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Tanzania: Millions of Homes to Get Power Next Year

More than 14 million Tanzanians will be connected to the National Grid by June, next year, when most rural village homes in the country get lit up through the ongoing rural electrification project. The Commissioner for Energy and Petroleum Affairs, Mr Hosea Mbise, said that 30 per cent of the country will be connected to the main grid before June, next year. He also said that 50 per cent of Tanzanians (more than 23 million residents) throughout the country, should be enjoying electricity services by 2025. "We are recording steady progress which should be credited to the Rural Energy Agency (REA) efforts whose network of gridlines crisscrossing the country is slowly but surely lighting up Tanzania, especially in the remote parts," added Eng. Hosea.

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Kenya drops fixed tariffs for small power plants

The government is seeking to drop the fixed tariffs offered to investors of small renewable power plants and opt for bidding to lower the cost of wholesale electricity prices, ultimately lowering bills for homes and businesses. The auction system will be a departure from the current scheme where investors in small power plants of less than 50 megawatts are offered a pre-determined price on which they sell their electricity to Kenya Power. The bidding process applies to larger power plants and is line with the government strategy to cut power bills by more than half by 2017. The Energy ministry Wednesday started the search for a consultant to develop auction rules that will guide investors keen on renewable energy. “We are moving from a system where investors had a pre-set tariff to a bidding scheme where the government will deal with an investor offering the lowest tariffs,” said a top official in the Energy ministry. “It is in line with the government aim of reducing consumer tariffs. The target is to lower the bulk tariff to seven US cents (Sh6.22.) per unit.”

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Rwanda to Benefit From Euro Two Billion EU Energy Grant

Rwanda is one of five beneficiaries of a Euro 2 billion grant from the European Union that will be used to woo private investments into sustainable energy projects. The grant was jointly signed yesterday in New York by EU Commission president José Manuel Barroso, President Paul Kagame and heads of state from the other beneficiary countries, including Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia and Togo. Rwanda's portion of the fund, which was unknown by press time, will be managed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and will be reserved for private investors with worthwhile energy development projects. "The grant looks at attracting more investment. Suppose there is a local or foreign company that seeks to invest Euro 2 million in sustainable energy, their project will be assessed and, if approved, the Ministry of Finance will provide a certain percentage of the funds required,"

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Off-grid solar services company acts as mini utility in East Africa

Off-grid energy services company M-Kopa announced this month it has signed up 100,000 households to its mobile phone-enabled solar service and is adding a further 2,500 a week throughout East Africa. The pay-as-you-go model, launched in 2010, allows rural customers access to a solar panel product that taps into cell phone networks for daily or weekly billing cycles, and customer alerts. M-KOPA operates as a tiny utility, aggregating and building out solar projects, said industry analyst Gigaom. In April this year the company had 300 employees, it works with another 700 people — independent entrepreneurs and shop owners — who sell its solar products across Kenya and has a 24-hour customer call center staffed by 100 employees.

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Egypt: Tariff for Electricity Generated By Renewable Energy Announced

Cairo — The cabinet's economic committee has studied and revised the tariffs for electricity generated by renewable energy, Egypt's Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said on Saturday, announcing the awaited tariff. The tariff was divided into five segments, Shaker said, starting from 84.8 Egyptian piasters (0.12 U.S. dollars) per kilowatt hour for domestic use, reported Reuters. The price of the electricity in the highest segment stood at 102.5 Egyptian piasters per kilowatt hour. This segment will be allocated for projects operated by 20 to 50 megawatt. Shaker said consumer citizens will pay for the percentage of electricity generated from renewable energy from the total amount of electricity generated. The cabinet will annually determine this percentage and it will be added to the monthly electricity bill.

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Gambia: Promoting Renewable Energy for Productive Use in the Gambia

The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), in partnership with the GEF/UNIDO 4 project, has given a new lease of life to the promotion of renewable energy at its Private Sector and Renewable Energy Forum held on Tuesday at the Ocean Bay Red Croc Hotel in Cape Point, Bakau. Launched in The Gambia by the Energy Ministry some two years ago, this four-year project being implemented in The Gambia by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) is a sub-regional exercise being funded from the Global Environment Fund (GEF). This project is deemed especially important as The Gambia, like many other countries in the sub-region, will continue to face enormous problems if an outlet is not found to free the country from depending on excessive use of biomass and imported fossil fuels for energy generation.

