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Kenya: ERC to Enforce Solar Water Heating Rules On Sites


OWNERS of new commercial and residential buildings risk jail and penalties from the Energy Regulatory Commission starting this week for not installing solar-water heating panels. Solar Water Heating Regulations 2012 require property developers and homeowners whose buildings use more than 100 litres of hot water daily to fit them with power-saving solar heating panels. Contravening the rules will attract fines of up to Sh1 million or a one-year jail term or both. The rules were gazetted on April 4, 2012, applying to all new-builds from 2013. Old buildings falling within the water heating thresholds have until May 2017 to comply. The rules are meant to check on the growing demand for electricity and reduce wastage, but compliance has been low, according to the ERC. It is estimated that only less than one per cent of new residential units have adhered to the regulations. ERC director for renewable energy Pavel Oimeke said the regulator will from this week start mapping out construction sites in Nairobi, Machakos, Kiambu and Kajiado counties with a view to enforcing the rules.

 

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Africa: Renewables Can Benefit Water, Energy and Food Nexus


With global energy needs projected to increase by 35 percent by 2035, a new report says meeting this demand could increase water withdrawals in the energy sector unless more cost effective renewable energy sources are deployed in power, water and food production. The report, titled "Renewable Energy in the Water, Energy & Food Nexus" by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), says that integrating renewable energy in the agrifood supply chain alone could help to rein in cost volatility, bolster energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to long-term food sustainability. The report, launched at the International Water Summit (Jan. 18-21) in Abu Dhabi, examines how adopting renewables can ease trade-offs by providing less resource-intensive energy services compared with conventional energy technologies. Integrating renewable energy in the agrifood supply chain alone could help to rein in cost volatility, bolster energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to long-term food sustainability


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Kenya: ERC Targets Huge Savings Through Energy Use Audits


Ongoing energy audits by companies will from October help the country save 20-30 per cent of electricity consumption, the Energy Regulatory Commission said on Friday. If realised, this will translate to about 400 megawatts of electricity on the national grid which is nearing 2,000MW. The audits are aimed at helping industrial and large commercial customers deploy efficient energy management technology to cut down on their consumption and budgets. ERC director for renewable energy Pavel Oimeke said companies have up to September to complete the audits with a view to mitigating power wastage. However, efforts to make Kenya a low-energy-cost country through have been slowed down by shortage of accredited energy auditors. ERC admits that the industry is struggling to audit energy usage, with only 41 qualified energy audit managers countrywide. Oimeke said the regulator is racing to push through a new curriculum it has developed for training energy auditors by end of next month.


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Africa Needs to Move Forward On Renewable Energy


Diversification of Africa's electricity sources by embarking on renewable energy solutions - such as solar, wind, geothermal and hydro power - is being heralded as a solution to the continent's energy poverty. But although a number of countries are already reaping benefits from investment in renewables, there is concern that many of the countries are yet to exploit those resources. African ministers and delegates at the Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi from January 15-17 noted that a mere handful of countries in the continent are tapping into renewable energy resource. Some of the bottlenecks identified included lack of finance, lack of interest from investors and the desire by some to take on mega projects that could easily fail to attract private investors.


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Tanzania: Generating Solar Enterprise in Tanzania

Drawing on their research at Imperial College, United Kingdom, and on community feedback gathered during pilot projects in Malawi and Tanzania, Siten Mandalia, founder of Eternum Energy and his team created Solaris, a device that uses sunshine to charge items such as lamps and mobile phones. Through a network of mentors and partners, Eternum identifies and trains local entrepreneurs in off-grid communities who rent the kit and charge local people to use it. Take a look at the image gallery below to see Solaris in action in Mwanza, Tanzania. This podcast and image gallery kick off Insight on Light, a SciDev.Net series that will mark the UN's International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies. Throughout the year, we will interview researchers, entrepreneurs and designers working at the interface of light technology and global development. The series will showcase diverse light-based technologies designed to benefit people and development in low-income countries - for example by meeting basic energy needs, delivering medical services or aiding communication.


