3 June, 2021 News

Nearly 870m people still have no access to electricity, say experts at Middle East Energy

31 May 2021 – Despite the tremendous progress made in accelerating access to electricity, nearly 870 million people  across the globe still lack access to electricity, said top industry heavyweights on the opening day of Middle East Energy in Dubai. 

The experts reiterated the message that more needs to be done to ensure universal energy access during  Middle East Energy's Critical and Backup Power sector focus week which runs till June 2.

As part of the first session of the day, Making energy accessible to all: the opportunities and challenges around off-grid power, experts Joel Sam, Head of Impact Research, Africa Green Co and David Lecoque, CEO, Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), highlighted the necessity to provide electricity access to millions.

"Since our creation 15 years ago, tremendous strides have been made in accelerating access to electricity, enabling more than 1 billion people to gain electricity access over this period," said Lecoque.

“However, despite that progress, 1.5 billion suffer from unreliable services. These numbers are exacerbated by the global population growth, which means that at current rates, the electrification will mean that around 620 million people will remain without access to clean and affordable electricity by 2030, of which 85% will be living in Sub Saharan Africa,” he added.

As part of the solution to the problem, Lecoque outlined the need for decentralised renewable energies (DRE). 

"DREs are poised to be the least-cost electrification option for more than half of all connections needed to provide sustainable electricity for all by 2030. DRE do so in a way that is fast, cost-effective and clean," he stated.

"It provides rural and peri-urban communities with sustainability electricity services to power livelihoods, doing so in a way that catalyses socio-economic development and local green job creation, that is future-proof, and that is effectively addressing climate change," explained Lecoque. 

Rounding out sessions on day one were Reducing fuel consumption: hybrid gen-set and renewable energy technologies by Gorkum Soyumer, Head of New Business and Product Innovation, Siraj Power. 

While sessions on How technology is revolutionising the energy industry, Decarbonising the Critical and Backup Power Industry and Latest technologies in Storage Solutions concluded the day.

Other key highlights at Middle East Energy’s third virtual focus week include the sessions – Securing energy security for critical infrastructure, Innovative backup power solutions for data centres, and Energy Storage, Management and Efficiency – on day two. 

There will be a deep dive into the backup power market on day three, exploring the latest trends and opportunities.

A mainstay of the virtual weeks’ is the series of product pitches and sponsored sessions. During the Critical and Backup Power sector week, companies including Perkins, Alcad, Cummins, Woodward and Saft will all present their latest technology advances focusing on alternators, diesel engines, controls and auto transfer switch control modules.

Claudia Konieczna, Exhibition Director, Middle East Energy, said: "Our partners and sponsors are an integral part of facilitating connections and driving the industry forward. As an event, we pride ourselves on showcasing the latest innovations and solutions within the energy sector."

"This is particularly important from a power continuity perspective, with much of the world’s critical infrastructure including data centres, medical facilities, transport and education driven by a sustained power supply," she stated.

According to Konieczna, the Energy Startup Hub, run in partnership with Green Climate Ventures and sponsored by Schneider Electric, also returns for a third week. 

The hub provides global energy startups with a platform to showcase their innovations to a panel of investors and industry experts. The winner will be announced during the final week of the virtual showcase starting June 7.