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Kakira Sugar Limited, a local sugar producer, has started commercial production of ethanol at a $36.6 million (Shs133b) distillery. The distillery, which will be producing 20 million litres of fuel grade anhydrous ethanol (Bio-Fuel), started production in November. The plant, which was installed by the India-based Praj Industries, will be distilling the product from the 74,000 metric tonnes of molasses that the sugar mill produces annually. Until the opening of the plant, the molasses had been going to local distillers of the local potent gins, waragi. If parliament passes the Biofuels Bill, which Energy and Mineral Development Minister tabled before the house early in December 2016 in line with the provisions of the Renewable Energy Policy for Uganda of 2007, it will provide for the blending of biofuels with fossil fuels (Petroleum Fuel) in regulated proportions. The Bill will allow for the blending of between 5 and 15 per cent of ethanol to fuel. It is, however, important to note that some countries such as India allow blending of up to 20 per cent of biofuels with fossil fuels, while in others for instance Brazil, some vehicles run on Ethanol alone. Kakira will not be selling the ethanol on the direct market. It will be selling to firms that are currently engaged in the distribution of petroleum products, which are expecting to carry out the blending before selling the same to motorists. Blending will come with immense economic benefits for Uganda as it is likely to reduce by close to a fifth, what it has been spending on fuel imports. According to Trading Economies, Uganda's imports had risen up to $456.6 million (Shs1.6 trillion) as of September 2016 out of which 24 per cent or $109.584 million (Shs391.2b) went towards the importation of fuel. It may not come with direct benefits to the individual motorist, but it does to the country. You get to save at least $20million (Shs72b) in foreign exchange, which would have gone towards the importation of fuel. Mr Madhvani argues that the country is also bound to reap environmental benefits.
ENGIE and the National Renewable Energies Agency (ANER) in Senegal have signed a partnership agreement aimed at accelerating the development of renewable energy projects in the country. The first part of this agreement involves the development of solar energy for individuals in multi-occupancy or individual housing. The aim is to study the initial deployment of these solutions to 11,000 households in the city of Dakar and its suburbs. The main focus will be on PV solar panels for the production of electricity and solar water-heaters for the production of hot water. Together, ANER and ENGIE will look into financing solutions for this equipment to facilitate their deployment to clients. ENGIE also commits to market energy performance contracts (EPC) to industrial operators and the tertiary sector in large urban communities in Senegal. The goal is to reduce sites’ energy consumption and help to balance the Senegalese electrical system. In Senegal, ENGIE will adapt the concept of EPC that it has used in all its industrial client and large tertiary markets around the world for many years. The final part of this agreement involves ENGIE’s participation in an industrial cluster to promote renewable energies, particularly by professional training actions and strengthening the local industrial network. ENGIE is aiming to use its technical experience and financial capacity to support Senegal’s energy policy, in close partnership with local stakeholders. The agreement signed reflects the desire to be a major stakeholder in renewable energies and services in Africa and to solve the huge energy supply problems found on the continent. In Senegal, ENGIE has been selected for the Dakar TER project in partnership with Thales for the design and production of infrastructures and systems, with a contract amounting to 225 million euros. The group is also involved in the Senergy project, a 30-MW photovoltaic power station in the town of Santiou Mekhé, scheduled for commissioning in 2017.
