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Egypt Renewable Energy Plans Make Progress

Egypt has approached the African Development Bank (AfDB) for funding of $130 million to finance a 200MW wind project, reported Amal Al Ghad this weekend. This is part of an overall $440 million expected cost for the project, which is being developed by Masdar Group, the Abu Dhabi renewable energy company, and Egypt's New and Renewable Energy Authority. Egypt has stated that it plans to source 20% of its energy requirements from renewable sources by 2030. As part of this plan, the government has pre-qualified a number of international companies with extensive experience in developing and building renewable energy projects. These include Italy's Enel Green Power, Indian Tata Power, ACWA, US-based First Solar Inc and Scatec Solar ASA of Norway, among others. In September this year, Saudi Arabian project developer, ACWA Power, along with Masdar Group announced plans to discuss a proposal for a 1.5GW solar plant in Egypt. The Egyptian government has developed an attractive feed-in tariff scheme to boost investments in the solar power sector. Solar PV projects between 500kW and 20MW in size will receive 13.6¢/kWh, and projects between 20MW and 50MW will receive 14.34¢/kW, with contracts for a 25-year term.

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South Africa: Powering-Up to Go Off the Grid

Solar and wind energy is high on the agenda as SA becomes energy efficient. In the little agricultural town of Droogfontein in the Northern Cape a quiet revolution is under way. And, fairly soon, one of the first renewable energy projects initiated by independent power producers will ensure that the town goes completely off the national grid – making this a first for South Africa.The solar project has been developed on 100 hectares of land and will supply electricity to the national grid while powering 30 000 households over the next two decades. The government currently subscribes to most international energy protocols, including the UN Energy Programme and the World Bank’s Strategic Climate Fund. In fact, the UN recently stated that South Africa and Kenya had the highest rate of implementation in the developing world. Further, the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has already seen 92 projects approved. We are also well on our way to exceeding the National Development Plan’s target of 21 percent of total electricity supply by 2030 coming via renewable energy.

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South Africa:Timber IPP to Build 25MW Biomass Plant

The country’s biggest sawmill, York Timbers, has announced plans to develop a 25MW biomass power plant in Mpumalanga. The project is expected to cost $106 million and will feed the generated power back into the national electrical grid. According to the African Review, the plant will be fuelled by the waste produced after processing the timber. York Timbers' CEO Pieter van Zyl said, “We will be using a huge volume of biomass that would otherwise be useless. It’s a key game-changer for the company, as, in the past, we simply burned the biomass or left it to turn into compost.” From a business perspective, this initiative will boost the independent power producer's revenue before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda).

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Nigeria: UNIDO to Spend U.S.$2.6 Billion On Small Hydro Power Projects in Nigeria

In line with its mandate to promote, and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development in developing countries, the United Nations Industrial Develop (UNIDO) has budgeted the sum of $2.6 billion for the development of Small Hydro Power (SHP) plants in Nigeria. The UNIDO Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr. David Tommy, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja at the launch of its Global Environment Facility (GEF)-5 project which is centered on 'scaling up small hydro power in Nigeria.' Tommy noted that the primary aim of the intervention was to increase Nigeria's power generation capacity. "UNIDO has made some giant strides in the promotion of renewable energy development in Nigeria. We have identified close to 300 potential Small Hydro Power (SHP) sites in the country. We have studied the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for over 20 of these sites, thus making them ready for investment. "We have demonstrated the workability of SHP in Nigeria by implementing some sites including the 400 kilowatts (kw) at the Mambila plateau in Taraba State and the 150kw at Waya in Bauchi state among others," Tommy stated.

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South Africa: Amplats Reveals 5MW Co-gen Power Plant

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), together with Vuselela Energy and H1 Holdings, unveiled its ZAR150 million ($10.677m) co-generation power plant. The power project was commissioned in June 2015 and according to Amplats it is “an innovation in the field of energy efficiency and a first of its kind co-generation power plant in South Africa, creating cleaner and inexpensive power for the Company’s general consumption.”The power plants operate by utilising the wasted heat from the Anglo Converter Plant (ACP) convertor cooling circuit to evaporate an organic liquid and drive an expansion turbine, Amplats explained in a statement. The platinum producer announced that of the generated 5MW, 4.3MW is fed back into the grid, lessening the company’s dependency on the national grid.

