Anteprima WEC Inside - 15 febbraio 2014


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Il WEC Inside è una pubblicazione bimestrale del World Energy Council (WEC) contenente interviste a rappresentanti del WEC e dei Comitati Nazionali, overview e aggiornamenti sulle attività recenti e future del WEC in tutto il mondo e, approfondimenti sulle ultime news in ambito energetico.
La versione integratele è disponibile nell'area Servizi Informativi, riservata ai soli Associati sul sito del WEC Italia.

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Anteprima WEC Inside - 15 febbraio 2014

  1. 1. WEC Inside         15–28 February 2014  Welcome to WEC Inside, your exclusive briefing from your WEC network News  African energy leaders gather for the annual Africa Energy Indaba The annual Africa Energy Indaba, the WEC’s African regional event, is taking place this week (18-20 February) in Johannesburg, South Africa. “This year, the Africa Energy Indaba is taking itself to the next level,” says Brian Statham, Chair of the South African National Energy Association, the WEC member committee which is coorganising the event. He added that the WEC’s studies released at the World Energy Congress “have been drawn through into the Energy Indaba programme, and will be discussed as plenary sessions, within an African context.” The event has a new addition this year – the Indaba Energy Leaders’ Dialogue. The issues of shale gas development in South Africa and the Global Electricity Initiative (GEI) will be the two main topics of discussion. Christoph Frei, WEC Secretary General, commented: “The African energy sector has long been working to widen energy access to unlock the vast potential of this dynamic region, and this issue remains a critical priority. New entrepreneurial dynamics in renewable energy and potential opportunities arising from South Africa’s shale gas resources are the hot issues in the current context. At our Indaba Energy Leaders’ Dialogue we will get greater clarity on the future of these issues with the most senior sector leaders.” The WEC is also releasing its 2014 World Energy Issues Monitor at the Indaba (see Inside Insight). Brian Statham will launch the report to all delegates in the plenary today (18 February). This will be followed by a media roundtable with Secretary General Christoph Frei and WEC Chair MarieJoséNadeau discussing the study’s findings and its implications. In its bid to support Africa’s energy leaders of tomorrow, the Indaba is providing the WEC’s Future Energy Leaders (FELs) with complimentary access. Liz Hart, Managing Director of Siyenza, which co-organises the Indaba, said: “Most of the FELs are coming from Africa and some from around the world. The purpose of this investment is to grow future energy leaders and we look forward to rich engagement with [them].” The WEC’s African regional meeting took place yesterday (17 February) ahead of the Indaba. WEC Inside will bring a full round-up of the week’s event in the next issue. ■ News continued on page 2 ... Interview  The Global Electricity Initiative will be holding talks with the leaders of African utilities at the Indaba. Philippe Joubert, Executive Chair, tells us the latest about the GEI. What does the GEI aim to do in Johannesburg? What are GEI’s initial findings with regards to electricity access? Africa is an important region for the GEI. For Africa, the problem has certainly been providing access to electricity for all, and this becomes an even greater challenge because the region is growing. Many parts of Africa are also poor, so they are more vulnerable to climate risk and extreme events than more developed regions. Africa also has an interesting situation in terms of technology and market organisation. The GEI recognises that one of the most important challenges is to bring electricity to remote locations with distributed power or off-grid solutions. The views of utilities have been consistent. They have said that that it will be a challenge to achieve the target of electricity for all by 2030 if the rules of the game are not improved. They have said that the challenge is not a problem of funding, but rather of being enabled to reach those people who are still without electricity, through providing off-grid and mini-grid solutions, or by connecting to existing grid. GEI wants to increase its coverage of Africa by increasing the number of utilities taking part in the project. The Indaba gathers top business leaders and decision-makers in one place so offers a great opportunity for us. All the development banks, and even the private banking systems and independent power producers, have access to funds. They do see electricity access as a need, so normally they should be able to marry the funding capacity and the need for financing the project. But we are in the unfortunate situation where we have the funds, we have the projects, but the partner can’t reach agreement on a satisfactory level of risk or profit for the project. This is due to a variety of factors: the perception of the country’s risk structure, the governance structure, reaching an acceptable level of project risk, the size or location of the projects, among others. At the Indaba roundtable we will be communicating the first findings of our global survey of utilities. We will also seek to understand the views of African utilities and energy players, and to hear about their best practices and their recommendations to improve the situation. 1   If there are funds, why aren’t they used? Philippe Joubert is Executive Chair of the Global Electricity Initiative You’ve said that climate mitigation is no longer enough; rather we also need to work on adaptation. What are utilities’ take on this? Utilities recognise that climate change is already a reality because they see it more frequently in real life. Extreme weather events are more frequent and more powerful, and they affect infrastructure such as power lines and power stations, while communities themselves are also devastated, as we saw in hurricane Sandy and recently in the Philippines. This means that the network should be transformed to become more resistant, but also importantly – more resilient – to these events. It’s not enough to be more resistant to the events because the strength of the event is unknown. You also need to organise the networks so that they can come back quickly to their previous state of operation after the extreme event. Utilities are investing not only in mitigation by decreasing emissions. They are also working on adaptation and resilience to increase the level of our energy systems’ resistance and flexibility. ■ ■ The Global Electricity Initiative discussions will take place on 19 February. It is part of the Indaba Energy Leaders’ Dialogue at the Africa Energy Indaba. 15–28 February 2014 WEC Inside