Panel Sessions

1. Achieving Technological Equality through Diversity and Inclusion

Organizer: Omowunmi Mary Longe

The World in which we live, work and study is quite diverse across gender, race, language, age, skills, discipline, experience, income, education, access to essential resources, technology, etc., and this has created some undeniable and unfavourable divisions and classifications among man. It is essential that we harness our diversities through the inclusivity of our unique capabilities without leaving anyone behind. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) have raised the concern of frontline technologies widening existing and creating new inequalities between developed, developing and least developed countries. Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean are below the World’s average in their readiness indices to equitably use, adopt and adapt technologies for their advancement. Therefore, this panel would address how technological equality can be achieved in the world irrespective of the present technological dichotomy that exists among the nations and contribute towards achieving the United Nations sustainable development goals. 

2. Hosting Capacity in Distribution Networks: Grid Integration of Solar Power

Organizer: Dr. Eng. Enock Mulenga

There is a limit to how much renewable electricity production and new consumption a distribution network can accept. The limit is termed the hosting capacity. The panel session is about hosting capacity in distribution networks. That is how much new consumption and production can be integrated into low and medium voltage networks. The session will provide some technical and regulatory limits, methods of estimating the limits (hosting capacity approach), methods to include future uncertainties (aleatory and epistemic uncertainties) in estimation methods and methods of increasing the hosting capacity.

The session will draw speakers from academia, industry and distribution network operators to talk about hosting capacity in distribution networks. Hosting capacity is talked about more elsewhere than in Africa. With solar power’s potential, there is a need to add more to distribution networks. The session will attract a broader audience among researchers, distribution network operators in Africa and industrial engineers. It is an exciting and up to date topic when renewable energy is considered.

3. Scaling up Productive Use of Energy for Food security and Economic Empowerment in Rwanda

Organizer: Energy Private Developers

This session aims at exchanging ideas on how to enhance the enabling environment for productive use of renewable energy in Rwanda. The objectives of this session are: to facilitate the knowledge generation and exchange on productive use applications in the country, discuss on available policies and environment issues stunting market growth, discuss on the priority actions to be undertaken by government institutions and agencies to realizing enabling environment. The expected outcomes are: the participation of the core players related to the theme of the discussion, a clear understanding of the productive use in Rwanda, knowledge exchange on the government target regarding the productive use of energy in Rwanda.

4. Smart Lighting for Developing Countries & Remote areas: What benefits? How to make it sustainable and affordable?

Organizer: Georges Zissis

Producing artificial light in night is a need inherent to human species, the most efficient way to do it is by using electrically powered lighting systems. That way, today, artificial light production absorbs around 2 900 TWh corresponding 13.5% of the world’s electricity annual production and use. With the increase of human population and growing economy, this amazing quantity of energy will inexorably increase in the next decades. Even if the major part of this energy is used (and sometimes spilled…) to light-up countries with developed economies, the situation is critical for developing counties: For instance, in some African countries electricity demand for lighting can reach up to 70% of national needs and in remote areas, disconnected from the grid, kerosene is still used to light-up dwellings with huge impact to environment, health and family’s finances. It is fundamental to find ways producing artificial light that fulfil population’s needs and support local economic development, while reducing human environmental footprint. The use of innovative lighting systems that are becoming “smart” and more efficient in terms of energy use could be potential solution. However, such systems are complex, expensive and often designed for “rich” populations. To implement them in developing areas is not a trivial question.

To be useful, the design must incorporate culture and community, be locally manufactured, and repairable. To function, the engineering must be of the highest quality, the product able to withstand the harshest environments. How to make them so sustainable for developing areas? What level of “smartness” is necessary to fulfil needs? How to integrate them into local-size grids powered by renewables? What type of standards are necessary to ensure that local populations get consistently excellent quality products with better performance and lower lifecycle costs? What economic models can be imagined making them affordable and accessible? What training is need for local populations to maintain and manage these systems? How to make local people actors and not only simple end-users? Come to this panel discussion to hear proposals that could answer these questions.

Featured Panelists

  • The SSL2 concept for Sustainable Smart Lighting systems – Prof Georges Zissis
  • What technical specifications and standards for stand-alone systems integrating renewables – Prof. Toby Cumberbatch
  • Exterior lighting: Making it right from the beginning! – Prof. Lambros T. Doulos
  • Enabling Safety and Energy Management Smartness for Lighting – Dr Urenna Onyewuchi
  • Smart streetlighting in off-grid settlements: integration with green and affordable electricity sources using ICT technologies – Larissa Paredes Muse

5. The Trend of E-Mobility in Africa - Opportunities and Challenges

Transportation is estimated to account for 40%* of total CO2 emissions on the continent of Africa and several nations import petroleum products that are used in this industry. As a result, switching to electric vehicles is one way to address energy reliance and global climate change problems. However, concerns about the economics, consumer behavior, technological viability, and infrastructure planning for the deployment of electric vehicles still prevail among other problems.

From the perspectives of private electric mobility firms, utilities, and infrastructure planners, this panel will address those issues. The conversation will focus on the grid’s readiness and plans for meeting the increased demand for electrical charging, as well as the possibility of using the batteries from electric vehicles to help maintain grid reliability, consumers’ perspectives, and the role of private companies in accelerating the transition.