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Nigeria: African Renewable Energy Fund Reaches U.S.$200 Million Investment Target

Towards supporting sustainable private-sector led economic growth, the African Renewable Energy Fund (AREF), a dedicated renewable energy fund focused on sub-Saharan Africa, announced that it successfully reached its final close at its hard cap, with US $200 million of committed capital to support small- to medium-scale projects. SEFA is a US $90-million multi-donor facility hosted by the African Development Bank and funded by the governments of Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States. It unlocks private investments in 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.

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Zimbabwe: Geyser Ban to Save 300 Megawatts

Government will officially launch the national domestic solar water heating programme on Wednesday that will promote the use of solar powered geysers which will save about 300 megawatts. The 300 megawatts that would be saved when electric geysers are banned in the near future would be more than half the electricity being generated at any power station in the country. Energy and Power Development permanent secretary Mr Partson Mbiriri said in a statement yesterday that the country has about 250 000 electric geysers which are contributing to the high demand of power by consuming about 40 percent of domestic usage. "Zimbabwe is currently facing an acute power shortage and it has been identified that substantial power is consumed by domestic electric geysers," he said. "One way of mitigating the power shortage is to substitute electric geysers with solar geysers."

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Kenya: Firms Race to Conduct Energy Audits As Deadline Approaches

Industries and large institutions are in a race to comply with a directive to carry out energy audits ahead of the statutory deadline on September 28. The Energy Management Regulations 2012 published by the Energy Regulatory Commission require consumers of more than 180,000 units of electricity per year to carry out audits every three years. They target a saving of at least 30 per cent per institution within the three year period so as to reduce energy costs, especially for industries, to allow cheap manufactured goods. With the deadline set for Monday, ERC says that only about 1,000 out of the 3,000 targeted facilities could have complied, leaving owners of the rest at a risk of jail terms or fines of up to Sh1 million. "The level of compliance at the moment is not so high but in the last few days we have been receiving a lot of reports. We are expecting that by the deadline about 1,000 facilities will have complied. After that the commission will be at liberty to apply the provisions of the law," said Pavel Oimeke, ERC's director for renewable energy in a telephone interview with the Nation. About Sh43 million is lost every day through inefficient electricity consumption equipment, according to estimates by the energy sector regulator.

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Kenya: Lake Turkana Power Farm to Produce 90 Megawatts Next Year

Kenya will get the first 90 megawatts from Lake Turkana Wind Power project in 2016 when the first production will be loaded onto the national grid. The biggest wind farm in sub Saharan Africa will run into full capacity in April 2017 transmitting a total of 310 megawatts to the national grid through a 428km overhead line that is being constructed by the Kenya Electrical Transmission Company. The Sh70 billion project located in Loyangalani District, Marsabit West County will be the largest single private investment in Kenya's history. Project Director Carlo Van Wageningen said that although wind power is considered expensive, the project has the ability to give a strong yield that would allow the company to sell electricity cheaply to Kenya Power.

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Zambia: Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff at Final Stages

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Zambian Ministry of Mines, Energy, and Water Development marked the final stages in the development of Zambia’s Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff (REFIT) mechanism. Over the past 14-months USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, the Zambian Department of Energy, and the Energy Regulation Board (ERB), worked together to produce an inclusive policy document and develop a platform for the REFIT. The process included collaboration with multiple energy sector stakeholders, including the Rural Electrification Authority and ZESCO, Zambia's state-owned power company responsible for generation, transmission and distribution. The adoption of an effective renewable energy feed-in tariff policy and finalisation of the feed-in tariff regulations will enable the Zambian government to buy renewable energy from small-scale independent power producers at pre-determined prices.

