AFREPREN/FWD - Energy, Environment and Development Network for Africa Website
Power generator KenGen is to build a 400-megawatt wind power plant in Meru beginning next year.The first phase of the project that will generate 100 megawatts (MW) will cost $270 million (Sh26.5 billion) and is to be completed before the end of 2017. Two financiers, French Development Agency (AfD) and German Development Bank (KfW), are in the country conducting due diligence on the project before committing financial support. "The lenders are on site this week to conduct due diligence on the project. The first phase of the project for a 50MW-100MW project will be financed through concessional funding," KenGen's managing director, Albert Mugo, said in a statement seen by the Nation. A feasibility study conducted a few years ago indicated that there is adequate wind in Meru to generate up to 400MW of power. In October last year, the firm signed a memorandum of understanding with Meru County to acquire land to develop 400MW of wind power.
In East Africa, the Djiboutian minister of energy, Ali Mahmoud Yacoub and Chen Shuyu, vice president of the mechanical and electrical equipment manufacturer, Chinese group Shanghai Electric, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of a 60MW wind power project in Djibouti. In addition to this being the first wind power project in the East African country, it is in line with country’s long term strategy of becoming Africa’s first country that is completely powered through renewable energy. The wind project will be constructed in two parts with 30MW in each including the construction of two 230KV power lines in northern Djibouti. According to the ministry of energy Djibouti has significant wind potential with the ability to generate an estimated 5,000kWh annually. High potential sites include Ghoubet, Assal, Gali Maaba and Bada Wein. The Djibouti Electricity Authority was responsible for the feasibility and data collection studies. The minister of energy said: “Djibouti sits at the crossroads of one of the busiest shipping routes in the world, linking Europe, the Far East, the Horn of Africa and the Gulf. It is the natural gateway to Africa and provides sea, air, rail and road linkages for East Africa.
In Cameroon, researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have teamed up with Swiss and Cameroonian partners to address issues in a bid to stabilise the national grid, improve energy efficiency, and develop hydroelectric potential. In-depth research was carried out, co-financed by EPFL and the University of Lausanne, to develop technological solutions with both socioeconomic and institutional dimensions. A system using batteries and inverters specially designed for tropical climates was developed and tested in the laboratory. During low-demand hours it stores up the energy required to meet the needs during peak hours or during power cuts and load-shedding. This solution also isolates and protects electrical equipment from sometimes destructive disruptions on the grid. The total cost of this solution over 10 years (purchase, operations and maintenance) represents 14% of the average annual cost of a hospital's energy supply. An economic model was used to research the possibility of financing the solution with the resulting savings, which stem mainly from the diesel fuel costs for the generators.
In May, the 153MW Adama wind farm opened its doors, making it the largest wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa to date. The 102 70-metre high Chinese-built turbines are situated in a range of rocky hills in the Ethiopian highlands 100 kilometres southeast of the capital Addis Ababa. Farmers using ox carts to plough the soil around the bases of the wind turbines offer a striking contrast between rural lives, little changed for centuries, and the central government’s ambition to develop a modern, climate-resilient economy.
The Rwanda government is leasing 15 micro hydro electricity generating plants to private investors as a way to improve their output and address energy shortage that the private sector says is undermining productivity. Under the privatization deal, the government will sign 25-year concessions with private investors to finance rehabilitation of the power stations, manage and operate them for the entire duration of the contract. An official at the Ministry of Infrastructure, the same docket under which the energy component falls, has told The Independent that the privatization process that is now at pre-selection stage aims at enabling the hydro power stations to operate optimally. The plants of Gashashi I in Rutsiro, Janja in Gakenke, Nshili 1 and Nyabahanga in Karongi, Nyirabuhombohombo and Mukungwa in Musanze all with a combined installed capacity of 4MW (or 4,000KW). The others to be handed to private hands are Gisenyi, Keya and Gihira in Rubavu, Rugezi in Burera, Nkora and Cyimbili in Rutsiro, Rukarara II in Nyamagabe as well as Nyamotsi I and II in Nyabihu. These nine hydro power plants constitute some 10.78 MW out of the current total national total power production capacity of 160 MW.