Firms that provide solar kits and modern cooking stoves — such as Rubagabaga Run of River Hydropower Project in Rwanda, SimGas Kenya Ltd, Eco-Charcoal Ltd and Uganda’s Eco Group Ltd — are bypassing traditional financial intermediaries and turning to online crowdfunders. Crowdfunding involves the use of Internet and mobile phone technologies to tap donations on platforms whose benefactors expect no financial return. In some cases, funders demand to exclusively sell the products from which they earn a margin. Eco-Charcoal, which makes briquettes, is raising funds through the mobile phone platform M-Changa, to boost output at Kasigau, between Tsavo East and West National Parks in Kenya’s Coastal region. The firm, formerly known as Kasigau Tree Farm project, said it had raised more than $4,700 of the $15,000 target by the end of 2016. Britain’s Department for International Development will match Eco’s capital up to $30,000, from its $1 million crowd power programme. Eco-Charcoal’s director said the firm plans to scale up output from 500 kilogrammes per month to 1,500 tonnes of briquettes from pruned tree branches by 2020, while conserving the ecosystem and mitigating climate change. The firm anticipates increasing direct and indirect employment, especially for women in Kasigau area, and creating a tree farm business model in Kenya and East Africa. Eco-Charcoal will use the money raised to buy equipment and machinery, conduct research and marketing, raise awareness and run capacity building workshops on climate change for the local population. Rising demand for energy due to population growth and urbanisation has created the need for charcoal and biomass briquettes as viable cost-effective energy substitutes. SimGas Kenya plans to use the funds to be raised via the Lend-a-hand crowdfunding platform to give out loans to 170 farmers to buy biogas systems. This will also give farmers access to organic fertiliser, which can be used on their land or sold to other farmers. The firm's mission is to empower people by offering them the tools to improve their lives and income.
Using waste from vegetable and flower production, biogas is providing energy to Kenya's electricity network. A commercial farm in Kenya has become Africa's first electricity producer powered by biogas to sell surplus electricity to the national grid, cutting the carbon emissions associated with oil-powered generation. The Gorge Farm Energy Park in Naivasha produces 2 megawatts (MW) of electricity - more than enough to cultivate its 706 hectares (1,740 acres) of vegetables and flowers, and with sufficient surplus to meet the power needs of 5,000-6,000 rural homes. The new plant generates not only electricity, but also heat for the farm's greenhouses, with fertiliser as a by-product. Gorge Farm, approximately 76km (50 miles) northwest of Kenya's capital, Nairobi, is owned by the Vegpro Group, a leading East African exporter of fresh vegetables and its second largest exporter of roses. Biojoule Kenya, the independent power producer that operates the Gorge Farm plant, signed an agreement to sell electricity to Kenya Power & Lighting Company (KPLC) - the country's sole power distributor - in 2016. Biojoule Kenya sells the power to Gorge Farm and to KPLC for $0.10 per kilowatt hour (kWh). Diesel-generated power, by contrast, costs $0.38 per kWh to produce. The Gorge Farm plant is physical proof that locally produced feedstock can be used to generate clean and cost-effective power for all Kenyans. The plant produces biogas through anaerobic digestion, a process in which crop residue from the farm is digested by micro-organisms. The biogas produced is burned in two engines, producing both electricity and heat in a process called cogeneration.
The Economist on December 21, 2016 stated that the Gibe III dam has the capacity to double the country's electricity output at the flick of a switch. Prime Minister, Hailemariam Dessalegn had on Saturday 17, 2016 inaugurated the 243-metre (800ft) Gibe-III dam built on the Omo River. Gibe III is 1.5 billion Euros hydropower project located in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' region. The Economist stated, dubbed as the water tower of Africa, Ethiopia has long sought to harness the power of its rivers that tumble down to deep gorges from its highlands. Gibe III is the latest in a series being built along the Omo River by the country, which is also constructing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile; the 3rd largest Dam ever built in Africa. Together these projects are intended to turn Ethiopia, which has enormous hydropower potential, into a renewable-energy power house and exporter.
NGOs in Cameroon are working on a renewable energy project to provide energy to the towns of Buea and Bamenda. The project revolves around turning human waste into biogas. Bioenergy-Cameroon, a NGO run by young people, installs equipment that converts waste from septic tanks and pit latrines into biogas, which can be used for cooking or heating and can power small generators to run household electrical appliances. The organization says its efforts are spurring the use of clean energy in homes and secondary schools where there is no viable connection to the national grid because it is either non-existent or unreliable. Biogas is produced by connecting a septic tank to a bio-digester which breaks down the organic matter, producing a natural gas known as bio-methane. Students at the university where the equipment is installed are being trained in the biogas transformation process and are shown how to build, install and maintain the biodigester and generators. An additional 3,000 households in Buea and Bamenda have received domestic biodigesters through the project.
