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Empowering Africa’s Youth: A Conversation on Skills for Tomorrow and Green Energy Careers with Makena Ireri, Director at the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet.

Quick Summary

On the back of #YES! – Youth Energy Day organized by EnergyNet Ltd, Oluoch Were was lucky enough to talk to Makena Ireri, Director, Demand, Jobs, and Livelihoods at Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet

We talked about:

  • Empowering Africa’s Youth
  • Skills for Tomorrow
  • Green Energy as a Viable Career Path
  • Africa’s Renewable Energy Progress
  • More

Do check the full interview on YouTube.


OW: Welcome Makena. Could you kindly introduce yourself?

MI: Yeah, sure. I’m Makena Ireri. I’m a director at GEAPP for a function called Demand Jobs and Livelihoods.

OW: Perfect. In a nutshell, what does your role entail?

MI: Yeah, I mean, it’s three seemingly unrelated words, but I think if you’re in the energy sector, they start to make sense. And what my function does is think about what happens after you supply the electricity. So you have a connection, a pole, electrons coming out of it. But in order for those electrons, that electricity to be useful, to impact people’s lives, to change the kind of incomes that they can have or to give jobs, you need to do something extra. So that’s what my team does. We focus on what needs to happen after electricity has been delivered to convert it into a meaningful impact for people. And that impact can be in terms of jobs, in terms of increasing their livelihoods, but also generally, for example, climate resilience and other ways that electricity is useful for development.

OW: That’s interesting because there are a lot of discussions currently going on globally with regard to energy and its impact on the end user is. As you’ve mentioned, it may be in the form of employment to the youth, or in the form of access to the end user, either in an off-grid rural area or even in an urban setup. So Makena, in terms of empowering Africa’s youth, what’s your take in terms of strategies or initiatives whereby when we are looking at helping empower Africa’s youth within the energy sector?

MI: I guess when you talk about empower, I think about giving people the choices and opportunities to make their lives better. So, that’s how I think about empowering, and I think about the youth in the energy sector right now in Africa, there’s a couple of things that are necessary and that people are working on. So the first one is skills development and training. Unfortunately, not always our education system is up to par with the changes that are happening around the world. Digitization, all this kind of new, I guess, technology that’s coming in. We need to keep our youth current and up to date. And so I think strategies around skilling or re-skilling and vocational training are really helpful, and there are a couple of organizations doing this in the energy space. Secondly, I think giving youth a chance to show what they can do. I think that is really empowering and that is supporting their innovations and ideas, because as we know, a lot of youths in Africa are very entrepreneurial, they have great ideas, and they can help solve some of the problems that are affecting the energy space. But we need to also give them the space, the resources, and the funding to be able to convert those ideas into action. And again, for example at GEAPP, in India, we’ve run the Entice program, which helps to bring youths to solve some of the problems that are, I guess, affecting the energy space, and that program is something that we’re really looking at as potentially transferable to Africa. So initiatives like those are really helpful. And then finally, work placement. I think having your first job is exciting. There are many entry-level jobs in the energy sector, and once you’re re-skilled or skilled or even straight out of university, in some cases, there are a lot of jobs. But the problem is matching the person to the job and vice versa. And so, for example, at GEAPP, we’re working with Shortlist to match young women in jobs into the energy sector, and that’s working out really well because we are seeing these women stay in these jobs for more than six months. We track them for up to six months and we’re seeing the positive life impacts that that has. Just getting that first meaningful professional job. So I think these are some of the ways we can really empower young people.

OW: Amazing! Talking of empowering Africa’s youth, you’ve also mentioned the skills that they need for them to be able to venture into the energy space in a way that will enable them to have an impact as individuals. You’ve also talked about mentorship in empowering the youth to pursue their careers in energy. What challenges do you think young individuals commonly face?

MI: I think one of the challenges is access to information. Yes, we’re living in a digital era and everyone feels like information is just in the palm of their hands. But I can think that if you’re a young person who’s not living in a capital city, let’s say, who doesn’t have access to a smartphone or the Internet, how are you going to know about the kind of skills that you need or any programs that are available to you? So I think empowering youth with access to information is important. I think that’s a real challenge, especially the more rural you go. I think the other challenge is funding. You know, access to resources to be able to do the things you need to do to grow in your career or to even start. So sometimes in other countries, we see things like grants being given for young people to travel and participate in activities, in conferences, for example, in Energy Net. And that really opens up people’s perspective. But that financial challenge even to make that journey can be a problem. Here we are also trying to solve some of these problems with some of our initiatives. In terms of youths growing in their career, I think another challenge is flexibility. We’ve kind of a little bit told young people that, you know, you go to school to be an engineer, when you leave work, you look for an engineering job. But that’s not the reality of how the world works nowadays. Things are very interdisciplinary. So we need to also empower youths to feel like they have options. You don’t have to stick to a specific career path. A lot of your skills are transferable. It’s just that maybe someone needs to show you how they’re transferable to the energy sector. So I think that’s something we also need to unpack and kind of support you to realize that there’s more out there than the thing you went to school for.

OW: Sure! This one actually takes me to what you’ve just mentioned in terms of gaining skills and being competent. Here I’m talking about skills for tomorrow. What are these essential skills and competencies needed for the future in the energy industry in Africa with regard to the youth?

MI: I think the future of energy in Africa is going to be very digital. So anything you can do to upscale yourself in understanding the new digital tools, AI, the Internet of Things, being able to program, I think that’s going to be really helpful. The other thing is, and I think I said this maybe too much, is to be flexible, to be able to learn how to learn. It seems like, you know, a bit of an odd thing. But the thing is that it’s always changing and it’s changing really quickly. We’ve seen the energy sector in Africa change dramatically in even 10 years. So you need to know how to learn and how to keep up with the changes. And that’s self-motivation, being able to find the information you need to move to the next step, being able to connect with people and build your networks. I think those things are really, really important. So I’d say technically, the more digital you go, the better. But on the soft skills, you need to network and you need to learn how to learn.

OW: Yes, because we are actually living in a digital world whereby on a daily basis, we’ve got emerging technologies, and I believe as we move forward, this will also help reshape the skills that are needed within the sector. And on the same note, how can educational or higher institutions of learning also plug into this, you know, this idea of digitalization apart from just an individual whereby I may at the end of the day, spare one or two hours for me to be able to basically learn a new skill. What about institutions?

