Program & Session Themes

Program & Session themes:

Session structure and speakers may be subject to change according to the submission of contributions.


Program (subject to change)

October 28, 2019

18:00 - 20:30 Registration and Welcome Reception


October 29, 2019

The 2019 General Meeting and PIESA-IERE South Africa Forum (Day 1)

08:30 - 09:00 Registration

09:00 - 10:30 Opening and Keynote Addresses

10:30 - 11:00 General Session

11:00 - 12:00 Forenoon Sessions

12:00 - 13:15 Lunch

13:15 - 17:00 Afternoon Sessions

18:00 - 20:00 Conference Official Dinner


October 30, 2019

The 2019 General Meeting and PIESA-IERE South Africa Forum (Day 2)

08:30 - 11:45 Forenoon Sessions

11:45 - 13:00 Lunch

13:00 - 17:00 Afternoon Sessions and Plenary Conclusion Session


October 31, 2019

Safari Tour (optional)

Around 06:30 Departure at Suncity Hotel

Around 10:00 Return to Suncity Hotel

Session themes
There are 5 sessions, each having its own theme


Session 1

Theme: Evolving 4IR technologies and its effect on the customer

There is no doubt digital transformation has blurred the line between man and machine, but in the process, it has also created countless opportunities to engage and assist customers. As the Fourth Industrial Revolution continues to evolve, the key to business success will be evolving simultaneously in order to provide a revolutionary customer experience. IoT, for example, is in the early stages of maturity, and most customers have yet to unlock the full potential and functionality of connected devices.


Session 2

Theme: 4IR’s impact on revenue collection and non-technical losses

The revenue model on which utility businesses are based is under threat from the shifting industry norms. The 4th industrial revolution is underway and already utilities are witness to digitalisation, decarbonisation and decentralisation – all affecting their traditional revenue collection strategies and non-technical losses mitigation approaches.


Session 3

Theme: Asset Management – let’s get smart about it

Distribution power companies are subject to increasing quality, safety and environmental constraints that, in a highly competitive arena, call for the maximization of asset reliability, efficiency and flexibility, while operation and maintenance costs are reduced. To this end distribution energy companies are adopting an intelligent asset management approach to asset management. Smart or intelligent asset management is a cutting-edge technology that is being increasingly adopted by various industries, and with future inclusion of Industrial Internet of Things (“IIOT”), it is deemed as a sheer necessity in a manufacturing facility where downtime / slowdown affects the bottom line results.


Session 4

Theme: Advanced distribution automation in the 4IR era

The goal of Advanced Distribution Automation(“ADA”) is real-time adjustment to changing loads, generation, and failure conditions of the distribution system, usually without operator intervention. This necessitates control of field devices, which implies enough information technology (IT) development to enable automated decision making in the field and relaying of critical information to the utility control centre. The IT infrastructure includes real-time data acquisition and communication with utility databases and other automated systems. Accurate modelling of distribution operations supports optimal decision making at the control centre and in the field. In the era of the 4IR we are going to see a significant convergence of Operating Technologies (“OT”) and Information Technologies (“IT”) underpinned by smart communications to achieve the goal of ADA.


Session 5

Theme: Distributed Renewable Energy Technologies: Are we ready?

At the distribution level, increasing numbers of renewables and Distribution Energy resources (“DERs”) in general present a host of issues. One of the major challenges is that distribution system operators must transition from managing the safety and reliability of a system with a limited number of energy producers and unidirectional and predictable flow from substations to customers to a system with power flows from many sources at varying times of day and in different directions. These changes mean not only greater operational complexity, but also more complex maintenance and emergency operations. The result will be needed modifications in the design and operation of the distribution system and investments in new or upgraded circuits as well as additional tools, sensors and communication systems