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The potential to produce electricity from wind turbines in South Africa is significantly greater and much more widespread than initially thought, according to a recent study by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Using Port Elizabeth as an example, scientists demonstrated that the supply of wind and solar power could provide a constant stream of electricity. They said South Africa has almost twice the solar resource of Germany, where solar power is close to cost competitiveness. In addition, they remarked that South Africa had outpaced the United States in terms of wind energy in just two years. “The magnitude and cost-competitiveness of wind power in South Africa are on par with that of solar power,” CSIR Energy Centre research group leader Crescent Mushwana said. “[Also], wind and solar power are complementary, with wind supply peaking in the evening and solar power at midday.” Wind and solar projects in Port Elizabeth were used to demonstrate this point. Mushwana said the study had found that the total technical wind power potential in South Africa was 6 700GW, which was large enough to supply the entire world’s electricity demand.
Morocco has been picked up to participate in a project to spread the use of green technologies in farming and food processing. The project, launched in 2015 at the initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organization, the EBRD and the International Energy Agency to promote the use of green technologies in farming, is primarily destined to the countries of the southern Mediterranean and Eastern Europe. Twelve technologies applicable to the sectors of farming and food processing were selected after the completion of several studies. The first results show that these technologies have the potential to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas by 8 megatons of CO2 per year. Participants in the Tuesday workshop, including experts from the FAO Investment Centre, stressed the need to promote the marketing of these green technologies in Morocco.
Kenya’s public utility KenGen has announced that the construction of a 140MW geothermal power plant in Olkaria is planned to begin in Q3 2016. Albert Mugo, managing director at KenGen confirmed the development during an investors’ conference in Nairobi on Monday that the project, also known as Olkaria V, was currently in the tendering process, which will end in June. "We expect to sign the contract in October with the contractor so that construction can begin by the end of this year," Mugo said. KenGen’s boss stated that the firm has obtained an estimated $410 million for the power plant project, which is expected to take 30 months for completion. Mugo also revealed that the utility is seeking to connect 720MW of new power to the national grid in the next four years. He also encouraged the investors to invest more in the firm, stating that its "dividend scheme" is "one of the most competitive, reliable and sustainable in the country". "With the country's power demand expected to cross the 4,000MW mark by 2020, success in the future is dependent on early planning and that is why we are asking shareholders to take up their rights at this time so that we can have enough capital for expansion," he said.
President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta have endorsed the ‘New Deal on Energy’, a vehicle through which the African Development Bank (AfDB) will invest in delivering electricity for all Africans, by 2025. Speaking to a fully packed audience, the three leaders shared their ideas on the ‘path to universal access to energy in Africa by 2025’, which is what the AfDB’s new deal on energy intends to achieve. “This new deal on energy is a big deal for Africa,” said President Kagame adding that it brings a new momentum in the efforts of doing what Africa should otherwise have done, long time ago. Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta also backed the ‘new deal’, noting that Africa has a lot of potential in renewable energy sources that just needs further enhancement. “We have heard and had enough of the theory. It is now time for practical engagement by supporting the AfDB to leverage Africa’s huge potential,” said President Kenyatta.
Rwanda’s energy sector reforms are striving to improve energy pricing efficiency, subsequently increasing sustainable investment in the sector. These reforms target an ambitious goal of connecting over 70% of the country’s population to electricity by 2018. Only 16% of Rwanda’s households are connected to the grid. But it’s not all doom and gloom. The country is emerging as a regional high-tech hub and one of the world’s most competitive economies. It is one of the countries showing that it is possible to reverse the trend of not having adequate electricity. Its approach is showing that adapting new technologies, policy reform and innovative business models offer promising pathways to renewable energy transformation. Its vision on energy transformation could be the inspiration the Africa region needs to reverse the energy deficit.
The future competitiveness of the African continent and its sustainable development hugely depend on every stake holder redoubling their efforts to tackle the persistent power supply issues which are not only affecting citizens’ quality of life but also pushing up the high cost of doing business on the continent. As a recognised engine of growth, private sector companies can and should help African countries provide access to clean and affordable electricity. This is because Africa has incredible renewable energy resources, as it can source an additional 10 terawatts of solar energy, 1,300 GW of wind power, and 15 GW of geothermal potential. Private companies have the financial resources and clout to significantly scale up investment in renewable energy. Last year, Google announced that it is investing in the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project in Northern Africa, the continent’s largest wind project. Once complete, Lake Turkana will bring 310 MW of clean energy onto Kenya’s grid – enough to power more than 2m households across the country. These investments are beneficial to all stakeholders: companies are helping to strengthen the infrastructure that they need to operate on the continent.