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Kenya: KTDA Gets Sh3bn Loan for 7 Hydropower Plants

The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has got a major boost in bid to lower production cost in its factories after two multilateral organisations agreed to foot part of the Sh8.9 billion budget it requires to set up seven hydro-power plants. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Global Agriculture Food Security Programme (GAFSP) will extend a Sh2.6 billion loan to finance the authority’s internal energy plan which seeks to generate 16 megawatts. The IFC and GAFSP have each committed to invest Sh1.3 billion into the renewable power project that will comprise seven run-of-the-river small hydropower plants (SHPs) and construction of transmission lines in various parts of the country. “This project when completed will result in a significant energy cost saving for tea factories thus increasing financial benefits to farmers,” IFC said in a disclosure note dated September 16. The KTDA management has frequently cited high cost of production as part of the reasons the bonus paid to small scale farmers has reduced over the years.

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Côte d’Ivoire: Clean Energy Financing Forum Selects Hydropower As Winner

The second West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF2) has awarded the top prize to the Ivoire Hydropower Energy project, a start-up driven by Etty Ekolan Alain, in Côte d’Ivoire. The hydro project's blueprint looks to design, construct and operate a 44MW hydropower plant on the country’s Bandama River under a concession agreement signed with the government in December 2013, the African Development Bank said in a statement. Alain said upon receiving the award: “I feel a lot of emotion for my project to have been selected winner of this award. I am proud of all the work done by my team. “I worked in the energy sector for 25 years, and that made it possible for us to identify the gaps which our project will help to solve.”Solomon Asamoah, African Development Bank’s Vice-President for Infrastructure, Private Sector and Regional Integration, commended the WAFCEF2 for all its work involved in growing the energy sector:

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Africa: Homegrown Experts to Tap Into Africa's 20,000 Mw Geothermal Energy Thanks to New Excellence Centre

With an estimated potential of 20,000 MW, geothermal energy could provide an answer to the continent's energy shortage. Around 80 delegates, including representatives of 13 African countries, gathered in Nairobi to explore the feasibility of establishing the Africa Geothermal Centre of Excellence (AGCE), which would enhance the continent's institutional and infrastructural capacities, and create a critical mass of geothermal scientists and engineers. Currently, around 600 million people in Africa lack access to grid electricity, with the figure expected to rise to 700 million by 2030. The continent is increasingly looking to alternative energy sources to bridge that gap. With an estimated potential of 20,000 MW, geothermal energy could provide an answer to the continent's energy shortage. This immense potential remains largely untapped, as the continent faces challenges in terms of skilled human resources and development of technological know-how.

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Uganda: Low Income Earners to Benefit From Shs5 Billion Energy Programme

The Ministry of Energy has launched a Clean Start programme that focuses on offering financing solutions for low income earners that want to pay for high-quality, affordable clean energy. The programme, launched in partnership with the United Nations Capital Development Fund, targets more than 40,000 beneficiaries who are expected to make a shift to clean energy by 2017. The project is estimated to cost Shs4.7b which will be distributed among about 10 selected financial institutions. "We shall distribute about $200,000 (about 734m) to financial institutions to help them lend out to people who can acquire energy systems they are interested in using. Interested financial companies will send their proposals to the ministry and this will last for a period of two years." said Mr James Baanabe Isingoma, the acting commissioner energy efficiency and conservation department. He was speaking at the launch of the Energy week 2015 in Kampala on Tuesday. This programme is part of Uganda's vision of meeting every Ugandan's energy needs in an environmentally suitable way of which little has been done in the past years. It is expected to attract an additional $20m (about 73b).

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Tanzania: Karatu District to Start Using Wind Power

Karatu district in Manyara region will harness power from wind and tap the energy for electricity production as the 2015 Uhuru Torch race unveiled three such projects in the area. Two schools, Gyetighi Primary and Gyetighi Secondary Schools, located in the Oldean Ward of Karatu, have been installed with wind power turbines in the off-grid airstream electricity project which will also benefit the Rift Valley Orphanage for Children in the District. The wind power project is being initiated under the Rift Valley Children Fund and the RVCF Director, Mr Peter Mmassy explained that installing schools with clean and renewable energy will help pupils and students carry on with studies even after dusk without incurring added costs. "It is also educational to the students themselves who may want to practically see various sources of energy as taught in class," said the director, adding that wind and solar power are the best alternative sources of energy that rural residents can utilise while awaiting to be connected to the grid.

