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  • UK Climate Investments announces £14m clean power investment in SA
  • ZAMBIA: Feasibility study by WSP USA for 150 MW hybrid project
  • Progress for Kingdom Of Eswatini’s energy mix dream
  • Sola Group obtains $26 million to supply off-grid to companies
  • AfDB welcomes $20 million investment from CTF for the Facility for Energy Inclusion in Africa
  • Tanzania Forging Ahead On Energy Policies
  • ETHIOPIA: Working on an electricity pricing formula for off grids
  • AFRICA: Egypt will build solar power plants in 7 African countries
  • IFC, MIGA ink deal for 252MW wind farm in Egypt
  • TOGO: 30 MW solar power plant to be built in Blitta
  • Namibia to construct four plants powered by renewable energy
  • Botswana: Lighting up academic excellence through solar backpacks
  • This Revolutionary Blast Furnace Vaporizes Trash and Turns It into Clean Energy (Without Any Emissions)
  • EAST AFRICA: SN Power and IPS will develop Ruzizi III dam project
  • GHANA: Germany provides funding for waste-to-energy power generation
  • ZAMBIA: Kalahari GeoEnergy conducts research for geothermal project
  • EGYPT: Fas Energy will cremate waste to produce electricity
  • Small hydro project boosts mini-grid impact
  • KENYA: Olkaria power plant will supply the West by March 2020
  • SENEGAL: €47.5 million from Proparco, EIB and IFC for solar energy

  • UK Climate Investments announces £14m clean power investment in SA

    UK Climate Investments (UKCI) has announced a £14 million (R253 million) agreement with H1 Holdings to support the development of 254MW of clean energy projects across South Africa. In a company statement, UKCI explained that it will provide critical financing for the development of the Kruisvallei Hydro project in the Free State province (4MW), the Kangnas Wind Farm in the Northern Cape province (140MW) and the Perdekraal East Wind Farm in the Western Cape province (110MW). The financing will be provided through an innovative funding mechanism developed by UKCI in close consultation with H1 Holdings and designed to support Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) entities. The projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2020 and provide enough clean electricity to power nearly 200,000 homes each year. During their lifetime, they will help avoid approximately 844,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per annum. Richard Abel, the managing director of UKCI, said: "Over 90% of electricity generation capacity in South Africa currently relies on fossil fuels. Our partnership with H1 Holdings supports the country’s transition to a new energy mix – promoting cleaner growth in southern Africa’s largest economy whilst stimulating economic development in rural areas and supporting increased BEE participation in the renewables sector."

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    ZAMBIA: Feasibility study by WSP USA for 150 MW hybrid project

    Upepo Energy Partners’ Zambian subsidiary wants to produce 150 MW of electricity in northern Zambia from a hybrid power plant that will combine solar, wind and battery storage. This independent power producer (IPP), which invests mainly in East Africa, has chosen WSP USA for the feasibility study of its project. It is one of the subsidiaries of WSP Global, a consulting and engineering company based in Montreal, Canada. In the coming weeks, it is expected to determine the technical, financial and commercial viability of this hybrid project. This phase of the project received a grant from the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), which, through Todd Abrajano, its Acting Deputy Director, “believes that this feasibility study will address the acute needs for energy production and battery storage in Zambia, while improving access to affordable and reliable electricity”. If the WSP USA study is successful, the project would support the Zambian government’s plan to diversify its electricity sources. It is reflected in many other projects already carried out or underway in this East African country by the IPPs.

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    Progress for Kingdom Of Eswatini’s energy mix dream

    After a long wait, the kingdom of Eswatini issued a request for the qualification and development of a 40MW solar PV plant to be developed via the first tranche procurement programme and a 40MW biomass-to-energy plant to be developed via the second tranche procurement programme. The request for qualification comes delayed given that Eswatini has publicised its intent to have a 46MW solar PV power plant online since 2017. However, the decision is an important one for this developing country and it being it closer towards reducing the country’s reliance on imported power from utilities such as EDM (Electricidade de Moçambique) and Eskom. This request could not have been issued at a better time taking into consideration the recent events in Mozambique and South Africa. The two utilities have an undisputed record that indicates their inability to provide steady or uninterrupted electricity for those within their borders. Eswatini’s decision to act on its past commitment to invest in renewable energy and expand the ratio of renewables in the country’s electricity to 50 per cent by no later than 2030 can only yield positive results for its population that amounts to roughly 1.42 million.