MI: Yeah, I think they have a great role to play because that’s how most people can access any kind of learning through an institution. I think institutions in Kenya need to find ways to partner with institutions who are at the cutting edge of some of the skills that we want our own youth to have, right? So, for example, I know a lot of Western universities are starting to think about setting campuses in different parts of Africa, in different countries. But I guess we don’t need them to come to us. We can also make that connection. We have something to trade here, which is our knowledge and our content of our own continent, and then they bring their digital skills and together there’s this interesting match to be made there. So I think looking for opportunities to partner could bring really great skills into institutions that can be transferred to students and not just with other educational institutions, but also with private sector companies because they know what they want and they are looking forward and projecting into the future about what kind of skills they’ll need. So partnering with them, for example, to run fellowships, internships, and placements. I think you have much bigger bargaining powers, and institutions going to arrange something with a big company to always give opportunities to X number of students every six months, than for each individual to come, every individual by themselves. So I think they should look into these kinds of partnerships that bring extra skills and extra opportunities for students.

OW: Looking at green energy as a viable career path, what exactly do you think in terms of the green energy space evolving? Because, you know, it’s mentioned that over the last couple of years, especially looking at the African perspective, it’s an area that has really evolved. In terms of careers for the youths, what do you think in terms of growth and in terms of creating that space for these youths to be able to be absorbed?

MI: Yes, you’re right. The space has grown, and I mentioned before. When we talk about green energy, sometimes we put ourselves in a box, and I just want to expand that thinking there a little bit. So we think about it as renewables that go into the grid. We also think about it as off-grid energy, right? Think solar power in rural settings where they don’t have access to the grid, and all that is, I mean, it’s a huge sector and it has huge potential. If you read some of the latest estimates from the IEA, they’re talking about millions of jobs in Africa alone in the next seven years to 2030 when they project to 2030. So as a place you want to look for a job as a young person, I think there’s enormous potential. Now, what specific career paths? Of course, there’s the technical career paths. I think those are obvious and people talk about them a lot around engineering, technicians, right? All the way from technicians who install solar, but even the products that are using the electricity, right? Talk about irrigation or processing, all this kind of machinery. So there’s already that. I think another space that would be really interesting is entrepreneurship. I think the energy sector is going to need service providers for all sorts of things. As the sector grows,  I guess, how do you call it? Not sort of bifurcates. It specializes, right? So over time, they are going to need people who do very, very specific things, right? And those people can be entrepreneurs who come up with solutions. So let’s say a lot of energy, new energy is provided in a place like in a rural area like Turkana. Who then delivers, for example, the appliances that are going to be used there? We’re not going to expect an international company to come, we can solve that problem ourselves. Somebody can set up a business to deliver appliances to Turkana. So I think there’s many opportunities to drive your own business as a young person and a lot of funding against that. We’ve already talked about digitization, which I think is super interesting. But I think there’s also careers that are associated with energy, right? If you’re a lawyer, there’s a lot of contracts to be negotiated, signed agreements, all these things. You know, we were talking before about power purchase agreements. You can skew your practice to the energy sector. If you, in many careers, you can find transferable skills. So I think it has enormous potential. I think you don’t have to be technical to get involved. And I think people should really think about entrepreneurship and building the businesses that are going to service the energy sector in the future.

OW: And I actually like the angle or the perspective that you’re taking, whereby it’s not only a path whereby I’m looking at who should I follow in terms of building my career path, in terms of maybe gaining employment or getting employment. But I can as well build my own path in terms of being an entrepreneur. And you’ve also mentioned something quite interesting whereby I may as well come up with something, it might be totally maybe somewhere in rural area. I may as well come up with something which at the end of the day may have an impact to my, you know, to my society or my community. And this comes in when I’m thinking as an entrepreneur. It’s not only a matter of me building my career by expecting someone to employ me, but there are also opportunities whereby I can as well create my own path and come up with something. Looking at the same area in terms of advice, what advice would you give to a young professional who’s just venturing into the sector or someone who’s considering venturing into the green energy space? And they also have, as you mentioned, the traditional background in this field. What advice would you give such a person?

MI: Yeah, I mean, I think first of all, you have to decide the track you want to take. I mean, we’ve talked about self-employment and then we’re talking about employment here. So you decide which one, and for each of those two tracks, there are different paths you can follow. So if you want to go and become an entrepreneur, I think one of the things is you have to have an idea. You have to have something, right? Something that is worth someone investing a little bit of money to turn it into a real thing, a prototype, let’s say. And there institutions like the Kenya Climate Innovation Center, there are a lot of research and development grants that are available that people can search for. I think my search would start with connections in LinkedIn because people always put a lot of funds or whatever is available, like innovation or hackathon-type challenges that you can start with. So if you’re an entrepreneur, I’d say look for those. Look for that first seed money that is basically free money in the form of a grant of some sort to turn your idea into something. And that’s kind of like the seed that then grows you to the various steps. If you’re looking to come in as a professional, you’re looking for employment, I think there are always the traditional ways of looking for employment. I’m going to recruit as a specialist in the energy sector, like I mentioned, Shortlist, you know, making connections and networking. But I think there’s also maybe something practical there about not pigeonholing yourself. So you don’t have to always start with a job that sounds like a… Because sometimes I meet people and they’re like, oh, but I only want an associate role. But I’ve seen people grow from like even a six-month fellowship to a real career in the sector. So I think be open, be open to that first entry point. It can look almost anyhow because what matters is when you’re in, what you do and how you grow and now you’re in the network. So I think be open to that and be flexible.

OW: OK, cool. Thank you for that, Makena. Now, on a wider perspective, it’s actually being said that Africa is the next big thing when it comes to renewables when it comes to energy as a whole. Could you provide an overview of the current state of renewable energy adoption and development in Africa? Just a rough overview. What’s your take on it?

