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The Tanzanian government is set to embark on an ambitious project whereby three regions will be connected to 400kV transmission lines from the Mbeya region.Under the project, four towns of Sumbawanga in Rukwa region, Mpanda in Katavi region, Kigoma and Nyakanazi in Kagera will be connected to the power lines, Tanzania Daily news reported.According to the deputy minister for energy and minerals, Dr Medard Kalemani, the project to commence in Q4 2017 is expected to be accomplished in July 2019."Rukwa region gets its supply of electricity from fuel and a little supply of power from neighbouring Zambia, which is not reliable ... But once the 400kV project is accomplished, power interruption in the region will be history," he said.
Rwandan-based energy company, Ignite Power, is confident to have been able to change the energy paradigm in Africa as it is offering a price plan for home solar products.Ignite's chief executive, Yariv Cohen, said: "We [have] completed phase 2 of 'Ignite Rwanda' project. With a network of 1,600 installers, operational efficiencies and economies of scale, we can make home solar more affordable than ever before."The launch marks the commencement of phase 3, on track to achieve our goal of 100% Clean Access."In recent years, the price of solar has been dropping. Solar home systems in Africa, however, have not followed suit, mainly because international companies found it difficult to reach scale and secure local financing, the company said.
Dangote Group has signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the Kano State Government for the proposed 100MW Dangote-Black Rhino Solar Power Plant.The formal agreement for the project, which is to be sited at Zakirai, in Gabasawa Local Government Area of the state, took place thursday, at the office of Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Usman Alhaji, in Kano.Dangote said the MoU was another milestone in the evolving partnership between Dangote Group and the state government in their determination to bring about the much needed improvement in the economy of the country.He described the situation of decadence in the power sector, which resulted in decline of the status of Kano, a once vibrant industrial and commercial city in the past three decades as sad.
In Southern Africa, NEO I SPV, a subsidiary of OnePower Lesotho has secured a $695,500 grant to facilitate preparations of a bankable business case for the development of the Lesotho 20MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant.Once developed, the PV plant is said to be the country’s first utility-scale solar PV project.The funds have been approved by the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), a fund managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB).Ousseynou Nakoulima, AfDB's director for renewable energy and energy efficiency, commented: “The Bank will support the structuring of the project and lead it to bankability. Our ambition is to turn it into a reference solar PV project for the SADC Region.”The AfDB explained that SEFA supports the sustainable energy agenda in Africa through grants to facilitate the preparation of medium-scale renewable energy generation and energy efficiency projects; equity investments to bridge the financing gap for small- and medium-scale renewable energy generation projects; and support to the public sector to improve the enabling environment for private investments in sustainable energy.
TKenya has taken several steps towards a green economy and developed a strategy to consolidate, scale up and embed green energy growth initiatives in national development goals.The Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan provides the overall policy framework to facilitate a transition to a green economy and outlines the need to mainstream and align green-economy initiatives across the economic, social and environmental spheres.In addition, Kenya has taken a significant step in developing a National Climate Change Response Strategy and Action Plan in the recognition that climate change is a threat to national development.This strategy has presented evidence on climate change and associated impacts and proposes a concerted programme of activities and actions to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, combat such impacts and provides an enabling implementation framework.
Kenya has raised Sh180 million from social impact investors to expand off-grid connections for rural populations over the past year.A report on crowd-funding for energy access by not-for-profit organisation Energy4Impact Africa showed private companies implementing low-cost alternative renewable energy projects in Kenya, conducted 2,000 campaigns on the Kiva crowd funding platform.The report says participating off-grid companies raised funds to buy solar equipment directly from manufacturers which, they brought to Kenya and sold at subsidised prices on a pay-as-you-go model.“Debt crowd-funding is the most promising and sustained growth of all energy access related crowd-funding activity.“Compared to 2015 that realised Sh340 million on zero-interest microloans, interest-bearing working capital loans grew significantly in 2016 accounting for almost half of all energy access related debt,” it says.
