Smart Thinking about Africa’s Electricity Grid

Smart Thinking about Africa’s Electricity Grid

March 06, 2016 at 02:03pm

Two-thirds of the people living in Sub-Saharan Africa have no access to grid electricity. But with electricity positively linked to economic development, human development indicators and income, getting more electricity to more people is crucial. Especially given the continents above-global-average pace of economic growth.

While it’s important to build more power plants – both large utility-scale plants and smaller-scale renewable systems such as rooftop solar, it’s also vital to ensure that the grid handling this precious power is operating as effectively and efficiently as possible. It’s also essential that the grid be flexible and smart, given the growing use of renewable energy in the power mix across Africa.

GE’s Grid Solutions, a GE and Alstom joint venture, offers grid management software, grid automation, and smart grid solutions that are ideal for grid operators, distribution companies and utilities across the continent.

GE Grid Solutions software helps power suppliers anticipate demand fluctuations so they can manage and generate the amount of electricity needed from their various energy sources, both conventional and renewable. Examples include Alstom Grid’s Integrated Distribution Management System, which combines multiple applications into a single, integrated application environment to give operator increased visibility of their system and more information they can use for decision making.

Alstom Grid’s Telecom Portfolio solutions include advanced technologies adapted for operation in harsh electromagnetic and climatic conditions encountered in different high-voltage plants and type-tested to meet international industrial and electro-technical standards.

GE Grid Solutions also includes Smart Grids technology that can create an energy infrastructure that is more consistent, sustainable and resilient, thereby bringing added value to customers and stakeholders. These solutions are complemented by Alstom Grid’s Digital Substation solution, which combines primary and secondary plant smart digital technologies to deliver automation monitoring and control applications, improved personnel safety, and reduced footprint.

GE will be presenting these solutions at the three-day Africa Smart Grid Forum 2016, which begins today in Cairo. GE experts will be sharing knowledge at two technical presentations entitled, “Critical lessons learned from the first smart grid deployments on African grids” and “New solutions to fill the energy gap in Africa.”

GE Grid Solutions equips 90% of power utilities worldwide to bring power from the point of generation to end power consumers. More than 20,000 employees in 80 countries, including in the Middle East and Africa, work to satisfy customers globally through advanced energy solutions. GE Grid Solutions products and services enable more resilient, efficient and reliable power systems.

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