MI: Yeah, I guess I’m not going to quote you any numbers off my head because they’re likely to be wrong, given how things move as well. I guess where are we in Africa in the state of renewable energy? Where we are is that we’re showing a lot of promise. Now, promise is not real activity on the ground, and those things are separated by funding. So there’s a huge funding gap. The amount of energy that is required for everyone on this continent to live, you know, a good life, right? You know, we call it the modern energy minimum to live a good modern life where you have access to sufficient energy for all your daily needs and maybe to even make some income. It’s high, you know, and there’s a lot of us and there’s not enough money. Our countries have borrowed to a point where there isn’t really much left in the debt ceiling, and so that’s that’s a little bit of a crisis. But that doesn’t mean that there is no potential. What we’re seeing is that other different kinds of money is starting to come into the sector. For example, money that’s focused more on climate resilience or climate adaptation. So it doesn’t have the label of energy, but we know energy is crucial. For example, for providing irrigation that helps us factor in the climate or helps us be resilient to climate. So these interesting kinds of new money coming into the sector that has a different label, but really could still support the energy sector. And that’s exciting. There’s money coming from different other sources than are traditional donor base. So that’s also exciting. I think the other thing we’re seeing in the energy sector is that the push to off-grid energy is real and growing. You know, the off-grid energy sector for the last 10 years has been steadily growing. And now it’s a real thing. Big companies are investing in off-grid energy, in mini-grids, in solar home systems, things that used to not be counted as real investments. Everybody used to want to go on the grid. So that’s exciting, and that’s showing that there’s a lot of promise beyond just like the traditional energy supply that we used to have. We’re facing a transmission and distribution problem. I think that’s clear when we see brownouts and when we see what’s happening in South Africa with the load shedding. So upgrading our transmission lines is critical. Again, there’s different kinds of funding that are coming out from that, especially from the EU, which is which is interesting, and what else? What else is like top of mind? I think these are really the things we have a big energy gap. A lot of people, maybe globally, maybe half a million, half a billion, sorry, people don’t have access to energy. And that’s, you know, given that we need to meet SDG 7 by 2030. It’s looking like it’s going to be difficult. Right now, when I look at the path we are on, no, not really. Unless we do something really dramatic in the next couple of years. I mean, it’s only seven years away. But I think what we can do is get us on a trajectory that at least gets us close. But the universal access by 2030 is looking really difficult. Yeah, it’s looking really difficult.

OW: OK, thank you very much. I’m happy you touched on the notable renewable energy innovations that we as Africa will be in a better position if we are able to adopt, especially when you touched on irrigation because at the end of the day, we also need to be in a position to feed ourselves and being able to adopt not only productive use of energy in terms of irrigation but also being able to have an impact in terms of having funds for the end users to be able to, you know, have access to such equipment on the renewable energy side of it, clean energy side of it. It’s quite important. Aside from that, I’m also happy that you were able to touch on the obstacles that we as a continent have been facing, and the main challenge has been on the funding, whereby I may not have the exact statistics, but in terms of the amount of money that is being pumped into Africa as a continent, if you compare it with the rest of the world, it’s barely 20 percent in terms of whatever share we are having. And we also need to be innovative enough, as you mentioned, we need to be able to position ourselves in a manner that we’ll be able to secure these funds, because at the end of the day, when we are looking at climate change mitigation, Africa is being seen as one of the key areas whereby some of these things need to be fully enforced. So I’m happy you talking about that, and aside from that, there are quite a number of key areas that you’ve been able to shed some light on, all the way from how do we empower Africa’s youth to be able to properly venture into the energy space, what set of skills would be important for them to be able to properly position themselves within the sector, and also green energy as a viable career path, because there are a number of individuals or even youths outside there, and they’ve always looked at the energy sector as something, you know, this is only meant for a particular set of people, but there are quite a number of key areas that, different people with different background may as well venture into within the energy space. Thank you very much for that. Aside from that, I’m glad you also talked on the viability of the green energy careers, whereby there’s future, there’s hope, there’s quite a number of things that people may as well get themselves involved in. And yeah, thank you very much for your time and for the insights that you’ve shared with us. Together with the Energy Net, we’d also like to thank them for, you know, making the Yes All The World Youth Energy Day a reality. I believe there are quite a number of significant things that we’ll be able to do together, not only as partners, but also as GEAPP. So thank you very much, Makena, and I really appreciate your time.

MI: Thanks.

OW: OK, welcome.

Do check the full interview on YouTube.

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Electrifying Showdown: Battery vs. Hydrogen Trucks in the Epic Quest for Dominance


  • Current front-runner
  • Emerging contender
  • Verdict



The transportation industry is at a crossroads, with two major technologies vying for dominance: battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs). Both technologies offer the promise of zero-emission transportation, but each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Battery Electric Trucks: The Current Front-Runner

In 2022, nearly 66,000 electric buses and 60,000 medium- and heavy-duty trucks were sold worldwide, representing about 4.5% of all bus sales and 1.2% of truck sales globally. The majority of these vehicles were sold in China, which continues to dominate the production and sales of electric trucks and buses.

Battery electric trucks have several advantages. They are roughly 50% more efficient to operate than diesel trucks, making them at least 20% less expensive. Moreover, they produce zero tailpipe emissions, contributing to a significant reduction in carbon emissions3. However, they also face challenges such as limited driving range, longer refueling times, and the current lack of charging infrastructure, especially for long-haul routes.

Hydrogen Trucks: The Emerging Contender

Hydrogen trucks, on the other hand, are still in the early stages of market penetration. As of 2020, there were only 25,932 hydrogen-powered vehicles registered globally, with the majority being buses. However, the hydrogen truck market is projected to grow rapidly, with the global hydrogen trucks market size expected to surpass around USD 118.1 billion by 2032.

Hydrogen trucks offer significant environmental benefits, fuel efficiency, and noise reduction. They produce only water vapor as a byproduct, making them a clean energy solution. However, they also face challenges such as high initial costs, lack of a widespread refueling infrastructure, and safety concerns related to the storage and transportation of hydrogen.

The Verdict

While both battery and hydrogen trucks have their merits, the choice between the two technologies ultimately depends on the specific use case. Battery electric trucks are currently leading the race due to their higher efficiency and lower operating costs. However, hydrogen trucks hold promise for long-haul transportation due to their longer driving range and quicker refueling times.

The race between battery and hydrogen trucks is far from over. As technology advances and infrastructure develops, the balance could shift. For now, it’s clear that both technologies will play a crucial role in the transition to sustainable transportation.