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    Sola Group obtains $26 million to supply off-grid to companies

    Southern African countries are in favour of developing the off-grid solar market, and Sola Group intends to exploit the potential. This supplier has just received an investment of 400 million South African rand (nearly 26 million dollars). The funds come from African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), a private equity fund manager owned by Old Mutual and Nedbank Energy Finance, a subsidiary of Nedbank, a South African-based financial institution. The first country targeted by Sola Group to provide solar off-grid to companies is South Africa. “This partnership brings together three highly experienced entities whose combined expertise provides consumers with clean energy solutions at a time when our country (South Africa) desperately needs them,” said Chris Haw, CEO of Sola Group. Sola Group’s two new investors are very active in the renewable energy sector in Africa. Nedbank is one of the financial institutions that is a strong participant in the South African Renewable Energy Supply Programme (REIPPP).

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    AfDB welcomes $20 million investment from CTF for the Facility for Energy Inclusion in Africa

    The Clean Technology Fund (CTF) one of two multi-donor trust funds within the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) approved $20 million for the Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI), a facility sponsored by the African Development Bank to provide sustainable financing for small-scale renewables in Africa.FEI is a $500 million financing platform whose objective is to catalyze financial support for innovative energy access solutions. FEI On-grid, a targeted USD 400 million fund, supports improved energy access through the development of small-scale renewable energy generation and mini-grids across Africa, while the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (OGEF), a targeted USD 100 million fund, supports off -grid energy distribution companies and boosts their long-term capacity to access capital markets at scale.The CTF investment, composed of a $4 million junior equity tranche and a $16 million senior concessional loan, will be drawn from the Dedicated Private Sector Program III, designed to provide risk-appropriate capital to finance high-impact, large-scale private sector projects in clean technologies.

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    Tanzania Forging Ahead On Energy Policies

    Tanzania has made significant strides towards the implementation of various Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) energy policies and targets including the protocol on energy. The Energy Minister, Dr Medard Kalemani, made the remarks while launching one of the publications, namely SADC Energy Monitor; Enabling Industrialization and Regional Integration in the Region, held at Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre in Dar es Salaam yesterday. "Tanzania is doing well in the areas of cooperation in the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) due to mega investments targeting to generate 10,000 megawatts by the year 2025," he said, noting that the electricity generated was sufficient, reliable and affordable to contribute to industrialization. The publication focuses on energy as a key enabler for industrialisation in line with the new developmental thrust as contained in the Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2063.

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    ETHIOPIA: Working on an electricity pricing formula for off grids

    Provide access to electricity for the entire population. This is the objective of most African governments, but it often cannot be achieved by relying solely on national electricity distribution networks. This solution is expensive and unprofitable in rural areas where the density is low and the houses are far from each other. In East Africa, particularly in Ethiopia, the government is therefore relying on solar off grid to electrify rural areas. Many companies provide solar solution in the villages. They often encounter difficulties in invoicing electricity according to the customer’s consumption, but especially concerning the investments to be made. The Ethiopian government wants to help them, as it is currently working on a formula that will calculate electricity rates for solar off-grid systems. According to Hizkyas Dufera, Senior Advisor to the Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy, the aim is to “make the development of off grid in Ethiopia financially viable”. A calculation formula applied by off-grid suppliers would also allow the government to verify the electricity rates applied to consumption. And, if the applicable tariffs are too high, the government plans to subsidise off-grid suppliers by contributing to capital expenditure. The idea is to motivate donors who support off-grid solar projects, by reducing costs for consumers.