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Southern Africa: Renewable Energy - Future of SADC Energy Sector

Harare — Access to clean sustainable energy has become part of the international development agenda during the past two decades, reflecting the global recognition of the important role that energy plays in the delivery of basic services and in generating jobs and income. Widely regarded as the "Missing Millennium Development Goal (MDG)", energy has a direct impact on the welfare of people, facilitating the supply of water and fuelling agricultural output, helping in the delivery of health and education, creating job and contributing to overall environmental sustainability. According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), the region has the potential to become a "gold mine" for renewable energy due to the abundant solar and wind resources that are now hugely sought after by international investors in their quest for clean energy. For example, the overall hydropower potential in SADC countries is estimated at about 1,080 terawatt hours per year (TWh/year) but capacity being utilised at present is just under 31 TWh/year. A terawatt is equal to one million megawatts (MW).


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Kenya: M-Kopa Solar Wins Sh133 Million Future Energy Prize

A Kenyan green-energy company has become the first firm in Sub-Saharan to win the Zayed Future Energy prize in the enterprise and SME category. M-KOPA Solar was announced the winner at the opening ceremony of the annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. The Zayed Future Energy Prize brings with it a US$1.5 million (Ksh133 million) prize. M-KOPA Solar will use these funds to launch a training and development program called M-KOPA University, which will provide world class technical and business skills development to employees, sales agents and partners. M-KOPA Solar prvides 'pay-as-you-go' energy services for off-grid customers - combining mobile payments with GSM technology to enable the leasing of solar power systems. Jesse Moore, Managing Director and Co-Founder of M-KOPA Solar, said the prize will bring global attention to M-KOPA's business model and objective. "We have brought clean, affordable solar power to 150,000 homes in East Africa in less than three years. We believe that the 'wireless energy' revolution is just beginning and that M-KOPA Solar will soon power millions living off the grid," says Moore.


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Italian firm wins geothermal bid in Ethiopia

On Thursday, the Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA) announced the signing of a US$499 000 deal with Italian engineering firm ELC Electroconsult SpA, who won a bid to conduct geothermal surface exploration in Ethiopia, SeeNews reported. Situated in Aluto Langano, the geothermal field has an abundance of gas and water and if successful, could create many opportunities for East Africa. ICEIDA and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) are working together to develop an initiative which motivates and drives geothermal exploration and development in the East African region. The initiative will primarily aim to educate relevant countries in geothermal energy and how best to exploit the resource. Kenya has tapped into their geothermal resources, generating 19% from geothermal. Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has installed 200MW of geothermal energy feeding into its energy mix and has plans to develop additional geothermal power, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).


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Uganda: NWSC to Produce Its Own Electricity

The multibillion donor-funded sewage treatment plant being constructed at Bugolobi will generate 600 kilowatts of electric power, National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) acting managing director Eng Alex Gisagara has disclosed. Gisagara, who led a team of NWSC and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) officials to check on the progress of the 55-million-euro project recently, said the amount of electricity generated would be enough to run operations of the plant. By using the 600kWgenerated from converting gases from the treatment plant into electricity, Gisagara noted that NWSC would not only cut on its power bills but also control air pollution in the surrounding areas. NWSC is one of the biggest power consumers in the country; it pays Shs 3.5 billion per month to electricity utility, Umeme. Gisagara said that if they generated more electricity than required for its plant operations at Bugolobi, they would sell the excess power to Umeme. The new modern Bugolobi sewerage treatment plant, jointly funded by the African Development Bank, Germany and Uganda government, is expected to commence operations by August 2017.


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ACEF reaches $20 mil for renewable investment in Africa

The US-Africa Clean Energy Finance (ACEF) programme has reached its initial investment target of $20 million in support of early stage projects boosting the renewable energy sector in sub-Saharan Africa. ACEF programme launched in 2012 and backed by the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the US Government’s development finance institution, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). The USTDA and OPIC have since ACEF’s inception, ‘committed funds to 30 renewable energy projects across 10 African countries’, according to Businesswire The $20 million has the potential to develop into 400 MW of power being generated on the continent and raise additional project capital of a possible $1.5 billion. The funding is intended to provide the necessary financing for feasibility studies and cover technical start-up costs.


