Archive for the ‘energy-storage’ Category

African Energy Sector is Open for Business

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012


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The African energy sector is open for business. In actual fact there has been no better time than now to conduct business on the continent. The number of projects has quadrupled from that of 10 years ago and many of the continent’s governments are now democratic, paving the way for economic growth.

In support of the opportunities within the energy sector, the annual Africa Energy Indaba which will be held on 21-23 February, has developed a unique roundtable which will focus and unlock the potential of this vital industry sector for companies wanting to tap into this market.

Paul Runge – Managing Director of specialised consulting firm Africa Project Access will be heading an energy roundtable discussion at the upcoming Africa Energy Indaba on February 23 February– opening up the floor for discussion on major energy greenfields and brownfields projects on the continent. According to Runge “the discussion will have a business focus and will also be very practical. We will look at projects from the ground up and talk about where things are headed. We will talk about export credit insurance, state organs that are able to help South African & African companies and projects throughout the Sub-Sahara region and regional interconnectors,” says Runge.

Joining Runge in the roundtable discussion will be role players in some of these projects such as Ethiopia’s hydro-power programme – currently the biggest hydro-power project in Africa. The roundtable discussion will bring together Africa’s energy operators, financers and other important role-players. “It will be a great opportunity to learn of new and exciting projects and opportunities as well as network”, says Runge. Templates of specific projects will also be made available to those attending.

The Africa Energy Indaba will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.  This leading business forum brings together more than 300 senior level energy sector experts and decision–makers. Over 100 leading energy suppliers will also be present at the annual exhibition showcasing their latest technologies, equipment and services.

Delegates attending this year’s conference are also invited to attend and take part in the roundtable discussion scheduled for February 23, 2012 and information is available on the event website .

Paul Runge has 30 years’ experience assisting companies to access business and projects in Africa. He has developed a practical rationale and methodology that will be of value to companies and organisations wishing to diversify their portfolio into Africa. His company Africa Project Access supplies approximately 80 companies and organisations with early alerts on projects across a broad range of sectors on the continent. As a former diplomat, Runge has useful background knowledge on the political and business landscape of the countries he conducts business in – a value add for the clients who seek his services.

Runge has lived in Gabon and supervised projects in the Cape Verde Islands, has spent six years with the South African Foreign Trade Organisation and has led many of the first South African business delegations into other African countries following the end of international sanctions against South Africa.  He has furthermore, published a book, Potholes & Profits: Business (& other) Conversations and Experiences from Africa which is an anecdotal account of his experiences in a number of African markets.


23 January 2012

Prepared by: Siyenza Management

Karabo Keepile

011 463 9184

On behalf of the Africa Energy Indaba 2012

About Africa Energy Indaba 2012

The Africa Energy Indaba takes place from February 21 to 23 2012 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton, Johannesburg. The event brings together stakeholders from the global energy industry and the financial community, including energy providers, engineers, financial service providers, economists, government representatives and media. Visit

Acknowledged as a World Energy Council (WEC) event for Africa as well as fully endorsed by the South African National Energy Association (SANEA), the event has the support of the world’s leading energy industry associations.

About the World Energy Council


About the Africa Project

Approved by the World Energy Council- Africa Energy Indaba signs official agreement with WEC and SANEA

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

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The Africa Energy Indaba has officially partnered with the South African National Energy Association (SANEA) and the World Energy Council (WEC). Chairman of SANEA and the Conference Chairman of the African Energy Indaba, Brian Statham, Secretary General of the World Energy Council , Dr Christophe Frei and CEO and owner of the African Energy Indaba , Liz Hart, formalised this highly anticipated partnership on 6 June 2011.

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The WEC is the foremost multi-energy organisation in the world today. WEC has member committees in nearly 100 countries throughout the world, including most of the largest energy-producing and energy consuming countries, focusing on all types of energy including coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydro, and renewables. The SANEA is the South African member committee of the WEC, representing a hub for the exchange of energy related information as well as is the largest energy industry association in Sub-Saharan Africa, representing all energy companies.

