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Exclusive Interview: Simon Gosling, MD of Energynet

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Simon’s role is to lead the team and to develop Energynet’s global business portfolio, with a specific focus on government and private investment in Africa’s power and industrial infrastructure sectors. Simon is responsible the company’s focus on growing economies where energy access is a critical barrier to political and social stability which directly impedes growth.

Over the last four years he has led the creation of a number of important initiatives and investments including; the ‘EnergyNet Student Engagement Initiative’ which has supported 53 African students over the last two years (of those students 18 are now on management training contracts with some of the world’s leading solution providers); ‘The Arts Energy Partnership’ which promotes artists and musicians and works with them to express how access to energy impacts their work and creations; ‘The Not Just Talking Fund for Energy Access’, which is a not for profit investment vehicle that has financed and facilitated knowledge partnerships for ‘Off the Grid’ energy projects – the first investment was into the South Africa ‘Solar Turtle’ which is a micro-utility providing electricity to the ‘Pheasant Folly Primary School’ in Johannesburg and its 1,500 school children, as well as 300 homes in the community of Palm Ridge.

EnergyNet has received a number of awards including inn 2014, when on the advice of Rt Hon David Cameron, EnergyNet were awarded the Queens Awards Enterprise: International Trade by H.M. Queen Elizabeth ii at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

In 140 characters or less – what is Energynet?

The pioneering energy-focused organiser of forums and collaborations designed to facilitate investment into Africa’s power & industrial sectors

What was the driver for creating Energynet – what gap did it fill?

Facilitating investment summits where international investors can build relationships with credible African public sector stakeholders. When we founded Energynet 23 years ago, we wanted to provide an environment to do business. This is still the case today.

Who does it primarily serve?

Energynet  works in Europe, the USA, China and across the African continent to facilitate investment summits where international investors can build relationships with credible African public sector stakeholders.

Best known for the Africa Energy Forum, which is taking place in London in June, and provides a meeting place for senior level decision makers in Africa’s power sector.  EnergyNet also produces the Powering Africa: Series- in-country investment meetings which provide a more detailed perspective on the investment landscape and power generation potential of countries such as Nigeria, Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana Ethiopia, South Africa and Egypt.

What difference does Energynet want to make?

We understand what it takes to work in challenging environment to generate, transmit and distribute power, and how easily millions of dollars are wasted because of changing politics, out of date industry data or simply cultural nuances.  We help connect businesses with investors and regional governments to bring power to Africa.

Energynet has proved over the last 18 years that by remaining focused, you can build a network that can find solutions in the most challenging of environments – “It’s all about what you know and who you know

What are the barriers to making that difference?                        

A changing and fragmented political landscape, a lack of infrastructure for innovation and investment that is required to develop Africa’s power projects.

What needs to happen politically to accelerate your growth?

A solutions focused approach that brings together all the relevant stakeholders. That is why Energynet has developed and nurtured the Off the Grid Club which will bring the right people together.  This will make a real difference and will help African communities to establish the infrastructure required to move forward economically.

How can people – individuals and organisations – find out more about Energynet?

You can learn more on http://www.energynet.co.uk or check out how the Off the Grid Club (website) is making it happen. The Off The Grid Club officially kicks off on the 23rd June at the Africa Energy Forum in London with a festival-style gig celebrating African music.  

What is the Off the Grid Club?

Off The Grid Club as a new membership programme developed by Energynet, to bring together credible off grid technology providers, financiers and regional leaders to invest in and develop reliable and scalable power solutions for Africa. It will provide a platform for members to form partnerships, giving them the opportunity to scale up their products and bring them to market more quickly.

Off the Grid Club will launch at the Africa Energy Forum in London this June, as African artists come together to perform in a special gig to raise awareness of the importance of energy access. The gig is organised in partnership with Shake Your Power, one of the Founding Members of the Club.

 

 

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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