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Namibia's regional power supplier, Erongo Red, concluded a PPA with the IPP, from which the utility will be obligated to buy the power generated over a period of 25 years. The renewable energy firm plans to construct a 3.4MW solar power plant in Arandis and construction has been said to begin in November this year, reports the New Era. It is reported that Erongo Red CEO Robert Kahimise, said the power plant is expected to save the regional electricity distributor close to N$5.8 million ($446,232) a year and an estimated N$127 million ($9.4 million) over a 25-year period. Kahimise said the signing of the PPA marks yet another important milestone for the company, adding that Erongo Red is continuously seeking ways to make power supply more affordable.
International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group has announced its partnership with the DFID, aimed at facilitating the deployment of off-grid and embedded solar systems in commercial and industrial sectors in the West African country. The IFC announced in a statement explained that the ultimate goal is to help corporates and SMEs to have better and more reliable access to electricity, utilising the country’s abundant solar resources. In addition, this will contribute to Nigeria’s sustainable economic growth and greenhouse gas emission reduction objectives. Through this partnership, IFC’s Off-Grid and Embedded Solar Market Development and Finance Programme, and DFID’s Solar Nigeria Programme, are launching a new initiative in Nigeria for solar market development and finance, the finance corporation stated. Explaining the objectives of the new programme, the IFC said: “One of its major components will be to provide technical support and possibly financial instruments to local financial institutions. “This will help them develop business solutions for the emerging solar market especially solar PV technology investments in Nigeria.”
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a US$856,000 grant to Solar Era Holdings (SL) Limited to support the development of a solar photovoltaic (PV) plant and a PV-thermal hybrid project near Bo, says a release from the United States Embassy in Freetown yesterday, adding that the new plants will support more dependable power generation and improve energy access in Sierra Leone. "The United States is proud to help bring new sources of renewable energy to Sierra Leone," U.S. Ambassador John Hoover is quoted to have remarked at the signing ceremony. "This project supports President Koroma's Recovery Priorities and helps to lay the groundwork for sustainable economic growth for all Sierra Leoneans." The release says Albert Smith, Solar Era's Director of International Business Development, signed the grant agreement along with Ambassador Hoover. Mr. Smith is quoted to have explained that, "by delivering power in Baoma Chiefdom to the Bo-Kenema transmission line, this project will play a key role in the economic development of the region."
Zimbabwe’s Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development Minister, Sithembiso Nyoni, has this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Shandong Dejian for the development of solar milling plants in various farming areas. According to local media the Herald, under the MoU the Chinese company is expected to conduct a feasibility study of which its report would be tabled before Cabinet for implementation. The execution of this project is anticipated to aid farmers in rural areas to add value to their produce, stockfeed manufacturing and also engage in irrigation activities, media reported. Shandong Dejian general manager, Wang Hongbing highlighted that his company was also involved in a solar milling plant project in Zambia and assisting farmers in maize processing. Hongbing said: “We have also signed MoUs with Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda to implement the project.”
Tsitsikamma Community Wind Farm in the Eastern Cape commenced commercial operation, feeding clean power into the national electricity grid. The wind farm, which comprises of 31 turbines and has a 95MW generation capacity, will not only contribute towards strengthening the grid, but towards uplifting the surrounding community as well. According to The Herald, it was agreed that 2.1% of revenue will be earmarked towards socio-economic development and rental of the land where the turbines are sited. According to local news agency, eNCA, the farm was the dream of the founder of Watt Energy, the late Mcebisi Mike Msizi, and his family welcomes its realisation. His widow, Florence, said at the inauguration: “Even my husband in his grave, the dream is coming now, because the project now is over.” Speaking at the inauguration, Deputy Energy Minister Thembisile Majola said the project was a milestone in the department’s drive to establish a viable energy mix for the country.
