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  • Riders on the storm: Ethiopia bids to become wind capital of Africa
  • The Kuwait Development Fund has granted a $27 million loan to the Geothermal Energy Development Office of Djibouti.
  • Uganda:Plant refinancing leading to more hydroelectric power in Uganda
  • Tanzania Wins U.S.$21.7 Million From Climate Investment Funds to Advance Geothermal Exploration and Transform Its Energy Sector
  • Uganda: KIU Partners With Top Spanish University
  • Algeria seen as African leader for renewable energy
  • Kenya:Kengen adds 80MW to national grid
  • East Africa Preview: Future Energy Uganda
  • Namibia: 5MW wind project near to completion
  • Malawi:Renew'n'Able Malawi in top-of-mind awareness on green energy
  • Uganda: Shell plans to spend $1b a year on clean energy by 2020
  • Zimbabwe:Zim solar energy projects to receive funding
  • Uganda emerges next energy investment destination
  • East Africa:Why solar presents a bright future for East Africa
  • Kenya:Solar powered unit launched in JKIA
  • Kenyan invents, patents “world’s first” pedal boat
  • Nigeria can generate 60,000mw by 2050 –Expert
  • Kenya:Solar energy powers clean water, business opportunities for refugees
  • Uganda:Sun24 brings solar power to Uganda's poorest
  • Ghana: Off-grid initiatives drives livelihood transformation
  • Kenya’s solar wakes up: 160 MW under development
  • Tanzania:Renewable Energy Projects Are Uplifting Maasai Women
  • Zimbabwe: Green Economy - Tool for Sustainable Development
  • South Africa: Silo solar PV plant launches in SA
  • Mozambique to develop first solar PV power plant
  • Nigeria:Renewable energy employs 15,000 in Nigeria, others, says agency
  • Ghana:First of its kind, solar energy laboratory to be built in RMU

  • Riders on the storm: Ethiopia bids to become wind capital of Africa

    Ethiopia is mid-way through a six-month state of emergency, but its renewable energy sector continues to make rapid progress.The East African state has enjoyed a decade of strong growth, giving rise to profitable industries, new infrastructure, and showpiece summits.To sustain this momentum, Ethiopia's government is pressing ahead with ambitious development plans, and clean energy is core to the mission.Ethiopia was among the most daring signatories to the Paris Agreement on climate change, committing to cut carbon emissions by 64% by 2030. The government has ploughed billions of dollars into hydropower megaprojects such as the Grand Renaissance Dam -- which will be the largest dam in Africa -- and the freshly-inaugurated Gibe III Dam.The next target is to become the wind power capital of Africa.

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    The Kuwait Development Fund has granted a $27 million loan to the Geothermal Energy Development Office of Djibouti

    Reported last week, Kuwait has granted funding of $27 million to support the geothermal development program in Djibouti, Africa.This was reported in a statement from the Djiboutian Geothermal Energy Development Office (ODDEG). According to the statement, The Kuwaiti Development Fund (FKD) will provide a $27 million loan for the drilling of 10 wells (eight production boreholes and two re-injection boreholes) and a geothermal power plant with a capacity of 15 MW by the year 2021.The agreement was signed last week and is hailed by both sides as helping to propel the national geothermal development program of Djibouti.“The signing of this agreement is mainly the result of two weeks of intensive work between the FKD and ODDEG officials, who focused on the financial and technical evaluation of the Gale-Le-Koma geothermal project in the region. Lake Assal, located in the north of Djibouti.Launched in October 2016 by Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh, the project has been fully funded by the Djibouti government and executed by the ODDEG. .

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    Uganda:Plant refinancing leading to more hydroelectric power in Uganda

    A US$29.3 Million refinancing package offered by the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and Dutch development bank FMO will allow for further investments into Uganda's hydroelectric power sector by the Africa Renewable Energy Fund.The new EAIF/FMO loan carries a 12-year term and will specifically be used by the Africa Renewable Energy Fund (AREF) to repay the balance of the original loan and other debt associated with the 13-MW Bugoye hydropower project."The Bugoye refinancing is one of the first refinancings for small hydro projects on the continent and is an important milestone for Uganda's renewable energy sector," said Nicholas Tatrallyay, investment manager for Berkeley Energy. Berkeley Energy manages AREFThe deal was undertaken by EAIF's managers, Investec Asset Management (IAM), with EAIF and FMO each contributing half to the financing."In refinancing Bugoye, EAIF and FMO are freeing up capital that AREF will use to develop greenfield renewable power stations," IAM representative Nazmeera Moola said. "That will add to Uganda's economic potential by increasing the country's generation capacity, and creating new jobs in construction and plant operation."

