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Mozambique and Britain Sign Memorandum On Solar Power


The Mozambican and British governments signed a memorandum of understanding in Maputo on Monday in the area of solar power and other renewable energies. The purpose of the memorandum is to create a partnership between the two governments to promote a more active market in renewable energies and expand access to solar power in the more remote rural areas.The memorandum draws attention to the importance of this link in the national energy system, and of the great possibilities which are currently being opened with the technological advances in the area of renewable energies and solar power, which could allow production of these forms of energy at lower costs. Mozambique has an energy programme that covers all the various forms of electricity generation, both for domestic consumption and for export to other southern African countries. Solar power and other renewables were part of this mix.


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Tanzania Orders Geothermal Power Uptake


The Minister of Energy and Minerals Prof. Sospeter Muhongo, has directed the Tanzania Geothermal Development Company (TGDC) that by June 2016, it must begin drilling three holes in the area of Lake Ngozi. Geothermal electricity is electricity generated by geothermal energy. Technologies in use include dry steam power stations, flash steam power stations and binary cycle power stations. Geothermal electricity generation is currently used in 24 countries, while geothermal heating is in use in 70 countries. The Minister explained that according to a research conducted in the field, it proved that the water temperature is immense, between 230 and 250 Centigrade enough for electricity generation, hence could be a new and important new source of renewable electricity.


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Kenya: Only 500 Schools Pending in Electricity Plan


Only Five hundred and five primary schools out of 22,599 are yet to be connected to the power grid as of January 31 this year. Releasing the data provided by the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) and Kenya Power, Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter said connectivity in the schools should be completed in two weeks time. Wiring works have been completed in 4,591 schools and are awaiting inspection by Kenya Power before switch-on, while metering is being done on 630 primary schools. The project which cost Sh29 billion was started in July 2013 and was expected to be completed by June 2015.


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Uganda: Busoga in Shs102 Billion Solar Power Deal


Busoga Kingdom has leased out a 100-acre piece of land in Mayuge to an investor to establish a Shs102 billion solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity plant. The investor, Emerging Power Uganda, has reportedly paid a premium of Shs250 million to the kingdom for the land in Bufulubi village.Once complete, the solar photovoltaic panels will add 15 megawatts to the national grid. Uganda's current installed electricity generation capacity is 852MW while constrained peak demand is 530MW. Emerging Power intends to sell a unit to the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited at $0.11 (Shs377) per unit. Domestic consumers who get their electricity from Umeme, leader of the nine power distribution companies in Uganda, pay Shs651 for a unit of power.


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Tanzania: Rural Electrification to Enter Third Phase


The Ministry of Energy and Minerals through the Rural Energy Agency (REA), plans to launch the third phase of its ambitious rural electrification programme. Energy and Minerals minister, Prof Sospeter Muhongo, said the agency has been instructed to provide a implementation report of the first and second phases that will provide the roadmap to the third phase. He said the report on the REA projects will be discussed at a meeting to be held between February 6 and 7. During the planned meeting, the minister said various stakeholders will assess the progress registered in the implementation of the rural electrification project.


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Namibia: Purchasing of electricity simplified


In Southern Africa, Namibian vending solution provider netVend has signed an agreement with CENORED to bridge the electricity supply gap in the country's central regions. The collaboration is expected to provide efficient and convenient vending as well as revenue management solutions, enabling electricity users to purchase prepaid tokens via the internet, cellphone or at point of sale devices.Commenting on the partnership, netVent managing director Hans Hamukoto said the system will be convenient for customers to purchase electricity from wherever they are located, emphasising on users living in rural communities. The technology allows any person to sit anywhere where they have internet or cellphone access to purchase a token and have it delivered directly to someone at their home via email or cellphone. The solution is web-based, which means all sales are in real time and reporting can be done to the last second. The platform is capable of handling the entire sales and revenue stream from generation of tokens and management of purchases, right through to bank switching.