The government of Lamu County is reported to have endorsed the project of a wind farm that is anticipated to cost Sh21 billion ($207 million). It is reported that the county government was opposing the development because the investors had not clarified as to where and how the affected people would be relocated. However, on Wednesday, Lamu deputy governor Eric Mugo stated that to date sufficient consultations have been conducted by the investor and the project will now go ahead. Media reported that Mugo said this during the handing over of a Sh9.1 million ($89.948) goodwill cheque to 26 farmers by the investor. The wind farm project is said to be led by a consortium of three companies including renewable energy firm Elicio from Belgium, the World Bank through the International Finance Corporation and a Kenyan firm, Kenwind Holdings Ltd. “No one has ever opposed the wind power project. Our only problem was on how well our people's interests were going to be addressed especially the issue of compensation. “I understand we had problems of communication but we have reached a consensus with the investor,” Mugo stated.
Global renewable energy investments are increasingly showing low capital input with a high generation output, according to a newly released report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). “Renewable energy investments of $313 billion accounted for nearly a fifth of total energy spending last year, establishing renewables as the largest source of power investment. While spending on renewable power capacity was flat between 2011 and 2015, electricity generation from the new capacity rose by one third, reflecting the steep cost declines in wind turbines and solar PV,” the IEA said in statement. According to the Agency, global energy investment fell by 8% in 2015, with a drop in oil and gas upstream spending outweighing continued robust investment in renewables, electricity networks and energy efficiency. Total investment in the energy sector reached $1.8 trillion in 2015, down from $2.0 trillion in 2014, according to the World Energy Investment 2016 (WEI 2016). IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol, said: “We see a broad shift of spending toward cleaner energy, often as a result of government policies.
The Zimbabwean IPP, Utopia Power Company Limited, is reported to have stated its intentions to construct a solar power plant in Q4 2016, at an estimated cost of $18 million. Local media reported that the IPP expects to begin feeding the power generated into the grid by the second half of 2017. The company is said to have recently been awarded an electricity generation licence by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority and was also granted an investment licence by the Zimbabwe Investment Authority in December 2015. Commenting on the development was the company’s managing director Shongwe Ndoro, stating that the project has attracted the attention of serious local and international players that will work as strategic partners, both from a technology and funding perspective. “This points to the fact that Zimbabwe remains a good investment destination,” Ndoro noted.
South Africa has officially opened its latest wind farm – an 80MW facility in Noupoort, the eastern Karoo region. Situated in the Umsobomvu Municipal Area located 10km east of Noupoort in the Northern Cape, Noupoort Wind Farm spans 7,500 hectares and comprises thirty five 99m-high wind turbines. All 35 turbines of the R1.9 billion wind farm are now producing clean renewable electrical energy to meet the needs of almost 70,000 average South African households. Noupoort Wind Farm achieved its commercial operations date on schedule and on budget, according to the projects operator Mainstream Renewable Power. Mainstream’s Group finance director, Terry Ryan, said: “Today is of note because it is the first Round 3 wind farm to reach commercial operation. This is Mainstream’s fourth renewable energy project to reach commercial operation in South Africa. “We also developed and built the Jeffrey’s Bay Wind Farm as well as the Droogfontein and De Aar solar power facilities from Round 1. And we’re currently building two wind farms near Loeriesfontein in the Northern Cape which are on track to start operating in December next year.
Zimbabwean Independent Power Producer (IPP) Utopia Power Company Limited is set to construct a 15 megawatt solar plant in Bromley 48km east of Harare at a cost of $18 million. Construction is expected to start in the fourth quarter of this year with power generated being fed into the national grid by the second half of 2017. The company was awarded an electricity generation licence by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) recently and was also granted an investment licence by the Zimbabwe Investment Authority in December 2015. Utopia Power Company managing director Mr Shongwe Ndoro said the company was currently finalising agreements with local and international technical and financial partners. "The project has attracted the attention of serious local and international players that will work as strategic partners, both from a technology and funding perspective. "This points to the fact that Zimbabwe remains a good investment destination," he said.
