The Africa Energy Forum returned to London this week with three days of discussion on the key issues facing the energy sector in Africa. AEF21 brought together governments, utilities and regulators with investors, developers, service providers and other decision-makers.
Our CEO, Simon Hodson spoke at one of the key interactive panels on “Strengthening the financial health of utilities” alongside representatives from the African Development Bank, IFC, GRIDCo and EDM, Mozambique’s electricity utility.
The panel tackled key questions facing the utility sector in Africa, including what solutions are needed to increase vitally-needed investment; the role of banks and capital markets; and what we can learn from recent examples of success and failure.
Simon and the panel discussed the importance of sustainable business models for the utility sector and also for larger, off-grid, distributed renewable energy projects.
Commenting at the AEF conference, Gridworks CEO, Simon Hodson said:
“The importance of well-run, financially sustainable utilities is now at the heart of the African energy debate. This was demonstrated by a real commitment amongst today’s panel to support the sector reform necessary to bring in private sector investment to Africa’s utilities.
“When Gridworks launched at AEF in Lisbon in 2019 there simply wasn’t the interest in the transmission and distribution sector, nor the recognition of its importance to the energy and climate goals that we’ve set ourselves. This has now changed and there’s greater recognition that unless we fix the middle – the utilities that carry electricity – then we simply won’t make the necessary progress on energy access and on increasing the amount of green generation onto the grid.”