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    AFRICA: Egypt will build solar power plants in 7 African countries

    The Egyptian State wants to support the rest of the African continent in its efforts to develop renewable energies and reduce energy shortages. The North African country, which has set new records in solar energy since 2017, will materialise this commitment through the Arab Industrialization Organization (AOI). A state structure that employs about 19,000 people, including 1,250 engineers, in the manufacture of military and civil materials. It will launch solar power plants in Uganda, Congo, Tanzania, Eritrea, Somalia and Southern Sudan, with capacities ranging from 2 to 4 megawatts (MW). The design, financing, construction and operation of the plants will be carried out by the AOI. These solar power plants will be used for lighting and desalination of drinking water in the target countries. They will also benefit from a grant from the Egyptian government, worth a total of $12 million. As Egypt promotes solar energy in the rest of Africa, the country is setting itself up as a model.

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    IFC, MIGA ink deal for 252MW wind farm in Egypt

    In a statement, the IFC noted that it will provide $84 million in financing while MIGA will offer $122 million in financial guarantees, helping to bolster the production of clean energy, lower generation costs, and diversify the country’s energy mix. The wind farm, West Bakr Wind, located in the Gulf of Suez, is expected to produce over 1,000 gigawatt-hours per year, at a tariff well below the average cost of generation in Egypt. The project is set to power more than 350,000 homes and avoid more than 550,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually. It is part of the government’s Build, Own, Operate framework and a key pillar of targets to generate 20% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2022, reducing Egypt’s reliance on natural gas. “The West Bakr Wind project will play an important role in supporting the diversification of Egypt’s generation capacity by delivering a best-in-class and competitively priced clean power in the country,” said Chris Antonopoulos, CEO of Lekela. Antonopoulos added: “As our first project in Egypt, we see a great opportunity with wind here, and we look forward to working in the country for years to come.”

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    TOGO: 30 MW solar power plant to be built in Blitta

    Good news for Togo. The country will soon have a solar photovoltaic power plant. The government plans to install it in Blitta, a locality located at least 260 km from Lomé, the country’s capital. It will have a capacity of 30 MW. The project has long been well developed, having already undergone an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA). “The implementation of this project will affect the land holdings of the populations living in the direct project area. Given the importance of this project for the country and the need to carry out the expropriation procedure in order to ensure fair and prior compensation of the affected persons, it is essential to declare the project to be in the public interest”, says the ESIA report. The Blitta solar power plant will be added to a similarly large facility to be built in Dapaong, in the Savannah region of northern Togo. This other project is already on track since the Togolese State already has two financial partners. These are the Abu Dhabi Development Fund (ADFD) and Amea Power, a company based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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    Namibia to construct four plants powered by renewable energy

    Namibia has announced plans to construct four plants powered by renewable energy over the next five years in bid to guarantee local supplies and cut use of fossil fuels. State-run utility, NamPower Managing Director, Kahenge Haulofu announced the reports and said that the plants will will harness biomass, solar and wind to generate a combined 220 megawatts. Construction of the plants is projected to cost US $328m and will begin later this year through 2022. The project according to Haulofu will be financed with internal resources. Nampower currently imports about 60% of its needs, mostly from South Africa. “The country, which is the driest in sub-Saharan Africa and has more than 300 days of sunshine a year, “stands to benefit as the worldwide boom in the solar market results in reduced costs and improved efficiency of solar photovoltaic panels and related equipment,” said Haulofu. “Namibia, which is bigger than France by land area but has a population of just 2.6 million people, has potential sites for the development of large-scale wind-power projects,” Haulofu added.

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    Botswana: Lighting up academic excellence through solar backpacks

    In recognition of this, First National Bank (FNB) Botswana Foundation and the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) have been rolling out a programme under which they provide solar backpacks and stationary to several villages and towns in their drive to make education more accessible and reach more children. The two organizations, in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, will this week launch the initiative at Ramonaka Primary School in Kgatleng District in southern Botswana. According to ministry spokesperson Nonofo Zwinila, the launch follows recent launches in other villages and towns across Botswana. The latest launch, which will be done by Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Botlogile Tshireletso, will take place on August 7. “The main aim of the initiative is to empower primary school children in remote areas with solar backpacks to support their learning at home,” said Zwinila. She added: “Pupils in upper classes (standard 4-7) in selected schools will receive a solar backpack equipped with a lamp while those in the lower classes (reception to standard 3) will be given stationery. This donation will subsequently be rolled out to other districts across the country.”