The country is aggressively working to utilize its renewable energy. The Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity recently announced it would launch mega renewable energy projects generating over 5,000 MW in 2017. Preparations have been finalized to begin the construction of 19 hydro-power, solar, wind and geothermal energy projects in Oromia, Amhara, SNNP, Tigray and Somali states. The country would generate 3,879 MW from eight hydro power and 570 MW from four geothermal projects. It as well would have the capacity to produce 300 MW and 440 MW from three solar energy and four wind projects respectively in the near future. Studies have being conducted to launch the first phase of Aluto Langano Geothermal Energy-II project at a cost of 30 million USD funded by the governments of Ethiopia and Japan as well as World Bank. Apart from meeting national energy demand, the projects would enable the country east Africa renewable energy hub.
The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) approved a $993,000 grant to the Earth Energy Company Limited, a Ugandan firm, to prepare the first-ever biomass gasification project in the country. The plant is expected to add 20 MW of baseload power to the national grid. The grant will facilitate the conducting of preliminary studies needed for the project to kick off. These include a complete technical feasibility study, environmental and social impact assessment, a feed and detailed engineering design, as well as project management activities. This support is part of the AfDB’s efforts to scale up private investments in renewable energy. The project is set to add more benefits than just power to the Ugandan national grid, it will provide 15,000 farmers with an additional annual income of $ 720 per person. The extra income comes from the sale of agricultural residue to the project. It is also expected to create 6,000 new jobs in the outskirts of Gulu Town in Uganda, in plantation sites and operation of the power plant.
Notwithstanding the hiccups currently being experienced in the power sector of the economy, stakeholders in the sector have resolved to make Nigeria the power generation hub in West Africa with the vast opportunities available in the nation's renewable energy resources. This has come with calls by the stakeholders on the need for the Federal Government to take urgent step in ensuring the development of cost-effective renewable energy options in view of huge threat to climate by fossil fuels. Most stakeholders argued that pursuit of renewable energy provision is most appropriate at this point in the life of the nation, considering numerous advantages attached to that source of power supply. A German firm, LTI Re Energy recently signed an agreement with a Nigerian firm, NIGUS International, to construct a 500 megawatts solar energy plants in the North East zone, beginning with Adamawa State. Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, NIPC, has endorsed the deal in which the conglomerate has made known its intention to commit N180 billion to the development of solar energy in the zone.
Ethiopia is highly endowed with electric power potential that can be developed from water, solar and geothermal. Realizing the potential, the nation has been investing a great deal to cultivate the energy sources from wind, water bodies and the like. In relation to the efforts undertaken so far, the country has increased significantly its power generation capacity since Gibe III Hydroelectric Dam began functioning. This highest Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) Dam increases the generation capacity of the nation by 234 per cent to raise regional power interconnection among the neighboring countries. Gibe III is the third succession, part of a series of dams which include the operational Gibe I and Gibe II as well as the planned Gibe IV and Gibe V dams, Omo river basin. It was constructed at the cost of 1.5 billion Euro of which 40 percent was financed by the Ethiopian government while the 60 percent was secured from Commercial Bank of China.
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PowerGen Renewable Energy completed the first close of a Series A investment. The round was led by DOB Equity, AHL Venture Partners, and private investors. The investment will enable PowerGen to expand its current micro-grid portfolio in Kenya and Tanzania, connecting over 7,500 customers, including households and micro-small and medium enterprises, and giving power to nearly 50,000 people within the next two years.
