February is the shortest month of the year, but it's also usually the most eventful in the energy industry. One of the most important events of the month is Solar Power Africa 2023, which will take place in Cape Town February 8-10. The exhibition will feature classic segments of today's solar energy industry, including Photovoltaic (PV), Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), Solar thermal and water heating, Manufacturing solutions, Inverters, Operation and maintenance, and others. The large-scale conference, consisting of six plenary sessions, will cover various topics, including the outlook/future of energy in Africa, Procurement, Solar and Electric Vehicles, Agri-PV, Private Sector Investment and Financing Solutions, Expanding Off-Grid Energy into Africa, Transformation within the Solar Sector.
Today, Africa, with a population of nearly 1.5 billion, lags far behind other regions of the world in adopting renewable energy technologies. For example, according to Irena statistics, 11,393 MW of solar converters were installed in Africa in 2021, which is only 1.33% of the global total. By comparison, Europe's share for this indicator is 22%. Even in South America, which has a population three times smaller than Africa, 19,649 MW of solar electric power was installed as of 2021, or 2.3% of the global total.
The undisputed leader in the development of solar energy on the African continent is South Africa, where more than 40% of the capacity of all solar energy sources in Africa is concentrated. Moreover, Photovoltaic and Concentrating Solar Power are developing in parallel here. In addition, South Africa has been among the world leaders in the development of CSP in recent years. Among the other countries on this continent, Egypt and Morocco should be mentioned in particular.
The African continent thus offers tremendous opportunities for business related to solar energy, which will obviously be facilitated by the above-mentioned event.
Later, on February 14-16 in Long Beach, California, Intersolar North America (ISNA) and Energy Storage North America (ESNA) will hold the traditional exhibition and conference, where the problems and prospects of solar energy development in North America will also be discussed. The exhibition will feature over 300 exhibits and over 6,000 participants. The upcoming conference here will be held under the slogan "Climate Solutions Start Here: Solar + Storage Lead the Way.
On February 8-9 in Nantes, France, the next BIO 360 exhibition will be held. It is expected that 450-500 international exhibitors will take part. The exhibition will showcase all important areas of bioenergy development, including Solid bioenergy – biomass and wood-energy, solid waste recovery, forestry and agricultural co-products for co/tri-generation, district and industrial heating, and renewable green gas; Liquid bioenergy – liquid biofuels for the road, maritime and aviation transport sectors; Gaseous bioenergy – biogas, biomethane, bioNGV, green hydrogen for local consumption or broader distribution; Biobased materials and products; Biochar; Carbon capture and utilization.
Currently, such areas as the production of biogas and biomethane, pellet production, first-generation ethanol production are widespread in the bioenergy industry. On the other hand, technologies such as biomass gasification, production of second-generation ethanol, and useful utilization of forestry waste have not yet been properly developed. Below is a map of the world's leading forest industries, which allows to present the scale of the potential resource supply of bioenergy for different areas, and which are largely unused.
Other February events include several regional exhibitions and conferences that are important in the context of the current reorientation of energy flows.
On February 21-22, the North American Frac Sand 2023 will be held in Houston, Texas, USA, to present the latest developments in Hydraulic Fracturing Proppants, which are important to ensure the efficiency of shale oil and gas production. Despite the regional nature, the practical results of this event may be useful for specialists from other regions, especially since the leading patent holders in this technology are American companies, including Halliburton Energy Services, Inc., Baker Hughes Incorporated, Carbo Ceramics, Inc. Services Company, Oxane Materials, Inc., Oren Technologies, LLC, Schlumberger Technology Corporation, Saint-Gobain Ceramics & Plastics, Inc.
The fifth Japan Energy Summit & Exibition 2023, from February 28 to March 2 in Tokyo, is an event of obvious interest, as Japan is one of the world's major consumers of liquefied natural gas. More than 2,000 attendees, more than 150 companies from no less than 40 countries will take part in the event. Particular attention is being paid here to the promising new area of hydrogen and ammonia production and transportation.