In conclusion, the future of the trucking industry lies in the adoption of zero-emission technologies. Whether battery or hydrogen trucks will dominate the market remains to be seen. What is certain, however, is that the race is on, and the winner will be the environment.

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In the fast-paced world of marketing and sales, every day is a battle. A battle against time, against competition, and most importantly, against inefficiency and yet, we do not want renewable energy to loose. Without the right tools, the marketing and sales team often find themselves lost in a sea of data, struggling to identify potential leads and convert them into customers.

Imagine a day in the life of the sales and marketing team sifting through piles of data, trying to identify potential leads. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack – time-consuming and often frustrating.

Once they’ve identified potential leads, they need to reach out to them. But without an efficient way to manage and track their outreach efforts, they often find themselves juggling multiple tasks, struggling to keep track of who they’ve contacted, when, and what the response was. I know what you’re thinking, CRMs right!

And then there’s the challenge of personalization. In today’s competitive market, generic sales pitches especially in this niche “Renewable Energy” just doesn’t cut it. Customers expect personalized communication, tailored to their specific needs and interests. But without a tool to automate and streamline this process, personalization can be a daunting task. If we could only get ourselves a Chat GPT specifically customised for the job.

As I mentioned in my previous article, the goal is to ensure rapid sustainable growth of the industry. We can only expedite growth through profit realisation brought about by high turnover reflected from sales. Which begs the question, how do we generate leads? And not just leads, viable leads. Here is a secret and thank me later.

This works for us. Click here: LINK


  • Market dynamics
  • Rewards sharing
  • Constructing belief
  • Alliances & Cooperation

Leads Generation: LINK


Promotion in the Field of Renewable Energy

There is tremendous opportunity in the constantly expanding renewable energy market. Increased environmental consciousness is driving a rise in the demand for renewable energy sources. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for the renewable energy industry’s marketing.

Mordern marketing concept and tools for important lead generation in digital networks.

The Market and Its Dynamics

Learning the market is the first step in promoting green energy. This includes finding potential customers, analysing their requirements and preferences, and establishing a marketing strategy that addresses their demands. Homeowners, businesses, and even entire neighbourhoods are all viable markets for renewable energy.

Sharing the Rewards

Marketing in the renewable energy sector relies heavily on getting the word out about renewable energy’s many advantages. In addition to helping the planet, renewable energy can also help you save money and become less dependent on fossil fuels.

Constructing Belief

In the renewable energy industry, trust is essential. To accomplish this, honest and complete data about the efficacy and advantages of renewable energy systems must be made available. Offering guarantees or warranties is another trust-building measure.

Marketing renewable energy relies heavily on the use of technology. Marketing campaigns can benefit substantially from the use of technology, particularly the use of digital platforms to reach new customers and data analytics to evaluate market trends.

Alliances and Cooperation

One successful advertising tactic is to join forces with complementary businesses and institutions. This can help get the word out and expose it to more people.


The marketing of renewable energy products and services has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Marketers may help increase the use of renewable energy by being aware of the market, spreading the word about its benefits, gaining credibility, employing cutting-edge tools, and collaborating with like-minded businesses.

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Even as we push for adoption of renewables everyday, we need to ensure that they have longevity and are highly efficient. We would not want to see cases of renewable energy power plants being decommissioned or inefficiencies causing loadshedding, as it is the case in South Africa. If we remain complaisant on matter O&M for green plants, then all our efforts in pushing for adoption of clean energy goes down the drain. We need them to stand the test of time.

This matter of O&M begs the question, “is it possible to out source O&M?” Of-course you can locate reputable companies who would gladly do so on your behalf. The goal is to spearhead adoption of renewables for a more sustainable future hence we would gladly point you to the right direction if you need assistance.


  • Role of O&M
  • Stakeholders


Clean energy plants play a key role in fostering a sustainable and environmentally conscious future. The use of solar, wind, hydro, and other sustainable energy sources by these facilities is of paramount importance in mitigating our carbon emissions and addressing the issue of climate change. However, in the midst of the drive towards the implementation of renewable energy sources, the significance of effective Operations and Management (O&M) tends to be overlooked. This article aims to examine the diverse importance of operations and maintenance (O&M) in guaranteeing the durability and effectiveness of clean energy plants. Additionally, it emphasises the need for plant owners and operators to act and allocate resources towards O&M services.

The Hidden Pillar of Sustainability: Operations and Management in Clean Energy Plants

Clean energy facilities encompass more than a mere assemblage of solar panels, wind turbines, or hydropower generators. These initiatives embody a significant financial commitment towards addressing the issue of climate change. The long-term viability of these initiatives depends on the implementation of effective operations and maintenance practises.

  1. Optimizing Performance: Efficient O&M is the backbone of consistent, peak performance. Regular maintenance, monitoring, and fine-tuning ensure that these plants operate at their full potential. It prevents downtime, maximizes energy production, and ultimately accelerates the transition to clean energy.
  2. Cost Savings: Every energy plant has operational costs, but efficient O&M practices can significantly reduce these expenses over the long run. Proactive equipment checks, early fault detection, and timely repairs prevent costly breakdowns and extend the lifespan of valuable assets.
  3. Safety and Environmental Compliance: Effective O&M practices are paramount for safe and compliant operations. This not only protects the environment but also avoids expensive fines, legal troubles, and reputational damage.
  4. Prolonged Asset Lifespan: By extending the lifespan of equipment and infrastructure, O&M practices safeguard the substantial investments made in clean energy plants. This, in turn, provides a higher return on investment over time, making the shift to clean energy more economically attractive.
  5. Innovation and Upgrades: O&M teams are at the forefront of adopting innovative technologies and improvements. They can implement more efficient equipment, integrate energy storage solutions, and optimize plant layouts, further enhancing performance and sustainability.

The Hidden Pillar of Sustainability: Operations and Management in Clean Energy Plants

Now that we understand the pivotal role of O&M in clean energy plants, it’s essential for various stakeholders to step up and act.

1. Clean Energy Plant Owners and Operators: If you own or operate a clean energy facility, it is imperative to prioritize efficient O&M practices. Regularly invest in maintenance and monitoring to maximize your plant’s performance, reduce operational costs, and protect your investment. Collaborate with expert O&M service providers to ensure top-tier management of your assets.

