The prevailing challenges surrounding the energy sector across West Africa bring to the fore two salient realities. First, the region will not be able to sufficiently contribute to the global energy transition without a resilient energy system and second, the global clean energy transition holds new promise for Africa’s economic and social development, with renewable energy and other emerging areas offering strong growth potential, if well managed and leveraged. Therefore, experts believe that for West Africa to significantly contribute to the global energy transition, its three pillars – decarbonisation, financial investments, and digitalisation and technologies must occupy a central place while complementing each other, and here’s why. Which is why Middle East Energy, the leading international trade event for the energy industry, organised by Informa Markets is leading the charge. This and many more will be thrust of the 2023 event where 900 exhibitors and 25,000 guests are expected this week. According to the Exhibition Manager, Ade Yesufu, this will accelerate Nigeria’s energy transition plan. Precious Ugwuzor brings excerpts
Tell us about Middle East Energy and what the 2023 conference and exhibition offers
Middle East Energy is the leading international trade event for the energy industry organized by Informa Markets. This event is a unique platform for energy leaders to explore the latest technological advancements in the energy sector whilst participating in relevant discourse with other leaders across the region.
This year’s edition will hold at the Dubai World Trade Centre and will focus on exploring key energy sub-sectors including the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity; energy consumption & management; renewable & clean energy; critical & backup power; and smart solutions.
It will also feature conferences and seminars that will work to outline the blueprint for accelerating energy transition across the Middle East and African region. These conferences will feature case studies that will inspire practical solutions to business challenges in the energy sector, as well as lay the groundwork for integrating renewables into the mix.
This year marks the 48th edition of MEE. In your opinion, what has led to the continued success of the program, and what is unique about this edition?
With a legacy of 48 years, Middle East Energy continues to grow its reputation as the leading industry event in the energy sector. This is because the event continues to impact the energy landscape by connecting the global community, allowing the discovery of innovative technologies and solutions, and providing networking and relationship-building opportunities.
This year, the quality of attendees across the spectrum is outstanding. All the brightest minds in the industry will all be in the same place and this is a result of the constant energy-changing needs of the industry-at-large. Middle East Energy will enable participants to evolve in order to have a diverse, digitised, and sustainable future.
The theme for this year’s edition is “Guiding the region through the energy transition”. How can MEE address Nigeria and Africa’s energy transition needs?
The dedicated renewable energy zone at the exhibition has grown by 20% this year. The country pavilions also feature state-of-the-art renewable energy products and solutions, especially solar, and other renewable sources. The collocated Intersolar Middle East event is a must-attend for Nigerians and Africans who are going through a transformation process, those who are seeking to diversify and those want to explore the latest advancement in renewable energy, energy storage, and green hydrogen.
With almost a thousand exhibitors expected from 170 countries, what kind of new technology or knowledge should participants aim to experience?
There are numerous technologies and solutions to be discovered across major product sectors that are leading the way in the energy transition i.e., generation, transmission & distribution, renewables and clean energy, smart solutions, and energy consumption & management. With an expected 25,000+ global audience, participants will explore insights on the future of alternative energy solutions that will help in delivering more efficient and effective power systems.
MEE is focusing on five distinct product sectors that are at the forefront of energy transition. Kindly share an overview of each of these sectors
As the industry continues to evolve for a diverse and sustainable future, Middle East Energy will explore the latest energy trends through five dedicated product sectors, all within a combined mega-show.
The first sector will be Smart Solutions which will highlight new technologies to an audience that is looking for ways to digitally transform their operations and business models. The Renewable & Clean Energy sector will cover key areas of the sector including solar, wind, and hydro energy solutions from across the world. This sector will also include transformative sub-sectors like energy storage & batteries and green hydrogen.
The Backup Generators & Critical Power sector will help guests source progressive energy solutions and explore new technologies from niche energy providers from across the world, enabling them to have a source of sustained electrical power to achieve continuous operations.
The Energy Consumption & Management sector supports participants in their need to establish systems that support the increase in energy consumption and helps to manage that by focusing on automation, data and energy efficiency, transformative lighting systems, and smarter ecosystems through energy management systems as well as digitalization of the energy system flow.