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    Tanzania Wins U.S.$21.7 Million From Climate Investment Funds to Advance Geothermal Exploration and Transform Its Energy Sector

    The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) has approved US $21.7 million for the United Republic of Tanzania to finance its Geothermal Energy Development Project.The project serves as a significant step in advancing the country's plans to transform its national economy bolstered by an affordable and baseload sustainable energy technology. It will develop the Ngozi geothermal steam field in southwestern Tanzania and ultimately showcase the technology's broader potential in the country's energy transformation.The project is funded under the CIF's Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program (SREP) and will receive US $ 5 million as loan and US$16.73 million in grant resources to be implemented by AfDB.Tanzania has made significant economic and social progress over the past 20 years and is today one of Sub-Saharan Africa's best economic performers. However, the country still wrestles with poverty and an under-developed energy sector, with half of its electricity being generated by fossil-based technologies and half from hydro.The country has committed to transforming its energy sector through a more diversified mix of technologies tapping into its renewable resources. Geothermal energy is particularly a promising technology for the country, which has around 15 geothermal sites with an untapped estimated potential of 650 megawatts (MW). A sixth of this potential can be developed in the Ngozi site.

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    Uganda: KIU Partners With Top Spanish University

    Kampala International University (KIU) has partnered with the Carlos III University of Madrid in Spain to introduce learners to new innovations in various sectors.Addressing the media last week, KIU vice chancellor Dr Mouhamad Mpezamihigo said they went into this partnership as part of their continued emphasis on research and innovations in their training."It is one of the top universities in Spain with regard to the number of students. The Carlos III International School aims to promote international non-European exchange programmes," Dr Mpezamihigo said.The Spanish university offers programmes in Economics and business, engineering, law, communication, social Sciences and humanities; Dr Mpezamihigo said the partnership would enable students at the two institutions carry out internships with various companies in the two countries.Some of the research interests that are part of the partnership include smart language translation, renewable energy, organic therapies in livestock production, diagnostic health tools as well as water management.

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    Algeria seen as African leader for renewable energy

    GE sponsored a conference in regional wind and solar development, highlighting Algeria's strategy to build a greener energy sector.uly 10 (UPI) -- Algeria is ahead of the curve when it comes to renewable energy potential in Africa and General Electric aims to ride that momentum, a regional manager said.GE sponsored a conference on renewable energy in the African sector, highlighting Algeria's lead in wind and solar power developments. By 2030, the government aims to install about 22,000 megawatts of renewable power, which would be about eight times the level of natural gas consumption by today's standards.Touffik Fredj, the regional chairman and CEO for GE, said that, for its size, Algeria has a great capacity for wind energy."The country is heavily involved in energy transition and the integration of renewable energies," he said in a statement. "We look forward to seeing this transition happen and thereby reinforcing our commitment to support the government's ambitious renewable energy development plan."

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    Kenya:Kengen adds 80MW to national grid

    Kengen has pumped an extra 80 Megawatts to the national grid to deal with the rising demand for power across the country. Wellhead generators technology which was introduced in geothermal rich area of Olkaria in Naivasha has been identified as one such innovation that has increased power production. According to the Energy CS Charles Keter, the technology has helped to partly recoup the enormous investment put in drilling the geothermal wells. The CS praised the achievement on the 80mw wellheads technology noting that it cemented the company's leading position of renewable energy to meet national power requirements. "I am glad to note that to date, four successful seminars have been held with over 180 innovation initiatives undergoing implementation," he said. On his part, KENGEN MD Albert Mugo said the company had made up to Sh1B in cost-savings measures in the last financial year alone owing to employee-driven innovation. Mugo said the company has realized increased revenue generation by implementing innovative solutions geared towards creating sustainable value for the fast evolving energy sector.

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    East Africa Preview: Future Energy Uganda

    In a recent World Bank study on the “Financial Viability of Electricity Sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa”, Uganda lists as one of only two countries (together with Seychelles) who have a financially viable electricity sector. According to the study, “although these results should be looked at in context, these two countries have continued to display good operational performance. Uganda has made substantial progress in reducing transmission and distribution losses.”Ralph Nyakabwa-Atwoki, technical director at Sustenersol Uganda Ltd and advisory board member of the Future Energy Uganda conference, spoke with ESI Africa to survey Uganda’s marching progress.One cannot adequately describe Uganda’s current energy sector without remembering the period of 1992–2013 during which between 355,000 and 574,000 consumers were connected to the national grid. At the same time, the country experienced an unprecedented power shortage with consumers facing up to 24-hour load shedding and its attendant disruption of productive power systems leading to industrial unrest, huge revenue losses, restricted load growth.The current national energy sector is comparatively an ‘Energy Garden of Eden’, with nearly one million consumers connected to the grid powered by approximately 1,000MW, generated by an energy mix composed of large, small hydropower, cogeneration and thermal stations including private solar installations.The above rosy picture is further guaranteed by: i) Two large hydropower generation projects totalling 783MW at various stages of construction (Karuma, 600MW at 44% and Isimba, 183MW at 66%) and slated for 2018/19 and August this year, respectively; and ii) The accelerated development of 10 small hydropower projects supported by Global Energy Transfer Feed-in-Tariff (GET FiT) Programme’s Uganda Programme, officially launched on 31 May 2013 and supported financially by a multi-prong consortium of development partners.2 These stations will produce a total of 82.0MWe.