From the recently concluded World Economic Forum on Africa, various issues were highlighted. They include, examples of successful renewable energy projects across the continent, barriers to these projects and promoters of success within the sector. The key findings made were: First, Renewables must play a greater role in Africa’s energy mix. The case for building renewable energy infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa is stronger than ever and positive experiences in lead markets such as South Africa and Kenya highlight successful strategies and best practices. However, Africa requires up to US$90 billion of investment annually to meet its current energy shortfall. Secondly, The African renewables sector resembles the mobile phone sector of a decade ago. It has the capacity to leapfrog heavy infrastructure with a larger-than-assumed market, the emergence of smart business models and improved technology. However, long-term renewable procurement programmes are needed to build the greenfield infrastructure necessary. The third finding was, There has been huge growth in technology sales and financing innovation. The market for pico-solar units has grown from almost zero in 2009, to 4.5 million in 2014 and, in January 2016, Africa saw its first solar bonds, a securitisation financial product for small scale off-grid solar projects. Finally, Ambitious energy targets are not enough. Investors are carefully assessing the technical capacity of host governments, the country’s infrastructure track record and the connection between renewable targets and economic needs.
Engineer Francis Ngunjiri is the first Kenyan to privately own a commercial power plant with enough electricity generating capacity to feed to the national grid. The 63-year-old has signed a power purchase agreement with Kenya Power to supply 0.6 megawatts of electricity, raking in about Sh2.3 million per month. Using water from a small river right in his backyard in Gaikundo in Nyeri County, Mr Ngunjiri has put a mark on the sector and his community. To him, success is not in the massive profits that come with the energy sector but breaking the monopoly of big players in the energy sector. This has been made achievable through the feed-in tariff (FIT) adopted by the Kenyan government in 2008, which makes it mandatory for energy companies that operate the national grid to buy electricity from renewable energy sources at a pre-determined price.
The potential for renewable energy development in Africa is experiencing an increase in attention lately as investors and world leaders seek a new clean energy frontier. The continent could become a gold mine for renewable energy due to abundant solar and wind resources. But roadblocks to clean energy worldwide are amplified throughout the troubled regions of Africa - financial resources are thin and infrastructure is often unreliable. So far, Africa has benefited the least among all continents from the $7 billion annual CDM market. Since the European Union began trading "carbon credits" through its Emissions Trading Scheme in 2005, only 27 of the 1,156 CDM projects included under the scheme have been registered in Africa, Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), told the carbon forum. But a World Bank report released recently provides further evidence of the continent's potential. Sub-Saharan Africa could provide more than 170 gigawatts of additional power-generation capacity - more than double the region's current installations - through 3,200 "low-carbon" energy projects, such as combined heat-and-power, biofuels production, mass transportation, and energy efficiency, according to the report.
Three sugar companies in Kenya are seeking to generate 18MW of power to alleviate the pressures felt on their operational costs ahead of the market place opening to other entrants in 2017. The three firms, Butali Sugar Mills, South Nyanza Sugar Company (Sony), and Muhoroni Sugar Company have all published notices of plans to apply for electricity generation licenses from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). The millers can further boost their revenue through supplying any excess power to the national electricity grid. The internally generated electricity from bagasse, a by-product of cane, could boost the fortunes of the sugar millers who face stiffer competition when special safeguards on sugar imports from the regional trade bloc Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) are lifted in early 2017.
Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda will commence trade of 15 MW of power from the Olkaria Geothermal power plant beginning in May. Progress for a transmission line in the region is currently at 50 percent and substation at 61 percent due to slow performance of contractors. The 400-kilovolt (kV) transmission lines would connect Olkaria in Kenya, where the country is building geothermal power plants, and Birembo in Rwanda through Uganda. Uganda and Kenya are already connected by older lines. The grid is needed to improve reliability and security of the region's power supply, and improve trade and sharing of resources among the three East African countries.
Zanzibar currently relies heavily on electricity imported from Tanzania mainland through submarine cables through Tanga and Dar es Salaam, but some researchers are worried that the supply of the energy from hydropower and Natural Gas may dwindle and become inexpensive for many people in future. The argument has been taken on board by some young researchers, suggesting promotion of different types of renewable energy resources-such as wind and solar energy, sea waves and Biogas, as alternative sources of electricity.
