PETALING JAYA: Technology disruptions, economic shifts, sustainability and other challenges in the utility industry will be among the key highlights of the Conference of the Electric Power Supply Industry (Cepsi) 2018 to be held in Malaysia later this year.
More than 1,500 delegates, industry leaders, senior executives, government officials and professionals – mainly from East Asia and Western Pacific countries or the region – are expected to attend the 22nd edition of Cepsi.
The chosen theme for Cepsi 2018 – “Reimagining Utility of the Future” – will focus on the current scenario of how the electricity supply industry is transforming in response to the emergence and convergence of technology disruptions, economic shifts, evolving sustainability and regulatory requirements, and increasing customer expectations.
It will also address some topics such as megatrends, sustainability, energy trilemma, digitalisation and a smarter future.
“Now anyone can generate electricity and sell it,” said Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) president and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Ir Azman Mohd during the soft launch of Cepsi 2018 held recently.
“In the olden days, it was TNB that generated and sold electricity. But now we have to buy it from (those who generate it), so this is a technology issue that enables normal customers to become producers of electricity.
“They are both the producer and consumer, or prosumers. This is a challenge that all utility companies are facing.
“So, this conference will discuss the strategies and possible solutions to face such issues,” Azman said.
The event was launched by Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Zaini Ujang.
Azman said different countries have their own strategies, but there is yet to be a “perfect model” or “standard formula” to tackle the issues faced by the utility industry.
“It is also very much dependent on the needs and methods of each country.
“As such, this conference will be the ideal gathering for utility stakeholders to share their thoughts and ideas, hear from visionaries and learn from some of the best minds in the industry,” said Azman.
Meanwhile, Dr Zaini said the power industry is constantly being affected by world trends such as economic shifts, capital requirements, technology disruptions and regulatory evolution.
Among the four major trends, emerging technologies are predicted to be the “most disruptive” to the traditional utility model.
“However, emerging technologies such as renewable energy, electric vehicles, battery storage and energy efficiency also serve as an opportunity for growth,” said Zaini.
He added that TNB as the utility service provider must be prepared to face the challenges.
“Hosting Cepsi 2018 is therefore very timely to enable all players in the power sector to be ready to face the challenges and changes in the ways things are done,” said Zaini.
The conference, which will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from Sept 17-22, will be the largest power utility conference held in Malaysia.
Cepsi, under the patronage of the Association of the Electricity Supply Industry of East Asia and Western Pacific (Aesieap), is deemed a prominent and prestigious event of the region’s power industry.
TNB was elected as the host of AESIEAP for 2017-2018 at the 42nd Council Meeting held in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2016.
However, this is not the first time TNB has held the chairmanship, as it was also accorded the privilege in 1996.
The first Cepsi was held in Hong Kong in 1976 and has since been organised biennially.
In 1975, Aesieap was founded as a platform for its members to exchange information on technology and expertise, as well as to foster cooperation for the development of the power industry in the region.
Apart from that, TNB has targeted about 250 power utilities and suppliers to display their products, services and leading edge technologies during Cepsi 2018.
Those interested in participating in the conference and exhibitions can contact the organiser at email@example.com.