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Ethiopia Exporting 170MW Power to Neighboring Countries

The Ethiopian Electric Service (EES), a company leading the service delivery, said the nation is currently exporting 170MW power to neighboring countries. Sudan, Djibouti and Kenya are the three countries being provided with 100MW, 60MW and 10MW of electricity respectively, EES Executive Officer, Biteweded Gebrealif, told Walta Information Center. Ethiopia's current cumulative power generation capacity stands at 2370MW, which according to the officer is enough to meet the national demand. The power disconnection that occurs in the country is not because of power shortage but due to problems in the installation of power carrying grids, he said. The power is being exported at night, a time with no peak power requirements, and on the basis of a program designed not to jeopardize local consumption, he indicated.

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KenGen adds geothermal power to grid

The Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has added a further 70 megawatts of geothermal power to the national grid, pointing to lower electricity bills from reduced reliance on costly thermal power. This brings to 210MW the total steam power connected to the Kenyan electricity network from the multi-billion shilling Olkaria geothermal project—whose total capacity is 280MW. KenGen added the first batch of 70MW in July and a similar amount in August from the from the Sh115.4 billion ($1.3 billion) Olkaria project billed as Africa’s largest steam development. “We are looking at overall savings of about Sh28 billion per year in fuel cost charges when the final 70MW comes online in November,” said Energy secretary Davies Chirchir.

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Africa: Reliable Energy Critical to Sustainable Development in Africa - UN

Dr Kandeh Yumkela, Special Representative and Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative of the United Nations, said reliable energy was critical to sustainable development in Africa. Yumkela said this on Monday in Abuja at the Bamanga Tukur International Legacy lecture series. According to him, the value of energy on the African continent cannot be underestimated. He said that cheap, affordable and sustainable energy was critical to drive the economy of the African continent. Yumkela stressed the need for good political leadership that would evolve policies to reform energy system across the continent. This, he added, would evolve the right institutions and investment in infrastructure that would be long lasting. He said Africa had lots of energy resources which could be effectively utilised if the right political leadership was in place to evolve corresponding policies.

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Nigeria: Sugar Sector to Contribute 411MW of Electricity

The National Sugar Development Council, NSDC, said the sugar sector could contribute 411 megawatts of electricity to the national grid, in line with the federal government's quest to boost energy supply in the country. The NSDC Executive Secretary, Dr. Lateef Busari, disclosed this in Abuja when he led a delegation of the council on a visit to the Director General, National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii. Busari said the move by the council would also create over 115,000 direct jobs and production of 161 million litres of ethanol. He said, "Sugarcane is now seen as an energy crop through the production of sugar. The sugar industry will be able to generate electricity and also to produce ethanol which can be used in running vehicles."

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Ethiopia: Geothermal Plant to Be Operational in April - Ministry

Ethiopia is striving for the operation of the Aluto-Langano geothermal power plant with installed capacity of 70mw power in this fiscal year, the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy said. Energy Study and Development Follow-up Director, Gosaye Mengistie said over 78 percent of construction of the geothermal plant has so far been finalized. It is expected that the plant will commence operation in April. Launched in 2013, the expansion of the Aluto-Langano geothermal power plant will increase the country's generation capacity from geothermal to 70mw power from the current 7mw. The expansion project is financed by assistance from a 12 million dollar grant from the government of Japan, a 13 million dollar loan from the World Bank and 10 million dollars from the Ethiopian government.

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Tanzania: Kilosa Villagers Get Connected to Electricity

Kilosa — ABOUT 247 households in Msolwa village have been connected to electricity in the past two months following implementation of a project jointly funded by the Rural Energy Agency (REA) and TAZAMA pipeline. REA Technical Services Director, Eng Bengiel Msofe, said here on Wednesday that the project, which is also to benefit TAZAMA pumping station at Kisanga Ward in Msolwa village targets 300 households. "Under the project, a household pays 27,000/- only to be connected to electricity. The goal of the project is to have more rural residents access electricity," he said during a visit to inspect the projects. Msolwa Secondary School Manager, Father David Kalyosi, whose school is one of the project beneficiaries, expressed his delight with the power project as the school community now enjoys reliable energy.