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Zimbabwe: Govt Okays Ethanol Project

The Zanu-PF leadership here has given the Zimbabwe Bio-Energy the green light to set up a US$500 million ethanol plant at Nuanetsi Ranch in Mwenezi in a development expected to help the province attain targets set under Zim-Asset. The proposed ethanol plant is expected to employ nearly 5 000 people while thousands of out- grower farmers are expected to benefit by supplying sugar cane. Zimbabwe Bio Energy is a joint venture between a group of private investors and the Development Trust of Zimbabwe. Masvingo Zanu-PF acting provincial chairman Cde Paradzai Chakona said the opening of the ethanol plant in Mwenezi was part of the province's targets under the accelerated implementation of Zim-Asset. ZBE initially wanted to invest in the plant in 2008 but the political leadership at the time failed to offer the company sufficient guarantees on the availability of land for the project. Cde Chakona said ZBE was welcome to immediately invest in the plant. "We are looking for investors like ZBE which is prepared to set up an ethanol plant in Mwenezi using water from Tokwe-Mukosi dam. "We need people who will use water in Tokwe-Mukosi so that the dam does not become a white elephant. We want investors who create jobs for our people in line with Zim-Asset," he said.


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Access Power MEA and EREN JV to accelerate renewable development in Africa

Access Infra Africa (AIA) has been born out of a partnership between Dubai’s Access Power MEA and global renewable energy firm, EREN. Access Infra Africa is the continent’s ‘largest privately funded vehicle’ looking to develop a renewable portfolio worth $500 million. EREN Development chief executive officer, David Corchia told Ventures Africa, ‘Access InFRA Africa perfectly illustrates EREN’s strategy of developing renewable projects in the areas of the world where renewable energy represents a competitive answer to growing local energy needs, such as Africa.’ Reda El Chaar, chairman of Access explained that the right expertise is needed to realise the full potential of the investments worth billions being invested in Africa’s energy sector. He said that developers need to be willing to take the early risks and have the ability to ‘turn good concepts into bankable projects’.


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NERSA feed-in-tariff could allow SA consumers sell energy back to the grid

South Africa’s national energy regulator, Nersa is currently in discussions with experts worldwide to ensure that it goes about the implementation of its feed in tariff (FIT) scheme, in a way that will be advantageous to both consumers and Eskom. The FIT scheme, if successful will help customers to reduce their bills by feeding excess supply to the grid at retail prices. It will also remunerate customers at a ‘different rate for selling electricity than at the retail rate for consuming’, says a report by CNBC Africa. Nersa’s executive manager, Mbulelo Ncetezo said they have learnt from examples in Germany and Spain, where they have had difficulty in successfully implementing renewable feed-in-tariff schemes. Ncetezo stated that Nersa had tried to do the same in 2008, using photovoltaics (PV) at R3.94 per unit of electricity, but had decided against it. They had since introduced a system of competitive bidding driving prices down. Ncetezo hopes that with the right regulatory framework in place, South African market will free for new entrants to compete with one another with minimal regulator intervention.


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Building owners face Sh1m fine over solar heaters

Owners of new buildings without solar water heaters face jail terms or fines of up to Sh1 million as the energy regulator prepares to audit properties in line with a law passed three years ago. The Energy (Solar Water Heating) Regulations 2012 require builders of residential and commercial houses whose hot water needs exceed 100 litres per day to include solar water heating systems in their designs. A number of property owners have breached this law and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) says it will start an inspection of buildings to nab those flouting solar rules. “We have given developers enough time to comply but that may no longer hold. Going forward we will handle everything as stipulated in the regulations,” Pavel Oimeke, ERC director for renewable energy told the Business Daily last week. He said that the audit will cover the 47 counties, a move bound to unsettle owners of homes, hotels, health institutions, boarding schools and universities which are yet to fit the solar heaters. The ERC reckons that only a small fraction of properties built over the past three years have complied with the guidelines.


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Uganda: PRAJ Contracts Order for Uganda's Largest Ethanol Plant From Kakira Sugars

Praj Industries, global process solutions Company has contracted 60,000 LPD project for production of fuel ethanol and premium grade extra neutral alcohol (Beverage Alcohol) from Kakira Sugars. Praj will provide key technologies for Fermentation, Distillation, Wastewater Treatment including biomethanation followed by Biocomposting. The project will be supplied on EPC basis including Boiler, Turbine, Water Treatment Plant, Laboratory, Auxiliary packages, etc. All of the steam required and 50-60% of the electricity consumed by the complex will be generated by the distillery plant itself. Effluent generated by the plant will be converted into Biocompost for renewing the soil fertility, making this one of the most sustainable distilleries. Effluent generated by the plant will be converted into Biocompost for renewing the soil fertility.