2. Clean Energy Investors: Investors in clean energy projects should not merely be passive financiers. Encourage and support efficient O&M practices in the projects you fund. Your involvement can help ensure that these plants remain sustainable, both environmentally and financially.

3. O&M Service Providers: O&M providers, this is your time to shine. Reach out to clean energy plant owners and operators and make them aware of the vital role you play in their success. Offer customized solutions that focus on maximizing performance, sustainability, and return on investment. Prove that your services are the key to their clean energy plant’s longevity.

4. Governments and Policy Makers: Advocate for policies and incentives that promote efficient O&M in the clean energy sector. Recognize that the long-term sustainability of clean energy projects depends on proper management. By providing support, you will enhance the transition to a more sustainable future.


As the global community increasingly embraces the implementation of sustainable energy sources, it is imperative to acknowledge that the process does not culminate upon the completion of installation. The achievement of sustainable energy production is contingent upon the implementation of effective Operations and Management practises. By allocating resources towards operations and maintenance (O&M), we not only guarantee the realisation of a more environmentally friendly and sustainable global landscape, but also safeguard the ongoing success of clean energy facilities, thereby maximising the advantages of renewable energy sources.

It is imperative to initiate a comprehensive and collaborative effort, wherein all relevant parties, including plant owners, operators, investors, service providers, and policymakers, acknowledge the crucial significance of operations and maintenance (O&M) practises in our endeavour to foster environmental sustainability. The endeavour to combat climate change and ensure the long-term viability of our future hinges upon this critical factor. Collectively, let us advance and enact tangible change.

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The Potential Impacts of Expected El Niño Rains in Africa: A Cautionary Outlook


Embracing the Shift: Navigating Work from Home in the Modern World

In today’s fast-paced world, working from home has become the new norm, offering the freedom and flexibility we all crave. The global pandemic, COVID-19, transformed our understanding of work and showed us the pivotal role that technology plays in the 21st century.

As we continue to adapt, the work-from-home strategy remains a prevalent force. It’s a strategy that comes with numerous benefits for both employers and employees, promoting productivity and work-life balance.

However, as we look to the horizon, the forecast for the latter part of 2023 brings with it a new challenge. The predicted El Niño rains are on the horizon, and their impact is already being felt. Power cuts, blackouts, and disruptions due to lightning strikes, fallen power poles, and more have become recurring disruptions to our work routines.

It’s a direct manifestation of the climate changes we’ve all been hearing about. But rather than dwelling on the inconveniences, let’s shift our focus. How can we adapt and mitigate these challenges? What creative solutions can we explore to ensure that remote work remains a viable and sustainable option for all of us? These are the questions we’ll delve into as we embark on this journey together.


  • Understanding El Niño Phenomenon
  • Potential Consequences
  • Combating Climate change
  • Navigating the challenge

Understanding the El Niño Phenomenon and its Effects on African Climate

The El Niño phenomenon, a complex climate pattern characterized by warming ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific, has profound global implications. While it is often associated with extreme weather events, its impact on the African continent is of particular concern. El Niño can disrupt established weather patterns, leading to droughts, heavy rains, and other climate-related issues.

The Potential Consequences of El Niño Rains on Agricultural Production and Food Security

Agriculture is the backbone of many African economies, providing employment and sustenance for a significant portion of the population. El Niño rains, which can result in prolonged periods of heavy rainfall, pose a dual threat to agriculture in Africa. On one hand, they can lead to flooding, erode topsoil, and damage crops, causing significant financial losses for farmers. On the other hand, in regions not affected by excessive rainfall, droughts may occur, leading to water shortages and crop failure.

The consequences are dire: crop damage, food shortage, and an increased risk of famine. Food security, which is already a concern in many parts of Africa, becomes more precarious during El Niño events. It is essential to recognize these risks and develop adaptive strategies to ensure a stable food supply.

Increased Flooding and Infrastructure Damage: The Threats Posed by El Niño Rains

El Niño-induced heavy rains often result in widespread flooding. This can lead to significant infrastructure vulnerabilities and property damage. In urban areas, inadequate drainage systems can exacerbate flooding, resulting in inundated streets and damaged buildings. Infrastructure, including roads and bridges, may be compromised, impacting transportation and emergency response efforts.

The risk to public safety is a critical concern. As flooding intensifies, people’s lives are put at risk, and communities are left grappling with the aftermath. Hence, we need to invest in resilient infrastructure and improved flood management to mitigate these threats effectively.

The Health Risks Associated with El Niño Rains: Disease Outbreaks and Sanitation Challenges

El Niño events are also associated with health risks. The heavy rains can lead to stagnant water, creating breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes and other vectors. Waterborne illnesses, such as cholera, become more prevalent during these periods. Additionally, the increased humidity can encourage the spread of other infectious diseases.

Sanitation challenges are exacerbated as flooding disrupts wastewater management systems, contaminating water sources and increasing the likelihood of waterborne diseases. Adequate healthcare becomes even more critical during these times, as the healthcare system faces additional strain.

Preparing for the Impacts of El Niño Rains: Mitigation Strategies and Disaster Preparedness

To navigate the challenges posed by El Niño rains in Africa, a multi-pronged approach is necessary. This includes the development of comprehensive emergency response plans that involve local communities. Early warning systems are critical for providing timely information and enabling proactive responses to weather-related threats.

Community resilience efforts must be a priority. This includes educating communities about disaster preparedness, ensuring access to clean water and sanitation facilities, and creating flood-resistant infrastructure. National and international cooperation in disaster response and risk reduction is essential.

An Argument for Adopting Renewables to Combat Climate Change

El Niño events, which are driven in part by climate change, underline the urgency of addressing environmental issues. To combat the changing climate and its associated challenges, it is crucial to transition to renewable energy sources. Fossil fuels are a major contributor to global warming, and their use exacerbates climate-related events like El Niño.

Renewable energy, such as solar, wind, and hydropower, offers a sustainable and environmentally responsible alternative. By reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we can help mitigate the factors driving El Niño events. Transitioning to renewables not only addresses climate change but also supports economic growth and energy security in African nations.

Moreover, the link between El Niño events and climate change highlights the importance of adopting renewable energy sources to combat environmental challenges. It’s not only about addressing the consequences of El Niño but also about taking proactive steps to reduce the likelihood of such events in the future. By acting now, we can build a more resilient and sustainable Africa, better prepared to face the challenges of El Niño and climate change.

