JET summit: Shaping Africa’s energy future

THE upcoming African Energy Week (AEW) an invest in African energy conference, is set to feature a Just Energy Transition (JET) Summit, bringing together African energy policymakers, industry leaders, community representatives and global investors to develop actionable solutions for building a sustainable energy future.

A statement issued yesterday by African Energy Chamber (AEC) and shared to this paper, indicated that the Summit will discuss Africa’s gas market potential as a transition fuel, from financing small-scale LNG to establishing integrated LPG value chains. Prioritizing gas development for enhanced energy security and industrialization, Mozambique is home to two planned large-scale LNG developments, as well as Eni’s Coral South and North projects. In South Africa, onshore LNG project progresses in Mpumalanga with gas-to-power plans, while TotalEnergies aims for FID on Brulpadda-Luiperd conventional gas field this year, anticipating commercial production by 2030.

According to the statement, Africa’s coal industry will also play a crucial role in shaping a just transition, with many countries relying on clean coal as a primary energy source. For instance, in South Africa, the Council for Geoscience is piloting the use of carbon capture storage and utilization technology to capture emissions from coal-fired power generation in Mpumalanga Province, leveraging funding from the World Bank. Botswana plans to construct a $2.5-billion coal-to-liquids plant, producing 12,000 barrels of diesel and gasoline daily. The facility will enable the southern African country to maximize the exploitation of its 212 billion tons of coal reserves for regional energy security, while reducing emissions, compared to using conventional coal combustion.

Therefore, the summit will address strategies to decarbonize and transition existing coal power stations, while ensuring assets are not left stranded.  Africa’s burgeoning green hydrogen industry is pivotal in advancing the continent’s inclusive energy transition agenda. By accelerating renewable energy infrastructure development, attracting new investments, creating jobs, and fostering workforce development, Africa is maximizing its green hydrogen potential.

On the other hand, Namibia is spearheading this movement with the $10 billion Tsau/Khaeb project, securing funding from global investors including the German government, Japanese investors, and regional financial institutions. The summit on the other hand, will spotlight projects and investment opportunities in Africa’s leading green hydrogen markets, such as Mauritania, Egypt, South Africa, and Morocco, illustrating their significant role in driving the energy transition continent-wide.

Furthermore, the gathering will highlight the intersection of social justice, environmental sustainability and economic policies, and how African leaders can prioritize local workforce development as part of the transition. It is said that private and public sector entities across Africa are introducing policies and programs aimed at supporting local capacity building and female empowerment, ensuring that oil and gas sector activities are inclusive. Last month, Angola-based investment firm ABO Capital launched the Amity Training Center in Luanda to equip the next-generation workforce with technical skills across various sectors, including oil and gas.

Namibia is also prioritizing local content with the launch of its draft Local Content Policy last November, anticipating an upcoming oil and gas boom and affirming capacity building as a critical component of a just transition. “The exploitation of Africa’s oil, gas, renewable and coal resources is crucial for a successful, inclusive and just energy transition. Increasing female and youth participation – another critical component of the Just Energy Transition Summit – will also ensure value addition to local economies, while ensuring long-term stability of energy markets,” states NJ Ayuk, the Executive Chairman of the AEC.