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The Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) has announced Africa’s first residential project that has met the EDGE resource-efficiency standard, which will be receiving EDGE final certification.According to a press release, the Fourleaf Estate residential development located in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape Province, is now 29% more energy efficient, 25% more water efficient and boasts up to 43% reduction in the energy used to make construction materials.The Fourleaf Estate residential project is funded by the Housing Impact Fund of South Africa (HIFSA) and managed by the Development Impact Funds team within Old Mutual Alternative Investments. Lenore Cairncross, who has been leading the EDGE certification process for HIFSA’s new housing developments, said: “As the fund manager for this project, Old Mutual is delighted to be at the forefront of green housing developments by bringing the first EDGE-certified residential project to the market in Africa.”“Sustainability is high on the agenda of our clients. As fund managers, we can provide a tangible indicator of green environmental performance by encouraging EDGE certification on our housing developments,” Cairncross added.
Renewable energy employs 9.8 million people worldwide, says IRENA report
A competition run by Access Power called the 'Access Co-Development Facility' (ACF) has officially closed. Five entrepreneurs have made it as the runner ups for the innovative $7 million funding and support platform for renewable energy projects in Africa.According to a company statement, the projects were selected from a pool of 82 qualifying projects from across the continent, representing a full spectrum of renewable energy technologies.The facility is now on its third edition this year and is being deployed in partnership with EREN Renewable Energy. The five shortlisted projects include:Zimbabwe: 75MW Kadoma Solar PV project,Tanzania: 30MW Kondoa Solar PV project,Rwanda: 9,7MW Rukarara Hydro project,Ethiopia: 75MW Beseka Solar project,Ghana: 48MW Winneba Wind project.The successfully shortlisted projects will progress to the final stage of the evaluation process where they will have the opportunity to present their projects to a panel of industry experts, comprised of senior representatives from Power Africa, InfraCo Africa, Proparco, the Dutch Development Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation and Access Power at the Africa Energy Forum in Copenhagen on June 7, 2017.A maximum of three projects will be selected to win a share of the prize.
Most visitors to Hell’s Gate national park, 75km north-west of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, go there to see the wildlife and rock formations. But they usually leave with an additional memory: the intense geothermal activity after which the park is named.The Kenyan government has been harnessing this clean energy source for decades. Kenya Electricity Generating Company, the government-controlled company that produces about 75 per cent of the country’s power, reckons that 47 per cent of Kenya’s energy consumption is from geothermal. Hydro accounts for 39 per cent, conventional coal, gas and oil-fired generators 13 per cent and wind 1 per cent. Few countries in sub-Saharan Africa are as lucky as Kenya to have such a large supply of reliable clean energy. The challenge facing not only east Africa’s dominant economy but the whole continent is the extent to which it can drive its economic development through producing clean energy.
Ethiopia says it has earned over $165m in revenue for sale of electric power over the last 10 months. Out of the amount, $49m was from supply to neighbouring Sudan and Djibouti.The state-affiliated FANA broadcasting corporate (FBC) quoted an official with the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity as saying the amount fell short of the country’s target of $200m.According to FBC, the suppliers were meeting local power demands and had plans to sell electric power to other countries as more power generating units are completed. It was not exactly clear which other entities were customers of Ethiopia.Beside Sudan and Djibouti, Kenya and Tanzania are also in the process of getting power from Ethiopia. A 400MW deal has been reached with Tanzania and Kenya is also looking to buy an estimated 200MW to compliment its energy.Work on the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) is past the 50% mark, it is estimated that it will produce over 6,400MW of power – and will have the pride of being the largest on the continent.Ethiopia is in line to become the subregion’s leading power exporter and renewable energy hub on the continent. A combination of their power generating sources – hydroelectric, geothermal, wind and solar energies – is estimated at 60,000MW.