A UK-based private energy company, TuNur Ltd, has filed an application with the Tunisian ministry of energy, mines and renewable energy for a 4.5GW solar export project.The firm said in a statement that the project, which will be located at the newly established solar complex in the Sahara Desert – Southwest Tunisia – will expand to include programmes for local development and Tunisian industrial participation in the supply chain.“Part of the production will be available for local and national consumption, at the option of the Tunisian government,” the firm said.According to the statement, the generated power will be enough to power over 5 million European homes or fuel over 7 million electric vehicles.
The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has launched a programme that seeks to promote the professional and personal development of youth who are interested in pursuing careers in the energy sector.Through this programme, leading women in the energy sector are given the platform to connect with senior students at South African Universities and young professionals currently entering the energy sector.Dubbed ‘The WindAc Africa Mentoring Programme’, it aims to proactively address issues of gender and transformation in the wind sector by connecting both female and male students with exclusively female mentors. The wind association highlighted that this programme ambitiously moves to specifically grow future energy leaders within the wind sector and to address issues of transformation in the renewable energy sector generally.
The World Bank recently added substantial impetus to the wave of off-grid solar energy projects sweeping across Sub-Saharan Africa. The world’s preeminent multilateral development bank on July 26 approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit equivalent to USD150 million to help fund delivery of modern energy services via off-grid solar in the East African nation.Dubbed, the “Off-grid Solar Access Project for Underserved Counties”, the initiative is expected to provide modern, off-grid solar electricity services to an estimated 1.3 million people in 277,000 households across 14 counties.The project focus is on empowering communities and residents by helping develop human resource capacity, as well as providing sustainable, emissions-free and environmentally friendly energy – two pillars upon which they can build.As the World Bank explains: “The Kenya Off-Grid Solar Access Project for Underserved Counties will reach homes, schools, health centers, with maximum private sector involvement and investment to ensure sustainability.” Supporting Kenya’s North Eastern Development Initiative, 10 of the counties are located in the north and northeastern parts of the country.
Chinese company Jereh Group has announced it has won a contract for two further sections of a geothermal power plant at Olkaria in Nigeria for state-owned power company KenGen.KenGen is the largest publicly traded state-owned power company in Kenya. It awarded a consortium, led by Yantai Jereh Petroleum Equipment & Technologies Co, Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jereh Group, and local contractor H-Young & Company (East Africa) Ltd, the contract to build two sections of a wellhead geothermal power plant in Olkaria.Under the contract, the consortium will carry out the project design, procurement and construction, while the financing will be provided by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Standard Bank of South Africa (Kenya).
Following a study revealing that renewable energy, particularly solar, is dominating rural Tanzania, there are now plans to open a training centre.The director of the Innovative Technology and Energy Centre (ITEC), Dr Herb Rhee, has announced plans to open a training centre for renewable energy technology in Arusha, Tanzania.According to local media, Tanzania Standard, Dr Rhee said the renewable energy technology centre will open doors in August this year, and will have the capacity to train 1,000 students per year.Renewable energy technology training centreAccording to media, Dr Rhee stated that they are also planning to construct power transmission grids for use of solar power in rural areas."The centre, aimed at energy development, will be situated at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology in Arusha. Also, we have opened two centres but at small-scale at Karatu and Dodoma," he said.Media quoted him saying that they have already trained 300 students from various secondary schools and 200 primary and secondary school teachers in Arusha on Information and Communication Technology (ICT), to increase energy and power experts in rural areas.
The Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) has announced Africa’s first residential project that has met the EDGE resource-efficiency standard, which will be receiving EDGE final certification.According to a press release, the Fourleaf Estate residential development located in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape Province, is now 29% more energy efficient, 25% more water efficient and boasts up to 43% reduction in the energy used to make construction materials.The Fourleaf Estate residential project is funded by the Housing Impact Fund of South Africa (HIFSA) and managed by the Development Impact Funds team within Old Mutual Alternative Investments. Lenore Cairncross, who has been leading the EDGE certification process for HIFSA’s new housing developments, said: “As the fund manager for this project, Old Mutual is delighted to be at the forefront of green housing developments by bringing the first EDGE-certified residential project to the market in Africa.”“Sustainability is high on the agenda of our clients. As fund managers, we can provide a tangible indicator of green environmental performance by encouraging EDGE certification on our housing developments,” Cairncross added.