Solar power project dubbed Solar Nigeria, which has been initiated by the DfID, has announced having achieved the above mentioned figure between January and June 2016. Nigeria’s local media This Day reported that according to a media statement from the agency, the result has kept up to speed with the record that was set in Q1 2016 when 49,000 homes received solar lighting or power systems through the Solar Nigeria programme. According to the statement, more than 45,000 of these homes are located in states within northern Nigeria, and are all said to have received solar systems supplied on full commercial terms. The terms are based on either the householder paying cash, taking a loan, or renting the equipment. The programme’s communication officer, Genevieve Bosah, described that the solar systems include everything from single bright lamps through to solar home systems that are able to power multiple lights, a television and fan in the households.
Solar Nigeria, a solar power initiative of the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DfID) has disclosed that businesses it supported have been able to provide more than 92,000 Nigerian homes with solar lighting or power systems between January and June 2016. The programme said more than 45,000 of these homes are however located in states within northern Nigeria, and that all the systems were supplied on full commercial terms, with the householder paying cash, taking a loan, or renting the equipment. According to a statement from the programme's communication officer, Genevieve Bosah in Abuja, the solar systems include everything from single bright lamps through to solar home systems that are able to power multiple lights, a television and fan in homes they were deployed. It said the result has kept pace with the record that was set in the first quarter of 2016 when 49,000 homes received solar lighting or power systems through the programme. "It brings the total of homes equipped with support from Solar Nigeria and its partner programme Lighting Africa to 182,000 since mid-2015," said the statement.
Swaziland’s director of energy at the ministry of natural resources and energy, Henry Shongwe, confirmed that US-based hydrokinetic project developer, Zoetic Energy, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) for the development of a 200MW hydropower project. In terms of the MoU, the hydrokinetic company will deploy a team within the next 60 days to explore the river system for the project, estimated to cost $600 million, Swazi Observer reported. Swaziland’s current generation capacity stands at between 15-17% of consumed electricity, with the remainder being imported from South Africa’s Eskom and Mozambique’s EDM. The Southern African Power Pool’s Jofepa Banda of ESCOM Malawi commended the project as a turning point for the Southern African region as the organisation’s vision and objectives include facilitating the development of a competitive electricity market in the region.
A development economist, Dr Chidi Onuoha, says the solution for Nigeria to come out of the current economic recession is investment in renewable energy. Onuoha, National President, Sustainable Energy Practitioners Association of Nigeria (SEPAN), made this known in an interview in Abuja on Saturday. He said that policymakers had not discovered the secret in renewable energy and how it could help to restore the economy. The development economist said that the association would educate the policymakers on how to utilise the country's renewable energy potential. "What we are doing now is to educate them that money should be appropriated toward renewable energy and that renewable energy are not cumbersome. "The technology is not expensive; the price is coming down now; so, it is good for us to invest in it to boost the economy," he said. He spoke on the recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report which stated that South Africa had overtaken Nigeria as the biggest economy and advised the country to invest in renewable energy.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Dr. Shiferaw Teklemariam said that Ethiopia looks to lead Africa in planing and constructing large hydro-power projects from solar, wind, geothermal and hydro power sources. Opening a two-day International Conference and Exhibition on Renewable Energy with the theme: 'Powering Resilience with Renewables' here yesterday, the Minister said by the end of 2020, Ethiopia planned to generate about 17,000 MW energy from renewable energy sources. Dr. Shiferaw also said that there has been a need to collaborate with countries facing similar challenges in environmental issues and in meeting energy demands. Public and private joint vision to power Africa must be the basis of all development cooperation, he stressed.
Uganda's first solar power plant will start feeding the electricity grid later this month. The plant, spread over a 34-acre piece of land in Soroti District, will supply 10 megawatts. The plant's owner, Access Uganda Solar Limited, will sell each unit to the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd, the company the government created to buy power from generation plants, at $0.11 (Shs372). Going by President Museveni's take on power tariffs, $0.11 is high and increases production costs in Uganda thus making Ugandan-made goods expensive. The Electricity Regulatory Authority's chief executive officer Dr Benon Mutambi though says Uganda's solar tariff is cheap. "In other countries, the price of solar is in the range of $0.15 (Shs507) to $0.18 (Shs608)," Dr Mutambi, an economist, said on Wednesday, August 31 in Soroti District, northeast Uganda. "We were able to get it at $0.11. We did not go for unsolicited bidding; we went for competitive bidding," he said at the conclusion of an three-day field visit ERA organised for the House Committee on Natural Resources to establish the progress contractors were making progress on select electricity projects.