Xago Africa is developing a 40-MW solar power project in Siaya County. Its work with Alevo to add integrated battery storage to utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) capacity is supported by the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), which announced the signing of a grant for the scheme last month. The project will be one of the first utility-scale battery storage installations in Africa, according to the announcement.Alevo said on Wednesday that a USD-1.4-million (EUR 1.3m) technical study backed by USTDA will also provide detailed analytics for the Kenyan power system and a roadmap to help advance the energy storage market in the country.
The human being has been taking advantage of hydro-power as a source of energy for centuries. However, in the late 19th century, hydro-power became a source for generating electricity. The first hydroelectric power plant was built at Niagara Falls in 1879 designed by the inventor Nicola Tesla.The 6th World Hydro-power Congress, a landmark event that came to Africa for the first time, was held in Addis Ababa last week. Dealing with issues related to clean and sustainable energy development, the Congress primarily stressed out the fact that poverty reduction and prosperity are unthinkable without universal access to electricity.Hydro-power, nowadays, is an advanced and cost competitive renewable energy source. It plays an important role in today's electricity mix, contributing to more than 16 percent of electricity generation worldwide and about 85 percent of global renewable electricity.The contribution of hydro-power in the energy mix is thus twofold: the primary benefit is its provision of clean, renewable electricity, while it simultaneously enables other renewable efforts as it serves for the reduction of carbon from the environment. Besides, it is affirmed that hydro-power is the only renewable energy source that has the potential to expand access to electricity to large populations.
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Kenya has arguably been making inroads as far as power connectivity in many parts of the country is concerned. This has been on diverse energy sources such as the World Bank-funded Last-Mile (main grid connectivity) project in the remotest of places, wind energy plants and other renewable energy sources. The government, through the Rural Electrification Authority which is the implementing agency in this project, has signed a $USD 135 Million solar energy pact with the China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Cooperation to put up a 55-megawatt plant in Garissa, a north-eastern town in Kenya. The project, which shall sit on 85 hectares of land in Garissa, shall be a power plant which is expected to generate 76,470 annual megawatt hours (to be fed to the national grid) which is sufficient to power 625,000 homes while at the same time, reducing tremendously, carbon emissions by 64,190 tonnes per year and saving coal consumption by 25,000 tonnes annually. The Chinese are financing the project with Kenya’s positioning as a strategic clean energy source in mind, as the plant is expected to facilitate massive technology and skill-exchange between countries in the region, and internationally.
Arusha — A solar energy firm, Zola Tanzania, intends to extend its services to various parts of the country so that more people are connected to the cheap and renewable energy.Speaking during the launching of two sales outlets in Arusha city, the company's managing director, Ms Nena Sanderson, said currently they have 35,650 clients across the country."We are facing a run down of challenges but our products are preferred because of their quality," she said as the sales points were opened in Sekei and Sombetini wards in the city.Another official, Mr Samaladu Zayumba, said the solar energy gadgets would be connected to the homes as well as the business areas, adding that they were affordable.
The Government of Uganda is tapping into renewable energy resources to be able to extend power to off the grid areas in Uganda.Mr. John Tumuhimbise, the commissioner renewable energy resources at the ministry of Energy, while speaking at the new village power offices in Kampala early in the week, said government has set up a renewable energy policy framework which sets policies for increasing uptake of renewable energy in the country. The overall objective of this policy is to make renewable energy an alternative for energy sources.“We have a standardized power purchase agreement for renewable energy projects of up to 20 megawatts to reduce on the transactional costs involved in small projects,” he said.The government is also supporting association of renewable energy providers to scale up their work and also address major challenges in the market such as the poor quality of products and build technological capacity. One such provider is Village Power. The firm’s solar solutions for rural electrification provides affordable, sustainable and reliable electricity to off-grid areas and facilitate access to clean light, safe water, communication, information, medication and various business opportunities.Mr. Tumuhimbise said Village Power’s work in Uganda is in line with the ministry’s goals, vision, mission and larger mandate. “Village Power’s work in Uganda has helped thousands of people live better lives economically and socially,” he said.