Scatec Solar and Africa50 have signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) securing investment for the 100-MW Nova Scotia Power plant located in Dutse in the northern Nigerian state of Jigawa. The project has the potential to significantly contribute to the plan of the authorities of the State of Jigawa to attract $2 billion in investments and implement Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s plans to provide jobs and economic opportunities especially for the nation’s youth. Africa50 is an African Infrastructure Fund sponsored by the AfDB, more than 20 African nations, and Norfund (the Norwegian Investment Fund for Development Countries). Apart from the three equity investors, OPIC, Islamic Development Bank, and the AfDB are expected to be senior debt providers for the project. International Finance institutions say the key to successful investment is the Nigerian state’s issue of project documents that provides necessary investor confidence and the formulation of a clear roadmap to sustainability in the energy sector. The Nova Scotia solar plant will help Nigeria rapidly increase its generation capacity, provide economic opportunities, fight desertification caused by climate change, and contribute to fulfilling President Buhari’s commitments to develop renewable energy as part of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. In July, the Nova Scotia project signed a 20-year PPA with Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET). Located on 200 hectares of land, the project has strong fundamentals with high solar resources and direct access to the transmission grid through a simple connection route.
Rwanda targets to extend power to at least 70 per cent of the households in the country by 2018. To achieve this ambitious goal, government projects to boost electricity generation to 563MW within the next two years. Presently, about 25 per cent of the Rwandan households are connected to electricity, while the country's total installed power capacity is around 190MW, an increase from 186MW in 2015. Despite this rise in generation, industrial energy users have continued to complain of insufficient power supply, a situation they say has affected production and raised operational costs. Though more renewable energy sources are being tapped to further increase generation capacity, demand seems to be growing at higher rate compared to supply. What is encouraging, however, is the fact that renewable energy uptake has gone up, especially in the rural areas where vendors for off-grid power systems have put more emphasis. And as the year ends, one of the most interesting developments recorded in the energy sector was government's move to make power more affordable, at least for low-income earners, the dynamics of choosing the beneficiaries under this programme notwithstanding. These efforts by government, Rwanda Energy Group (REG) and other stakeholder could have influenced the World Bank doing business report 2016, which lauded the country's efforts to improve access to electricity by entrepreneurs.
The eco-friendly hydro-plant is expected to raise regional power interconnection. The boundary and trans-boundry rivers of Ethiopia flowed downstream devoid of serving the nation to the extent they should. Estimates indicate that the nation has 45, 000 MW exploitable hydro-power energy source. Gilgel Gibe III Hydro-power Plant, which was officially inaugurated yesterday, stands as a living monument proving that the huge potential would light the rural and urban areas of the nation and beyond. The 1,870-MW hydro-plant between Wolaita and Dawero Zones in SNNP State, 450-kms south-west of Addis, consumed 1.5 billion Euro -- of which 40 percent was financed by the government and the remaining in loan from Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. Apart from feeding the growing energy need of the country, the dam would also boost hard currency earning exporting energy to neighboring countries.
A national and international invitation to tender will be launched shortly for a photovoltaic solar energy plant project with a capacity of 4,000 megawatt. The mega project includes the building of power plants and local manufacturing of equipment and materials intended for the plants. The renewable energies programme is a major generator of jobs and will highly contribute to industrialization, technological development and acquisition of skills, giving a boost to the country's socio-economic development. An important national plan for the development of renewable energy is underway. The plan will put in operation nearly 22,000 MW in green energy by 2035-2040.
The IFC and the FMO have entered into a partnership aimed at promoting the delivery of renewable energy solutions to off-grid communities in East Africa. IFC has invested €5.42 million in equity and FMO, which is the Dutch development bank, will manage €9.2 million from the AEF and MASSIF Dutch government funds. The €15.62 million will be invested into pay-as-you-go-solar energy service company Mobisol. The investment puts the two finance institution into partnership with Investec Asset Management’s African Private Equity Fund and DEG which have already invested in Mobisol. This financing will accelerate Mobisol’s growth in its existing markets and entry into other parts of Africa.