As we consider the interplay between El Niño rains and climate change, it becomes evident that the adoption of sustainable renewable energy sources is a crucial step towards mitigating these challenges. El Niño events, driven by shifts in oceanic and atmospheric conditions, are increasingly influenced by global climate change, leading to more frequent and severe weather anomalies. By reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and transitioning to clean energy alternatives, we can curtail the greenhouse gas emissions that exacerbate climate change and, in turn, contribute to the intensification of El Niño events. The deployment of renewables offers a dual benefit: not only does it decrease the environmental stressors that amplify El Niño impacts, but it also ensures a more resilient and sustainable energy infrastructure that can withstand and adapt to the changing climate. In this context, the adoption of renewable energy represents a proactive and constructive response to the interconnected challenges of climate change and El Niño, ensuring a safer and more sustainable future for Africa and the world at large.

Navigating the Challenges of El Niño Rains in Africa with Caution and Preparedness

El Niño events in Africa are unpredictable and can have devastating consequences. By recognizing the potential impacts on agriculture, infrastructure, public health, and food security, we can take proactive measures to mitigate their effects. Early warning systems, community resilience efforts, and sustainable infrastructure are essential components of this preparedness.

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The Path to Carbon Neutrality: How Individuals and Businesses Can Make a Positive Impact


How I wish all company Presidents, CEOs, MDs and Department Heads would be as nervous as I saw Apple Inc. management were in the previously released apple merchandise reveal 2023. Even Tim Cook was rehearsing what he would say when mother nature demanded accountability. Is that what we need in the real world, a real “watch dog” to keep us accountable or else?

Someone to follow up on the promises companies give when asked about carbon neutrality and sustainability, someone to keep us in check not to forget about the planet while we are busy chasing profits while being unsustainable. Judging from Apple Inc. entities can still be chasing carbon neutrality goal while still maintaining profitability.

Quick Summary

  • Carbon nuetrality’s role in addressing Climate Change
  • Role of Individuals
  • Role of Businesses
  • Innovations and Technologies
  • Benefits

Understanding the Importance of Carbon Neutrality and its Role in Addressing Climate Change

In an era marked by growing concerns about climate change, the concept of carbon neutrality has taken center stage. It represents a critical step in mitigating the environmental impacts of human activities, particularly the emission of greenhouse gases. As the world grapples with the consequences of climate change, understanding the significance of carbon neutrality and the role it plays in addressing these issues becomes paramount.

What is Carbon Neutrality and Why Should We Strive for It?

Carbon neutrality, often referred to as achieving “net-zero emissions,” is a state in which an entity, be it an individual, organization, or even a nation, balances the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere with actions that remove or offset an equivalent amount of these gases. The ultimate goal is to reach a point where the net emissions of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases are zero. Why is this goal so crucial?

Carbon dioxide, along with other greenhouse gases, traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, leading to global warming and climate change. These changes have far-reaching consequences, from more frequent and severe natural disasters to disruptions in ecosystems and threats to food security. Achieving carbon neutrality is not just an act of environmental responsibility; it’s a necessity to safeguard our planet for future generations.

The Role of Individuals in Achieving Carbon Neutrality: Small Changes That Make a Big Difference

Individuals have a significant role to play in the journey toward carbon neutrality. While the task may seem daunting, it’s essential to recognize that small changes in our daily lives can collectively make a substantial impact. Here are some practical steps individuals can take:

  1. Sustainable Lifestyle Choices: Adopting a more sustainable lifestyle involves reducing waste, conserving resources, and choosing eco-friendly products. Simple actions like reducing single-use plastic, conserving water, and supporting local, sustainable businesses can contribute to a lower carbon footprint.
  2. Energy-Efficient Practices at Home and Work: Switching to energy-efficient appliances, properly insulating homes, and using smart thermostats can significantly reduce energy consumption. Additionally, individuals can opt for renewable energy sources such as solar panels to power their homes.
  3. Transportation Alternatives: Reducing reliance on fossil fuel-powered vehicles by carpooling, biking, walking, or using public transportation can cut down personal carbon emissions. Electric vehicles (EVs) are also an eco-friendly option for those looking to make a more substantial impact.

How Businesses Can Drive the Transition to Carbon Neutrality: Strategies for Sustainable Operations

Businesses, as major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, also bear a responsibility to lead in the transition to carbon neutrality. Implementing sustainable practices not only benefits the environment but also enhances a company’s reputation and profitability. Here are some strategies for businesses:

  1. Corporate Sustainability Initiatives: Establishing comprehensive sustainability initiatives that set clear goals for reducing emissions and improving environmental performance is vital. This includes measuring and reporting on carbon emissions transparently.
  2. Renewable Energy Adoption: Transitioning to renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, and hydropower, reduces a business’s carbon footprint and can lead to substantial cost savings over time.
  3. Supply Chain Optimization: Examining and optimizing the supply chain can help reduce emissions associated with the production, transportation, and disposal of products. Collaboration with eco-conscious suppliers is essential.
  4. Green Building Design and Construction: When constructing or renovating facilities, businesses can incorporate green building practices and technologies that enhance energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact.

Innovations and Technologies that Support the Journey to Carbon Neutrality: From Renewable Energy to Carbon Capture

Innovations and technologies play a pivotal role in advancing the path to carbon neutrality. Some noteworthy solutions include:

  1. Sustainable Technologies: Advanced technologies like smart grids, energy storage systems, and more efficient HVAC systems contribute to reducing energy consumption and emissions.
  2. Clean Energy Solutions: Continued investment in renewable energy sources, such as offshore wind farms and next-generation solar panels, enables businesses and individuals to rely on cleaner power sources.
  3. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS): CCS technologies capture and store carbon emissions from industrial processes, preventing them from entering the atmosphere.
  4. Circular Economy Practices: Promoting a circular economy, where products are designed for durability, repairability, and recycling, helps minimize waste and reduce carbon emissions associated with resource extraction and production.