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Rwanda: Over 20,000 Households to Get Electricity by June


Over 20,000 households will be connected to the national grid within the next six months, officials at the Ministry of Infrastructure have said. According to a statement from the Ministry, 23,197 households will benefit from the government initiative by end of June 2015. The initiative is in line with the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2) target of 70% countrywide access to electricity by 2018. According to the ministry, there are ongoing projects expected to fast track these initiatives. These include; Byimana, Shyogwe, Mbuye, Kinihira in Ruhango and Muhanga Districts, the construction of a transmission line between Nyarusange, Mwendo, Mushishiro, Busasamana, Ngororero and Mukingo (Remera Sector) in Musanze District among others. According to the ministry, by the end June 2015, the length of domestic transmission and distribution networks will have increased from the current cumulative nationwide 4,281.35km Medium Voltage (MV) to 4436.48km of MV.


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Kenya: Rural electrification drive to transform economy


More jobs and cottage industries are expected to be created this year as the Government accelerates implementation of electricity programmes, mainly in the rural areas, estimated to cost Sh23 billion. More than 300,000 facilities, which include homes, public primary schools and commercial premises, will be connected to the national grid this year. This, according to energy stakeholders, will improve rural development and lower costs of production, helping address the hurdles to economic growth in the country. Energy Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge recently said the Government’s goal is to increase connectivity from the current 32 per cent to 75 per cent over the next four years.


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Malawi: US Gives Malawi Mk54 Million for Rural Electrification

The Malawi government through Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has received MK54 Million (US$115 thousand) from the American Government to be used for Malawi Rural Electrical Project (MAREP 8) under the power sector Revitalization project. Through rural electrification, the compacts power sector revitalization project seeks to reduce poverty improving the availability, reliability and quality of the power supply. The rural electrification project is designed to increase the capacity and stability of national electricity grid and bolster the efficiency and sustainability of hydro power generation. In an exclusive interview with Malawi24, Electrical Association of Malawi Chairperson, Livingstone Julius Magombo said the fund and the representative director are already in the country and the feasibility study will start January.


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Tanzania: 45 Villages in Mara to Get Electricity


As part of the government's rural electrification plan, a total of 45 villages in Mara Region will be connected to power through the Rural Energy Agency (REA), it has been announced. The announcement was made by the Minister of Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo, who is on a six-day tour of the region to inspect implementation of the second phase of rural electrification projects undertaken by REA and Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco). Prof Muhongo said by visiting the region the ministry was also working to find out the demand for power in Mara in villages that were left out during implementation of the first phase of the project. The districts to be visited by the minister include Musoma Rural, Tarime, Rorya, Bunda and Serengeti. The ministry of energy and minerals has been working to supply power in phases to all regions and districts countrywide depending on the population and demand of power in respective areas.


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Renewable energy to impact Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)


According to the Director of capital markets at the JSE, Donna Oosthuyse, South Africa wants to triple its clean power generation through an initiative valued at US$12 billion. This will put the JSE in a favourable position to generate interest from renewable energy firms. ‘The whole renewable energy space and the energy space in general might be an interesting space for listings. We’ve had a lot of companies and advisers approach us to talk about the ways that renewable energy equity investors can exit through listing or raise additional capital through a listing’, Oosthuyse said.According to data provided by the JSE, Africa’s biggest bourse increased to US$13 billion (58%) in 2014.


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WAPIC puts Nigerian power successes and opportunities in the spotlight


The West African Power Industry Convention (WAPIC), held recently in Lagos, Nigeria, smashed all attendance records, attracted many power industry heavyweights, celebrated the successes of the power sector privatisation but also openly discussed the challenges the region is facing with regards to its energy demands. In welcoming delegates to the opening keynote session, Nigeria’s Minister of Power, the Honourable Prof Chinedu Nebo, noted that the 11th annual WAPIC conference and exhibition was timely as it was “the first of its kind in the post-privatisation period in the country”. Heirs Holdings CEO Tony O. Elumelu also addressed the opening session. Vibrant messages were imparted by keynote speakers including the importance of the privatisation exercise in the country where licences were provided to six power generation companies, 11 power distribution companies and one power transmission company.