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    Namibia: 5MW wind project near to completion

    In Southern Africa, the 5MW Ombepo Wind Farm is expected to be connected to Namibia’s national electricity grid by the end of this month.Speaking to The Namibian, project manager Jan-Barend Scheepers said: “We have erected the first four wind turbines, and work is in progress to lift another one.”He added: “Although it was very difficult to get the wind turbine components on site, it was an absolute pleasure working with Namport to get all parts on site.”The construction of the $13.6 million wind power project at Lüderitz is being built by Namibia-registered company, Innosun Energy Holdings, owned by Namibian and French investors.he Namibian reported that the Lüderitz Town Council holds a 5% stake, started in mid-2016.Scheepers noted that the project developers, in terms of the power supply agreement, charge the national power utility, NamPower, per unit of electricity fed into the national grid.“The cost of per unit electricity is cheap,” he said.Having created an estimated 70 local jobs, Innosun will build a third 5MW solar park at Aussenkehr, on the banks of the Orange River, as well as a second wind farm to supply Namdeb.“One good thing of localising power supply is that it reduces energy loss along the grid,” Scheepers said.

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    Malawi:Renew'n'Able Malawi in top-of-mind awareness on green energy

    Renew’n’Able Malawi—a non-governmental organization working towards ensuring that everyone has access to clean energy in Malawi by 2030—says communities are a critical player in the generation of green energy in the country.The organization’s communications and advocacy officer, Wonderful Mkhutche, said during a training for stakeholders in the capital Lilongwe Monday that while strides for generation of green and clean energy was making headway progress, there was still more to be done.The training, made possible with funding from Hivos International, was done under the project Mphamvu Now.He told Nyasa Times that their department is advocating for off-grid sources of energy that can be made from locally available resources including leaves, saw dust and used paper.“There is more demand for energy now than it was the case a few year years ago. Our aim is that we should complement the already available providers of energy like ESCOM so that we ease the energy crisis in the country,” said Mkhutche.According to Mkhutche, energy is critical to the development of every country hence the need to take it seriously.“Everyone should be talking about the energy crisis that has befallen us as a country just as we have done with other crises like HIV/AIDS,” he said.Some of the objectives of Mphamvu Now project include the promotion of access to sustainable energy for all Malawians and facilitation of better understanding of energy concepts and technologies in local languages.

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    Uganda: Shell plans to spend $1b a year on clean energy by 2020

    Royal Dutch Shell plans to spend as much as $1 billion a year on its New Energies division as the transition toward renewable power and electric cars accelerates.“In some parts of the world we are beginning to see battery electric cars starting to gain consumer acceptance” while wind and solar costs are falling fast, Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden said in a speech in Istanbul on Monday. “All of this is good news for the world and must accelerate,” while still offering opportunities for producers of fossil fuels. Shell sees opportunities in hydrogen fuel-cells, liquefied natural gas and next-generation biofuels for air travel, shipping and heavy freight — areas of transport for which batteries aren’t adequate. The intermittent nature of wind and solar energy means power plants fired by natural gas will have a long-term role, Van Beurden said.Van Beurden was addressing the World Petroleum Congress — a gathering of ministers and CEOs from some of the largest oil producers — at a time when the accelerating shift to clean energy is raising questions about their long-term business models. While Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Saudi Arabian Oil Co. boss Amin Nasser said oil and gas will be dominant for decades to come, Van Beurden highlighted the potential for some of the fastest-growing nations to leapfrog straight to a cleaner energy mix.“When you consider the areas of the world where energy demand is still to expand, like Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, there is a huge opportunity,” Van Beurden said. “These are areas that are not, on the whole, locked in to a coal-driven system. There is the potential for them to shift more directly onto a less energy-intensive pathway to development.”