The African Energy Indaba is innovative in their approach to ensuring the conference addresses issues of importance and that are current in the energy sector in Africa. This approach stems from the formation of a steering committee comprising industry experts hand-picked from across the industries with a predetermined view on who should present on current topical issues ensuring the provision of a professional product in the form of a world class event. This way, the forum is unique in its approach with a diversity of industry professionals well versed on energy issues as well as issues requiring attention. As such, the programme is always relative to the African energy community year on year. The first committee meeting convened on 6 July 2011 to finalise the programme for the upcoming event.

The African Energy Indaba Steering Committee is represented by:

Brian Statham, SANEA Chairman; Shaun Nel, Programme Director for the Energy Intensive Users Group (EIUG); Anthony Golding, South African Department of Energy (DoE); Avhapfani Tshifularo, South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA); Barry Bredenkamp, National Energy Efficiency Association (NEEA); Elsa Du Toit, SAHA International; Greg Nott, International lawyer, Jonathan de Magalhaes, Ubuntu Energy; Dr Latsoucabe Fall, WEC Africa and Professor Mosad Elmissary, NEPAD Agency.

The Africa Energy Indaba will serve as a platform to discuss Africa’s energy future, coming up with innovative solutions on how Africans can meet the increasing demand for energy and how this can all be done in a cost effective and efficient manner.

26 July 2011

Prepared by: Siyenza Management
011 463 9184

On behalf of: Africa Energy Indaba (AEI)
Contact: Liz Hart

About Africa Energy Indaba 2012
The Africa Energy Indaba takes place from February 21 to 23 2012 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa. The event brings together stakeholders from the global energy industry and the financial community, including energy providers, engineers, financial service providers, economists, government representatives and media. Visit

About the World Energy Council

About the South Africa National Energy Association

Kind Regards


Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Energy Indaba 2011 has concluded an agreement with the EU African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Science and Technology Programme to hold a workshop on Sustainable Non-Food Sources of Bio-Fuels alongside this year’s conference and exhibition to be held in March.

The EU ACP Programme has initiated a Science and Technology project to build sustainable, non-food, renewable biofuel supply chains for providing Combined Heat and Power (CHP), or cogeneration electricity, and identify future feed stocks needed to replace fossil fuels in South Africa, Namibia and Ghana.

The programme aims to bring together academics, professionals, decision-makers and support scheme managers from these African countries and Italy and the UK in a series of workshops to build capacity and identify and stimulate funding for the biofuels industry.

Our Government’s commitment to renewable energy has facilitated several opportunities for the biofuels market in South Africa, giving the ACP
programme and interested stakeholders a strong platform for furthering developments in this industry
,” says Energy Indaba MD, Liz Hart.

The workshop will host a number of local and international industry and research experts in the field of renewable energy and non-food energy sources. The workshop will go further in identifying viable and sustainable renewable energy sources and establishing training programmes in South Africa, to provide a framework for what the organisers hope will accommodate many future projects and programmes in the growing biofuels industry in South Africa.

Non-food biofuels include those based on jatropha plants, which thrive in the African environment, as well as micro-algae and bio-gas from agro-and food wastes. ACP hopes to foster partnerships between energy businesses and farming supply chains, transferring know-how from experienced teams toothers and providing capacity-building for the ACP programme at universities that will train up a new workforce and offer technical expertise, training and research.

“One of the objectives of the programme is to address ACP in-country state-of-preparedness and the ability to respond to new technologies emerging from Europe,” says Professor Patricia Harvey. “Energy Indabais the ideal forum to raise awareness of second-generation renewable biofuels for meeting energy requirements in local communities, and to expand the renewable biofuels debate in Africa.”

For more information visit or contact

As power prices in Africa rise, grid expansion stalls and as grid power availability is constrained, consumers and communities increasingly have to take electricity production into their own hands. In the long term, this is a good thing, and having a portion of electricity coming from decentralised sources is healthy for any grid.


Thursday, January 13th, 2011


The mainstream media have confirmed what industry insiders have known for some time “ South Africa’s electricity supply is under pressure yet again, and business and consumers face another round of power cuts and further tariff hikes, necessitating the debate on the security of energy supply, a key topic to be addressed at the 2011 Energy Indaba.

An article on the front page of last week’s Business Times (SA dreads the lights going out yet again, Sunday Times, January 9 2011 at warns that mining will be one of the industries worst affected by possible power outages, while businesses that remain unprepared could face closure.