The ECOWAS Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) plans a “clean energy corridor” featuring a combined capacity of 2 GW developed in West Africa. The capacity will be developed through numerous 10-15 MW solar plants, as well as wind energy and hydroelectric plants. The 2 GW will be developed by the members, with Nigeria taking the lion’s share of 1 GW and the rest divided between other ECOWAS members. The projects will be auctioned under a common system. The plans are expected to be cleared by year-end. The plan is to tender all of the associated project capacity at once, which allows for cost cutting.
Zambia could save almost US$1 billion in five years by substituting the 406 million litres of petrol used in the country, the Biofuels Association of Zambia (BAZ) has said. BAZ chairperson Thomson Sinkala said the amount saved could be ploughed back into the rural communities that would be involved in the project. "No matter the negative propaganda, it is hard to out-compete the value of the bioenergy industry to Zambia. "More than $950 million of wealth per year can go into rural people's pockets in less than five years if we substituted the 406 million litres of petrol we consume in Zambia today with bioethanol," he said.
An establishment of up to 100 solar PV mini-grids in rural communities has been pledged by government as part of efforts to mitigate climate change effects. The commitment is under INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) which is the climate action plan. The plan is an essential element in implementing the Paris climate agreement signed by the government of Rwanda and 160 other countries. Speaking at the signing ceremony of Paris Agreement at the United Nations in New York on Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, said Rwanda is one of the most vulnerable nations to climate change that need to build a climate resilient economy. "Rwanda has taken a proactive approach. We put the environment and climate change at the heart of all we do. We were the first country to ban plastic bags and commit to nationwide landscape restoration. Every year, Rwandans plant millions of trees to protect our forests, rivers and wetlands," she said.
Clean energy corridors with a combined capacity of 2GW are being planned for the West African region under plans put forward by the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency(ECREEE). Speaking at the Solar and Off-grid Renewables West Africa event in Accra, Ghana, Mahamma Kappiah, executive director of ECREE said the corridor will involve connecting many 10-15MW solar PV plants, as well many other technologies such as wind and hydro. ECREE is working on identifying which countries will have projects, where are the most suitable locations for PV parks and how they are going to distribute the projects. The concept of the corridors is expected to be cleared by the end of this year, having drawn on technical assistance funded by the EU.
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Investing in renewable energy projects in emerging markets has returns that are on average 28% higher than those in Europe or North America. Maybe the most interesting of the findings from the new report, however, is the fact that it appears developed nations are more interested in smaller-scale solar projects, while developing nations are looking to larger, utility-scale solar projects. Average project size in Europe is 3 MW, and in North America 11 MW. However, average project size in South America is 64 MW, in Africa is 45 MW, and 34 MW in the Middle East. This is unsurprising, given the existing electricity infrastructure in developed nations — where renewable energy is a transitional electricity source. In developing nations, however, the electricity infrastructure is not as entrenched and developed, meaning that lower cost renewable electricity projects are not only good for the environment and national climate targets, but economically more viable than traditional fossil fuel-based generation projects.
The 'Waste to Energy' Project is environment friendly and would utilize 1,000 ton of waste disposals per day besides contributing to addressing city waste disposal problem. The China National Electric Engineering Corporation (CNEEC) Vice President Liao Sheng Cong announced that his company has been undertaking this 'Waste to Energy' project to generate 25 MW in Addis. The project is scheduled to be completed after a year. After holding talks with President Dr. Mulatu Teshome here yesterday, Cong told journalists that the project is environment friendly and utilized 1, 000 ton of waste disposals per day and would contribute to addressing city waste disposal problem.
Gorge Farm, in Kenya's Naivasha Rift valley, is the first grid-connect anaerobic digester power plant in Africa. The 800ha vegetable farm--and also the largest fresh-produce exporter in East Africa--is able to convert its daily150 tonnes of fresh organic waste into bio-gas, which is then combusted, using GE's J420 Jenbacher engines, into electricity. At an installed capacity of 24 MWs, the farm is able to power its operations, sell electricity into the country's grid and reduce carbon emissions by 7,000 tons a year.
(Ecofin Agency) - Africa’s electrification recently welcomed a new advocate, Africa Power Vision (APV). APV is a joint-venture established by the African Union Commission, the NEPAD agency, Nigeria’s ministry of finance, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank. It aims to boost the number of people that has access to power across the continent. “APV aims to achieve an 80% residential electrification rate by 2040 and 90% for industry/business, with sufficient energy to deliver to those connected, while also implementing off-grid solutions and making full usage of the vast renewable energy sources in Africa,” NEPAD said in a statement.