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Zambia Turns on Itezhi Tezhi Hydropower Project


Zambia saw the start of power generation at its 120-MW Itezhi Tezhi hydropower project on the Kafue River. The project consists of two 60-MW Kaplan turbines and will provide renewable energy for use domestically with some left over for export. The European Union Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund said that the Itezhi Tezhi will help reduce the amount of fossil fuels used in Zambia for power as well as in the Southern African Power Pool. Unit one at the hydropower project is currently generating 30 MW and is being transmitted about 280 km from Itezhi-Tezhi to Lusaka via the newly-constructed 220 KV/330 KV transmission line. The plant is only using one unit due to low water levels but when the water levels return to normal the plant will begin to operate at full capacity of 120 MW.


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Kenya: Kajiado Wind Power Deal to Boost Green Energy Supply


China Machinery Engineering Corporation has entered into a contract with Kipeto Energy Limited for construction of a 102 megawatts wind power plant in Kajiado county and a 220kV transmission line. The move raises hopes for cheaper power as wind is considered one of the sources of affordable and renewable electricity. The Chinese firm will design, supply, carry out civil engineering and construction, commission and provide technical services for the project, on a turnkey basis which gives it freedom to procure materials on its own without involving the local company. The contract value is Sh22.5 billion. The project will be implemented in a period of 22 months from commencement of construction. Only about 25 megawatts of wind energy, produced at the Ngong Hills-based wind farm operated by Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) is currently available in the grid. Construction of a 300 megawatts wind farm in Marsabit is currently underway. The project is hoped to provide relief from high electricity bills by displacing some thermal power generated using expensive diesel and heavy fuel oil from the country's energy mix.


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Kenya: Coast Water Board Seals Deal for Sh30 Billion Electricity Plant

The Coast Water Services Board has partnered with a private company to build a Sh30 billion power plant to supply electricity to the Baricho waterworks. The wind/solar plant is expected to end electricity problems at the main water source for the region following disconnection of electricity by Kenya Power. Zormar Group of Companies vice president said the first phase of the project, to be completed in one year, will cost Sh10.5 billion and involves installation of turbines and solar panels. The plant will generate 120MW of low cost wind and solar power for the water treatment plant at Lango-Baya which will need 7MW. The rest will be injected into the national grid, with the first phase expected to generate 46.5MW.

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Namibia: Standard Bank Finances Renewable Energy Plant

Standard Bank has set the trend in becoming the first commercial bank to finance a multi-million dollar solar power generation in the country. The N$170-million term loan facility came after Standard Bank signed the deal with HopSol Power Generation last month. As the single largest market player in Namibia in terms of Solar PV installations and operation as well as its entrepreneurial enterprise in signing the first Power Purchase Agreement under the embedded generation guidelines in Namibia, HopSol has commissioned the largest Solar PV plant (5.6 MW) in Otjiwarongo, Namibia in November 2015.


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Nigeria: Green Tech - Nigeria Gets $2.6m Unido Support for Rural Electrification

Managing Director for Programme Development and Technical Cooperation Division of the United Nation International Development Organization, UNIDO, Philippe Scholtes has announced a $2.6 million support fund for rural electricity in Nigeria. He explained that the fund will be used to generate power through small scale hydro power to ensure electricity gets to rural areas in the country. With the fund, the investors in Nigeria would be encouraged to execute the project and expand it to disseminate the kind of technology needed.


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Tanzania: Biogas Project Gets Sh3 Billion Boost

Tanga — The governments of Tanzania and The Netherlands have issued Sh3 billion to finance a project to help rural farmers acquire improved biogas plants. Tanzania Domestic Biogas Project (TDBP) - the Arusha-based Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation and Rural Technology (Camartec) wing - will implement the project which will, among other things, provide energy for cooking and lighting. The two-year project will be financed through the Rural Energy Agency (REA) on behalf of Tanzania and the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and the Africa Biogas Partnership Programme manned by Hivos on behalf of The Netherlands. Speaking during the launching of the project held at Boza Village in Pangani District, Tanga Region, on Thursday, SNV renewable energy sector leader Martijn Veen hailed the commitment by the Tanzania government to the project. Apart from uplifting lives of rural dwellers, the project would go a long way in protecting the environment by reducing the number of trees felled for fire wood and charcoal production each year, Veen said.


