The electricity industry in Africa is undergoing massive transformation and the old linear model of conducting electricity affairs is being challenged and tested, as new models are emerging with far reaching impact
GE’s George Njenga shows how new technologies across the electricity value network are helping countries meet their electricity demands Sustaining these investments is key to assuring Africa’s growth Technology available today can be employed to create reliable, sustainable, localized and more efficient energy networks. That was the message that George Njenga, GM, Steam Power Systems for Sub Saharan Africa delivered to delegates while making his keynote address at the opening session of this year’s Power-Gen Africa and DistribuTech event in Johannesburg. The electricity industry in Africa is undergoing massive transformation and the old linear model of conducting electricity affairs is being challenged and tested, as new models are emerging with far reaching impact. “Distributed generation, smarter & cleaner steam power, renewables, smart grids, storage, prosumers, innovative financing, evolving energy policies and new political imperatives mean that energy stakeholders need to embrace new capabilities and innovative business models for better outcomes and to bring more power to the population, faster and more sustainably than before,” said Njenga. GE (www.GE.com) has been partnering with energy stakeholders to deploy innovative technologies tailored to respond to the needs of the region. In South Africa, GE is deploying smarter, cleaner, steam technology (www.GEPower.com/steam) solutions at the Medupi and Kusile Power plants. This super-critical steam technology ensures efficiency at the power plant that will reduce operating costs over the lifetime of the plant, while reducing CO2 emissions by up to two percent. In Angola, the government is using GE’s TM2500 mobile power plants (http://APO.af/NLoyzW) and containerized balance of plant equipment to achieve its additional electric power generation targets of 2 gigawatts and bringing fast, efficient power to its citizens. These units differentiate on speed, low emissions and fast start-up. In Ghana, GE’s high efficiency fuel-flexible-heavy-duty gas turbines (http://APO.af/0au4QA) are being deployed by the government to address the country’s growing energy needs. These rugged machines can burn more than 50 types of fuels giving Ghana great flexibility on available fuels. “GE is committed to helping countries meet their growing energy demands with its full spectrum of energy solutions that will help them increase their energy capacity, and improve the reliability of their networks,” Njenga said. “Many of the solutions we are demonstrating at this event have already been deployed and are making a difference today,” he added. On the digital front, GE’s Predix* (www.GE.com/digital/predix) based Asset Performance Management (APM) (http://APO.af/TcdteU) software, is being deployed in new and existing installations across the region. This software leverages data analytics to monitor power generation and transmission equipment health to predict potential failures and thereby reduce unplanned downtime by up to 5 percent, lower operations and maintenance costs, and lower operational risks. Developing reliable power supplies across the continent is a global priority and a critical necessity to ensure Africa can reach its economic and human potential. PowerGen and DistribuTech brings together utilities, financiers and energy leaders from across the region to discuss and develop technical knowledge in the field of electricity generation, transmission and distribution.