The Government has slashed unit prices for electricity and rural water supply by 50 and 30 per cent, respectively, a move officials say will help increase affordability, service efficiency and competitiveness, among others. Effective January 1, 2017, electricity tariff for households that consume not more than 15 kilowatts per month, will be Rwf89, down from Rwf182, translating into a 51 per cent deduction from the standard cost. On the other hand, people whose power consumption is between 15 kilowatts and 50 kilowatts per month, the price range has remained constant at Rwf182, while those with consumption beyond 50 kilowatts per month, the deduction will be from Rwf119 to Rwf112. In the industry services, consumers with large industries will be paying Rwf83 per kilowatts, those with medium industries xRwf90 per kilowatts as the small industries will be paying a flat fee of Rwf126 per kilowatts.
Uganda’s minister of state for energy, D’Ujanga Simon, officially unveiled the newly built 10MW Soroti solar power plant, suitable to power 40,000 homes, schools and businesses in the area.According to a press release issued by Access Power, the plant, which is made up of 32,680 photovoltaic panels, is the country’s first grid-connected solar plant and is also one of East Africa’s largest plants that will generate clean, low-carbon and sustainable electricity. The project was developed under the Global Energy Transfer Feed in Tariff (GET FiT), a dedicated support scheme for renewable energy projects managed by Germany’s KfW Development Bank in partnership with Uganda’s Electricity Regulatory Agency (ERA) and funded by the governments of Norway, Germany, United Kingdom and the European Union.
Singida Wind Power project, which is the first wind farm in Tanzania is expected to begin from May, next year, after negotiations for power purchase agreement between the developer and the government are concluded. The Managing Director of Six Telecoms, which is among partners to the project, Rashid Shamte told reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the PPA negotiations with TANESCO, Ministry of Energy and Minerals and Attorney General office were at advanced stage and would be concluded by April, next year. We're at very advanced stages," he said on the sidelines of the two-day Africa Energy Forum: Off the Grid summit. The US $300 million Singida Wind Farm, is a potential 100 megawatts (130,000 hp) wind-powered electricity power station developed by Wind Power East Africa Limited in Singida Region. It is expected to generate up to 100 megawatts of electricity that will be sold to TANESCO for integration into the national power grid. The power station is owned by a consortium that consists of Six Telecoms, a Tanzanian company, Aldwych International Limited of the United Kingdom and the International Finance Corporation, based in Washington, D.C. Wind East Africa Limited is the special purpose vehicle formed by the consortium to develop, own and operate the power station.
Sustainable Energy stakeholders have highlighted the need to scale and speed up support to sustainable energy in Africa's least developed countries, including Tanzania. The experts met in Dar es Salaam for a two-day regional meeting on sustainable energy for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and suggested that access to finance was vital for Africa's poorest countries to develop sustainable energy initiative and build renewable power capacity. Speaking at the official launching of the meeting, Minister for Energy and Minerals, Professor Sospeter Muhongo expressed the government's commitment to stamp out energy problem in the country, saying in the next five years the government would have made a considerable improvement on sustainable energy. To achieve this, already the government allocated US Dollars 500 million (over 1bn/-) for rural electrification projects in the 2016/2017 financial year. He called upon participants at the meeting to spend more time to deliberate on energy demand. "Sustainable Development Goal number 7 (SDG7) provides for access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030, and my government has already embarked on implementation of various projects to attain this," said Prof Muhongo.
Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has in the past two years added 533MW geothermal power to the national grid. The country is shifting to geothermal to replace the expensive thermal power. The country has not had any power rationing since 2014, thanks to the new geothermal and wind capacities. KenGen has cumulatively injected 1623MW into the national grid in the last two years, with geothermal being the main source of electricity. Energy security is a critical pillar for development that the country requires in order to realise Vision 2030. KenGen’s energy growth path is addressing energy security, climate change and poverty, in a holistic manner. With green energy, the community’s vulnerability to climate change impacts will be significantly reduced. With reliable and inexpensive electricity for nearly half of the population living below the poverty line, Vision 2030 will be realised. KenGen has taken an energy development path that will ensure energy security, which promises rapid economic development and better quality of life for all.