Top Chinese legislator Zhang Dejiang said on Monday that China is willing to enhance solar and wind energy cooperation with Namibia. "China will work with Namibia to turn their traditional friendship and political mutual trust into more productive cooperation in solar and wind energy, seawater desalination and ocean economy, agriculture, husbandry and fishery," Zhang said during talks with Namibian National Assembly speaker Peter Katjavivi. The chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee said exchanges between legislative bodies are an important component of bilateral relations, calling on the NPC and the Namibian National Assembly to strengthen friendly ties and cooperation. Katjavivi thanked China for its long-term support of and assistance to Namibia and expressed willingness to advance bilateral practical cooperation.
Climate experts have urged Zimbabweans to adopt renewable energy alternatives, energy efficiency and climate smart agriculture so that the country can meet its green house gas (GHG) energy emission reduction target.Addressing delegates at the Third National Communication Report Back Workshop for the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report Chapter underway here, Climate Change Management Department director, Mr Washington Zhakata, said the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) ambition calls for collective mitigation efforts by all citizens in order to attain the set 2030 target. INDCs are climate change mitigation actions, strategies or policies that result in reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and consequently a slowdown of global warming. INDCs are climate change mitigation actions, strategies or policies that result in reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and consequently a slowdown of global warming. Last year, The Paris Agreement adopted Zimbabwe's Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) into Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to be achieved by 2030.
Government efforts aimed at increasing supply of clean energy to power its green growth ambitions have gotten a boost, thanks to a new off-grid renewable energy support programme. Scaling up Off-Grid Energy in Rwanda (SOGER) aims to grow sustainable off-grid renewable energy markets by supporting private sector companies to deliver energy access to 77,000 people in poor rural areas, Herbert Nyaga, the country manager of Energy 4 Impact, a renewable energy firm, said. The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA)-funded programme that started in July will end in June 2019 and is designed to respond to the country's power challenges and government priorities to reduce poverty and increase energy access in rural areas, he added. The government targets to increase access to electricity to over 70 per cent by 2018, out of which 22 per cent will be through off-grid connections. Off-grid connections presently account for less than 2 per cent.
In a bid to cut the increasing cost of running their branches across the country, many Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) are now opting for renewable energy. LEADERSHIP gathered that the new strategy by the banks is to enable them spend less on diesel and maintenance of their power generating plants. While some of the banks are already at the pilot stage of test-running solar panels in some of their branches, others have perfected the use of inverters in running their Automated Teller Machines (ATM) across the country. It was also gathered that some of the banks now use Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) devices in some of their operations without reverting to power generating plants. One of them, Sterling Bank, recently commenced the pilot scheme of its solar plan. Likewise, Fidelity Bank which spent over N372 million in 2015 on power generation said it has now adopted the use of UPS' and inverters to power its ATMs and major operations.
Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, will announce the east Asian’s commitment to fund geothermal power projects across Africa during a conference in Kenya, Nairobi. Having identified Kenya and Ethiopia as the primary target regions, Africa has only developed 5% of this clean power fuel, which according to the Nikkei Asian Review is due to the high associated costs of drilling down to heat reservoirs and building the plants themselves. According to media, those Japanese players with a vested interest in the sector, are seeking to boost the existing 600,000kW of geothermal capacity to more than 1 million kilowatts in the east African region. For the initial phase, the Japanese government has earmarked over $9.97 million for grant provision as part of a supplementary budget for the current fiscal year, media reported.
