Wärtsilä advocates for flexible energy systems to accelerate Southern Africa’s transition to renewable Energy

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  • In a recent address, Anders Lindberg, President, Wärtsilä Energy and EVP, Wärtsilä Corporation, underscored the urgent need for Southern Africa to embrace flexible energy systems to expedite its transition to renewable energy.

Speaking at Wärtsilä’s Southern Africa Energy Transition Forum held in Johannesburg last week, Lindberg emphasised the critical role of flexibility in overcoming the challenges posed by the region’s energy landscape and achieving sustainable and reliable power generation.

“The world is moving towards a sustainable energy future,” Lindberg stated. “Energy should be the beating heart of our society. But here in South Africa and neighbouring countries, that heart is not that healthy. Too often, energy is causing unnecessary issues and complications for the society it should serve.”

He highlighted the increasing power struggles in the region, stressing the need for sustainable and reliable power generation. “With the energy transition accelerating, renewable power generation will dominate our future energy systems. We must adapt our grids to be able to react quickly to changes in supply and demand, whilst delivering clean and reliable power whenever and wherever it is needed.”

The keynote address clarified the imperative of integrating flexibility into the energy infrastructure, emphasising that renewables alone are insufficient for achieving net-zero goals. Lindberg also referenced Wärtsilä’s power system modelling, demonstrating that a combination of renewable generation and flexibility assets could significantly decarbonise the power system in South Africa.

He also took the opportunity to commend the South African government’s initiatives towards energy transition, including the introduction of tenders as part of the Risk Mitigation and Gas IPPP Procurement Programmes, as well as the recent Gas Master Plan.

The address concluded with a call to action, urging stakeholders to collaborate in designing flexible, future-proof energy systems. “We at Wärtsilä envision a 100% renewable energy future,” Lindberg stated. “A future where renewables are the main source of power, supported by energy storage and flexible balancing gas engine power plants eventually running on sustainable fuels.”

Wärtsilä’s Southern Africa Energy Transition Forum was hosted in conjunction with H.E. Ms. Anne Lammila, Ambassador of Finland to South Africa. Other key speakers on the day included Thabang Audat, Chief Director Planning, Department of Mineral Resources & Energy about the recently launched Gas Master Plan for South Africa, as well as Executive Office from the Industrial Gas Users Association of Southern Africa, Jaco Human, about the status of the regional gas and meeting the demand for gas to power in the country.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal



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