The Benefits of Embracing Carbon Neutrality: Environmental Stewardship and Competitive Advantage

Embracing carbon neutrality brings forth a myriad of benefits, both for individuals and businesses:

  1. Positive Brand Image and Reputation: Individuals and companies committed to carbon neutrality are seen as environmental stewards, which can enhance their reputation and attract environmentally conscious consumers and clients.
  2. Cost Savings Through Energy Efficiency Measures: Transitioning to energy-efficient technologies and renewable energy sources can lead to significant long-term cost savings.
  3. Attracting Environmentally Conscious Consumers/Clients: As sustainability becomes a more significant factor in purchasing decisions, businesses that embrace carbon neutrality can tap into a growing market of environmentally conscious consumers.


The path to carbon neutrality is a collective effort that requires individuals, businesses, and governments to take action. By understanding the importance of carbon neutrality, making sustainable choices, and embracing innovative technologies, we can make a positive impact on our environment, combat climate change, and create a more sustainable future for generations to come. Committing to carbon neutrality today is not just an option; it’s a responsibility we all share in preserving our planet.

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Sustainable Fuels Paving the Way for a Greener Tomorrow

Quick Summary

Sustainable fuel is now cementing its place in the rush to curb carbon emissions. Today, engines that run on these fuels are available and already in the market. In our previous podcast with Rollce Royce, we discuss Sustainable fuels with John Kelly, Vice President Middle East and Africa about Sustainable Fuels. Checkout the interview here to keep abreast.

Listen to the Podcast.

Snippet of what else for our readers?

Away with Sustainable fuels, if you are a clean energy plant owner, you might want to get in touch with us, let us show you what you are missing out on. Whether it is solar, sustainable fuels etc., lets connect harvest the thousands of dollars in the Carbon Sector. Speaking of a renewable energy plant, is it running efficiently and at maximum output? Email us. The goal is Carbon Neutrality.


In a world grappling with the dire consequences of climate change, the exploration of alternative energy sources has become an imperative. Sustainable fuels, often hailed as the vanguard of eco-friendly energy solutions, have emerged as a beacon of hope. This article delves deeper into the essence of sustainable fuels, their creation, cost considerations, and their compatibility with modern engines.

Understanding Sustainable Fuels

Sustainable fuels, also known as biofuels or renewable fuels, encompass a diverse range of energy sources derived from organic materials. These fuels are inherently sustainable as they are sourced from renewable biomass, such as agricultural residues, algae, and even waste products. Unlike conventional fossil fuels that contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable fuels emit fewer pollutants, making them a promising alternative in the fight against climate change.

The Making of Sustainable Fuels

Sustainable fuels are crafted through intricate processes that harness natural materials to generate energy. Bioethanol, for instance, is produced by fermenting sugar or starch crops such as corn or sugarcane. Biodiesel, on the other hand, is created by chemically reacting vegetable oils or animal fats with an alcohol. Additionally, advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol are extracted from non-edible plant parts, reducing concerns about diverting food crops for fuel production.

Cost Considerations

One of the primary concerns surrounding sustainable fuels is their cost-effectiveness. While the initial production costs of biofuels may be higher than those of traditional fossil fuels, economies of scale and ongoing advancements in production techniques are gradually closing this gap. Furthermore, the long-term benefits of reduced greenhouse gas emissions and the potential to achieve energy security contribute to their attractiveness as a viable investment.

Sustainable Fuels and Modern Engines

The compatibility of sustainable fuels with contemporary engines is a pivotal factor in their widespread adoption. Flex-fuel vehicles, which can run on a blend of gasoline and ethanol, are becoming increasingly prevalent. Additionally, many diesel engines can smoothly accommodate biodiesel blends. In recent years, the aviation and maritime industries have also begun experimenting with sustainable aviation fuels and biofuels for shipping, marking significant strides in greening these historically carbon-intensive sectors.

Benefits beyond emissions reduction

The advantages of sustainable fuels extend beyond their positive impact on carbon emissions. These fuels play a vital role in diversifying energy sources and enhancing energy security, reducing dependence on imported fossil fuels. Moreover, the production of sustainable fuels can stimulate local economies by creating jobs in agriculture, processing, and distribution, contributing to community development.

Aligning with sustainable goals vision 2030

One of the most remarkable aspects of sustainable fuels is their alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 7, for instance, aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. By transitioning to sustainable fuels, countries can democratize energy access and simultaneously work towards reducing inequalities and advancing social equity.

Promoting circular economy

Sustainable fuels fit seamlessly within the framework of a circular economy. Many of these fuels are produced from organic waste materials, effectively converting discarded resources into valuable energy sources. This not only diverts waste from landfills but also nurtures a closed-loop system that maximizes resource efficiency.

Challenges and the road ahead

While sustainable fuels hold immense promise, they are not devoid of challenges. One major hurdle is the competition for land and resources between biofuel production and food crops. Striking a balance between sustainable fuel production and food security remains a complex consideration. Technological innovation and strategic land-use planning will be crucial in overcoming such obstacles.


Sustainable fuels stand as a testament to human ingenuity and our collective commitment to shaping a more sustainable future. By harnessing the power of organic materials to produce cleaner energy, these fuels offer a path forward in mitigating climate change and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. As industries, governments, and individuals rally behind this green revolution, sustainable fuels have the potential to usher in a new era of energy that is both environmentally conscious and economically viable

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Interview with John Kelly, President of Rolls Royce Middle East and Africa: Driving Forward Sustainable Power Solutions in Africa.


In this interview at the Africa Energy Forum (aef), Tony talks to John Kelly, President of Rolls Royce Middle East and Africa, about the company’s commitment to sustainable power solutions in Africa. Here is what to expect:

  • Expansion in the region
  • Meeting Africa’s needs
  • Sustainable fuels

Listen HERE.


TT: Hi everybody. We are here at aef. It is very busy, with lots of people. We are talking today to a very iconic company. With me is John Kelly, the President of Rolls Royce Middle East and Africa. John, please do us justice and properly introduce yourself.

JK: Thank you Tony. Rolls Royce as you said is an iconic brand with lots of history. Over one hundred years ago the company was founded by Charles Rolls Henry Royce and the focus was to provide the best engines. It started with automotive, applied it to aviation. In 1970, the company did split, so it does not do cars today. You have to talk to BWW for the cars. We have however continued to drive forwards excellent engines for aviation, land and marine. Recently, we also brought onboard another iconic company across the African market known as NTU which provides power systems solutions and because we are here in Nairobi at the Energy Forum (aef), we are very much focused on our power systems capabilities and what they provide today in terms of critical power for the continent but most importantly how they can drive us forward towards the drive to net zero which is important alongside economic development.