“This year’s Energy Indaba could not be more timeous,” says event MD Liz Hart. “Business urgently needs to explore solutions to the looming crisis as well as long-term solutions to bridging Africa’s energy gap.”

Energy Indaba 2011 takes place from March 1 to 3 at Sandton Convention Centre, combining both a conference and exhibition that will bring together the foremost experts in the world, as well as energy providers in both the traditional and alternative markets.

Eskom cannot prevent load shedding on its own and needs the support of all stakeholders. The Energy Indaba embraces the opportunity to identify and showcase companies and their products from the local, African and international marketplace with potential solutions to these challenges. Coupled to this is the need to understand how to become more energy efficient in today’s modern society, which is very energy reliant. Companies from China will be displaying products and services at the Energy Indaba exhibition which provide some of these answers and can assist in the reduction of energy usage. Africa needs to make energy efficiency a reality on this continent, as the investment required for the development of the energy sector is significant and as such is a challenge for many parts of Africa. Should Africa adopt an approach of becoming more energy efficient, this will reduce the investment required to power rural communities as well as keeping the lights on in other developed regions.

The Energy Indaba provides a platform to further promote energy efficiency in Africa, by increasing public awareness programmes showcasing energy efficienct technologies, exploring innovative financing mechanisms for funding energy efficiency projects and to enhance the message whereby Africans should try and entrench the principle of energy efficiency in their day-to-day activities so that energy efficiency consciousness becomes a way life.

We encourage business to participate at this forum to prepare their own organisations for the uncertainty in South Africa’s energy sector over the next few years, while contributing towards Africa realising its potential to emerge as a global player,â€? says Hart.

To secure your exhibition stand at this prestigious event and/or register as a delegate, please contact Candice Scorer on +27 11 463 9184, fax +27 11 463 8432, visit or email

January 13, 2011
To arrange media interviews please contact:
Issued by: Siyenza Management- Celine de Canha
On behalf of: Energy Indaba
+27 11 463 9184

About Siyenza Management

Siyenza Management is a multi-faceted communications company, well established within the South African business community, and well placed to co-ordinate an event of this stature. We are immensely proud of both our South Africa roots and ability to provide services to global standards, in the fields of brand architecture, communication, event management, marketing and publishing. Siyenza, meaning “we do� in Nguni, provides a platform to facilitate the bringing together of people. Renowned as a world-class service provider, with strong networks across South Africa, Africa and the world, Siyenza is highly regarded in the business community and has sound track record of delivery, as one of the top 15 event management companies in Africa.

Kind regards

Celine de Canha
PR Executive

The interest of South East Europe in Green Energy, Waste Management & Recycling is growing up

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

The South-East European Congress on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the Eco Forum for Waste Management & Recycling  Save the Planet are great opportunities for the leading players in the sectors to bring modern technologies, products and services to the Region, to find new partners and clients. The events organized by Via Expo will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria, in the period 13-15 April 2011.

EE & Renewable Financing, Energy Efficiency and Decentralized Energy, RES Electricity, Smart Grid Platform, Waste management and Recycling are the topics to be discussed at the three-day forums. For the fist time there will be held “Solar Business Forum for Balkans”. It will show the opportunities for investment and production of photovoltaic devices and plants in the region of South-East Europe.

Special accent will be put on the Waste-to-Energy session with 15 speakers from 10 countries: Germany, Austria, Romania, Slovenia, Japan, Canada, USA, UK, Serbia and Switzerland.

The presentaton of Barbel Birnstengel, Prognos AG, Germany, will focus on the potential of the waste it has a high material or energy value and thus could contribute to resource, environment and climate protection. How to produce useful fuels and electricity from biomass and waste resources? These questions will answer Kunio Yoshikawa from Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, which is developing and commercializing total technologies to convert unutilized resources such as solid wastes and biomass into high value added energy resources.

John P. Foden president of Canadian Energy-from-Waste Coalition will speak how to get approved of w2e projects, how to manage and communicate with local communities and interest groups.

The parallel exhibitions will display state-of the-art products, solutions and services in the fields of renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, waste management and recycling.