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    Zimbabwe:Zim solar energy projects to receive funding

    The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) has announced that it will make available additional funding for solar energy projects in Zimbabwe.The AECF fund consultant, Oliver Bowler, told The Herald Business that funding will be made available to existing Zimbabwean solar energy projects aimed at solar businesses so that they can scale-up to profitable levels.The media reported that the organisation has already made a $10 million commitment towards solar energy projects in four African countries including Zimbabwe this year."The funding will be used to scale businesses so that they can reach more customers and improve people's lives in rural areas,” Bowler said.He added: "Because we will do this in several investments to many companies we will therefore create a wider market which is investment-ready."This will make investors feel safe and comfortable in committing their fund for a financial and social return in the solar household system market."owler said the fund will provide grants from $250,000 to $1,5 million for the development of different solar projects."These will be invested into businesses so that they can grow and develop their business models to be more profitable and make a greater impact for socio-economic and gender factors," Bowler said.AECF portfolio manager Victor Ndiege highlighted that the Fund is targeting both start-up and established companies, adding the funding tenure is up to five years.Ndiege said: "In 2010 we introduced a renewable energy portfolio and specifically for this session we have come to promote renewable energy projects which are focusing on four countries across Africa namely Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Sierra Leone.

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    Uganda emerges next energy investment destination

    UGANDA’S immense power potential and enormous energy investment opportunities will be under the spotlight in September when stakeholders and decision makers converge for the inaugural Future Energy Uganda.The capital city Kampala will host the event from the 12th -13th.“The numbers in Uganda’s energy sector speak for themselves: the country is without a doubt the next energy investment destination,” said Future Energy Uganda event director Le-ann Hare-Keymer.She explained Uganda aimed to grow installed capacity from 868MW to 4100MW, 2002km of transmission lines and 100 percent of household electrification – all by 2030, as part of projects worth US$92 billion.Furthermore, IPPs account for 58 percent of generation capacity which is set to grow as a number of renewable energy projects develop.“Future Energy Uganda aims to facilitate and fast track the progression and growth of the energy sector,” Hare-Keymer said.The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development supports the two-day conference.“We welcome this initiative, realising that it fits within our plans of providing adequate and reliable energy for social and economic development of our country. we recognise the importance and role power plays in fulfilling the industrial, economic and social potential of Uganda,” said Minister of State for Energy, Simon D’Ujanga.In a recent World Bank study on the “Financial Viability of Electricity Sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa”, Uganda was reported as one of only twocountries (together with Seychelles) with a financially viable electricity sector. Spintelligent, a multi-award-winning Cape Town-based exhibition and conference producer, is organizing Future Energy Uganda./li>

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    East Africa:Why solar presents a bright future for East Africa

    Solar projects are springing up in every corner of the globe, and it's no surprise as this renewable power technology has proven itself at all scales. From powering individual homes to utility-scale solar parks with thousands of panels, solar generates electricity in a wide variety of applications. This technology continues to prove its cost effectiveness for businesses, in particular as a cheaper, cleaner option to polluting diesel. A great example is Williamson Tea's solar PV system which provides approximately 30 per cent of the factory's electricity needs. When the national grid is working, the solar power system works in parallel with the grid and reduces the amount of grid electricity used. When the grid is down, the solar power system works together with the backup diesel generators, significantly reducing the amount of diesel consumed. Even the largest oil companies grudgingly agree that power captured from the sun is the world's fastest growing source of energy. According to the recent Renewables Global Status Report (REN21), at least 75 GW of solar PV capacity was added worldwide in 2016 which is equivalent to 31,000 solar panels every hour. As solar proliferates, more and more people are now waking up to the power of the sun in order to generate electricity independently. Especially for off-grid systems, solar is democratising energy and making energy more accessible for all: solar is literally giving power to the people! In East Africa, rows of solar panels mounted on the ground, on roof spaces and even on carports, are helping to reduce reliance on energy from the grid. These commercial scale systems reduce energy costs in the manufacturing, mining and retail sectors. Consuming solar electricity during the day means less energy is used from the grid, and the resulting lower operating costs ensure greater savings and greater competitiveness for the customer. ALSO READ: Opinion: Cross-border trading good for East African region Power-hungry East Africa East Africa needs power, and to be specific, it needs more consistent, reliable sources of power. Relying on diesel generators is financially and environmentally unsustainable, even in those circumstances where they are only used for backup. Bright sun and falling solar prices has made solar competitive with the grid, meaning that solar is a key technological ally for governments wanting lower cost power supplies for their citizens and businesses. Throughout East Africa, national power infrastructure needs massive investment to turn it into a modern reliable network, capable of supplying enough power to meet demand. Inevitably this also means that new sources of supply need to be found. The engineering challenge is on a continental scale and it is clear East Africa needs new power solutions, and fast.

