By Catherine Muchiri
The 3rd Edition of the Renewable Energy International Conference and Expo is set to take place in Victoria Falls next month with dates tentatively set for March 22-25.
Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), through The Standard newspaper and Heart and Soul TV, is the facilitator of these international conferences on renewable energy that take place annually.
Zimbabwe has endorsed the adoption of renewable energy and AMH has taken a leading role in the facilitation of the processes that the country will follow in its quest for clean energy by 2030.
The conferences and expos bring together various experts, authorities and financiers for discussions that map the way forward on the road to the 2030 clean goal that has been set by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The first such gathering was also held in Victoria Falls two years ago followed by another one held last year in Nyanga.
This year’s conference will be hosted by The Standard in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Power Development under the theme “The New Frontier: Net Zero Africa”.
The Chief Executive Officer for Alpha Media Holdings, Kenias Mafukidze said this year’s conference and expo was particularly significant, coming as it does on the heels of the world conference COP26.
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He said: “This year’s event is crucial as it comes after ‘The Conference of Parties (COP26)’ hosted in UK Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November 2021.”
“COP26 was the most prominent summit that discussed securing global net-zero by mid-century, and this implies being less reliant on fossil fuels. Therefore, we see the event as an opportunity to implement and create traction from the COP26 event.”
Mafukidze spoke about the irony of the fact that Africa, which is the home of sunshine, turned out to be the continent with the highest number of people that depended on fossil fuels for energy. He said as Zimbabwe moved towards middle-income status by 2030, the energy sector was a critical supporting pillar that required immediate attention from all stakeholders.
“As Alpha Media Holdings, we fully support this vision and the objectives of the government. We continue to pledge our support to the government’s efforts to improve Zimbabwe’s general standards of living,” Mafukidze said.
“As we transition to a carbon-free future, support for the conference has been sought from the President, His Excellency Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, to be the keynote speaker,” said Mafukidze.
Areas of discussion at the conference will revolve around the COP26 resolutions of adaptation, finance and mitigation, internationally bankable Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), re-thinking mobility, local government catalysing renewable energy uptake in rural areas and climate and cyber threat.
Others include climate change and mitigation, focus on 1SO 50001, decarbonisation of the grid, nuclear energy, waste to energy resources and migration from dirty power to clean energy.
The objectives of the conference are to understand the value and raise awareness of the key impacts of renewable energy. The conference will also look to mapping the implementation programmes for African countries, mobilising financial resources for renewable projects in Africa and accelerating the transition from coal to clean power and also the transition to zero emission vehicles.
Participation by the International Renewable Energy Agency has been confirmed and invitations are open for all policy makers, technology and power developers, utility and regulators development bankers, diplomats, solar equipment manufacturers, transport operators and other interested parties.
Zimbabwe has embraced the global shift from the use of fossil energy that has been responsible for the obtaining climate change which has brought misery to the world and now threatens humanity’s very existence.
Last year’s conference in Nyanga drew government officials including Energy minister Zhemu Soda and permanent secretary Gloria Magombo along with several ministry officials.