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Five minutes with… Deep Karani, Exhibition Director for Power Nigeria

Five minutes with… Deep Karani, Exhibition Director for Power Nigeria

Power Nigeria, arguably one of the most important renewable energy trade exhibitions in Africa, returns this week

power nigeria

1. Tell us about yourself and the work you do.

I am the Exhibition Director for Power Nigeria – West Africa’s largest power and renewable energy trade exhibition. I can identify and plan effective marketing strategies for businesses who wish to expand in new markets or established companies who are constantly innovating new ways to meet their business objectives.

In addition to the West African market, I have worked across multiple events in the Informa Energy portfolio in key markets such as Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, and now an upcoming event in Lebanon covering the LEVANT region.

Before Informa, I served the power industry from the publishing world wherein I worked across renowned B2B trade magazines covering a range of industry sectors such as HVAC-R, Power, Water, Automation, Green Buildings & Sustainability.

2. The Power Nigeria Exhibition and Conference is currently in its 8th year, what’s the agenda this year?

This year, the exhibition is supported by renowned industry brands such as Skipper Seil, Cummins, Eaton, Caterpillar-Mantrac, Jubaili Bros, Total, Lucy Electric, Phillips, Kirloskar, and many more who will be joining us on the show floor to display their latest product lines.

We are also looking forward to welcoming key colleagues from AfBD, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (Power Sector), Dangote Industries, Central Bank of Nigeria and many more, who will be presenting technical papers highlighting critical topics at the conference. The conference is CPD certified and focuses on key themes broadly ranging between Finance, Technology and Procurement.

In the past few weeks, we’ve received hundreds of registrations from industry professionals.

3. What are the major challenges in the power sector?

The main issue Nigeria is facing is the rapidly increasing population which results in a much higher demand for energy. Infrastructural investments, regulatory and policy limitations are a major challenge hampering the growth of the sector. While there are off-grid sustainable solutions available, Nigeria also needs good governance; proper regulations and policies that need to be set and enforced for the sector to experience growth. Multiple government organizations are tirelessly working towards achieving higher energy efficiency and encouraging change in regulations. However, the lack of consistency and clarity makes it difficult for developers to invest in the country.

4. The Power Nigeria Conference is credited to always having had an interesting mix of speakers and exhibitors, how is the decision made on who makes the list?

Each year, we urge state ministries, regulatory authorities and policymakers to speak about subjects that are most important in the year, educating attending industry professionals about the latest developments and plans in the Nigerian energy sector. Going beyond governments, we also provide a platform for developers, consultants and system integrators who present technical papers on best practices in energy management. Adding to the selection, we invite a few case studies from key manufacturers or innovators who can speak on these topics.

5. Why should people visit Power Nigeria exhibition and conference?

Power Nigeria has organically grown to become West Africa’s largest power exhibition and hosts a wide variety of electrical and renewable energy products on display annually. We are fortunate enough to be backed by Informa, the largest exhibition management company in the world, which also hosts energy events across the globe. Connected to thousands of energy professionals worldwide, we can bridge the gap between international investors, developers, manufacturers by linking them with regional consultants, contractors, system integrators and end-users.

6. What contribution would you say Power Nigeria exhibition and conference has had on the sector?

Our ultimate objective is to build Power Nigeria into the largest technology sourcing, knowledge sharing and networking platform connecting local and international companies, assisting them to explore business opportunities, in turn driving growth into future investment opportunities for West Africa.

7. How are participants able to earn the Continuing Professional Development (CDP) certification from attending the conference?

We offer free CPD points across all our energy events in the Middle East and Africa. Visitors who register and attend the conference are further guided by our helpful staff on site who will verify their attendance by simply scanning their badges to send their contact details to the CPD certification body in the UK who then provide the certificate of attendance and allocate the relevant points.

8. As someone in the power sector, what progressive trends have you seen that Nigeria needs to urgently adopt?

Industry sources indicate that the country will need an additional 26.6 GW generation capacity to meet demands through 2020. This will comprise 30 per cent capacity from coal, about 2,200 MW from the NIPP projects (1,896 MW), IPPs (296 MW) and FGN legacy assets [installed – Thermals 5.6 GW, Hydro 1.3 GW and Wind (pilot) 10MW]. In addition, the Government of Nigeria is also investing heavily to boost generation through the large, medium and small hydrostatic power plants with a total capacity of over 6,024 MW.

Despite the various challenges in Nigeria’s power sector today, the decision of the Government of Nigeria to privatize the sector provides multiple opportunities for international and local investment.

9. What are your predictions for the power and energy sector in Nigeria within the next 10 years?

Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy, but also has one of the widest energy gaps in the world. The country’s current installed capacity is reported at 12,500 megawatts, but in practice is only 3,200 megawatts. The government’s aim to boost electricity access to 90 per cent by 2030 will drive even more demand.

Credible sources have stated to achieve universal access to electricity, Nigeria will have to connect between 500,000 to 800,000 new households to electricity every year between 2018 and 2030. Both grid extension and off-grid solutions will be needed to provide quality services to the unserved and underserved households and businesses.

My prediction is that renewables will play a very important role in Nigeria’s power generation model.

10. What are Informa’s plans for Nigeria in the coming years?

Informa has embarked on a long-term journey in Nigeria with a hope to expand heavily in the region. Our plan moving forward is to diversify from the electricity niche and add more parallel sectors to the show, which is why we have made the decision this year to rebrand to Nigeria Energy from 2020 onwards, in where we plan to fully incorporate all aspects of energy, not confining to only conventional power generation, transmission and distribution. We aspire to bring together more international companies with newer technologies to the show from 2020 onwards and will be promoting the Nigerian energy event through our plethora of events across the EMEA region.

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