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Southern Africa: SADC Could Save U.S $48 Billion On Energy Cost


A saving of over $48 billion could be realised in the southern Africa region if all the electricity generation projects, which are currently on the cards, are implemented in a co-ordinated fashion, the Southern Africa Power Pool has said. Various projects with expected capacity of 27 881MW by 2018 are planned for the region. SAPP chief market analyst Engineer Musara Beta told a recent regional energy regulators conference that a master plan for the regional power market is vital as it helps to reduce capital costs by implementing least cost projects for the benefit of the region. "It also reduces excess capacity for the pool. But more importantly savings of over $48 billion can be realised in the various projects are implemented in a co-ordinated fashion." The weighted average electricity access in the region is at 36 percent with a capacity shortfall including reserves of 2 758MW.


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Sefa funds smart meter manufacturing facility in Ethiopia


The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa) has granted US$842 000 to smart solutions firm dVentus Technologies, to develop a smart meter manufacturing facility in Ethiopia to service the domestic market, the African Development Bank (AfDB) announced on their website. The Sefa fund is hosted by the AfDB and will drive the adoption of energy efficiency technologies in the energy sector. ‘The grant will finance a market and bankability study as well as product validation and certification with the aim of mitigating part of the technical development risks and catalysing the financing required for the transition and expansion plan’, the AfDB said. According to the AfDB, the project will highlight local expertise and capabilities in developing energy efficient technology which can be distributed throughout the continent’s green energy sectors. The AfDB added that the project aims to encourage private investors ‘in an industry of key importance for enabling investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. ‘The facility will provide products that will lead to an improvement in power distribution and generation and help address Ethiopia’s current and projected energy shortfall.


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Sefa funds smart meter manufacturing facility in Ethiopia


The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa) has granted US$842 000 to smart solutions firm dVentus Technologies, to develop a smart meter manufacturing facility in Ethiopia to service the domestic market, the African Development Bank (AfDB) announced on their website. The Sefa fund is hosted by the AfDB and will drive the adoption of energy efficiency technologies in the energy sector. ‘The grant will finance a market and bankability study as well as product validation and certification with the aim of mitigating part of the technical development risks and catalysing the financing required for the transition and expansion plan’, the AfDB said. According to the AfDB, the project will highlight local expertise and capabilities in developing energy efficient technology which can be distributed throughout the continent’s green energy sectors. The AfDB added that the project aims to encourage private investors ‘in an industry of key importance for enabling investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. ‘The facility will provide products that will lead to an improvement in power distribution and generation and help address Ethiopia’s current and projected energy shortfall.


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Financiers join Turkana initiative


The north eastern region of Kenya has commenced with construction of Africa’s largest wind farm that will contribute an additional 20% of power to the country’s national grid. The Lake Turkana Wind Power project (LTWP) started the construction in November of a 310MW wind farm in Loiyangalani, Marsabit which will be constructed over 32 months and consists of 365 wind turbines. ‘Standard Bank, Nedbank and the AfDB are the Mandated Lead Arrangers for the Project. Standard Bank and Nedbank both provided the commercial bank guarantees for the EIB Commercial Bank Guarantee Facility. The two commercial banks will also be providing the interest rate hedge for the project, which reached financial close on 11 December 2014’, a press release announced. Kwame Parker, Standard Bank’s East Africa Head of Power and Infrastructure was encouraged by the private sector opportunities available in the energy sector.


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Kenya, AfDB ink deal for rural electricity grid

More households are set to be connected to the electricity grid after Kenya secured a Sh11.9 billion loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the laying of infrastructure in rural areas. This is the first tranche of Sh72.4 billion ($800 million) expected from the bank in the next five years. Dubbed ‘last mile connectivity’, the project will see the installation of additional transformers and power lines to reduce the distance between the grid and customers. The government looks to raise power connections to 70 per cent of the population in five years, up from the current 30 per cent. The project will be rolled out in the 47 counties and is a fresh attempt to boost the welfare of poor households condemned to use of kerosene and firewood for cooking and lighting.


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