energy Forum proved that the future is renewable energy.

LONDON, GREATER LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, July 5, 2021 / -- Over the past week, EnergyNet proved to be once again one of the true leaders in the energy event space by bringing together over 500 participants online from around the globe to discuss the latest developments in the African and Latin American regions.

One of the key issues which became apparent was the need for the world as a whole to focus on renewable energy, endeavour to reduce GHG and provide reliable clean energy for all. On Day Three at the session titled Climate Policy and Financing, leading figures from U.S. interdepartmental agencies stressed their policies were focused on renewable energy projects and hydrocarbon investments were “ramping down” in Africa. Stefanie Fairholme, Director, Financial Innovation at the Rockefeller Foundation said:

“We focus on the intersection of the two big crises that we’re facing as humanity, one of them being poverty and the other climate change”.

What made the digital event a success was the participation of leading African ministers and key stakeholders but also sessions were built around discussion and not a webinar format, which encouraged interaction. Some of the highlights during the Powering Africa Summit included The Future of U.S. Energy Investments in Africa; The Generation Zone: Gas; Africa Utility of the Future and Mobilising Off-Grid, where Thomas Hardy, Director for Program Management at the USTDA announced two new feasibility studies. Firstly, to implement a digital mini-grid system in Benin which incorporates smart metering and secondly providing reliable energy access to primary health care sites and communities within different rural areas in Nigeria. This will be by providing solar hybrid mini-grid systems.

As for the Latin American Energy Forum, the energy transition dominated a good number of the conversations as well. As chairperson Ariel Yepez mentioned at the beginning of Boardroom 3: “Energy Transition: An opportunity to Grow Sustainably”, many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are developing ambitious plans for economic recovery involving energy generation in the post-pandemic period. These plans will present a unique opportunity to implement measures that, while reactivating the economy, will also work towards the acceleration of the countries’ energy transition.

In line with, some of our most engaging sessions were those on gas and hydrogen, as the transitional energies both public and private sectors are most interested in. The newly approved Brazilian gas law promises a more varied horizon in terms of competition and supply, with the country moving away from the Petrobras monopoly, as detailed by Aldo Barroso Cores Junior, Director Department of Natural Gas, Brazilian Ministry of Mining and Energy. The gas boardroom opened future discussions about LNG as well: “LNG is an important source for Brazil, and this is the aim of the new market model, to have as many sources as possible in order to ensure generation”, added Mr Barroso. “The future is green, but the road is multi-coloured,” were the words from Michelle Carvalho , Senior Energy Specialist, IADB - Inter-American Development Bank, referring as well to the benefits of having as many options as possible to reach the zero-emissions goal.

Technology factored in too, not only as one of the main game-changers, but also the fastest for the Latin American and Caribbean region. As mentioned by Christopher N. Evanich, Program Director, Energy as a Service, Schneider Electric: “the pace of tech has accelerated so much. And despite the speed we're moving at today - we will never move this slow again or adopt technology this slowly”.

Neill Howard
EnergyNet Ltd
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