The Africa Power Vision (APV), a joint venture, has designed a long-term plan for increasing access to reliable and affordable power across Africa. The development plan will make use of the continent’s diverse energy resources in a manner that is in line with the Africa 2063 Agenda. APV aims to achieve an 80% residential electrification rate by 2040 and 90% for industry/business, with sufficient energy to deliver to those connected, while also implementing off-grid solutions and making full usage of the vast renewable energy resources in Africa. By facilitating trade between the East African and Southern African Power Pools, the transmission line will have the capacity to transmit between 3,000 and 17,000MW.
Kenya has attracted more investment in clean energy than most of her peers and some developed countries, according to a global assessment report. The report notes that demand for energy is high and renewable energy—which offers cheaper alternatives compared to imported fossil fuels—could bring down some of the highest power prices in the world. “Many countries now have reform processes to establish policies for clean energy but are dragging their feet over implementing them,” says the Climatescope 2015 report by Bloomberg, adding that clean energy opportunities are set to increase in Africa as technology prices continue to drop.
JUMEME Rural Power Supply Ltd. (JUMEME) has just celebrated the operational launch of its project, which will bring solar hybrid mini-grids to electrify more than 100,000 people and 2,340 small businesses in Tanzania's rural centres. This project has received preparation support from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), and is one of the first of its portfolio to become operational since the Fund's inception in 2012. A joint venture between experienced partners, JUMEME was formed to develop and implement a large portfolio of solar-hybrid mini-grids in rural growth centres in Tanzania. With an extensive pipeline of projects, the initial phase, scheduled to run until 2017, includes approximately 28 mini-grids with a strong focus on supplying anchor customers such as the telecom Industry, mines and small businesses. The project is co-financed by the European Union Energy Facility. The joint venture is expected to help increase Tanzania's rural electrification rate, which was estimated to be about 21% in Tanzania at the end of 2014.
Following global trends leaning towards a more sustainable future, governments in most African countries have established increasingly ambitious renewable energy (RE) targets for their power sector. However, with the notable exception of South Africa and the hydro power sector, not much has materialised thus far. The South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP), implemented since 2011, has proven to be a large success for the country, with 6.3 GW of RE procured since its inception. This totals approximately 15 per cent of South African installed power generation capacity. At the end of 2015, more than 2.2 GW, of the 6.3 GW new procured power, had been commissioned and injected daily into the grid. Many best-in-class international advisors were involved in the design of the South African REIPPPP and assisted the Department of Energy’s IPP office with implementing global best practices. South Africa has succeeded in creating a highly competitive RE market; however, has taken about 15 years to reach this goal. The South African Government announced its commitment to support and promote the development of RE through a White Paper on Energy Policy published in 1998.
The latest economic report strongly illustrates that pursuing green industrialization would greatly benefit the continent’s economy, identifying ways in which the use of new business models and green technologies can galvanize sustainable and inclusive growth, the creation of green jobs, and greater global competitiveness, all while protecting and increasing the productivity of Africa’s natural resources. Entitled Greening Africa’s Industrialization, the theme of this year’s report is said to go beyond simply showing the importance of Africa’s industrialization; it also emphasizes the importance of how Africa industrializes.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in collaboration with United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREE) under the UNIDO/GEF Renewable Energy project gathered for a day's consultation meeting on Opportunities and Limitations (O&L) on Renewable Energy investment in Gambia. The meeting is in preparation for the development of a well-detailed investment Strategy for Renewable Energy deployment in Gambia. This will, among others things, galvanise investments in renewable energy technologies across different economic sectors in the country.
With African Development Bank (AfDB) support, Kenya has received approval from the Climate Investment Funds’ Clean Technology Fund (CIF-CTF) for a US $29.65-million concessional loan to co-finance up to two geothermal projects to increase the country’s power capacity, particularly drawing on untapped geothermal resources in the Rift Valley. The Concessional Finance Program for Geothermal Generation will build on the energy advancements already underway in the successful development of the country’s showcase Menengai Geothermal Field. The CTF funds will create a concessional lending program designed to ensure the projects’ financial viability and commercial bankability by shoring up conventional financing and breaking down barriers to private investment. The program will support up to two geothermal generation projects structured as Independent Power Producers (IPPs), and will be implemented with AfDB support.
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