On Nov. 2, during the Seventh Hydropower for Today Forum held in Hangzhou, China, the Coordinating Committee of the International Network on Small Hydro Power (IN-SHP) elected Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Secretary General, Sindiso Ngwenya, as IN-SHP Coordinating Committee chairperson.
Ngwenya will serve a three-year term.
The Coordinating Committee is the policy and decision maker for the organization, responsible for the examination and approval of IN-SHP’s work plan, financial arrangement and membership.
According to a press release from COMSEA, IN-SHP is a member-driven international organization dedicated to the promotion of small hydropower as a clean and environmental sound renewable energy source. The organization currently serves 470 members from 80 countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and Latin America. IN-SHP members work in government ministries, hydropower development companies, equipment manufacturers and research institutes.
Ngwenya takes over from the outgoing Chairperson, Chen Lei, China’s minister of Water Resources.
Ngwenya, in addressing the forum, said he plans to promote innovative means of financing both downstream and upstream investments in small hydropower and other renewable energies on the basis of public private partnerships by working closely with all partners including the 500 companies that are part of IN-SHP.
Ngwenya said, “The high cost of operating energy infrastructure facilities and ability to prepare bankable projects continue to be a major impediment to the expansion of the manufacturing sector in many COMESA countries.”
He said the total installed capacity for electric power in the 19 COMESA countries is estimated at 65 GW compared to more than 1,000 GW for China.
“Our energy statistics show that the average percentage of population with access to electricity in the whole COMESA region is around 45% while the percentage of population with access to electricity in China is 100%,” he said.
The interim Chief Executive Officer of the Regional Association of Energy Regulators for Eastern and Southern Africa, Mohamedain E. Seif Elnasr, Ph.D., was elected IN-SHP Coordinating Committee vice chairperson.