Africa has abundant supplies of every type of energy: oil, gas, coal, hydro, geothermal, solar and wind. So why do two-thirds of Sub-Saharan Africans lack access to electricity - 621 million people, and rising? Excluding South Africa, which generates half the region's electricity, Sub-Saharan Africa uses less electricity than Spain. Africa needs urgently to expand energy generation, accelerate progress towards universal access to modern energy and support low carbon development. How can African governments achieve these goals? Can Africa become a global renewable superpower? And what should be Africa's ambition for the global climate talks in Paris in December? On June 5, The Africa Progress Panel launched the report, Power, People, Planet: Seizing Africa's Energy and Climate Opportunities, at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2015 in Cape Town. Our report offers answers to these questions. The report's key messages have evolved out of a chaotic policy environment. Disentangling the links between climate, energy and finance - while interpreting the turbulent narrative of global politicking at the highest level - has been a challenge. Our report shines some light on these often obscure issues.
Rwanda is located in the poorest region in the world, sub-Saharan Africa. Despite this, it is making advances with off-grid renewable energy solutions for rural areas that could be a model for similar economies. Rwanda has harnessed its endowment with enormous, untapped renewable energy generation potential to address the problem of how to get energy into remote parts of the country. The approach being taken accepts that extending the electricity grid to remote areas is fraught with problems. It is expensive, transport costs are high, and accessibility is difficult. In sub-Saharan Africa, grid-extension costs $23,000 per kilometre. A project to get clinics in remote areas of Rwanda onto reliable sources of renewable energy has recently been stepped up a notch with the introduction of technology that smooths distribution.
Renewable energy auctions are increasingly becoming a policy tool of choice to support renewable energy deployment, according to a new guide released on Monday by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The guidebook ‘Renewable Energy Auctions: a Guide to Design’, finds that more than 60 countries have now adopted renewable energy auctions, up from six in 2005, largely due to their ability to attract competition and drive down costs. IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin said: “In an era of rapidly declining costs and growing deployment in renewable energy, policies are being adapted to maintain efficiency and effectiveness. In this context, one of the most significant recent policy developments is the growing popularity of renewable energy auctions.”
Government, through the Ministry of Energy and Power Development is in the process of developing a Renewable Energy Policy, which seeks to address economic and environment issues associated with the exploitation and use of renewable energy. Through the policy, Government expects to prioritise the exploitation of available renewable energy resources and create an environment for an increased uptake of renewable energy and to give a guideline on how the renewable energy sector should be structured. The deputy director, Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Mr Godwill Wakatama said the policy will help to establish market oriented measures and regulatory instruments for the renewable energy sector in Zimbabwe. Mr Wakatama was presenting a paper on the State of Policy and Legal Framework on Green Energy at a workshop on Exploring the Policy and Legal Framework for the Green Energy Production in Zimbabwe last week. The workshop brought together senior Government officials, development partners, the academia and the civil society.
In South Africa, technology company Ambit Technology’s solar powered classroom is set to provide off-grid electricity and connectivity to schools and assist teachers to overcome the pitfalls of load shedding currently being experienced in the country. The standardised modular container-sized, fully operational classroom is also an Information and Communications Technology hub and aptly called an EDI (Education Delivered Intelligently) classroom. The EDI is currently operational at the TlamaTlama Primary School in Tembisa on the East Rand.
The African Development Bank, in partnership with the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) and the Government of Tanzania, on Thursday, June 18 launched the Renewable Energy in Africa: Tanzania Country Profile. The publication highlights the country's inroads in renewable energy as well as opportunities for scaling-up the energy sector. Over the past decade, in an effort to strengthen and modernize the energy sector, the government of Tanzania has made a series of profound policy reforms which include the creation of a regulatory entity and formulation of the energy policy that encourage private participation through independent power producers (IPPs) and small power producers (SSPs). Specific to SPPs, the Government has prepared rules, standard agreements and standard tariff methodology for easing private sector participation in developing grid and off grid projects mainly targeting rural electrification. As a result, IPPs and SSPs have become key contributors to economic growth in numerous sectors, with IPPs alone contributing about 40% of the national grid's effective generating capacity. Further to investment in generation capacity, the Government is implementing projects for increasing transmission capacity for evacuating power to markets.
Nordex Energy South Africa has successfully completed a second Wind Farm in the Eastern Cape. The Kouga Wind Farm has been connected to the National Electricity Grid, supplying 80MW of green energy. Kouga Wind Farm, which was one of the first projects selected in round one of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Program (REIPP,) consists of 32x N90/2500 Nordex Wind Turbines on 80m high towers with an installed capacity of 80MW and an expected annual energy output of 335GWhrs. Anne Henschel, Managing Director of Nordex South Africa says, “We are extremely proud of this accomplishment as it was a complex logistics process, supplying equipment from three different continents. Having installed, connected to the National Electricity Grid and safely operated the entire plant on time, after approximately 2 years of construction, is testament to Nordex’s reputation as quality turn-key execution partner of wind farm projects and manufacturer of wind turbines.” The project’s success underlines South Africa’s increasing competitiveness in the global renewable energy industry. The Oysterbay area in the Eastern Cape, where the Kouga Wind Farm is located, is an ideal location for a wind farm. The average wind speed is over 9m/s around 33km/h and the wind is very constant throughout the day, dropping slightly in the evening.