REAN has been established to see renewable energy including solar, hydro, biomass and wind contributing 40% of the Nigeria's national energy mix by 2030. However, for this ambitious target to come into realisation, there has been a scheme that will push for its success. South Africa’s renewable energy independent power producer procurement programme (REIPPPP) has set an example in this regard. n correspondence with ESI Africa, the association’s President Segun Adaju and executive secretary, Godwin Aigbokhan, unpacked how REAN intends to implement its set goal. The association’s officials stated that Nigeria will follow in the footsteps of South Africa’s REIPPPP, “The next round of award of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for solar independent power producers (IPPs) will be through a competitive procurement/tender process.” The REAN’s executives stated that government believes that it has a role to protect the interest of Nigerians and that through the auction route it can get the best tariffs, attract investment, protect consumers and improve the availability of electricity.
The Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) plans to add 721Megawatts (MW) of electricity from geothermal and wind sources to the national grid in the next five years at a cost of Sh800 billion. KenGen MD and CEO Albert Mugo, said the additional capacity was in line with the government's efforts to make power accessible and affordable. He said the company has already secured some funding from development partners and internal resources while other financing opportunities are being explored. In June the company successfully raised Sh26.4 billion through a Rights Issue, whose proceeds will go into the development of the energy projects. The projects lined up for completion by 2020 comprise the Olkaria V 140MW, Olkaria VI 140MW, Olkaria VII 140MW, Olkaria I Unit 6 70MW, Wellheads 25MW, Olkaria I Rehabilitation 5.7MW, Olkaria I AU & IV topping plant 60MW.
The Nigerian Northern States Governors' Forum has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with General Electric (GE) for the construction of five solar power plants. In West Africa, five states including Borno, Kebbi, Nassarawa, Niger and Taraba States will soon be benefitng from the implementation of solar power plants, each with a capacity to generate 100MW. To verify the deal, was Borno State governor and chairman of the Northern States Governors' Forum, Kashim Shettima, who signed the agreement on behalf of the other governors while GE’s senior executive, Western Europe and Africa, Armand Pineda, and the President/CEO of GE, Nigeria, Dr Lazarus Angbazo signed on behalf of their company, This Day reported. It is reported that the signing ceremony took place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.
THE planned solar plant at Arandis will to save Erongo RED N$127 million over its 25-year lifespan. The plant will be constructed by OLC Arandis Solar Energy, a joint venture between O&L Energy, a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List Group and Cronimet Mining Power Solutions GmbH. Women of Destiny Trust is also a partner in Arandis Solar Energy. The plant will have a capacity of 3MW. "This plant is expected to save Erongo RED an estimated N$127 million over the 25 years lifespan and I must say that this is a significant saving for Erongo RED," said Tobias Nambala, chairperson of the ErongoRED board during the ground-breaking ceremony last week. He said the plant forms part of proactive efforts by Erongo RED to address continuous electricity cost increases and cushioning the impact on its customers. "I am very pleased that we have reached this point where OLC Arandis Solar Energy will start with the construction of the solar plant." The plant is expected to be completed in June next year.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has recently awarded Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) with the 2016 Presidential award for its flagship green energy project, Olkaria I Units 4 and 5. The Olkaria I Units 4 and 5 were among eight projects and five individuals that have been recognised in 2016, Capital FM reported. Media reported that the 140MW geothermal power plants were funded by the Japanese agency in collaboration with various development partners. The Presidential award is said to be awarded to an individual or organisation associated with the agency and whose contribution in the field of development is recognised to be of great significance in the development of developing countries' society and economy.
Bank of Africa Tanzania has signed a credit facility agreement with the French Development Agency (AFD) worth 11.84 million US dollars (about 25.67bn/-) for lending to renewable and efficiency energy projects in Tanzania. The bank's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, said in Dar es Salaam yesterday at the signing ceremony that the innovative programme will enable the bank to provide both short and long term funding at attractive interest, lower than the usual commercial rates. "The credit line is accompanied with a technical assistance programme funded through European Union to support and enable the bank to strengthen its capacities in green finance," he said. Both institutions confirmed the collaboration through the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance (SUNREF).
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