Renewable energy employs 9.8 million people worldwide, says IRENA report
A competition run by Access Power called the 'Access Co-Development Facility' (ACF) has officially closed. Five entrepreneurs have made it as the runner ups for the innovative $7 million funding and support platform for renewable energy projects in Africa.According to a company statement, the projects were selected from a pool of 82 qualifying projects from across the continent, representing a full spectrum of renewable energy technologies.The facility is now on its third edition this year and is being deployed in partnership with EREN Renewable Energy. The five shortlisted projects include:Zimbabwe: 75MW Kadoma Solar PV project,Tanzania: 30MW Kondoa Solar PV project,Rwanda: 9,7MW Rukarara Hydro project,Ethiopia: 75MW Beseka Solar project,Ghana: 48MW Winneba Wind project.The successfully shortlisted projects will progress to the final stage of the evaluation process where they will have the opportunity to present their projects to a panel of industry experts, comprised of senior representatives from Power Africa, InfraCo Africa, Proparco, the Dutch Development Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation and Access Power at the Africa Energy Forum in Copenhagen on June 7, 2017.A maximum of three projects will be selected to win a share of the prize.
Most visitors to Hell’s Gate national park, 75km north-west of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, go there to see the wildlife and rock formations. But they usually leave with an additional memory: the intense geothermal activity after which the park is named.The Kenyan government has been harnessing this clean energy source for decades. Kenya Electricity Generating Company, the government-controlled company that produces about 75 per cent of the country’s power, reckons that 47 per cent of Kenya’s energy consumption is from geothermal. Hydro accounts for 39 per cent, conventional coal, gas and oil-fired generators 13 per cent and wind 1 per cent. Few countries in sub-Saharan Africa are as lucky as Kenya to have such a large supply of reliable clean energy. The challenge facing not only east Africa’s dominant economy but the whole continent is the extent to which it can drive its economic development through producing clean energy.
Ethiopia says it has earned over $165m in revenue for sale of electric power over the last 10 months. Out of the amount, $49m was from supply to neighbouring Sudan and Djibouti.The state-affiliated FANA broadcasting corporate (FBC) quoted an official with the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity as saying the amount fell short of the country’s target of $200m.According to FBC, the suppliers were meeting local power demands and had plans to sell electric power to other countries as more power generating units are completed. It was not exactly clear which other entities were customers of Ethiopia.Beside Sudan and Djibouti, Kenya and Tanzania are also in the process of getting power from Ethiopia. A 400MW deal has been reached with Tanzania and Kenya is also looking to buy an estimated 200MW to compliment its energy.Work on the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) is past the 50% mark, it is estimated that it will produce over 6,400MW of power – and will have the pride of being the largest on the continent.Ethiopia is in line to become the subregion’s leading power exporter and renewable energy hub on the continent. A combination of their power generating sources – hydroelectric, geothermal, wind and solar energies – is estimated at 60,000MW.
Xago Africa is developing a 40-MW solar power project in Siaya County. Its work with Alevo to add integrated battery storage to utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) capacity is supported by the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), which announced the signing of a grant for the scheme last month. The project will be one of the first utility-scale battery storage installations in Africa, according to the announcement.Alevo said on Wednesday that a USD-1.4-million (EUR 1.3m) technical study backed by USTDA will also provide detailed analytics for the Kenyan power system and a roadmap to help advance the energy storage market in the country.
The human being has been taking advantage of hydro-power as a source of energy for centuries. However, in the late 19th century, hydro-power became a source for generating electricity. The first hydroelectric power plant was built at Niagara Falls in 1879 designed by the inventor Nicola Tesla.The 6th World Hydro-power Congress, a landmark event that came to Africa for the first time, was held in Addis Ababa last week. Dealing with issues related to clean and sustainable energy development, the Congress primarily stressed out the fact that poverty reduction and prosperity are unthinkable without universal access to electricity.Hydro-power, nowadays, is an advanced and cost competitive renewable energy source. It plays an important role in today's electricity mix, contributing to more than 16 percent of electricity generation worldwide and about 85 percent of global renewable electricity.The contribution of hydro-power in the energy mix is thus twofold: the primary benefit is its provision of clean, renewable electricity, while it simultaneously enables other renewable efforts as it serves for the reduction of carbon from the environment. Besides, it is affirmed that hydro-power is the only renewable energy source that has the potential to expand access to electricity to large populations.