Less than 30 percent of people living in Africa have access to electricity. And the ones who have, don’t have it regularly due to chronic power shortages after years of underinvestment and mismanagement by government agencies. In countries like Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda, it is suicide for any business to operate without a stand-by diesel-powered generator. But California-based technology firm Tesla wants to change this with a power-storage battery that can store renewable energy for longer and at half the current coast. Tesla’s Powerwall has been hailed as the energy technology that Africa’s off-grid population have been waiting for. The Powerwall, designed by South Africa-born entrepreneur Elon Musk, was sold out in preorders just a week after it had been launched and the next available piece will only be available in mid 2016. According to Rolake Akinkugbe, head of energy and natural resources at FBN Capital in Lagos, Nigeria, the Powerwall is a good idea but could be too expensive for many people on the continent whose per capita income fall below the cheapest buying price of $3,000 for a 7KWh unit.
China has signed an agreement to assist Kenya to set up a 50 Megawatt solar plant, which will be one of the largest solar plants in Africa, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa said on Friday. Liu told a media briefing in Nairobi that the energy plant will be located in northeastern Kenya's Garissa county. "China Import-Export Bank will provide a concessional loan to Kenya in order to complete the renewable energy project," Liu said. The project will boost the development of the Garissa region especially in employment creation and help to reduce extremism and terrorism in the region. Garissa is the site where 148 people were killed in a terror attack conducted by Somalia-based militant group Al-Shabaab in April this year. After the attack, Chinese nationals in Kenya have donated approximately 67,000 U.S. dollars to the families of victims and survivors. "After extensive research and mutual exchanges between the two countries, China has listed Kenya as one of the pilot countries to benefit from industrial cooperation with China," Liu said, noting that Kenya was selected due to its solid industrial foundation, sound regulatory regime as well as robust financial market.
M-KOPA Solar, a pay-as-you-go energy provider for off-grid customers, has announced it has powered up 200,000 homes in East Africa. Jesse Moore, the Managing Director and co-founder of M-KOPA Solar said last week, "It took us two years to connect our first 100,000 homes and just eight months to connect our second 100,000 homes. We are pushing hard to grow even faster and reach our goal of one million homes by the end of 2017." The company said the average M-KOPA household has over five inhabitants. It is now providing power to over one million people across East Africa. In March the start-up announced it had connected over 20,000 homes in Uganda to affordable solar power since launching in the country in mid-2013. M-KOPA is now selling 500 new systems each day across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania through its network of over 1,000 direct sales agents and 85 customer service centres.
According to a recent report by auditing firm Deloitte, sub-Saharan Africa’s power sector is quickly becoming attractive to new entrants as business models change and solutions like smart grids are harnessed to plug supply gaps. The ‘sub-Saharan Africa Power Trends’ report says challenges facing the power sector in many African countries “such as inadequate generation capacity, poor transmission infrastructure, unskilled or low numbers in the skilled workforce, poor maintenance of existing power stations, as well as poor metering and billing systems” will lead to innovations such as ‘smart grids’ to improves the sector. “These challenges, coupled with a changing landscape in terms of technologies and the costs thereof, are giving rise to a number of ‘disruptors’ in the sector,” said Shamal Sivasanker, Africa Infrastructure & Power leader at Deloitte. Smart grids that use digital communications technology to analyze, detect and react to local electricity demand changes are already being used in some African power utilities, including in countries such as Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
Women trained in solar panel installation, use donkeys to haul their solar wares from home to home in the remote region, giving families their first access to clean and reliable power. "For us, the impact of solar technology is unparalleled," said Jackline Naiputa, who heads the Osopuko-Edonyinap group, one of the five women's groups leading the alternative energy charge in the area. Renewable energy developer Green Energy Africa provides the group with solar products - including solar panels, lights, and small rechargeable batteries - at a discount. The women sell the products at a profit of around 300 shillings ($3) each, which goes into the group's account to buy more stock. Naiputa, who in 2014 lost 10 goats to wild cats, said her teenage son used to spend cold nights in the cattle enclosure to guard their herd. Now, with solar lamps hanging around her homestead, Naiputa and her four children can sleep soundly in the warmth of their home. "The light scares the hyenas away, so we don't have to worry about losing our animals at night," she said.
The Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has been voted Africa’s 2014/2015 Energy Company of the Year in a survey featuring major utility companies across the continent. The Government agency’s 280MW flagship project was voted this year’s best clean energy project. KenGen was feted at this year’s Africa Utilities’ Awards in Cape Town, South Africa that brought together experts to showcase renewable projects solving Africa’s energy challenges. “The 280MW Olkaria Geothermal Project, the world’s largest such power plant was voted Africa’s Clean Energy Project of the year 2014/15 while KenGen was voted as Africa’s Power Firm of the Year - congratulations,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta. KenGen Managing Director Albert Mugo lauded the company for winning the awards. The 280MW project, which has been running since last December has replaced a similar amount of expensive thermal power. KenGen had been nominated in the African Power Utility of the Year category with the Electricity Company of Ghana Ltd and GRIDCo, both from Ghana; Electricity Transmission Company Ltd and Umeme from Uganda and Niger Delta Power Holding Company Ltd from Nigeria.
Italian renewables developer Enel Green Power (EGP) has started building the Pulida solar power plant in South Africa’s Free State province. EGP said the 82.5 megawatt (MW) plant will be able to generate more than 150 gigawatt hours of electricity each year when fully operational, which EGP said is “equivalent to the annual consumption needs of around 48,000 South African homes”. Electricity generated by Pulida, 35 kilometres southeast from the town of Kimberley, will be sold to South African national utility Eskom under a 20-year power supply agreement awarded to EGP in October 2013. The agreement was reached as part of the government-backed ‘renewable energy independent power producer procurement programme’ (REIPPPP). In addition to Pulida, EGP has already been given the go-ahead to build the Gibson Bay (111 MW) and Nojoli (88 MW) wind farms, as well as the Aurora (82.5 MW), Paleisheweul (82.5 MW) and Tom Burke (66 MW) solar power projects – all in South Africa. The company, which already owns and manages the country’s 10 MW Upington solar facility, said on 21 May that it was also recently awarded a further 425 MW of South African wind power projects in the fourth phase of the REIPPPP.
Kenya reduced the cost of connecting houses to the electricity grid by 57 percent on Wednesday to double the share of the population with electricity to 70 percent by 2017. East Africa’s largest economy is struggling with ageing energy infrastructure and the government has said it plans to expand its generation capacity by 5,000 megawatts (MW) by 2017 from about 2,152 MW now, to lower tariffs and cut costs of doing business and increase the number of electricity users. Authorities see increased investment in its energy sector as a way of boosting the economy, allowing more people to run small businesses such as welding shops. President Uhuru Kenyatta said households would pay just 15,000 shillings ($153) for connection, down from 35,000 shillings ($1 = 98.3000 Kenyan shillings) with those who cannot afford even the new rate having the option of paying by instalments.
Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola on Tuesday commissioned the new 12- megawatt Independent Power Plant (IPP) to supply uninterrupted power supply to the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ)in Lekki area of the state. Speaking at the ceremony, he said the power plant was another milestone achievement of his administration to demonstrate its commitment to the business zone. He lauded the stakeholders and investors for partnering the state government in the realisation of the free trade zone since 2006 when the journey started. The governor said, "Today, we have lived the dream; block by block, the zone has emerged. This zone will outlive all of us because it will be here in another 200 years. So, it must grow gradually and at its own pace. Today, we have achieved another milestone. "All this place was thick forest in 2007 without roads. We built roads and today, it is having electricity. It is only a modest journey and all the community will benefit."
Addis Ababa — As Ethiopia gears to make wind power one of the significant part of the country's renewable energy sources, four new wind farm power projects totaling 542 megawats of energy are to be constructed in the coming years, an official said. The report was released in a booklet during the inauguration of the third wind power to be commissioned over the last three years the 153 MW Adama II Wind farm, 95 kms south east of Addis Ababa. The other two are the 51 MW Adama I wind farm and the 120 MW Ashegoda Wind farm located 780 kms north of Addis Ababa. The Projects who are under study are the 300 MW Aysha wind farm, the 42 MW Mesebo-Harena wind farm, the 100 MW Assela Wind Farm and the 100 MW Debre Berhan wind farm. Alemayehu Tegenu Water, Energy and Irrigation Ministry Minister said the inauguration of the Adama II Wind Farm, is part of the government's drive for the concluding Growth, Transformation Plan (GTP) to increase production capacity from 2,000 MW to 10,000 MW by 2015.
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