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    Kenya:Solar powered unit launched in JKIA

    Swissport Kenya Limited has unveiled Kenya’s first solar-powered cargo facility at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Nairobi aimed at meeting 30 per cent of the facility’s energy demand.The 104KWp solar PV is as a result of a partnership WITH Cargo firm, Mettle Solar Ofgen and GIZ aimed at enhancing environmental sustainability. It covers 832 square metres.“The solar power plant will contribute to a healthier environment now and our clients will enjoy cheaper solar electricity without substantial upfront capital investment,” chief operating officer Swissport Kenya Limited Rachael Ndegwa said. The Solar PV project consists of a mounting system, a display of 4 three phase grid tied inverters and 360 Canadian & JA 290 watt-peak polycrystalline modules.Ndegwa added that the firm is working towards introducing a mix of energy sources to all its facilities.Speaking during the unveiling event at the Swissport head office, Energy Regulatory Commission Acting Director General, Pavel Oimeke urged other firms to build capacity and knowledge in advanced technology in renewable energy as this will help to generate more innovations for the benefit of the Kenyan market.According to the US department of Energy, buildings that incorporate solar energy systems use up to 70 per cent less electricity than conventional systems.Swissport is the world largest ground handling and cargo firm handling approximately 4.3 million tons annually across 280 stations in 48 countries spread across five continents, the firm has 133 warehouses.

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    Kenyan invents, patents “world’s first” pedal boat

    As countries take steps to go green with the aim of reducing emissions, innovations that are powered by alternative means other than fossil fuels are on the rise.Kenya is among nations that have witnessed tremendous growth in the use of renewable energy such as wind, solar and geothermal. Researchers and start-ups as well as students in institutions of higher learning are capitalizing on alternative sources of energy to tailor make products for specific areas.It is in this vein that Thaddeus Lebanon Muchuma, a 71 year old retired technician from Kakamega County, developed a non-motorized boat that is pedaled to sail from one spot to another.The calm and jovial innovator whose state of physical fitness defies his age is a diploma holder in Industrial Electronics from an East London college. He says his innovation endeavors to reduce carbon emission, lower transport cost and provide an opportunity for physical exercises for the crew and passengers. “Water cycling is a cheap and convenient way of exercising instead of going to the gym,” he emphasized.The innovator says that he conceived and started working on the innovation in 2009. As to how the idea was borne, Muchuma says the bicycle was the origin of his idea.This is after realizing that water transport worldwide relied on a fossil fuel driven engine, rowing or wind in the case of dhows but pedal vessels are unknown.“It is the only one in the world and I have already copyrighted it by patenting it at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) so that no one infringes on my patent rights,” he revels.He notes that the innovation has met all the parameters as laid down by water transport authorities in Kenya. “This is not just a mere improvised water vessel, it has been tested by the Kenya Marine Authority for certification as a water transport vessel,” Muchuma says of his innovation. He adds that safety measures on the pedal boat are just like those on fossil powered vessels.

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    Nigeria can generate 60,000mw by 2050 –Expert

    United Kingdom based energy expert has projected that Nigeria could generate 60,000megawatts of electricity from renewables by 2050, if its potential is fully harnessed.The senior lecturer in Petroleum Engineering, University of Portsmouth, Dr. Mohamed Hassan-Sayed, stated this in a paper titled, “Powering the future of Nigeria”, which he delivered to the members of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in Abuja.Hassan-Sayed noted that the country has the capacity to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy within the next 30 years if the necessary policies were put in place to properly harness the various energy sources of solar, wind and hydro.“If you think about water, Nigeria already generates about 2000 megawatts of electricity from water, but if we utilize the 60 per cent of water resources in Nigeria, we can increase that by three times as much. So renewable energy has a successful future here in Nigeria, it needs a successful policy behind it. The National Bank of Africa has set up 60 million pounds of funding in which Nigeria can access,” he stated.

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    Kenya: Solar energy powers clean water, business opportunities for refugees

    Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water."She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhoea," said the refugee from Burundi. "A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God's grace she survived."The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation."Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.The health risks in Nyarugusu camp - home to around 100,000 refugees, mainly from Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo - have grown due to an influx of people this year, amid spikes in the political instability afflicting both countries.But Thenest, who came to the camp two years ago at the height of political tensions in Burundi, has learned how to protect his family from bouts of diarrhoeal diseases - a major cause of death in children under five."I always ensure that my children use clean and safe water," he said. "I have instructed them to wash their hands with soap after using a toilet."Thenest, who works as a technician with international engineering charity Water Mission, said the health situation in the camp is improving as more people get access to clean water from a recently installed solar-powered water treatment facility."The plant produces thousands of litres every day - women no longer go far to fetch water," he said.As part of a broader initiative to help refugees access clean energy and sanitation, Water Mission is installing more such plants in three refugee camps in western Tanzania.