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Kenya has arguably been making inroads as far as power connectivity in many parts of the country is concerned. This has been on diverse energy sources such as the World Bank-funded Last-Mile (main grid connectivity) project in the remotest of places, wind energy plants and other renewable energy sources. The government, through the Rural Electrification Authority which is the implementing agency in this project, has signed a $USD 135 Million solar energy pact with the China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Cooperation to put up a 55-megawatt plant in Garissa, a north-eastern town in Kenya. The project, which shall sit on 85 hectares of land in Garissa, shall be a power plant which is expected to generate 76,470 annual megawatt hours (to be fed to the national grid) which is sufficient to power 625,000 homes while at the same time, reducing tremendously, carbon emissions by 64,190 tonnes per year and saving coal consumption by 25,000 tonnes annually. The Chinese are financing the project with Kenya’s positioning as a strategic clean energy source in mind, as the plant is expected to facilitate massive technology and skill-exchange between countries in the region, and internationally.
Arusha — A solar energy firm, Zola Tanzania, intends to extend its services to various parts of the country so that more people are connected to the cheap and renewable energy.Speaking during the launching of two sales outlets in Arusha city, the company's managing director, Ms Nena Sanderson, said currently they have 35,650 clients across the country."We are facing a run down of challenges but our products are preferred because of their quality," she said as the sales points were opened in Sekei and Sombetini wards in the city.Another official, Mr Samaladu Zayumba, said the solar energy gadgets would be connected to the homes as well as the business areas, adding that they were affordable.
The Government of Uganda is tapping into renewable energy resources to be able to extend power to off the grid areas in Uganda.Mr. John Tumuhimbise, the commissioner renewable energy resources at the ministry of Energy, while speaking at the new village power offices in Kampala early in the week, said government has set up a renewable energy policy framework which sets policies for increasing uptake of renewable energy in the country. The overall objective of this policy is to make renewable energy an alternative for energy sources.“We have a standardized power purchase agreement for renewable energy projects of up to 20 megawatts to reduce on the transactional costs involved in small projects,” he said.The government is also supporting association of renewable energy providers to scale up their work and also address major challenges in the market such as the poor quality of products and build technological capacity. One such provider is Village Power. The firm’s solar solutions for rural electrification provides affordable, sustainable and reliable electricity to off-grid areas and facilitate access to clean light, safe water, communication, information, medication and various business opportunities.Mr. Tumuhimbise said Village Power’s work in Uganda is in line with the ministry’s goals, vision, mission and larger mandate. “Village Power’s work in Uganda has helped thousands of people live better lives economically and socially,” he said.
It is Uganda’s first grid-connected solar plant as the country looks to raise power generation capacity to 1,500MW by 2020, from the current 850MW. The power plant has the potential to increase its net output capacity by a further 20MW of solar energy. “We are ready to double generation capacity as soon as the national grid is ready,” David Corchia, Eren’s chief executive, said.“We are really proud to have the project here in Soroti, some of us had even lost hope in expanding our businesses,” said 30-year-old Daniel Owundo, who owns a restaurant in the outskirts of Soroti, plagued by soaring costs of using a diesel-powered generator.According to Owundo, for years, government has promised but not delivered electricity to his small township of Ongori, located some 10km from the main town. Since the connection of solar, Owundu has retired his generator and is looking forward to introducing a fast food section in his restaurant, which has previously concentrated on only local dishes.More people are visiting this area now, business is picking up,” Owundu said. The government of Uganda has been keen to develop alternative energy sources to diversify away from its hydropower plants, which are currently beset by unstable water levels blamed on dry spells and changing weather patterns.
Chikwawa — The Sustainable Rural Growth and Development Initiative (SRGDI) says its K20million solar powered irrigation scheme to be constructed in Chikwawa will improve the economic status of the youths in the district. The revelation was made Tuesday during a Youth and Sports Technical Working Committee Meeting which was held at the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) office. The organization, with funding from IM Swedish Development Partners is implementing a three year 'Youth Economic and Social Actions' (YESA) Project in Traditional Authorities (T/As) Maseya and Lundu. SRGDI's District Coordinator, Ian Sukali said his organization noted that Chikwawa had the potential of utilizing available resources such as land and water to improve the economic status of the youths hence the coming in of the multi-million solar powered irrigation scheme.