About 4 months before the events 2/3 of the area is already booked for Spanish National Participation and group participation from Austria, China, Finland, Poland, Slovenia, and the USA.
Among the exhibitors are well known names: Enercon, Global Wind Power, Fronius, Hyundai, voestalpine Krems, Phono Technologies Switzerland, Franki Grundbau, Eurosol, Siemens, Solea, PowerWind and many others.

For more info:

Vesela Nikolova
Via Expo Ltd.


Monday, January 10th, 2011


Ensuring access to energy is without doubt one of the major challenges facing the global economy today, which is a significant challenge for the African energy sector as well. A lack of access to energy services impedes those who live in extreme poverty, undermining health, stagnating growth and limiting people’s potential to rise out of poverty. Access to energy has been adopted by Africa’s leading energy forum, the Annual Energy Indaba, as a focus area to debate solutions to this dilemma facing the people on the African continent.

After the unprecedented success of the 2010 Energy Indaba in Johannesburg, South Africa, the next forum taking place from the 1 – 3 March 2011, strives to deliver on its theme of  “Energising Africa”, which will once again be held in Sandton, Johannesburg. Considering that Africa has adequate energy resources to meet its short and medium-term requirements, we still have vast populations struggling due to the limited access to energy. The continent actively seeks solutions to these challenges and regional integration is increasingly seen as a way for individual countries requiring growth in economic development to join the global economy and empower their populations. Africa is an ideal developing economy with a billion consumers, rich with natural resources in high demand from countries like China and India, provides a massive and potentially lucrative marketplace for global investors.

The 2011 Energy Indaba Conference embraces the opportunity to find solutions to these challenges and under the able Chairmanship of Mr. Brian Statham, head of the South African National Energy Association and World Energy Council representative, the event will engage decision-makers from across the continent with international speakers delivering key messages. Preparations for this year’s event are well underway and support from the World Energy Council hosting their Regional Africa Meeting as a side event of the main forum, coupled with having secured the Nanotechnology Public Engagement Media Roundtable Breakfast as well as the Capacity-building in South Africa, Namibia and Ghana to create sustainable, non-food bio-oil supply chains Conference, an Action funded under the ACP Science and Technology Programme ( by the European Union and implemented by the ACP Secretariat, the event is billed to be one of the top energy forums in Africa this year.

The programme for the Energy Indaba Conference will discuss crucial issues facing the continent currently, including as an example, the following:

-Africa’s new power opportunities and stakeholders,
-Renewable energy, the solution for Africa,
-The impact of energy on African business,
-The rapidly evolving African energy landscape, and
-Climate change and African energy poverty.

The closing keynote address of the Conference – to be delivered by Dr. Christoph Frei, Secretary-General of the World Energy Council on “Closing the power gap in Africa” – promises insights into the way forward for the continent and without doubt, will be a session not to be missed.

Adjacent to the conference is the Energy Indaba Exhibition and with over 80 exhibitors already confirmed provides the opportunity for visitors to meet the biggest players in the African energy sector at the exhibition. This event’s continued growth and success reflects the increasing importance of finding solutions to the challenges facing the African energy sector and provides business with a platform to enter this evolving market.

Managing Director of the Energy Indaba, Liz Hart stated “The problems facing the African energy sector are not unique in the global context, however Africa with its diverse and potentially lucrative market, requires energy to develop its potential. The Energy Indaba is the foremost forum for decision-makers to grapple with the challenges facing this industry sector to unlock the business potential already identified by Asian countries as new and emerging markets set for expansion. Simultaneously it is imperative to address issues around the access to energy for Africa’s poor to empower and develop people. We encourage business to participate at this forum to realize the potential for Africa to emerge as a global player.�


About the Energy Indaba:Energy Indaba 2011 will be held from the 1 to 3 March 2011, at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa. The conference continues to grow and has become the foremost forum for debating Africa’s energy solutions and focuses on: African power suppliers; alternative and renewable energies; oil and gas; the legal and regulatory framework, and investment opportunities in African energy projects. The exhibition has become a significant market-place for African and international stakeholders doing business in Africa’s energy sector.


January 9 2010

Press Release prepared by:

Siyenza Management (Pty) Ltd
Liz Hart
011 463 9184


Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

The ENERGY INDABA 2010 has proved to be a resounding success amongst conference delegates and exhibition visitors who were able to leave the event with a renewed vision of energy solutions for Africa and inspiration on how they can make a difference towards powering the continent.