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    Uganda: Sun24 brings solar power to Uganda's poorest

    Sun24, a Florida-based non-profit solar power company, has announced its partnership with Caritas Uganda – the social service arm of the Catholic Church – to offer low-cost lighting to poor families. Each of the 22 dioceses in Uganda will receive 2,000 solar lights for the churches to distribute to families with no access to electricity, at a very low price. The proceeds will go towards purchasing more lights in the future, and the cost for citizens will be much lower than they currently pay for kerosene. “Our partnership with Sun24 is easing a great need for the poorest of poor in my country,” said Father Michael Mukasa, Caritas Kiyinda Mityana Diocese, Uganda.The lights are self-contained units with LED lights in the front, a solar panel on the back, and a battery inside. They are twice as bright as kerosene lights, provide four hours of light per night, and last for over three years."With its unparalleled infrastructure, the Catholic Church distributes to the poorest of poor in the most remote areas," said Kevin McLean, President of Sun24. "These families have no access to quality solar products.“We are transparent in partnering with the Catholic Church. We hope others copy and even improve upon our model."600 million sub-Saharan Africans lack electricity, and most of them use kerosene which is inherently unhealthy to burn, both for people and the atmosphere. These lamps are having a massive effect on climate change, and the sooner they can be replaced with something sustainable, the better."In my diocese, few homes have electricity. Kerosene lamps cause many fires and lung disease. Kerosene is expensive. The Sun24 solar lights are a blessing," said Father Emmanuel Tamale, Kiyinda Mityana Diocese in Uganda.

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    Ghana: Off-grid initiatives drives livelihood transformation

    “What invigorates us about this work is the livelihood transformation that we witness daily in the lives of beneficiaries as a result of the off-grid initiatives undertaken, ” says Andrew Barfour.Barfour is the Project Coordinator of the Ghana Energy Development and Access Project (GEDAP) at the Ghana Ministry of Power and fellow engineers Frank Yeboah Dadzie and Seth Mahu. Barfour spoke at Energy Revolution Africa during African Utility Week in May about how Ghana’s Ministry of Power is driving their mini-grid programme.Currently we are coordinating and promoting innovative renewable energy solutions in Ghana on behalf of the Government of Ghana. Interventions span off-grid standalone installations for public, private and commercial establishments, mini-grids for island communities, utility scale RETs, policies and strategies and raising funds for key public sector led projects.What invigorates us about this work is the livelihood transformation in the areas of education, health, entertainment, information and economic empowerment that we witness daily in the lives of beneficiaries as a result of the off-grid initiatives undertaken. In addition, we are inspired by the opportunities and order that is created through the policies that we help create. Key achievements on the policy and law side include mini-grid policy, the Renewable Energy Act 2011, Act 832, and Feed-in-Tariff Policy rate setting instruments amongst others.

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    Kenya’s solar wakes up: 160 MW under development

    Kenya is currently generating less than 1% of its electricity from solar PV installations, but this is going to change soon.Kenya was one of the most hopeful cases discussed at the recent Africa Energy Forum (AEF) that took place in Copenhagen, Denmark.There are several reasons for this optimism. Firstly, the country appears to have an electricity tariff that reflects the real costs of electricity generation and transportation. There are a few situations where the state would subsidise the electricity sector, for example at a time of drought, however this happens only for a short period.Secondly, Kenya already relies predominantly on renewable electricity generation, mainly hydro and geothermal power. Moreover, it prepares to decommission existing fossil fuel-based power plans, and replace them with new renewable energy plants, mostly geothermal facilities. In fact, newly added geothermal units have helped Kenya to reduce the cost of electricity generation, and this has been passed to consumers through a reduced electricity tariff, Joshua Choge, chairman of Kenya’s Electricity Generation Company (Kengen), told the Forum.Isaac Kiva, director for renewable energy at Kenya’s ministry of energy and petroleum, told last year’s Africa Energy Forum in London that Kenya had achieved electricity connection to 54% of its population, but it was aiming 70% and 100% connectivity for the years 2017 and 2020 respectively.

