Ways in which South Africa can expedite the transformation of its energy sector with a view to addressing the prevailing economic challenges and unlocking industrial opportunities will be the main focus during a two-day (11-12 November) virtual Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) 7th Biennial Conference.
Local and international experts in fields ranging from health, advanced agriculture and food, manufacturing, mining, defence, energy and other related disciplines will be in attendance. The theme of the conference is: “Touching lives through innovation”.
Although South Africa can be said to be relatively energy secure, but this raises concerns for most energy expert because the country relies heavily on coal to generate its electricity. It also depends on imported oil and liquid fuels for the transport sector. Globally coal is no longer recommended as an energy source because it contributes enormously to the emission of greenhouse gases which are responsible for the climate change.
On the panel will be Dr Clinton Carter Brown, Head: CSIR Energy Centre, who will be joined by Ms Nhlanhla Ngidi, Head of Energy and Electricity: South African Local Government Association; Mandy Rambharos, Head: Eskom Just Energy Transition office; Aalia Cassim, Director: Microeconomic Policy, Division: Economic Policy Analysis and Forecasting, National Treasury; Dr Jarrad Wright, CSIR principal engineer and Dee Fischer, Chief Director: Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, to unpack efforts to decarbonise the South African energy mix.
It is anticipated that the webinar will provide a scientifically informed perspective on the likelihood and extent of load shedding over the next three to five years, and provide some practical options for mitigation.
The South African economy is routinely exposed to endless national power cuts also known as load-shedding resulting in serious disruption of the electricity supply. The CSIR has performed an in-depth analysis of the South African power system to assess the extent to which load-shedding is expected to continue, its magnitude, and most importantly, the options and solutions that are available to reduce and mitigate load-shedding.
The second day of the conference will be dedicated to address other critical topics such technology demonstrations including sessions on small, medium and micro enterprises as drivers of South Africa’s economic recovery. Other sessions will look at the creation of a smart, sustainable and circular plastics economy in South Africa, and the industrialisation of additive manufacturing towards the revival of the country’s manufacturing industry.