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Ethiopia: Benefiting More From Geothermal Power

The rapid growth of geothermal energy has created a new ray of hope as the latest projection indicates that the country significantly has the capacity to produce over 10,000 megawatt from geothermal power. Indeed, Ethiopia is known as among the few countries in Africa with a significant amount of geothermal resources. These resources are found scattered in the Main Ethiopian Rift and in the Afar Depression that covers an area of 150,000 square kilometre land. Although the country carried out a 5,000 MW geothermal resources exploration during the last three decades, the recent study shows that Ethiopia could possibly generate more than 10,000 MW of electric power from geothermal resources alone.


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Rwanda to Boost Off-Grid Power

In Rwanda an estimated 250,000 households will soon have access to electricity thanks to a deal between the government and Ignite Power Ltd. The agreement has Ignite Power Ltd investing over $50 million in an off-grid power solution over the next five years. The deal provides a framework for large-scale deployment of solar electric systems across rural communities in Rwanda.It also allows beneficiaries a two-year grace period to pay for the acquired solar systems.


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Uganda: Kakira's Ethanol Plan Takes Shape

Kakira Sugar Ltd, a unit of Madhvani Group, for decades the country's leading sugar producer, is scale back on the sweet product to consolidate its hold on energy production. In the past few years, the firm invested heavily in expanding cane crushing and power generation. Now, the ambitious sugar plant is venturing into commercial ethanol production - a key product for energy production. Kenneth Barungi, the assistant general manager, said that the construction of the $37million ethanol plant is on course in preparation for the production of the clean energy product starting in July. The sugar firm hopes to produce 20 million litres of ethanol using 74,000 tonnes of molasses - the by-product of sugar production - annually, hence eliminating revenue losses in the sale of raw black treacle to local dealers. Presently, the company sells molasses to local gin producers and farmers at Shs 50, 000 - Shs 500, 000 per tonne depending on the season.


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Uganda: France to Support Energy Sector

The Ugandan government together with the French embassy in Uganda and the French Development Agency (AFD) have signed three new financing agreements totalling to 51.7 million euros. Two of the financing agreements are aimed at supporting rural electrification extension from the national grid to the local communities. The Rural Electrification Agency will implement the project in the regions of northwestern Uganda and Rwenzori territories, as well as the mid-west and southwest.


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Zambia and Zimbabwe: Work on Batoka Gorge hydroelectric power station to be assessed

Zimbabwe and Zambian energy ministers are expected to inspect progress on the ongoing feasibility studies at the Batoka Gorge Dam for a planned hydroelectric power station, in the southern African region. The feasibility studies are anticipated to be done by mid-year thus enabling the drafting of the tender before the end of 2016. Construction of the Batoka Gorge hydroelectric power station to be located on the Zambezi River approximately 54km downstream of Victoria Falls is projected to commence early next year. Speaking to the media, Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge said the dream for the construction will soon be realised. "There are plans to build Batoka Dam and that one will produce relatively cheap power. Since the 80s there has been talk about building the Batoka Dam and that dream is now coming into reality. The feasibility studies will be completed by mid-year," Undenge said. “We reckon that the beginning of next year construction of the Batoka Dam will start."


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AfDB Invests in Clean Power for DRC, Burundi and Rwanda

In December, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, approved $138 million (ZAR2 billion) in loans and grants to finance the Ruzizi III Hydropower Plant Project, located on the Ruzizi River, which borders the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. The clean power project implementation costs are estimated at $625.19 million (ZAR10 billion), of which the $138 million (ZAR2 billion) will come from the AfDB’s public sector window and $50.22 million (ZAR828 million) by the private sector window, the Bank said in a statement. The funds will be used towards the construction of a “run-of-river” dam as well as a 147MW power plant and distribution station.


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Kenyan Officials in France for Public-Private Partnership Training in Energy

Kenyan government officials are currently undertaking training on how to develop bankable public-private partnership (PPP) projects in the energy sector. The training is meant to equip participants with skills of identifying, preparing and negotiating for PPP projects to meet the country's energy needs. Kenya is participating in the training that is being held in Marseille, France, organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) alongside representatives from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mali, Senegal, Togo, Uganda, Congo and Mauritius.