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    This Revolutionary Blast Furnace Vaporizes Trash and Turns It into Clean Energy (Without Any Emissions)

    An exciting new startup can make clean energy by vaporizing heaps of trash without any waste or emissions. The Sierra Energy company is aiming to tackle all of the non-recyclable garbage that ends up in landfills—from hazardous wastes and plastics to everyday trash and tires. The company’s modified blast furnace uses FastOx gasification technology to heat all of the trash to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about twice as hot as the heart of a volcano. While it may seem like this would require large amounts of energy, the system is able to generate the heat simply by injecting pure oxygen into the furnace. The oxygen then reacts with the carbon emanating from the rotting garbage in order to create carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The steam is then pumped back into the furnace to maintain the internal temperature. The fuel that is made from the FastOx technology is reportedly 20 times cleaner than California fuel standards. And all of the gases that are generated by the chemical process are captured for reuse—for instance, to replace fossil fuels that power airplanes or for use as fertilizer, hydrogen, or ethanol.

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    EAST AFRICA: SN Power and IPS will develop Ruzizi III dam project

    The Ruzizi III hydroelectric project is undergoing a new development. This time round, it is an agreement that has been signed between Pierre Kangudia, acting Minister of Energy and Water Resources of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); Claver Gatete, Rwandan Minister of Infrastructure; and Como Manirakiza, Burundi’s Minister of Energy and Mines. The three ministers selected two companies to develop the Ruzizi III hydroelectric project as part of a public-private partnership (PPP). It is a consortium composed of the Norwegian company SN Power, already known in Africa, notably for its participation in the Volobe hydroelectric project (120 MW) in Madagascar and Industrial Promotion Services (IPS), the industrial branch of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED). “Ruzizi III is a truly revolutionary project. This is the first privately funded project in sub-Saharan Africa that will use a common regional resource to generate energy that will be shared equally among three countries,” said Galeb Gulam, IPS Executive Director.

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    GHANA: Germany provides funding for waste-to-energy power generation

    The Ghanaian government will soon launch a project to build a plant that will use waste to produce electricity. The project recently benefited from German support through the signing of a €5 million grant agreement between Anja Karliczek, the German Federal Minister of Education and Research, and Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Ghanaian Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. “The overall objective of the project, which is part of the country’s Renewable Energy Plan integrated into the 31 national commitments, in response to the Lima (Peru) call for action, is to transform waste into energy using hybrid solar photovoltaic, biogas and pyrolysis systems,” says the Ghanaian government. Pyrolysis is a thermo-chemical process that results in the production of gas from waste. The latter can then be used to generate electricity. The project will be carried out jointly by three German research partners, six Ghanaian research centres, two German industrial partners, and three Ghanaian industrial partners. The implementation of the construction project for the waste-to-energy plant will start on October 1, 2019 and the plant will be commissioned by September 1, 2023.

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    ZAMBIA: Kalahari GeoEnergy conducts research for geothermal project

    Will Zambia join the circle of geothermal energy producing countries in Africa? The answer will be known within a few months as Kalahari GeoEnergy, a Zambian company, conducts geothermal exploration work in central Zambia. To date, this project has led to the drilling of eight geothermal wells around the Bweengwa River, west of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital. “The results to date continue to provide assurance that the Bweengwa River has the characteristics of a viable geothermal resource for electricity generation,” said Peter Vivian-Neal, Kalahari GeoEnergy’s President and CEO. The company has identified six areas that could provide steam for power generation. According to Kalahari GeoEnergy, “the surface manifestations of the Bweengwa River Geothermal Resource Area include three groups of geothermal springs that extend over 9 km and are located on the southern fault of the Kafue Pit”. If the current exploration is successful, Kalahari GeoEnergy plans to launch a full technical and commercial feasibility study by the end of 2019.