It is Uganda’s first grid-connected solar plant as the country looks to raise power generation capacity to 1,500MW by 2020, from the current 850MW. The power plant has the potential to increase its net output capacity by a further 20MW of solar energy. “We are ready to double generation capacity as soon as the national grid is ready,” David Corchia, Eren’s chief executive, said.“We are really proud to have the project here in Soroti, some of us had even lost hope in expanding our businesses,” said 30-year-old Daniel Owundo, who owns a restaurant in the outskirts of Soroti, plagued by soaring costs of using a diesel-powered generator.According to Owundo, for years, government has promised but not delivered electricity to his small township of Ongori, located some 10km from the main town. Since the connection of solar, Owundu has retired his generator and is looking forward to introducing a fast food section in his restaurant, which has previously concentrated on only local dishes.More people are visiting this area now, business is picking up,” Owundu said. The government of Uganda has been keen to develop alternative energy sources to diversify away from its hydropower plants, which are currently beset by unstable water levels blamed on dry spells and changing weather patterns.
Chikwawa — The Sustainable Rural Growth and Development Initiative (SRGDI) says its K20million solar powered irrigation scheme to be constructed in Chikwawa will improve the economic status of the youths in the district. The revelation was made Tuesday during a Youth and Sports Technical Working Committee Meeting which was held at the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) office. The organization, with funding from IM Swedish Development Partners is implementing a three year 'Youth Economic and Social Actions' (YESA) Project in Traditional Authorities (T/As) Maseya and Lundu. SRGDI's District Coordinator, Ian Sukali said his organization noted that Chikwawa had the potential of utilizing available resources such as land and water to improve the economic status of the youths hence the coming in of the multi-million solar powered irrigation scheme.
NAIROBI, KENYA: Engagement of the private sector has been highlighted as one of the key strategies in promoting renewable energy access among displaced populations. The recommendation was made during an expert workshop organised by the Moving Energy Initiative on 27 April in Nairobi.The workshop that brought together experts from government, the UN, international and local NGOs and private sector specialists in renewable energy, sought to identify how the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya could benefit from improved energy access and how energy interventions could be structured to align with national energy priorities and encourage the growth of local energy markets.
After nine long years of negotiation and preparation, 2 ½ years of construction including the installation of 365 wind turbines, the end of the incredible Lake Turkana Wind farm journey is just over the horizon.In June 2017, the 310 MW capacity Lake Turkana Wind farm will be ready for full commercial production. The goal? Providing the whole of Kenya with low cost wind power to the national grid equivalent to around 16 percent of the country’s current installed electricity generating capacity over the next 20 years.A moment of celebration surely, as the single largest private investment in Kenya’s history, but for Phylip Leferink, General Manager, and everyone involved in the project, the end of this journey is really only the beginning.“When we finish and Lake Turkana is online of course there will be some celebration, but we enter a new phase. Construction work may be over, but the work really is just beginning as we need to operate it over the next 20 years.”
Global energy solutions provider, GE has announced that it will be supplying the equipment that is required for work on the 400MW Bridge Power project in Tema, Ghana. According to the company the project will be implemented in two phases with the first 200MW expected to come on-stream by end of this year.Phase one of the project will see the installation of five gas turbines and one purpose built GE steam turbine capable of generating 200MW of power.The second phase of the project will see the installation of another batch of four gas turbines and one purpose-built GE steam turbine to add additional 200MW of power.The Bridge Power project, which is funded by the EPL Consortium– made up of GE Power, Endeavor Energy, and Sage– can be powered by either LPG, natural gas, or diesel, media reported.According to Ghana News, GE's chief executive officer for sub-Saharan Africa, Leslie Nelson, said: “Our understanding of Ghana’s long-term vision for its power sector is built on having reasonably priced, reliable, and diversified energy. The Bridge Power project checks all those boxes.” “Moreover, the project has been specifically designed to switch to indigenous natural gas once available, which will help accelerate the development of Ghana’s natural gas reserves,” Nelson added.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Board of Directors has approved a concessional loan of US$25mn to fund the Segou Solar PV Project, which is set to be Mali’s first utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant. The project will be funded by the Program for Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP) of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), with co-financing from the AfDB (US$8.4mn) and International Finance Corporation (US$8.4mn). The project consists of the design, construction, and operations of a 33 MW Power Plant. The transformational project will lead to a direct increase in the country’s installed capacity from a renewable resource and will generate 52.7 GWh annually (approximately 10 per cent of the current generation capacity) over 25 years for a lifetime output of 1,316.75 GWh. Introducing utility-scale solar PV as an energy source will enable Mali to harness its abundant solar energy potential, diversify the country’s energy mix, and increase access to cleaner energy for its citizens. The project’s specific business model is a potential energy game-changer for Mali and indeed for all of West Africa. The project is a demonstration of the significant role that concessional climate finance can play in mitigating project specific risks and in addressing barriers that would otherwise hinder private sector involvement in renewable energy projects.
