Stimulating Africa’s energy efficiency

AUW africaLast week we visited the 14th annual African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa Conference, where a numerous amount of international delegates, exhibitors and visitors were found to gain new information about the latest developments within the renewable energy industry.

We sat down for a moment and spoke to Vodacom’s principal specialist, Mr. Glorioso, on how efficient energy usage is backed by technological developments and which direction this industry seems to be heading to.


As a principal specialist your focus lays on providing solutions for utilities, what is your definition of sustainability?
My personal understanding of sustainability would be, to provide energy in such a way that our resources wouldn’t reach depletion.

How does Vodacom support the renewable energy sector?
What we have is solutions, I think to effectively have renewable energy products you need technology. If we look at some of the products we have on display, it’s high-tech equipment. In order to use that high-tech equipment effectively, you need communications infrastructure between various equipment and head offices that manage these resources. We contribute by enabling communications infrastructure that supports and reinforces effective use of consumers’ resources from an equipment perspective. Together with our partners we are able to provide additional solutions that will allow consumers to measure their energy consumption by using smart metering products, water-monitoring solutions and energy data management solutions, which are mainly focused on large businesses.

SmartMeters are devices that allow households and businesses to manage their energy consumption more efficiently and cut down the billing costs, how smart is smart metering in South Africa?
Notwithstanding, South Africa is still at the early stages of smart meter roll-outs. Smart meters are capable of reading data in terms of energy usage and to switch off remotely. The accuracy of these devices will increase as technological developments take us further towards progression.

SmartMeters also enable efficient energy usage, which is needed to prevent depletion of our energy resources. What is forming the greatest challenge in implementing smart metering solutions throughout the whole of South Africa?

The innovative technology is present; organizations that roll out these solutions need the right expertise. Currently, what you’ll see is foreign companies who bring in their skills to South Africa to do these things, but local competence is also needed is to use it successfully.

What are you aspiring to gain from the African Utility Week?

I am looking forward to meeting delegates from various parts of the African continent. My previous exposure has mainly been to South African municipalities and South African utilities; I think I have a fair understanding of how they work. For me it’s about understanding what the challenges are and where the opportunities lay for us in the rest of Africa.

Written by – Asmeret Woldekidan