NAIROBI, KENYA: Engagement of the private sector has been highlighted as one of the key strategies in promoting renewable energy access among displaced populations. The recommendation was made during an expert workshop organised by the Moving Energy Initiative on 27 April in Nairobi.The workshop that brought together experts from government, the UN, international and local NGOs and private sector specialists in renewable energy, sought to identify how the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya could benefit from improved energy access and how energy interventions could be structured to align with national energy priorities and encourage the growth of local energy markets.
After nine long years of negotiation and preparation, 2 ½ years of construction including the installation of 365 wind turbines, the end of the incredible Lake Turkana Wind farm journey is just over the horizon.In June 2017, the 310 MW capacity Lake Turkana Wind farm will be ready for full commercial production. The goal? Providing the whole of Kenya with low cost wind power to the national grid equivalent to around 16 percent of the country’s current installed electricity generating capacity over the next 20 years.A moment of celebration surely, as the single largest private investment in Kenya’s history, but for Phylip Leferink, General Manager, and everyone involved in the project, the end of this journey is really only the beginning.“When we finish and Lake Turkana is online of course there will be some celebration, but we enter a new phase. Construction work may be over, but the work really is just beginning as we need to operate it over the next 20 years.”
Global energy solutions provider, GE has announced that it will be supplying the equipment that is required for work on the 400MW Bridge Power project in Tema, Ghana. According to the company the project will be implemented in two phases with the first 200MW expected to come on-stream by end of this year.Phase one of the project will see the installation of five gas turbines and one purpose built GE steam turbine capable of generating 200MW of power.The second phase of the project will see the installation of another batch of four gas turbines and one purpose-built GE steam turbine to add additional 200MW of power.The Bridge Power project, which is funded by the EPL Consortium– made up of GE Power, Endeavor Energy, and Sage– can be powered by either LPG, natural gas, or diesel, media reported.According to Ghana News, GE's chief executive officer for sub-Saharan Africa, Leslie Nelson, said: “Our understanding of Ghana’s long-term vision for its power sector is built on having reasonably priced, reliable, and diversified energy. The Bridge Power project checks all those boxes.” “Moreover, the project has been specifically designed to switch to indigenous natural gas once available, which will help accelerate the development of Ghana’s natural gas reserves,” Nelson added.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Board of Directors has approved a concessional loan of US$25mn to fund the Segou Solar PV Project, which is set to be Mali’s first utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant. The project will be funded by the Program for Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP) of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), with co-financing from the AfDB (US$8.4mn) and International Finance Corporation (US$8.4mn). The project consists of the design, construction, and operations of a 33 MW Power Plant. The transformational project will lead to a direct increase in the country’s installed capacity from a renewable resource and will generate 52.7 GWh annually (approximately 10 per cent of the current generation capacity) over 25 years for a lifetime output of 1,316.75 GWh. Introducing utility-scale solar PV as an energy source will enable Mali to harness its abundant solar energy potential, diversify the country’s energy mix, and increase access to cleaner energy for its citizens. The project’s specific business model is a potential energy game-changer for Mali and indeed for all of West Africa. The project is a demonstration of the significant role that concessional climate finance can play in mitigating project specific risks and in addressing barriers that would otherwise hinder private sector involvement in renewable energy projects.
On Wednesday, Enel Green Power announced through its subsidiary Enel Green Power RSA, that its 111MW Gibson Bay wind farm has commenced commercial operation. Located in South Africa's Eastern Cape province, the wind farm is capable of generating around 420GWh per year, equivalent to the annual consumption needs of around 131 thousand households while avoiding the emission of over 383 thousand tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.Country Manager in South Africa, William Price, said: “Gibson Bay is the second wind farm we have brought to life in South Africa, our first being Nojoli, further demonstrating our commitment to a low-carbon energy future. "Taking the lead in renewable energy gives South Africa the opportunity to become a key global player in this growing industry, while investment in renewables provides good job opportunities and has brought new skills into the country. We are proud to offer a strong renewable energy generation base.”
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