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Kenya: Pay-As-You-Go Solar Power Makes Strides in Kenya

Mobile phones in Kenya are more than just a tool for communication. Mobiles devices became almost a necessity for any Kenyan following the boom of mobile money services in the country, but it seems another near-unique way to use the handheld-devices is cropping in the country. Cellphones are changing the way men and women utilize energy. M-KOPA Solar – the word 'kopa' is Swahili for 'borrowed' – is a Nairobi-founded business that has pioneered the thought of "pay-as-you-go" solar energy in Africa. The inspiration at the back of the trade is centered on harnessing the wide use of mobile money payments in Africa. The enterprise there may be already tremendous: Nigeria situated cell payments organization Paga has greater than 2.4 million patrons, to present one illustration.


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African Sunshine Can Now Be Bought and Sold on the Bond Market

Africa’s off-grid solar industry has been turned into an asset class for the first time, bundling contracts for thousands of the sun-powered rooftop electricity systems to sell as bonds. Dutch investor Oikocredit International and Persistent Energy Capital LLC, a New York-based merchant bank, jointly decided to try to replicate the U.S. model of securitizing residential solar panels. They are working with the London-based developer BBOXX Ltd. “I worked in commercial banking in the U.S. for several years and was involved in the securitization of residential solar, specifically SolarCity,” said David ten Kroode, renewable energy manager at Oikocredit, which is based in Amersfoort, Netherlands. “We thought it was an interesting model that could be replicated in Africa.”


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Egypt’s Renewable Energy Sector Presents Strong Investment Opportunity

Egypt continues to mobilize private regional and foreign capital to support the country’s renewable energy sector, with wind and solar PV under the feed-in-tariff scheme presenting an investment opportunity of at least USD 6 billion to 2018, one of the region’s leading investment banks commented today in the build-up to the World Future Energy Summit. Facing growing energy demands and pressure on fuel supplies for conventional energy generation, Egypt is focusing on renewable energy as a viable and effective source to add to the gas-dominated energy mix. Egypt’s New and Renewable Energy Authority aims to generate 20 percent of its power from renewables by 2020. Egypt will need to add about 8 gigawatts, foreseen to be split between 5.5 gigawatts of wind power, and 2.5 gigawatts of solar power according to EFG Hermes, one of the leading investment banks in the Arab World.


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Tanzania to Sell off Minority Stake in Tanesco

The government of Tanzania is looking to sell off up to 49% stake in country’s utility company Tanesco, keeping a 51% controlling stake. Energy and Minerals Minister, Sospeter Muhongo, said the state would split Tanesco’s assets into separate generation, transmission, and distribution units for the sale. In addition it was revealed that the state-run utility would see around $1.2 billion in investment to aid in boosting electricity production to 10,000 MW by 2025, up from the current 1,400 MW. “We invite local investors capable of generating 100 MW to 5,000 MW or more to come up. This will ensure the country has sufficient power supply for 10 or 20 years to come,” Muhongo said. Investors are being encouraged to generate electricity from coal, gas, hydro, solar, wind, and thermal to realize an energy mix that delivers reliable and cheap power.


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Mozambique: Report Urges Mozambique to Create ‘Green Investment Fund’ for Infrastructure

A new ‘green economy investment fund’, supported by levies on the extractive industries, could help Mozambique boost investment in vital infrastructure projects, according to a new policy review from the African Development Bank (AfDB). The proposed fund was part of a package of recommendations made in the AfDB’s ‘Transition Towards Green Growth in Mozambique’ report (76-page / 3.55 MB PDF), aimed at supporting sustainable development goals under the country’s ‘Green Economy Action Plan’ (GEAP). Other recommendations included promoting “greener modes of transport, such as mass-transit systems, particularly in the capital city Maputo” and projects to overhaul the power generating sector.The report said the key “new financing instrument” under the GEAP should be “a green economy investment fund, to be established with revenues from fees on extractive industry activities”. Monies raised would be invested in “a diversified portfolio of financial assets” such as shares, bonds and real estate, with income invested in green economy activities, the report said.


