November 9, 2021
Our Managing Director Carlo Papa and Deputy Director Giuseppe Montesano recently published an article on AEIT, the magazine of the Italian Association of Electrical, Electronics, Automation, Information and Communication Technology. The piece came out on the July/August issue and was titled: “Energy transition for everyone: key elements”.
Centuries of economic development taught us the importance of electricity grids for national growth and social welfare. The progress towards the achievement of the 7th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG7) of the United Nations, i.e. to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, was slowed down by COVID-19, making the need to implement more efficient models all the more urgent.
Africa’s future largely depends on the progress of a just energy transition in the continent, able to involve as many people as possible and take into consideration the actual aspirations and potential of the regions rather than assuming theoretically set energy consumption rates. Modular implementation is key for such a development combining renewable generation with large- and small-scale grids, especially in light of the two megatrends in Africa, i.e. population growth and urbanization, that both require an intensification of electricity distribution, especially in metropolitan areas. This is allowed by three factors: technical planning, business model and investment financing.
All these factors, coupled with operational procedures that give value to the human factor, can ensure the consolidation of renewables and smart electric grids and in turn foster African development. Convergence especially is required to have all the parties involved to reach a sustainable growth in the whole continent. It’s key that public bodies, and national and international institutions work together to define clear policies and strong regulatory frameworks, able to encourage asset investments and human capital to lead and fuel a common and better future.
The article on AEIT is an evolution of a 2018 contribution to the Oxford Energy Forum issue dedicated to electrifying Africa, where it was argued how the adoption of smart solutions can support the development of decentralized rural electricity systems and their connection to central grids fuelled by renewables.