A diverse range of individuals – from business executives to government officials and individuals attempting to find ways to improve energy efficiency in communities “who attended this year’s conference and exhibition, reflect the ENERGY INDABA 2010 as the place where concrete discussions and decisions can be made for the future of energy on our continent,” says Liz Hart, Managing Director of Siyenza Management, the event organisers of the ENERGY INDABA. “I believe that many of our delegates were able to leave the conference with confidence in Africa’s self-sufficiency and ability to produce energy for business and households.”

Of our host of exhibitors at the ENERGY INDABA 2010, the majority were from a range of Chinese companies in the energy sector, says Hart. “With China proving to be a major energy trading partner, we believe the ENERGY INDABA has provided the platform for greater China- African business trade.”

The Business Matchmaking Programme received 426 meeting requests with delegates, sponsors, exhibitors and speakers during the ENERGY INDABA. Offered for the first time at the ENERGY INDABA, this saw a total sum of 250 meetings take place in the Business Matchmaking Lounge,â€? says Hart. Although being our first year to host this, there have been a number of success stories that have emerged. 

Bringing an end to the final day of the two-day conference, Brian Statham, Chairman of the South African National Energy Association challenged delegates to apply the knowledge, ideas and new business contacts gained from the ENERGY INDABA to make a difference. He also requested that delegates prepare for the next ENERGY INDABA in 2011.

Some of the findings to emerge from the second-day of the conference were:

  • As Africa’s largest trading partner, the pace of investment by China in Africa has reached unprecedented levels and is set to continue with basic resources and infrastructure deals in the power and gas industry. Yet despite interest across the African continent, South Africa remains the only country where no major transactions within the country have occurred.
  • Only one of the 20 registered Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects is in Africa. However, the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund, which is currently under discussion, could help to provide financial opportunities for African countries to develop CDM projects.
  • In order to catalyse renewable energy investment, there needs to be incentives to develop smaller generation systems. There should also be jurisdiction for import tariff reductions for renewable projects, tax breaks and other manufacturing incentives.
  • A framework for private-public partnerships in energy on the continent is required to access capital markets and to attract greater private sector investment


02 March 2010

Prepared by:   Leigh-Anne Sa Joe

Siyenza Management

011 463 9184 


On behalf of: ENERGY INDABA

 Contact:  Liz Hart

Leading global expert on climate change to address Energy Indaba

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Indaba Energy 2010, South Africa

One of the foremost contributors to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 4th Assessment Report will lead a conference session at the ENERGY INDABA 2010, which takes place on February 24-26, 2010 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg. For its work the IPCC was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Renowned for his thought leadership on issues relating to climate change and the study of energy policies, Dr Robert Schock, the present Director of Studies for the World Energy Council (WEC) London, was a Coordinating Lead Author of Energy Sources for the IPCC’s 2007 4th Assessment Report, authoring and coordinating a chapter on mitigation measures for energy sources. In 2007, the global scientific body for climate change’s 20 years of scientific reports – that demonstrate the link between human activities and global warming – earned a joint Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, former Vice-President of the U.S. and author of An Inconvenient Truth.

Dr Schock brings a wealth of knowledge and will provide valued input to the ENERGY INDABA conference programme, says Liz Hart, MD of Siyenza Management, the organizer of the conference and exhibition. He will facilitate a conference session focused on technology on February 25, 2010 where global and innovative technology trends in energy will be under the spotlight. This session will focus on Africa-specific technological solutions that seek to reduce the continent’s carbon footprint and provide greater accessibility to alternative sources of energy,explains Hart.

In addition to his role at WEC, Dr Schock is a consultant to industry, laboratories and governments worldwide, and a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Global Security Research in the U.S. He has also held roles at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he initiated and led programmes in energy R&D at a local and national level; high-level nuclear waste disposition, environmental restoration and waste management; fusion energy, hydrogen fuels, energy policy analysis, and climate change focused energy research. Dr Schock has also played a leading role in the U.S. government’s efforts to examine the application of new technology to the proliferation resistance of civilian nuclear power.