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    Tanzania:Renewable Energy Projects Are Uplifting Maasai Women

    Solar panel and clean cookstove programs are reducing emissions, electrifying remote parts of Kenya and Tanzania.Not so long ago, few remote Maasai villages in southern Kenya or northern Tanzania had access to electricity. But now, women in these villages are championing the use of clean, renewable energy in the form of solar panels, as well as clean, efficient cook stoves.. At the same time, they are forging new roles for themselves as community leaders and entrepreneurs.This is a unique development in a community unaccustomed to women taking on leadership roles. The Maasai are a marginalized, nomadic community that is almost entirely dependent on livestock for its livelihood. Raising livestock is an occupation performed exclusively by the men of the community. Customarily, the only work open to women has been taking care of their homes and children.In Tanzania, an international collaborative called the Maasai Stoves and Solar Project has begun to change that norm by introducing the use of clean-energy cookstoves and solar power to the Maasai community. The project trains women to distribute and install cookstoves and solar panels in their manyatta (traditional mud houses), work that in the past would have fallen to men.According to Kisioki Moitiko, the project manager in Tanzania, in each of the villages, the Maasai women work in groups of five to ten, selected by fellow women during a community meeting. Within these working groups the women elect their own leaders, who manage them and organize their daily work. The women are trained in approximately ten days to install the stoves and solar panels.

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    Zimbabwe: Green Economy - Tool for Sustainable Development

    The green economy paradigm is necessary to overcome challenges of sustainability that the world is facing today, an expert has said. A green economy is one which ensures sustainable development without degrading the environment, one that minimises adverse impacts on society whilst fostering economic growth in the country.Chief Sustainability Consultant at Toxiconsol, Tawanda Muzamwese said at the rate of growth and consumption the world was experiencing, a shift in the patterns of consumption and production was required at international, regional and national level.Mr Muzamwese said the world with a population of seven billion people which was projected to reach nine billion by 2050, it was imperative for countries to understand and embrace the green economy."Zimbabwe is endowed with a wide array of natural resources. Efficient utilisation of natural resources in every economic sector is now widely regarded as the key to unlocking the potential of the country. It is now imperative that as a country we shift towards a green economy and facilitate the up scaling of clean technologies," he said."Such a shift in the way we produce and consume goods offers an opportunity for leapfrogging what developed countries have done. It could also enable more companies to export goods and services internationally and gain competitiveness."

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    South Africa: Silo solar PV plant launches in SA

    South Africa’s first ever silo solar photovoltaic (PV) plant was launched this month by agricultural company Senwes Group.Installed at the firm’s Hennenman silo in the Free State province, the total projected solar utilisation per annum is 472,460 kWh.The firm said in a statement that this constitutes 62% of the total electricity consumption of the Hennenman silo and will result in a significant cost saving.Francois Strydom, Group chief executive said: “In line with our sustainability objectives and, inter alia, our contribution to reducing the carbon footprint, the Solar PV will save approximately 1kg CO2/kWh. The projected carbon savings will amount to 472,5 tonnes of CO2 per annum.”The plant has a total 1,120 installed solar panels, which has a total generation capacity of 358kWp.The project commenced in January this year and was completed in April, when it was integrated into the existing electricity grid, the firm noted.Silo manager Nico Els, monitors the solar modules using a specialised computerised application, Sunny Portal, which gives you the total kWh produced per hour at a glimpse.According to the company statement, Els is optimistic with the results yielded thus far.The system has already clocked 16,00kWh and 281kWp, 10% above the projected maximum demand of 266kWp, the firm explained.

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    Mozambique to develop first solar PV power plant

    Mozambique is gearing up to develop its first solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant, funded by a consortium of financiers.The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has promised $19 million in funding as part of a $55 million package to support the new utility in Mocuba, Africa Times reported.According to Africa Times, in addition to the IFC pledge, the funds include $19 million from Climate Investment Funds, and a loan of up to $17 million.“The signing of the Mocuba financing is a great achievement for EdM and Mozambique’s electricity sector,” said Mateus Magala, Chairman of EdM.Magala extended his gratitude to the financing partners for “their excellent cooperation and the hard work in getting the project to this important milestone.”According to the IFC, this project is part of broader efforts to promote private investment and help bring reliable and clean electricity to consumers while diversifying the energy mix in an effort with long-term climate change impacts in view, Africa Times reported.Mozambique's state-owned power utility, EDM, will procure the generated power through a signed 25-year power purchase agreement.Media explained: "The plant is being developed by Scatec Solar, headquartered in Norway, and the local Electricidade de Moçambique (EdM) utility, along with the Norfund development finance agency."Other financial support comes from the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), with a grant from the Technical Assistance Fund of the Private Infrastructure Development Group.

