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Challenge accepted - charting a solar path to energy security

Feb 13, 2024

3rd annual Solar Power Africa conference explores routes to a sustainable future.

Attendees at the 3rd annual Solar Power Africa conference have accepted the challenge laid down by Mayor of Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis.

Highlighting Cape Town’s pioneering efforts in his keynote address at the conference, Hill-Lewis called on stakeholders across the solar, renewable and wider energy industries to be bolder and think differently.

Reflecting on the efforts of the city to harness the power of their residents to mitigate load-shedding and end their reliance on Eskom, it was clear that the Mayor wanted more action, more diverse thinking and more collaboration from the industry representatives present at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Hill-Lewis laid down a clear challenge, “Our energy solutions have to be diverse, they have to be cost-effective, they have to be nimble and, importantly, they have to be sustainable and clean. Many of these solutions are going to come from the people gathered here at Cape Town’s CTICC right now.”

And indeed, solutions, collaborations and partnerships were forged over the 3 days as delegates participated in a packed agenda encompassing the theme Empowering Africa's Energy Future: Solar and Storage Solutions for Sustainable Development.

The full spectrum of stakeholders with a vested interest in energy were in attendance at  Solar Power Africa, with investors, developers, academics, government representatives and key industry decision-makers all coming together to help shape, influence and implement solar and storage solutions to meet the country’s energy needs.

In addition to the insightful and engaging topics discussed and debated, the conference was opened with a keynote address from Bertha Dlamini, from the Department Mineral Resources and Energy, who outlined the government’s plans to support a strengthened African solar industry.

“The 3 day conference was designed to push the boundaries, challenge traditional thinking and help stakeholders from across the energy value chain unpack the future of solar and storage and chart a path to sustainable development. And we definitely succeeded. The calibre of delegates, visitors and speakers across the 3 days is testament to how far this sector has come and how much more we have to deliver,” said Michael Dehn, Managing Director of Messe Frankfurt South Africa.

“Solar Power Africa could not happen without the engagement and support of our sponsors and partners. We are incredibly grateful to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, Absa, Huawei FusionSolar, GreenCape, Gamechange Solar, Enel Green Power, Africa Solar Industry Association, Circular Energy, South African Energy Storage Association and of course all our incredible speakers, facilitators and attendees.”

Innovation, cutting-edge technology and the latest breakthroughs in the solar and storage sector were on display at the expo, which featured a packed exhibition floor of international and local companies, all ready to network, collaborate and leverage renewable energy and new technologies.

Solar Power Africa’s position as the continent’s leading solar and energy storage event in Africa was reinforced with the attendance of Dr. Franziska Brantner, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action in Germany.

Dr Brantner was joined by James Vos Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, and together they attended the Solar Power Africa 2024 expo, walking the floor and engaging with the innovative and inspiring exhibitors.

Organised by Messe Frankfurt, Solar Power Africa is presented in partnership with RE+ Events (formerly Solar Power Events), the organisers of Solar Power International (SPI), North America’s largest and most prestigious event for the solar and energy storage sectors.

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