On Wednesday, Enel Green Power announced through its subsidiary Enel Green Power RSA, that its 111MW Gibson Bay wind farm has commenced commercial operation. Located in South Africa's Eastern Cape province, the wind farm is capable of generating around 420GWh per year, equivalent to the annual consumption needs of around 131 thousand households while avoiding the emission of over 383 thousand tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.Country Manager in South Africa, William Price, said: “Gibson Bay is the second wind farm we have brought to life in South Africa, our first being Nojoli, further demonstrating our commitment to a low-carbon energy future. "Taking the lead in renewable energy gives South Africa the opportunity to become a key global player in this growing industry, while investment in renewables provides good job opportunities and has brought new skills into the country. We are proud to offer a strong renewable energy generation base.”
In East Africa, two Kenyan power companies have received financial support from the US government’s initiative, Power Africa, to maximise the generation of green energy. The Daily Nation reported that the funds will assist in accelerating the production of geothermal and solar energy.The US Trade and Development Agency, under the Power Africa initiative, awarded $1.1 million to Xago Africa and another $500,000 to the state-owned Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen).Media reported that the funding will enable Xago to install Kenya's first large-scale solar energy storage battery for the 40MW solar power plant it plans to construct in Siaya, to be connected to the national power grid. The firm is expected to get technical support from North Carolina-based battery storage manufacturer, Alevo USA.
In Southern Africa, the ZTE Corporation has completed a feasibility study for Zimbabwe Power Company's Insukamini Solar Project. The Herald Business reported that in October 2015, ZPC and ZTE signed a contract for the construction of the 100MW Insukamini Solar Project. ZPC acting managing director Engineer Joshua told media it is encouraging that the application for project funding by ZTE Corporation to China Eximbank is now being finalised."The feasibility study has been done and is under review by ZPC and ZTE with expectations that it would be concluded by end of April 2017."Land acquisition for the project is in progress and application for the National Project Status has been done," Chirikutsi said. "ZPC and ZTE are in constant communication and the two parties are diligently working on the feasibility study of the project with due processes being followed," he added.The State Procurement Board last year awarded tenders for solar power projects with a combined output of 300MW to three firms, media reported
Central Bank governor Patrick Njoroge has challenged commercial banks to support green energy initiatives, as the country gears towards building a strong pool for financing renewable energy projects.This is ahead of the planned ‘green’ bond set to be issued this year. The Kenya Bankers Association and the Nairobi Securities Exchange are planning to issue the country’s first green bond in the third quarter of 2017.The proceeds will be used to finance projects in the renewable energy, energy-efficiency, green transport and wastewater treatment sectors
Kenya is among the countries poised to lead in wind energy investment in Africa this year according to a new report.Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the international trade association for the wind power industry, says Kenya is setting the pace in the region in the use of wind as a renewable source of energy by initiating the generation of 700 megawatts for the national grid.“For the Middle East and Africa, the main drivers will continue to be South Africa, Morocco (and we hope) Egypt, with strong contributions from Kenya and Ethiopia as some of the smaller markets are just getting off the ground,” says GWEC in its latest annual Global Wind Report market update.It notes that at the end of 2016, over 99 per cent of Middle East and Africa region’s total wind energy installations were spread across 10 countries – South Africa, Morocco.