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ECOWAS: Turn Energy Plans Into Action

The African Development Bank has lauded the development of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Action Agendas, and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Action Plans by Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member countries, and urged them to now turn those plans into action in order to improve the living conditions of their populations. The Bank has supported this process since its beginnings in its capacity as host of the SE4All Africa Hub."The finalisation of the sustainable energy plans is only the beginning of a long journey as the focus has to shift now decisively towards implementation and mobilization of the required investments to turn these plans into reality. This will help to improve living conditions, create opportunities, jobs and inclusive and sustainable growth for all citizens in West Africa," said Alex Rugamba, the Bank's Director for Energy, Environment and Climate Change.

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Should South Africa Tap Geothermal Energy?

South Africa, the leading carbon emitter in Africa, has geothermal resources that can be used to generate electricity and reduce its carbon emissions. But a recent study suggests that the potential cost is prohibitive, unless strong incentives are provided.There is also a large renewable energy programme. Being incentivised has attracted significant local and international private sector technology and funding. These renewables include solar in the highly solar irradiated Northern Cape, wind along the coastal regions and hydro near the high Drakensberg mountains.Geothermal is omitted from this mix. Unlike many renewables, geothermal is stable and can be used as part of the baseload electricity supply. It may also provide an effective long-term energy source with minimal waste.

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Gambia: Energy Ministry Launches Project to Green Productive Sectors

The Ministry of Energy in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) has launched the GEF-5 project entitled: "Greening the productive sectors in The Gambia." The objective of the project is to promote market-based use and integration of small to medium scale renewable energy systems in the productive area. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) through its system for transparent allocation of resource had, under the fifth cycle, allocated a grant to The Gambia for the climate change focal area intended for the project that seeks to mitigate the impact of climate change.

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Kenya Power to Export 30MW to Rwanda

Kenya Power will in the next three months start exporting 30megawtts to Rwanda. Kenya Power Chief Executive Officer Dr Ben Chumo Thursday said his company has entered into a power purchase agreement with Rwanda to export the supply through Uganda. "This program which would earn Kenya Power millions of revenue is on and a fortnight ago we were in Rwanda to confirm the state of their distribution network to ascertain whether they can absorb the additional power and hopefully in the next three months or so we shall be supplying them with 30MW," said Dr Chumo. The CEO was speaking in Nakuru during the commissioning of Sh387 million Bahati substation aimed at improving power supply network to the residents of Wanyororo, Kabatini, Murunyu and Ndundori townships. In a bid to improve quality of power supply in the country, he disclosed that Kenya Power has lined up 252 projects in their current business plan worth Sh86 billion.

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Zimbabwe: U.S $250 Million Worth of Solar Power Projects Licensed

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority has so far licensed five solar power projects valued at $250 million which are expected to produce 160 megawatts (MW). ZERA chief executive Engineer Gloria Magombo told The Herald Business yesterday that licensed solar power projects are at different stages within the Project Development cycle. "Some of the projects are at Pre-feasibility stage, some have conducted feasibility studies including Environmental Impact Assessment and are moving towards Project Financing and Power Purchase Agreement stage," said Engineer Magombo. She said the value of the projects varies as project promoters' source their materials from different countries but the estimated cost of the five projects is about $250 million.

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Pay-As-You-Go Solar Venture Raises $3.4m Investment Boost

Ghana-based pay-as-you-go solar firm PEG Ghana Ltd. has raised $3.4 million to expand its presence in the west African country. The firm, which targets remote and rural communities, is aiming to install 500,000 pay-as-you-go systems in West Africa over the next five years. Its latest funding round was led by I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs, a France-based investment group dedicated to small and medium enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa. The funding round attracted investment from the Impact Assets Emerging Markets Climate Fund, French investment fund ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies, German development finance institution DEG and US debt provider SunFunder.