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    Nigeria:Renewable energy employs 15,000 in Nigeria, others, says agency

    The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has said no fewer than 15,000 people were employed in the renewable energy sub-sector of the power industry in Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and other countries in West Africa and Southern Africa (excluding South Africa) in 2016.The Agency, a renewable energy research group, in an online report on the rate of employment in renewable energy sub-sector in countries across the world, said 9.8million employment was recorded globally in 2016.The Agency further stated that considering the enormity of renewable energy potentials in West and Southern Africa countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Namibia, among others, the sub-sector supposed to create much more employment than the 15,000.According to IRENA, the employment figure in the renewable sub-sector is expected to increase to 30million in 2030 from the current 9.8million as more countries are taking steps to combat climate change while investing in renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, bio-mass and others, in order to improve electricity supply.

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    Ghana:First of its kind, solar energy laboratory to be built in RMU

    A world class solar energy laboratory, the first of its kind in the West African sub-region is to be built at the Regional Maritime University in Accra.The facility forms part of the University's agreement with REDAVIA GmbH (Germany), solar energy providers, to offer renewable energy support to the school.The move, recommended by government would go a long way to reducing electricity tariffs that's putting significant strain on the University’s budget.This was announced by the Vice Chancellor, Prof Elvis Nyarko, at the 11th Congregation and official launch of the 10th Anniversary celebrations of the University in Accra on Saturday.“The agreement has been entered into and the necessary installation works will begin soon. Beyond the solar farm implementation, REDAVIA will also support the introduction and establishment of a Renewable Energy Institute in collaboration with the RMU in Ghana,”he stated.The Prof Nyarko continued that REDAVIA will also build a world class solar energy laboratory on campus at no cost to the University. This will make RMU the first university to have such a facility in the sub-region, to train students in solar technology to the highest level"Such involvement by REDAVIA, he said will facilitate knowledge transfer and support staff to build the curriculum, to prepare RMU students for engineering jobs in the sector as well as boost the development of renewable energy sources for Ghana and Africa at large.

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    Ghana:Renewable energy project from Ghana among winners of $7m global competition

    Access Power , a developer, owner and operator of renewable power projects in emerging markets in partnership with EREN Renewable Energy a global independent power producer, are delighted to announce the three winners of the 2017 $7 million Access Co-Development Facility (ACF) - an innovative funding and support platform for renewable energy projects in Africa.The three winning projects, hailing from Tanzania, Rwanda and Ghana, were selected from a technologically and geographically diverse pool of 82 entrants from 23 countries after having presented to a live panel of industry expert judges. The panel based their final selection on the commercial, technical and environmental merits of the projects presented, as well as the local regulatory environment and capability of the project teams. The winners will share the US$7 million pot provided by the Access Co-Development Facility as well as technical support and expertise.This year’s winners are:Tanzania: 30MW, Kondoa, Solar PV project, Rwanda: 9.7MW, Rukarara, Hydro project,Ghana: 48MW, Winneba, Wind project.When completed, the projects will collectively provide over 85MW of electricity, enough to power more than 420,000 homes and business across Tanzania, Rwanda and Ghana. The winners were announced today in Copenhagen at the 19th annual Africa Energy Forum, following a presentation by the five shortlisted developers to a panel of expert judges.

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    Kenya:Major geothermal hub in Nakuru to be African model

    Unep will set up an African regional geothermal hub in Kenya as a centre of excellence for the rest of the world.African Rift Geothermal Development Facility programme manager Meseret Zemedkun said Kenya has successfully adopted renewable energy sources.“Kenya will be the main hub of the African region in terms of capacity building of geothermal technology. This is also the main achievement because they have built a very good experience and capacity. They can share their best practices with the rest of the world,” she said.Zemedkun spoke during a tour of GDC projects in the Menengai Crater on Saturday.“Kenya has developed a coherent geothermal policy anchored on the Geothermal Act, which strengthens public and private partnership in developing the renewable energy power project. The African Centre of Excellence will be set up in Nakuru county,” she said.The hub will be fully operational by next year.It will be used for capacity-building of geothermal technology. Unep will provide technical support.

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    Tanzania:Renewable energy technology training center to open in Tanzania

    The government of the Republic of North Korea will open a training center for renewable energy technology in Arusha, Tanzania. The decision follows release of a study stating solar power is the dominant electricity source in the country’s rural areas.The Energy Access Situation Report, 2016 Tanzania Mainland, released by the National Bureau of Statistics and the Rural Energy Agency in April of this year shows that grid electricity is the second largest source of power in rural areas with 34.5% of households connected, while solar is leading by nearly 65%.According to the Tanzania Standard Newspapers, Dr. Herb Rhee, director of the Innovative Technology and Energy Centre (ITEC), stated the renewable energy technology centre will open in August of this year, and will have the capacity to train 1,000 students per year.Dr. Rhee also stated, the ITEC has already trained 300 secondary school students and 200 teachers in Arusha in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), in order to increase renewable energy expertise in the region.

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