TT:  AEF is celebrating its 25th anniversary and it is the 1st time it is coming to continental Africa. Before it was Mauritius, what does this tell you and why is it important to have it in Africa for you?

JK: Being in Africa for us is super important. We have a long history in Africa, over 100 years working in aviation with the continents airlines. We have been in Africa for a long time. Alongside is phenomenal growth and phenomenal growth opportunities. We recognise being here, understanding Africa, understanding its requirements and tailoring our solutions is really important. On of our key announcements is that we are launching our East African Headquarters based here in Nairobi. This is really important as it recognizes the importance of this region and its growth. The demographics speak for themselves. Six and a half percent growth in the next four to five years, population of 170 million and around 170 million per annum GDP. That offers a fantastic growth opportunity, and we are really privileged to provide the power solutions to enable that growth and enable it in a more carbon environmentally friendly way.

TT: That is big news that you are announcing here. Why Nairobi? Why Kenya?

JK: Again, the demographics speak for themselves. It is strategically important. One of the things that is impressive for Kenya is that they are already running 80% on renewables. That is phenomenal. It is hence a great environment to harness that capability, to harness the focus on sustainable energy and then continue to provide that growth. The market we supply our power supply units, the likes of Rail, we have recently collaborated with Kenya Rail to provide brand new power generation sets for their locomotives and for things in the region such as aviation. In East Africa and Southern Africa there are huge opportunities in things like mining of critical minerals, but we want to do that sustainably. What we do not want is to provide the critical minerals needed to help in decarbonization while creating extra carbon while we produce it, and we want to do it ethically. We are confident that our products are ethically environmentally friendly and ethically friendly.

TT: You have mentioned sustainability a few times here. So visibly, it is really important for a company, and I know you have been pushing in the area of sustainable fuel. Can you elaborate on that a little bit please?

JK: Absolutely. Sustainable fuel is one of our key topics for the forum. There are a lot of our products today like diesel generators, gas generators and similar for our aviation products, they do rely on fuel. Traditionally they have been fossil fuels like kerosene and diesel. The best way today to decarbonize those products is to run them on sustainable fuels. Some really good examples are that we have done the research, invested and done the testing on our engines to know that they are safe and reliable to run a hundred percent on sustainable fuel. For example. You can run a diesel power generator on what’s called hydro treated vegetable oil (HVL) which can be produced locally, and it is a viable alternative to traditional fuel. Not only does it run the engine efficiently but there are also additional benefits which enhance the performance of the engine. We have done the same thing with our aviation products. When you fly with the world’s most efficient engine, you can also run them on sustainable aviation fuel which offers a non-fossil fuel-based alternative. I have mentioned a few of those current sources, the likes of biomass, derived fuel, waste fuel, HVL. They are very good alternatives and very viable today. We definitely advocate their use. They come with some challenges, particularly the scale, availability and also price. We do not stop the conversation there. We are also very passionate and advocating for synthetic fuels or e-fuels, you may know them as power to liquid. The relevance to Kenya and East Africa is that it is a perfect environment to produce e-fuels. I say that because we have got abundant supply of raw materials, water for hydrogen, supplies of carbon dioxide and also supplies of renewable energy. You need a strong power source that is not a carbon generating power source. The renewables are here. We think this is a very viable environment for those synthetically derived fuels and we think it is an opportunity for Kenya as it can provide the root to fuel independence and sovereignty. Fundamentally, you can use sustainable fuels in our products today and we can all generate environmental benefits.

TT: Thank you so much for that. I can see your passion for the green agenda. As a top leader, what do you think about the nuclear way?

JK: Alongside many technologies, this is not one single technological solution. We need to open the pathways to many solutions. One of them is nuclear opportunities. To be clear, we are not talking in the traditional sense of a huge nuclear power station with lots of investment and lots of concrete required from carbon. Our Rolls Royce product is a small modular reactor. This is not brand-new technology; this is proven safe technology that we have had operating in our business for over 40 years and we now see that this is a perfect time to bring it to market within the next decade and it is complimentary to all the other sustainable fuels. It provides a significant non-carbon source of power. When we think of huge economic development, we are going to see the likes of Kenya and the continent come with a huge power demand in health care, universities, data centers, which we rely on for economic development. I do not think we get there without adding a new capability. The good thing with nuclear fuel is that it is non carbon, there is a small amount of nuclear product produced at the end which can be easily managed and treated. To answer your question directly, it is a viable compliment alongside other solutions.

TT: Two last questions for you. Do you have a special message for the youth of Africa because currently we also have the YES Summit here?

JK: We are passionate about STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Those skill sets in the youth today are pivotal to pioneer these technologies, innovate and to produce ever increasing solutions. We provide STEM awareness sessions. Our staff like to connect with youths and schools to pass on their knowledge but fundamentally to inspire the youth, give them the knowledge and skills set and access to technology that they can then innovate themselves. We have seen fantastic examples of youngsters taking STEM awareness and quickly coming up with their own solutions. They have come up with solar panels that can move with those technologies. I would direct those interested in Rolls Royce, STEM and all the things we have talked about today to visit our website: www., it will have all the information in there whether it is career interests or future aspirations in Rolls Royce, which is the best place to go.

TT: My last question for you. I want to finish with the big news. The opening of the office. When is it and are we invited?

JK: We will be opening our East African headquarters representative office here in Nairobi in the next coming weeks. We have a location and as soon as we are up and running and fit for purpose you absolutely have an invite. We would be glad to host you.

TT: Thank you very much John and I wish you a great time for the rest of the conference.

JK: Thank you.

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“King Charles III’s Coronation Marks New Chapter in Monarchy’s Clean Energy Journey”

IRecco has received inquiries seeking clarification of job offers received in unsolicited fashion. These job offers appear to come from organisations falsely pretending to recruit on behalf, or by people…

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Advancing Energy Research in South Africa through SANEDI: Prof. Sampson Mamphweli’s view.

The organization’s role in coordinating national research in the energy space, including renewable energy and energy storage.

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