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Ethiopia: Earth, Wind, Fire - Ethiopia Exploits Renewable Energy Resources

One of the strategies being used to blaze the trail to a Green Economy, is Ethiopia's pace-setting strides in exploiting its various renewable energy resources. One rich source of alternative energy being tapped is geothermal energy which recently brought about a public private partnership when Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) for the first time signed a power purchase agreement a private sector company, Corbetti Geothermal Plc, to buy up to 500MW of electric power generated from the Corbetti geothermal source near Hawassa. Two other power purchase agreements are in the pipeline with all three projects representing a total investment of some four billion dollars over 10 years. Meanwhile, the European Commission has committed as part of a soft loan, 7.5 million euros for the development of geothermal energy in the Tehdaho area in Afar.

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Egypt: Investing in Renewables

"About $5 billion worth of investments in renewable energy projects are waiting for the feed-in tariffs to be approved by the government," says Tamer Al-Mahdi, chairman of O Capital, a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT). "Such investments would create about 300,000 job opportunities," he added during a signing ceremony of an agreement between O Capital and the Norwegian Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) through which REC will provide turn-key solar power solutions that are expected to lead to the establishment of solar power stations in Egypt using the latest technologies at lower cost. The government decided in September 2014 to introduce a feed-in tariff scheme to encourage the establishment of renewable energy projects under which private companies would benefit from a fixed tariff for the power they produce from renewables.

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Tanzania: Government Approves Model Power Purchase Agreement

The government has through the Ministry of Energy and Minerals approved a model power purchase agreement (MPPA) to accelerate access to electricity as well as promote development and operations of small power projects by local and foreign private investors. The framework, which was released early last month introduces Standardized Power Purchase Agreement and Standard Tariff Methodology applicable between the developers and buyers. The 110-page document identifies the eligible projects as small power projects whose capacity ranges from 100 kW to 10 MW and which utilise renewable energy sources. The framework that was developed pursuant to the Electricity Act, 2008 will reduce negotiation time and cost as well as open the possibility of implementing rural electrification projects.

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Zimbabwe: 'Generation Diversity Key to Power Supply'

Ensuring a diverse generation mix will be critical in maintaining consistent power supply, experts have warned in the wake of water rationing that has limited generation at Kariba South Power Station, one of Zimbabwe's two largest power stations. ZPC produces 750MW on the southern bank while ZESCO generates 1 080MW on the northern bank. It was determined that continuing at previous levels of water consumption to generate power would result in the lake water falling below the minimum draw-down level of 475,5 metres before the next rainy season (by November 2015). As at end of July, water use by both utilities was above the allocation, partly due to the seasonal peak demand.

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East Africa: EAC Energy Security Policy in the Pipeline

East African Community (EAC) Partner States are in the process to formulate a comprehensive energy security policy with a view to enable the generation of affordable and reliable supply of electricity and petroleum products. This was disclosed in Kigali at the opening of a three-day regional conference on energy, which brought together participants from the five Partner States, UN representatives and other stakeholders. The meeting was convened to discuss how a common EAC energy policy can help Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda better manage energy shortages. The policy framework, expected to come into force early next year, would entail a number of energy products, allow for the importation of affordable petroleum products and help the regional countries scale up their respective industrial ambitions.

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Nigeria: Ruwes, UNDP Launch Clean Energy Scheme for Rural Women

The scheme comes under the Rural Women Energy Security (RUWES), a project of the Renewable Energy Programme (REP), headed by Mrs. Bahijjahtu Abubakar, an engineer, which is tasked with evolving people centered responses to climate change mitigation. To date, under RUWES, about two million women from 36 States and Abuja have been trained on wealth creation and using green energy alternatives. The RUWES Initiative aims to eradicate energy poverty among rural women and ensure that women are more energy efficient as well as less dependent on fossil fuels for cooking, heating and lighting using green energy alternatives.

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