Lastly, the Transmission & Distribution at Middle East Energy is the longest and most successful sector. There is a constant need for the sector to innovate and adapt to the ever-changing energy landscape. This sector will host industry bellwethers and international companies from various countries, showcasing the entire value chain of products.
This year will also play host to the first Strategic Conference, a high-level forum focused on unpacking the complex opportunities and challenges in the energy and utilities sector. Please share insights about this conference.
The Strategic conference is the only high-level forum in Dubai exclusively for senior decision-makers in the energy and utilities sector in the Middle East and Africa. The overall theme of the three-day conference, ‘Powering the energy transition’, will shape the narrative of the conference, with stories from thought leaders who are developing and implementing strategies to successfully facilitate the energy transition. This will drive better stewardship over energy efficiency projects while ensuring adequate energy generation to meet future needs.
The first day will focus on the future energy outlook in the Middle East and Africa. The second day will feature conversations about decarbonizing energy and utilities, whilst the third day will center on dissecting future grids in terms of its implementation and impact.
What other sessions will be hosted at the MEE?
Middle East Energy will also host The MEA Utility CEO Roundtable which is an exclusive peer-to-peer platform that will feature over 30 CEOs from across the power value chain to discuss pressing issues and evolving opportunities. It will be a networking experience like no other, allowing for advanced strategic engagement and testimony sharing.
A technical seminar will be hosted as an interactive forum to discuss and demonstrate the innovations and technologies driving the energy transition. It will explore the practical application of cutting-edge research and innovation, and technological advancements in the energy and utilities sector important to stakeholders building, operating, and maintaining power plants, as well as transmission and distribution grids.
The Intersolar conference will guide the region through the energy transition by providing concentrated insights into the transformative dynamics of renewable energies.
Based on your expertise, what is your outlook for the energy industry in Africa for the next five years?
Affordable and reliable energy for all Africans remains an absolute priority for all Africans in the next five years. Presently 600 million people which is about 43% of the total population lack access to electricity, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. Countries such as Ghana, Kenya, and Rwanda are on track for full access by 2030, offering success stories other countries can follow. In rural areas, where over 80% of the electricity-deprived live, mini-grids and stand-alone systems, mostly solar-based, are the most viable solutions.
What is Informa Market’s plan for Nigeria and Africa in the next coming years?
Informa Markets hopes to support Nigeria and other African countries in reaching their developmental goals toward reaching their electrification targets and making power affordable and accessible to communities that do not have access. We have a host of events occurring across the continent that will help countries industrialize by providing an enabling platform for manufacturers and suppliers to engage with local stakeholders, as well as for buyers and sellers from across the globe to develop international relationships, and for investors to discover the opportunities available in the region.
Egypt Energy (previously known as Electrix) is the largest annual gathering of power and renewable energy professionals in North Africa. The event has been held for more than 30 years under the patronage of Egypt’s Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy to provide a platform for power manufacturers and innovators to showcase their latest technologies to buyers and key stakeholders from Egypt and the MENA region.
Nigeria Energy (formerly Power Nigeria) exhibition and conference is the leading energy event in West Africa. Now in its 10th year, Nigeria Energy has been rebranded, from Power Nigeria, to reflect the transformation currently sweeping through West Africa’s rapidly growing power sector. Held under the patronage of Nigeria’s Ministry of Power, the exhibition and conference annually attract hundreds of local and international suppliers and thousands of professional visitors.
We also have The Africa Energy Expo which is scheduled to be launched in February 2024 in Rwanda. It will help build a network of government & regulatory authorities, investors, contractors, project financiers, distributors, local manufacturers, and more to lay the groundwork for developing cost-effective energy solutions and bridge the investment gaps for African nations.
Middle East Energy, the leading energy industry event in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, will be making a highly-anticipated return to the Dubai World Trade Centre from 7 – 9 March 2023. Featuring the largest and most innovative power companies that will showcase the latest energy trends from smart solutions to renewable & clean energy, Middle East Energy will provide a unique platform for energy leaders to debate and shape the future of the energy landscape.
Affordable and reliable energy for all Africans remains an absolute priority for all Africans in the next five years. Presently 600 million people which is about 43 per cent of the total population lack access to electricity, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa