I have had the pleasure of being on site at African Utility Week and had the privilege of hearing some truly amazing keynote speakers sharing their visions around Africa's power sector.
Mongenzie Ntsokolo of Eskom; Michael Liebreich of Bloomberg New Energy Finance; Jim Rogers who is an ex-CEO of Duke Energy in the US and Kandeh Yumkella who is the CEO for Sustainable Energy for All, spoke about the challenges, but more importantly, about the opportunities that Africa has. One key message that came out of the session was that Africa must be responsible for driving the change. Yumkella challenged utility CEOs, telling them that if they fail at their jobs, people die. Starkly put, in Africa this is the reality. But it's not all doom and gloom. Opportunities abound, funding is available and political will is strongly behind the need for more energy. The important things is to determine what the next steps are.
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In an interview at African Utility Week, John Ayodele, deputy managing director at Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company expands on the utility’s 300,000 meter rollout. According to John, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company has developed a 10-year metering plan, spanning through 2015 to 2024, with a projected total investment of N47.18 billion (US$237,026,186). [Utility exec expands on Nigerian meter rollout at AUW]. This metering plan is expected to have 80 per cent of the utility's customers metered by the end of 2018. In order to achieve this, the electricity distribution company is planning to install over 300,000 smart meters annually, beginning from 2016 to 2024.
Global IoT technology provider Actility partnered with US based IoT company myDevices to simplify the deployment of IoT technologies. In a combined statement, Olivier Hersent, the founder of Actility said the collaboration aims to “simplify and accelerate the deployments of complex IoT projects such as Smart Cities and Smart Buildings.” [Actility partners with US firm to enhance IoT deployments]. The agreement will allow the French headquartered IoT technology firm to combine its technology with myDevices’ connected devices solution to come up with a platform comprising of an IoT Project builder for easy connection, monitoring and control of sensors, motors, lights and various IoT devices.
In the US, power utility Pacific Power signed a contract with smart energy network provider Silver Spring for the rollout of an advanced metering project in Oregon. The agreement will allow the solutions provider to deploy its technology Gen5 IPv6 for a two-way communication of the advanced metering infrastructure. [Pacific Power signs Silver Spring for AMI connectivity]. In a combined statement, the utility serving over 740,000 consumers in Oregon, Washington and California said it selected the platform to “better serve its 600,000 customers in 180 communities, improve grid maintenance and reliability in Oregon."
The California Independent System Operator (ISO) partnered with data storage solutions provider Dispersive Technologies to ensure a secure automated data communications. In a press statement, the US based solutions provider said it will integrate its platform Virtualized Networks to improve the performance and reliability of the smart grid data telemetry within the utility's network. [California electric company signs IT firm to secure communications]. Commenting on the development, Steve Berberich, CEO of ISO said: "Electricity markets continue on a path toward regionalization, unlocking the potential for expanding resource flexibility, transmission capabilities, and clean energy.