Cape Town – At a time when the world’s natural food resources are under pressure, the World Bank announced that population growth and rapidly-expanding economies place additional demands, on these resources.
Diego Rodriguez, senior economist at the World Bank, was speaking at the African Utility Week Conference happening at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
This is where 5 000 electricity and water professionals are looking at clean energy solutions.
“We hope to ensure that African governments as well as the private sector are aware of the interdependencies and foreseeable pressure on water as a resource for energy generation,” he said.
“Significant amounts of water are needed in almost all energy generation processes from generating hydropower to cooling and in extracting and processing fuels. Both energy and water are used in the production of crops.”
Attendees at the conference included utility heads from South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, Namibia, Senegal, Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.
According to Rodriguez their aim is also to address and raise awareness about the interdependence of energy and water development and the growing challenges it poses for countries in decades to come.
Topics which were discussed included energy-water-food nexus, energy efficiency, rural electrification, smart metering and how utilities can incorporate renewable energy.
Speaking about solar energy was Stephan Padlewski, the market and programme leader at DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions, who said that the quality of material used in solar energy products are important.
He said that their solar sites generate over 11 million kWh of energy per year.
“The future of solar energy in South Africa is very bright. According to recent reports the solar energy products is facing a quality crisis. Long term exposure is the ultimate test for all module components,” he said.