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Kenya Power Launches Sh400 Million Upgrade in Machakos

Kenya Power will conduct a Sh400 million network upgrade in Machakos County to address perennial power outages. Regional Manager in charge of Nairobi South Aggrey Machasio said new power equipment will be installed and additional power lines erected to serve Machakos town, Mavoko, Kathiani, Masii and Mbooni. "In the recent past, residents of Machakos County have experienced challenges in regard to quality of power supply. This will be corrected once the network upgrade project runs to fruition in the next six weeks," said Mr Machasio.He said Machakos is experiencing growth in real estate and industrial development thus the need for an upgrade, which will include putting up power lines in newly occupied areas and addition of transformers to avoid overloads.


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Zambia: Energy Master Plan Under Review

For a long time, Zambia's electricity generation has been based on hydro energy. But the prevailing power deficit has called for a rethink of hydroelectricity dependency. This is especially in view of increasing climate change effects which have left the country grappling with incessant power blackouts owing to low water levels at major hydropower generation sites. Recently, Energy and Water Development Minister Dora Siliya announced Government's plans to review the country's energy master plan so as to arrest electricity shortage. The Government also plans to speed up water harvesting mechanisms to enhance electricity generation and better manage the country's water resource.


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Ethiopia: Harnessing Water Resources for Renewable Energy

In the country utilizing water resource for development is a long practice particularly for small-scale irrigation. However, for power generation, it is a new venture which began in 20th century. The available energy sources such as hydro power, geothermal,wind, solar and bio-fuel and bio-gass are being tapped. The multifaceted development the nation is aspiring for, without exploiting energy sources by utilizing modern technology could hardly come near success. By now, only 20 per cent of the nation's modern energy demand could be satisfied and the rural mass which forms 85 per cent of the population relay on biomass energy which by itself has a negative consequence on human health and the environment. Biomass energy utilized for the household purpose is attributable to indoor pollution which puts human respiratory system at risk. It is also responsible to high infant death rate.


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Ethiopia's Gibe III Hydro Plant Becomes Operational

Ethiopia's generation capacity got an immerse boost as operations began at the 1.87-GW Gibe III hydroelectricity plant in the middle reach of Omo River basin. The plant which is Ethiopia's largest, is the third in the Gibe-Omo hydroelectric cascade, which includes the 184-MW Gilgel Gibe and 420-MW Gibe II, both upsteam of Gibe III. Two additional plants downstream, Gibe IV and Gibe V, are planned by state-owned utility Ethiopia Electric Power Corp. According to Salini Impregilo, an Italian firm contracted to build the $1.6 billion project, the plant comprises of a 249-meter (m) tall roller-compacted concrete (RCC) dam- one of the highest in the world- and an open-air power plant with 10 Francis turbines.It is expected to produce 6,500 GW per year.


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Africa: How Much 100% Renewable Energy in Africa Would Cost

A research report by Friend of the Earth International has detailed what it would cost for the world to operate on 100% renewable energy. The total bill to power Africa, Latin America and Asia through solar, geothermal, wind and hydro energy, would amount to approximately $5.15 trillion – which would cover about half of the world’s power generation. This is an investment equal to the wealth currently held by 0.00001% of the global population – or 782 of the world’s richest people, the group said. The wealth of the world’s 53 richest people ($1.5 trillion) could power the whole of Africa with 100% renewable energy by 2030, while 32 of the world’s richest ($1.16 trillion) could power most of Latin America. The report uses projections of energy demand from the IEA’s World Energy Outlook, which estimates that Africa will need to generate 1,540 TeraWatt hours of energy per year. This is more than double the energy demand seen in 2012 (741 TWh per year).


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Ethiopia to Provide 300,000 Solar-Powered Potable Water Facilities


Ethiopia’s rural localities without access to the power grid are to get potable water facilities powered by renewable energy sources. According to Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, the country is massively engaged in the installation of wind and solar powered water pumps in remote localities throughout the country. Bizuneh Tolcha, Public Relations Director at the Ministry said that 109 such projects are under implementation in Amhara, Oromia, Tigray and Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s states of the country. Out of the total projects, 33 have been fully accomplished with additional 67 under installation, Bizuneh said, adding that design works and further studies are underway on the remaining projects. Bizuneh said the government’s Universal Access Program favors such initiatives of long term investment in improved technologies to ensure more access to basic amenities in rural areas. The director added that the projects will help increase the sustained supply of water at lower economic, environmental and social cost than fossil fuel powered water pumping systems in rural areas.


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