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Kenya: Find Out Which Solar Heating System Best Suits Your Household

Homeowners and tenants wish to have hot showers with plentiful water, but even in some up-market properties across Kenya, this can be costly. This is because water heating using electricity accounts for more than a third of the average household power bill. In a household of five where the monthly electricity bill may be about Sh5,000, at least Sh1,650 goes to heating water, yet this need not be the case. Kenya receives an estimated 4-6 kilowatt-hours per square metre of solar energy daily, according to the Climate Innovation Centre. This is far more than the 2.3kWh consumed by an average household daily.

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Uganda Plans New Sugar Act

Kampala — The government is to introduce a new sugar control Act with the aim of ensuring sustainable, diversified, harmonized and competitive sugar subsector. Speaking in Kampala last week, the Minister of state for Industry and Technology Dr. James Mutende said the number of sugar companies in the country has increased from two to more than 23. However, the sector has been depending on the colonial Act which looked at only sugar production leaving out other by-products. He said the current Act of the 1938 gives chance to sugar cane companies to exploits sugar cane out growers because the price for sugar cane has been determined by the sugar price on the market yet the same companies are producing other products out of sugar cane such as power and Ethanol whose market prices are higher than that of sugar on the market.

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Nigeria: Power Transmission Sub-Sector Open to PPP Model - Wakil

Abuja — Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil has told top power sector stakeholders and investors in China that the transmission sub-sector of Nigerian power sector is opened to investors under a Public Private Partnership model. Speaking after holding talks with several firms in the power sector, the Minister said businessmen who invested in the Nigerian power sector are guaranteed of adequate returns and safety of their investments. Wakil in a statement in Abuja by his Special Assistant (Media), Olawale Rasheed urged the investors to "participate in the planned transmission project expansion in Nigeria.

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Energy efficiency audits up for grabs for SA businesses

Private sector South African companies can tap into a UK government fund supporting energy efficiency as rising electricity prices create increasingly challenging business operating conditions. In South Africa, the National Business Initiative (NBI) is promoting the fund of ZAR150 million (GBP8.6 million) from the UK’s Department of International Development (Dfid) to private-sector companies which “are still not proactively identifying opportunities to immediately enhance energy efficiency”, said Val Green, head of energy at the NBI.

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Kenya: Geothermal cuts electricity prices below Ruto’s target

The cost of electricity will this month drop by a lower margin than the government targeted after the injection of 140 megawatts of geothermal power into the national grid failed to have the promised impact. Electricity prices are expected to drop by about 12 per cent for homes that consume about 50 kilowatt hour (kWh) per month while middle class households will see bills drop by an estimated 8.5 per cent. Deputy President William Ruto had promised that electricity prices would go down by about 20 per cent from this month on reduced reliance on expensive thermal power following the injection of the additional geothermal power to the grid towards the end of July. Data from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) shows fuel cost adjustment, which is linked to amount of power generated from expensive fuel-driven generators, has dropped to Sh5.71 per kWh for bills to be settled at the end of the months from Sh7.22 the previous month.

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Africa: World Water Week - How to Plan Hydropower Stations for the Future

Stockholm — The hydropower plants of tomorrow won't only produce energy. Constructing dams will also provide new drinking water sources, irrigation for crops, and new waterways for transport. In the words of most of the scientists here at World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, they will be 'multipurpose'. This means that each plant design will be a one-off. And, more importantly, each will have to be designed through a multidisciplinary approach, bringing together social and environmental scientists with energy planners. This collaborative, holistic vision is shared by most of the hydropower industry stakeholders I have met during the world water week conference, where they gathered to discuss the future of their field.