The ENERGY INDABA 2010 takes place on February 24-26 at the Sandton Convention Centre. For further information please visit

Rober Schock
Robert Schock
Director of Studies, World Energy Council, London

Robert is presently engaged in the study of energy policies worldwide and the practices they foster at
the World Energy Council. He has had an active role in energy as the Coordinating Lead Author (Energy Sources) for the 2007 4th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for which he authored and coordinated a chapter on mitigation measures for energy sources. At his previous role at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Robert was able to initiate and lead programmes in energy R&D, high-level nuclear waste disposition, environmental restoration and waste management, fusion energy, hydrogen fuels, energy policy analysis and climate change focused energy research.

Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs confirms World Future Energy Summit attendance

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Mauri Pekkarinen, Minister of Economic Affairs, Finland will play a role in the Ministers discussion

Mauri Pekkarinen, Minister of Economic Affairs from Finland has confirmed his participation in the upcoming World Future Energy Summit 2010 in Abu Dhabi. The Finnish Minister will be a keynote speaker in the Energy Ministers panel session on the first day of the Summit next month on January 18th 2010.

Mr. Marco Steinberg, Director of Strategic Design at the Finnish Innovation Fund, will also be participating in Summit as well as Finnish energy company, METSO.

The Finnish government announced this year that it will support efforts to limit global warming by cutting greenhouse gas emissions at least by 80% percent of 1990 levels by 2050 in a report outlining its long-term climate and energy policy.

Renewable energy sources have an essential role in decreasing greenhouse gases and fighting climate change. Biomass, commonly plant matter grown to generate electricity or produce heat, is the most important renewable energy source in Finland, with its use accounting for about 20% of primary energy consumption. Solid biomass and large-scale hydropower dominate the market. Additional support in the form of feed-in tariffs is being considered for wind power. Finnish cleantech companies are not only global leaders in bio-energy, but also cutting edge solutions can be found in areas such as energy-efficiency, clean industrial processes and components for wind power.

WFES Energy Minister panel will be attended by Ministers coming from developing and developed countries, to discuss the need to secure energy, sustain an economic development and meet environmental realities. In addition to Mauri Pekkarinen, Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs, speakers taking part in the panel include, Pelosse, Interim Director General, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); The Honourable Ed Stelmach, Premier of Alberta, Canada; H.E. Moritz Leuenberger, Swiss Federal Counselor, Head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications, Switzerland; H.E. Maria van der Hoeven, Minister of Economic Affairs, The Kingdom of the Netherlands; Ola Alter, Secretary of State for Energy, Sweden; H.E. Tadahiro Matsushita, Senior Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan; H.E. Mohamed Bin Dhaen Al Hamli, UAE Minister of Energy; Kim, Young Hak, Vice Minister for Trade and Energy, South Korea; Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister of New and Renewable Energy, India; H.E. Jesca Eriyo, Minister of State for the Environment, Uganda; H.E.The Minister of Environment, Science and Technology of Ghana, Mrs. Sherry Ayittey

Best Regards,
Hayet Zenati
Senior Account Executive

Vehicles and Aerospace Drive Energy Harvesting Forward

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Vehicles and Aerospace Drive Energy Harvesting Forward
By Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman, IDTechEx

It has been a long wait. In 1834, Thomas Davenport demonstrated the first electric car in the UK. Pure electric mobility aids for the disabled (power chairs, etc) sell at around the million unit level every year and most fork lift trucks across the world are electric so he certainly achieved something. All electric golf cars peaked at about 300,000 units yearly but unfortunately pure electric on-road cars have yet to sell in more than tens of thousands yearly. Mainly it is a problem of inadequate range from available batteries, lack of charging infrastructure and lack of realistic fast charging. However, there are huge government incentives, new in 2009, to break these logjams. Meanwhile, hybrid gasoline-electric cars will tide us over. Here a big improvement is the availability from 2009 onwards of more and more plug-in hybrids with big enough batteries to go at least tens of miles on the much cheaper electricity alone if that is your wish.

See the future of energy harvesting

In all forms of electric vehicle, power management is key and any form of energy harvesting is welcome. The modern car will therefore increasingly use regenerative braking, solar panels outside and maybe energy harvesting shock absorbers and other forms of energy harvesting as well. Even those not interested in the automotive industry can learn from its eager adoption of types of energy harvesting that need volume to be used elsewhere.  Regenerative braking is already commonplace in pure electric cars. From 2009, the photovoltaic car roof will increasingly be the norm as well, initially only powering accessories but later, when transparent film solar is available and over the whole car, providing significant traction power as well, in sunny countries.