The report, released earlier this week by the National Bureau of Statistics and the Rural Energy Agency shows that grid electricity is the second largest source of power in rural areas with 34.5% of households connected, while solar is leading by nearly 65%. The results show that solar power is the dominant electricity source in rural areas as 64.8% of the rural households were using electricity generated from solar power. Private entity and individual electricity generated from own sources (excluding solar) was the least source of electricity among rural households at 0.6%. According to the Energy Access Situation Report, in general, electricity access (to any form of electricity) in rural areas has improved from 6.1% in 2011 to 16.9% in 2016. One general observation from this data is that more efforts are needed to improve the accessibility of modern energies to rural residents in order to achieve sets of energy targets by 2030 as stipulated in 2015 Energy Policy.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $14.57 million supplementary loan for South Sudan's power project.The money will be used to rehabilitate and expand electricity distribution networks in the capital city.Juba lacks a reliable power supply network due to dilapidated infrastructure. Consumers are therefore forced to rely on diesel generators."The project will contribute in reducing inefficiencies in the power distribution network and increase electricity access in Juba," said Gabriel Negatu, AfDB's director- general of the East Africa regional development and business delivery office.
OVER 7,000 households in Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi are set to benefit from 80 megawatts of electricity from the Rusumo Falls hydro-electric project along Kagera River whose ground-breaking ceremony is set for today.Tanzania's Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo and his Rwanda and Burundian counterparts are expected to grace the ground-breaking event scheduled at the Tanzania-Rwanda border. Each partner state will have a share of 26.6MW to be connected to their national power grids.
No country has ever reduced poverty without investing substantially in energy. Not only is it central to all human development goals, but it is also central to how we are globally dealing with climate change.Earth Day (20 April) is an important reminder for all South Africans to be cognisant of their country’s energy situation especially now, as the Government is facing several important and life-changing decisions.The South African government made two important announcements: The Department of Mineral Resources said that shale gas fracking in the Karoo would go ahead while the Treasury Department has said they are in the process of deciding whether to move forward with the controversial nuclear deal. While there is a massive energy need on the Continent, does the answer lie in large, slow-moving and expensive solutions that are potentially very damaging to the environment?Community scale renewable energy opportunities and solutions to address Africa’s energy needs will be dealt with at the first annual Energy Revolution Africa event, a co-located event at African Utility Week taking place in Cape Town from 16 – 18 May
The African Development Bank (AFDB) has unveiled plan to invest $12 billion over the next five years under its new electrification programme.The fund will support its New Deal on energy for Africa which aims to achieve universal access to Africa by 2025. The plan was born out of the Energy Week conference held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in March which brought stakeholders together to discuss methods of improving energy access.Until recently, the AfDB and other organisations regarded off-grid power provision as a stop-gap measure, designed to provide electricity to people until their homes were connected to the grid.
Kenya’s shift to renewable energy sources presents a lucrative and expanding market for solar equipment.This is according to Shenzhen Power Solution Limited Vice-President Susan Lee, who spoke to Xinhua news at an energy and power expo, held in Nairobi."Our main focus [is] in household solar solutions that are affordable but are of high quality. We are scouting for a Kenyan franchise to distribute our products that include solar lanterns, torches and solar study lamps," Lee said.She added that the company has invested in solar solutions that are tailor made for populations that are not connected to power.
Four years ago, Morocco imported 93 per cent of its energy needs. By 2030, it hopes to get 52 per cent from renewables. Just how serious the country is about solar power comes across loud and clear to visitors as soon as one crosses the Mohamed V International Airport here.Large solar panels along the road and street lights topped with solar panels line the way for a few miles -- highlighting how the north African nation is moving firmly ahead in its mission to become a solar superpower.
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