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East Africa: EAC States Could Switch to Cleaner Fuels Effective January 2015

Plans for five countries in East Africa to adopt cleaner fuel standards in 2015 are likely to help absorb excess low-sulphur oil products coming out of Middle East and Indian refineries, where new capacity is being added, industry sources said. Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi are due to switch to the cleaner fuels from January 2015, according to documents posted on the websites of the regional intergovernmental organisation of East African Community (EAC) and the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep). The fuel switch would come just as refiners in OPEC countries and India install secondary units and new oil plants to produce ultra-low sulphur fuels that meet tighter European environmental standards, worsening a supply glut of the higher grades of transport and industrial fuels.

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Zambia: World Panel Zambia, Celebrates Official Launch of Solar Chargers

World Panel Zambia Limited has launched the durable World Panel solar panels that charge mobile phones as fast as a wall plug. Held at Lusaka's Taj Pamodzi Hotel, the launch was attended by senior Zambian government officials, COMESA free-trade group leaders, US embassy officers, African Development Bank officials and the CEOs of major Zambian mobile operators. The launch celebrated the first container of World Panels that arrived in World Panel Zambia's Lusaka warehouse. The CEO, Jacob Sikazwe, a well-known Zambian business leader who led the creation and then chaired Zambia's Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission said, "I've worked for many years to empower people in rural Africa to improve their economic well-being and opportunities in life. "

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S.Africa Department of Energy to arbitrate in renewable projects

South Africa seeks to increase the use of renewable power, adding 3,725MW of electricity to the grid by 2016, as it simultaneously aims to cut the use of coal produced power in meeting the country’s energy demand. The Department of Energy is said to ‘intervene’ in the commissioning of renewable energy projects to ensure that fair opportunities are created for local renewable firms in the tendering process. The Energy Minister said: “For the next round we want to intervene so that local players do have a fair share … Obviously we can do nothing about those that have already been decided on,” reported Bloomberg. The preferred bidders for the fourth round of contracts will be announced on November 24th later this year.

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Rwanda: Govt Pledges More Support to Renewable Energy Initiatives

Government will continue supporting initiatives that promote rural electrification and renewable energy in particular to ensure Rwandans access affordable power, Jules Ndenga, the in charge of planning and policy at the Ministry of Infrastructure, has said. Ndenga added that renewable energy sources like solar power are ideal for rural households, saying they are affordable and easy to install. "Off grid electricity, including solar power and other renewable energy sources, ease pressure on the national hydropower grid, and support government's efforts to ensure rural households access electricity as per the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II) objectives," Ndenga said.

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Ethiopia: In Search for Power, Ethiopia Turns to Growing Sugar

The government has embarked on an ambitious project to grow more sugar to meet that demand - but also to boost electrical production and to create sugar-based ethanol that could help reduce car emissions and cut down on fossil fuel imports. Ethiopia currently produces about 300,000 tonnes of sugar a year from three factories, at Wonchi, Metehera and Finchaa. The factories also generate 62 megawatts (MW) of electricity, half of which is used by the sugar plants themselves, with the rest sent to the national electric grid.

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Egypt: Private Sector Participation in Producing Renewable Energy Studied

The Cabinet under Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, in its meeting on Monday 25/8/2014, agreed a study on the involvement of private sector in producing new and renewable energy. The study, presented to the Cabinet by Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker el-Marakbi, depends on a policy of defining the feed-in tariff and power purchase agreement. The plan will be presented to the economic ministerial group to approve the financial and economic conditions as well as legally studying the purchase agreement so that it can be announced to investors. For his part, the Electricity Minister said that a lot of companies offered to produce electricity from solar and wind power.

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Kenya Pushes for More Steam Power

Kenya's Geothermal Development Company (GDC) has been given $142 million to generate more power from the country's natural steam pools writes JOHN SAMBO.Kenya is one of a few African countries, including Ethiopia and Zambia, which is exploring geothermal potential.The discovery of Kenya's geothermal energy resources dates back to the 1950s, when the first test wells were drilled at Olkaria, near Nairobi. According to the Oxford Group, a research group, Kenya is one of a handful of African countries, including Ethiopia and Zambia, which is exploring geothermal potential. The discovery of Kenya's geothermal energy resources dates back to the 1950s, when the first test wells were drilled at Olkaria, near Nairobi. Kenya completed its first geothermal power plant, a 15MW facility, in 1981 at the same location.

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