The African Energy Chamber (AEC), in collaboration with public and private sector organizations, government representatives, energy stakeholders, and investors, will host the Energy Transition Forum at African Energy Week, which will take place in Cape Town from October 18 to 21, 2022.
The Energy Transition Forum will address crucial challenges such as a lack of proper funding, energy diversification, workforce development, and regulatory reforms that are required for Africa to expand its energy industry in order to solve energy security, affordability, access, and sustainability.
With some 600 million people across the continent living in energy poverty and over 900 million without access to clean cooking, Africa needs to exploit all of its vast natural resources in order to make energy poverty history by 2030. In this respect, stakeholders across the continent are opting for an integrated approach to developing energy resources whereby every resource is utilized in order to kickstart economic growth and electrification. With over 125.3 billion barrels of crude oil, 620 trillion cubic feet of gas, and nearly 16.4 billion short tons of coal, the continent is well-positioned to drive economic growth.
However, global climate policies and energy transition targets have restricted investment to ensure the full exploitation of the continent’s hydrocarbon resources. As a result, Africa continues to struggle with chronic energy shortages and high energy prices despite being the smallest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. As such, discussions at the Energy Transition Forum at AEW 2022 will be centered around Africa developing its own energy transition roadmap which enables the continent to raise and attract the investments required to diversify its energy portfolio through a mix of natural gas, renewables, oil, coal, nuclear and emerging technologies such as hydrogen.
Studies conducted by various think tanks such as the Frost & Sullivan, IHS Markit, and Rystad Energy – knowledge partners of AEW 2022 – highlight the important role natural gas will play in diversifying Africa’s energy mix and increasing energy security while ensuring decarbonization targets are met through to 2050. However, limited investments in gas exploration, production, and infrastructure development in gas-rich countries such as Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Niger, and Mozambique will need to be addressed. To address these challenges, the Energy Transition Forum unites investors, regulatory authorities, and energy market players to discuss the role of gas in Africa’s energy future and energy transition.
Moreover, climate change continues to impact Africa, leading to an increasing number of African countries such as Nigeria, Namibia, Morocco, South Africa, Uganda, and Kenya introducing policy reforms and initiatives to scale up renewable energy penetration in Africa. By incentivizing private sector participation, countries such as South Africa – through its Renewable Energy Integrated Power Producer Procurement program – are prioritizing energy security, decarbonization and affordability, resulting in an increase in independent power producers and renewables installation to improve access to energy across the continent.
What’s more, Nigeria has vowed to achieve climate neutrality by 2060 by increasing the share of natural gas and renewables in its energy mix whilst Namibia aims to make the development of hydrogen central to its energy policy. At the same time, South Africa has introduced its Hydrogen Society Roadmap to fast-forward the development of local content and hydrogen infrastructure whilst Morocco’s Law 13-09 and Egypt’s net metering scheme aim to expand distributed renewables development.
Inadequate investments remain a huge barrier to Africa’s energy transition, and as such, the Energy Transition Forum at AEW 2022 will focus on how African countries can modernize regulatory frameworks to attract the funding required to accelerate renewables energy development and the production and exploitation of other energy resources such as gas and hydrogen to ensure the continent is able to address energy security while meeting decarbonization objectives.
“With nearly 66% of the world’s population living without electricity access based in Africa, the continent needs to ramp up the production of all its energy resources including gas, oil, wind, and solar to ensure energy poverty is history by 2030. The AEC is honored to host the Energy Transition Forum at AEW 2022 where an African narrative of a just and inclusive energy transition that is fit for Africa will be developed. We will go from Cape to Cairo with a well-defined African message. Africans and the energy sector have a rare chance to define the narrative and we must.” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.
Under the theme, “Exploring and Investing in Africa’s Energy Future while Driving an Enabling Environment,” AEW 2022 will feature high-level meetings and panel discussions where government ministers, investors, academia, and energy market stakeholders will discuss how Africa can attract funding to boost exploration, production and infrastructure development to ensure secure supply while remaining a climate champion.