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    EGYPT: Fas Energy will cremate waste to produce electricity

    Waste incinerators will soon be introduced in Egypt. In addition to participating in waste management in this North African country, they will also provide electricity. The Fas Energy proposal includes a $300 million investment plan. An agreement has already been concluded between this Saudi company and the public body New and Urban Communities Authority (NUCA). The power plants will be built mainly in the cities under construction in Upper Egypt, including Al-Salam, the country’s future capital. It is currently being built in the middle of the desert to accommodate all ministerial departments and 6.5 million people. Waste incineration and power generation plants will also be built in the cities of Shorouk, Badr, and Obour. As a first step, the company plans to build a plant for waste incineration by providing 20 MW of electricity and an investment of $60 million. The NUCA has already promised to allocate land to Fas Energy for the development of its facilities. But the latter requires that the land be serviced with “a connection to the national electricity grid and access to water, sanitation and other services necessary for the implementation of the projects”. The company should be able to dispose of these parcels for a period of 25 years.

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    Small hydro project boosts mini-grid impact

    With the assistance of the EEP Africa donor fund, East African Power signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the privatised Rwandan utility, Energy Utility Corporation Ltd (EUCL), and a Concession Agreement (CA) with the Ministry of Infrastructure in Rwanda to develop the first hydropower project implemented in East Africa using a containerised turbine and generator. Built almost entirely using simple manpower with little mechanical intervention, this project gives credit to the innovative and resourceful nature of the Rwandan people. In addition to the 445kW delivered to the national grid, Rubagabaga has created more than 1,000 jobs over the span of its life thus far. The ongoing introduction of energy linked directly to innovative, locally-initiated industries creates a dynamic and diverse economy, and a sustainably healthy community with the power to impact Rwanda on a national scale. Dan Klinck, MD of East African Power says it is their policy as developers to establish communityserving projects wherever a successful hydropower plant has been developed. “What’s unique about this project is that it is a public-private-community partnership,” he explains.

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    KENYA: Olkaria power plant will supply the West by March 2020

    People in western Kenya, particularly those in Kisumu County, will have an adequate supply of electricity within a few months. The energy will be more environmentally friendly as it will come from the Olkaria geothermal power plant in the Kenya Rift Valley. The construction of the transmission line is 95% complete, according to Fernandes Barasa, the director of the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KPLC). At this rate, the site should be delivered by March 2020. The KPLC has entrusted the work to the Indian company Kalpataru Power Transmission and the Chinese companies Shanghai Siyuan Electric and Nari Group. They are building a 220 kV/400 kV high-voltage line 300 km long. This will replace an existing 132 kV line that was undergoing power loss. The Kenyan authorities estimate that the future infrastructure will save up to 2 billion Kenyan shillings (nearly $20 million) per year. Most importantly, the Olkaria-Lessos-Kisumu high-voltage line will pull the counties of western Kenya from hydropower dependency which has been faltering recently due to drought, which is causing river flows to decrease and the production capacity of the Sondo Miriu (60 MW) and Turkwel (106 MW) hydroelectric power plants to shrink. Some of the energy consumed in the region comes from neighbouring Uganda.

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    SENEGAL: €47.5 million from Proparco, EIB and IFC for solar energy

    Senegal pursues its policy in favour of solar energy. The European Investment Bank and the International Finance Corporation have recently provided €47.5 million to finance the construction of two solar photovoltaic power plants. The infrastructure will be installed by Engie in collaboration with other partners, and will provide 600,000 Senegalese with access to electricity. The two photovoltaic solar power plants, which will be installed in Senegal, will have a combined capacity of 60 MW. The financing will be provided by the European Investment Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Proparco. These solar power plants will be installed in Kahone and Kael. They will provide 600,000 people with electricity. The financing was granted to Meridiam, Engie and the Sovereign Fund for Strategic Investments (FONSIS). In order to implement this project, the French companies Engie and Meridiam will each hold a 40% stake, and 20% will be reserved for the Senegalese sovereign fund (FONSIS). Proparco assures that “these two projects will avoid the emission of 2.2 million tonnes of CO2 over the lifetime of the installations, while producing the cheapest energy in the country. They thus contribute to the country’s “low-carbon” strategy and Senegal’s ambitious objective of increasing the share of renewable energies in the country’s energy mix.”

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