This idea is not new, as evidenced by the 1982 solar powered “car” in Germany.

German solar electric car from 1982 that achieved 15 mph.

Source German Information Center

The world’s largest car company Toyota has a $5 billion electric vehicle business already and IDTechEx projects in its new report “Hybrid and Pure Electric Cars 2009-2019″ that Toyota’s sales of hybrid cars will pass one million in 2014. The global sales of all forms of electric car from all suppliers will be 3.125 million at that time, forecasts IDTechEx. Clearly such volume will be an excellent opportunity for numbers driven cost reduction of many forms of energy harvesting, benefiting the use of harvesting elsewhere. Is there a place for the new lightweight vibration harvesting to drive accessories for example?

The best selling Toyota hybrid is the Prius. It is the best selling hybrid car in the world by a big margin. Toyota’s third-generation Prius appeared this year with an optional solar panel on its roof. The panel powers a ventilation system that can cool the car without help from the engine, Toyota says.

Solar roof on Prius

Source Prius
In addition, Solar Electric Vehicles has been offering a solar roof conversion for existing Prius vehicles.
Solar Electric Vehicles $3500 165 W/h Prius solar roof conversion

Source Solar Electric Vehicles

Because the Toyota cars are fully crash tested on-road vehicles and currently used solar cells are heavy, the total weight precludes use of solar roofing to drive them along, though getting an extra five to fifteen miles range is not unusual.

“Being able to power a car entirely with solar is a pretty far-reaching goal,” said Tony Markel, a senior engineer at the federal government’s National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado.
In the new Prius, the photovoltaics provide energy for a ventilation fan that helps cool the parked car on sunny, hot days. The driver can start the fan remotely before stepping into the car. Once the car is started, the air conditioning will not need as much energy from a battery to do the rest of the cooling. Although palm sized solar car coolers that fit in the window to cool the parked car have been available for some time, the Toyota roof unit does a far more robust job and does not make a break in easier.

Auto Cool unit, with small polycrystalline photovoltaic panel, clips in a car side window.

Source IDTechEx

The next stage will be sufficient solar power to run the air conditioning at all times in sunny countries, via battery storage. The best thing about using any form of harvesting in a car is that it all saves on gasoline.

Unfortunately, hybrids may put on weight as they become the plug-in versions most desired by users. Plug-in hybrids permit the driver to go useful distance such as tens of miles, on all electric power, saving a lot of cost over gasoline. On the other hand, pure electric vehicles have no gasoline engine but that weight can be offset by the extra size of battery required. They will also benefit from new photovoltaics. Surely someone will use the new flexible copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), di-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) or organic photovoltaics to make unfolding or unwinding panels that increase the area harvested during parking. Imaginative design required please. There will be cross fertilization from experience of energy harvesting in aerospace, something reflected in a forthcoming conference.

Conference on energy harvesting commercialization

The major IDTechEx conference and exhibition “Energy Harvesting and Storage USA” on November 3-4 in Denver USA has presentations from Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, BP, GE, Hospital Corporation of America and other famous names. It is co-located with “Wireless Sensor Networks and RTLS Summit” as these topics are increasingly related. Energy Harvesting technologies are the driving force behind the continued improvement and adaptability of Wireless Sensor Networks & Real Time Locating Systems. For more information, visit

For missing images, please contact Cara Van Heest at

For more information on the topic please contact the author Peter Harrop at or to find out more about the Energy Harvesting USA 2009 conference please contact the Event Manager Ms. Sarah Lee at

IDTechEx Dates:

RFID Europe 2009 | Sep 29-30 | Cambridge, UK

Printed Electronics Asia 2009 | Sep 30-Oct 1 | Tokyo, Japan

Energy Harvesting & Storage USA | Nov 3-4 | Denver, USA

RTLS & Wireless Sensor Networks Summit | Nov 3-4 | Denver, USA

Printed Electronics USA 2009 | Dec 2-3 | San Jose, USA


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