A total of 14,000 energy efficient cooking stoves, able to save 80 per cent of firewood, will be distributed to refugee camps in the country. The "Save80 steel stoves" are produced by the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre- Kigali (IPRC Kigali) on the request of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR). According to Veneranda Ingabire, Programme Manager for Disaster Project at MIDIMAR, the stoves are part of Rwf1.5 billion two-year project dubbed; "Environment Protection in and around Refugee Camps", that started in May 2015 and ends May 2017. The project funded by Rwanda Environment and Climate Change Fund (FONERWA). In an interview with The New Times last week, Paulin Ruzibiza, the Manager of the Production Unit at IPRC Kigali, said the cooking stoves are intended to reduce the amount of firewood used for cooking or other heating activities in the refugee camps.
Egypt is planning to develop a 1,000MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power station supported by a solar PV manufacturing facility. This news came after a meeting held on Tuesday between the Minister of International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Military Production, Mohamad Al-Assar, and Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Mohamed Shaker. The ministers gathered to discuss the recent developments related to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed on 27 July to construct the solar power station, Daily News Egypt reported. The PV plant will be developed in two phases, bringing online 500MW at each stage. Both the plant and the manufacturing facility will be funded by China, which has confirmed $3.3 billion in concessional financing. According to Daily News Egypt: "This project would complement the MoU signed by the Ministry of International Cooperation with the Ministry of Military Production and China to exchange experiences, help local production, and the transfer of technology and knowledge required to manufacture and produce solar energy from silicon panels."
The government and the World Bank yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in which the latter will provide 209 million USD (about 456bn/-) for the implementation of six-year Rural Electrification Expansion Programme. The six-year project will also be financed by other Development Partners (DPs). Other partners who will finance the project are Norway who will offer 80 million USD, Sweden (70 million USD), European Union (50 million USD), England (42 million USDs) and African Development Bank (25 million USD). Tanzanian government will issue 900m/- for the project. The MoU was signed at Kwedizinga Village in Handeni District of Tanga Region between the representative of the World Bank, Ms Bella Bird, and the Acting Director General of Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Mr Gissima Nyamo-Hanga. The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Professor Sospeter Muhongo, Tanga Regional Commissioner, Mr Martin Shigela, and other representatives from Development Partners (DPs) --Germany, Norway and African Development Bank (ADB).
The Stortemelk Hydro Power Plant has reached commercial operation as of July 29 this year. Having won preferred bidder status in round 2 of government's renewable energy programme, Renewable Energy Holdings (REH) has now achieved the development of three hydro plants in the country, Engineering News reported. The 4.5MW run-of-river hydro project, located in the Free State province, was developed at a total project cost of R190 million ($14,166,239), where the capital cost was financed through Rand Merchant Bank. Equity financing was provided by REH, Mertech Group and an independent broad-based black economic empowerment firm, Engineering News reported. Having commenced construction in August 2014, REH Group said: "The project is being implemented under an engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) structure with contracts being awarded to Andritz Hydro GmbH and Indar Electrical SL for the plant’s turbine, generator and switchgear; to Aurecon South Africa (Pty) Ltd for engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services; and Eigenbau (Pty) Ltd for civil works construction."
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The Bank of Industry (BoI) and Gombe State Government have signed a N360million deal for the deployment of pay-as-you-go solar home systems in selected rural communities in the state. Gombe was one of the states that benefitted from the first phase of the BoI/UNDP rural electrification programme involving one community in each of the six geopolitical zones. Due to the success of the initial project, the Gombe State Governor, Dr. Ibrahim Damkambo wants the project replicated in other nine local government areas of the state. The acting Managing Director, BoI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju said the project would boost economic activities in the benefiting communities. The project, which is expected to commence with the deployment of stand-alone solar home systems in Lule 1 and 2 communities in Dukku LGA and Pata community in Yemaltu Debba, will be co- funded by the BoI and Gombe State Government on equal sum of N180 million each. Olagunju said the problem of electricity supply from the national grid in Nigeria underscored the need to explore other sources of power generation.
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