Africa’s population is the fastest-growing in the world – putting immense pressure on the development of Africa, especially the high demand for access to energy1.
According to the Tracking Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) seven: The Energy Progress Report by the International Energy Agency, the International Renewable Energy Agency, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization, Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest energy access rates in the world2.
The 2021 South African Energy Sector Report revealed that the energy sector in South Africa is at the centre of the economy due to the country’s high energy intensity3. Despite its recent electricity struggles, South Africa has a well-developed electricity network and one of the highest rates of electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa. The increase in climate change such as the recent KwaZulu-Natal floods can cause disruptions to energy supply and difficulties in demand management4.
Solutions to catch Africa up with the rest of the world should be nurtured to prepare the continent for exponential growth. For this reason, Innovate UK, in partnership with Global Alliance Africa, a project delivered by Innovate UK KTN, will be hosting Energy Catalyst’s launch and brokerage event in South Africa, with the purpose to help early- to late-stage innovators develop market-based technologies and business models that accelerate access to clean, modern and affordable energy in Africa, Asia and the Indo Pacific regions.
Established in 2014, Energy Catalyst has invested more than £147 million in over 360 projects. The Catalyst has launched round nine funding, to invest up to £20 million in innovation projects which improve energy access in a sustainable way, reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
Global Alliance Africa’s Knowledge Transfer Manager for South Africa, Marisa Naidoo says: As an initiative that prides itself in creating diverse connections to drive positive change, this partnership is essential for South Africa’s local energy sector. We will trailblaze connections with the rest of the world that will yield sustainable renewable energy solutions”.
Africa, especially South Africa is the perfect ground for innovative talent, and we already have that talent on our soil, and these solutions need to be shared with the rest of the world. We look forward to connecting innovators with new partners and new opportunities beyond their existing thinking – accelerating ambitious ideas into real-world solutions.”
The Energy Catalyst Programme, for which the event will provide a briefing and brokerage opportunity, is aimed at accelerating the innovations needed to create new or improved clean energy access in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or Indo-Pacific regions. This will create a just and inclusive energy transition and extend the benefits of clean energy to all to meet SDGs 7 ‘Affordable and clean energy’ and 13 ‘Climate action’.
Naidoo adds: We will be offering the South African local energy sector a chance to learn more about our Energy Catalyst Programme and pitch to potential partners from bioenergy, storage, solar PV, wind, heating and cooling, clean cooking, smart grids and novel payment systems.”
Through these successful collaborations with our partners, we help bring to market technologies and business models that can improve lives in Africa and Asia and prepare them for the growing population.
Key leaders in South Africa’s energy sector, including the Department of Science and Innovation will engage on topics relating to Innovation for Energy Security in South Africa.
Stakeholders and attendees will have the opportunity to receive a thorough overview of the Energy Catalyst Programme, hear from companies that have successfully received funding from the Energy Catalyst, and learn about what makes a good application, as well as network with industry leaders, stakeholders and individuals.