'Energy access v reliability: opportunities and challenges in Sierra Leone' with John Rhys, Hindolo George-Williams & Kelcise Sesay

Past Event

05 August 2020, 11:00am - 12:00pm


Https cdn evbuc com images 103640590 176752916729 1 original

This webinar will highlight three of the most important issues in the power sector, which present particular challenges for developing economies: questions of finance at an affordable cost of capital, paying attention to issues of sustainability and access, and a reliability agenda that sits at the heart of many of the utility management challenges.

This webinar is organised by the Oxford Martin Programme on Integrating Renewable Energy and will take place via Zoom. Please register for the event on Eventbrite to receive joining instructions.

John Rhys will introduce the subject, drawing on his experience of different power systems and setting out the financial aspects. The next two speakers will comment on and talk about some of these themes from the specific perspective of the Sierra Leone power sector, where these all represent very live current issues.

Few people have access to electricity in Sierra Leone, and those that do suffer from an unstable supply. Fossil fuels and firewood are often used, with adverse health and environmental implications, and there is much potential for renewable energy.

Hindolo George-Williams will talk on the sometimes conflicting aims of broadening access to electricity and the need to increase the resilience of the electricity grid and thus the reliability of supplied power. Which should come first? This is a trade-off that isn’t often discussed.

Kelcise Vidal Sesay will talk on the operational aspects of delivering power, drawing on his experience as Head of the Electricity Regulation, and the approach taken to provide reliable and affordable electricity in Sierra Leone, as set out the country’s Electricity Sector Reform Roadmap.

Helen Gavin will host the webinar.

Hindolo George-Williams

Hindolo graduated with a dual PhD in Risk & Uncertainty Engineering from the University of Liverpool and Nuclear Engineering from the National Tsing Hua University in 2018. In his research, he developed an efficient computational framework for the reliability, maintenance, and performance modelling of complex systems.

Hindolo then worked as a Power Systems Research Engineer in Newcastle University’s Electrical Power Research Group, working on a demonstrator project for smart grid-integrated electric vehicle charging renewable energy infrastructure. Previously, he was the country lead of Total Sierra Leone’s maintenance team, overseeing proceedings across 30-40 fuel service stations and sites. He joined Oxford University in November 2019 to work on a project seeking to improve the electricity supply of his native Sierra Leone via a whole systems approach.

Kelcise Vidal Sesay

Kelcise is the Head of the Electricity Regulation department at the Sierra Leone Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission where his tasks include the development of technical performance indicators for public utilities and other regulated entities in the electricity sector, electricity utilities performance monitoring, technical compliance monitoring, the development of utility performance benchmarks, and the provision of expert advice to the Commissions on electricity regulatory issues. He is currently leading the development of a number of sub-codes as part of the process of compiling a Grid Code of the Sierra Leone electricity sector.

Kelcise is also a teaching assistant at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at the Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. Kelcise holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Information Technology. He is a member of IEEE and a corporate member of the Sierra Leone Institution of Engineers.

John Rhys

John is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Oxford University Environmental Change Institute. He is a former Chief Economist of the Electricity Council, then a main regulatory authority and coordinating body for the state-owned UK power sector. He has worked extensively as an adviser to national governments and development agencies on energy policy, tariffs and sector reform issues. He is a keen advocate of policies to limit the impact of the energy sector on climate, and is the research lead on system economics for the Oxford Martin School programme on the integration of renewable energies in power systems.

John writes a regular blog on climate, economics and related issues.

Helen Gavin

Helen is based in the Environmental Change Institute of the University of Oxford, working on the Programme on Integrating Renewable Energy. She is a sustainability professional, passionate about renewable energy and water resources, with expertise in a range of quantitative environmental issues. She has covered a range of roles including technical specialist, water and energy auditor, programme manager and knowledge exchange, in consultancy and in academia.