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S.Africa Department of Energy to arbitrate in renewable projects

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

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Rwanda: Govt Pledges More Support to Renewable Energy Initiatives

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

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

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

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Egypt: Private Sector Participation in Producing Renewable Energy Studied

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

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Kenya Pushes for More Steam Power

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

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2014 renewable energy investments in sub-Saharan Africa to reach $5.9 billion

Renewable energy investments in sub-Saharan Africa (predominantly South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia) will in 2014 reach the $5.9 billion mark, and grow to $7.7 billion in 2016. These investments far-outweigh any efforts to increase renewable capacity in the region between 2000 and 2013. Approximately 1.8 gigawatts of wind and solar power capacity, excluding sizable hydroelectric power plants are still to be commissioned this year. “What is different now is the breadth of activity, with wind, solar and geothermal exciting interest in many different countries and the potential for further growth,” Victoria Cuming, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst, said in a company statement. .

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South Africa: Solar Wi-Fi Lamps to Connect Rural Areas

South African-based technology company Net1 Mobile Solutions is preparing to roll out the Sun-e-light, a solar-powered lamp which also functions as a mobile phone charger and a wi-fi hotspot, as part of a corporate social responsibility project aimed at opening up the digital world to people in rural areas. Chief marketing officer José Carlos Da Silva Soares, in a recent interview with SAinfo, said the concept of the Sun-e-light had evolved as the company looked into ways of providing connectivity to rural communities not linked to the electricity grid. "We began talks with a production company in China which specialises in producing simple yet innovative products to produce a prototype [of the Sun-e-light] for us, which has now been refined and tested over a period of two years," Soares said.

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Gambia: Over D1.2 Million Power Project Signed

Solar Foundation The Gambia (SFG), a Gambian charitable organisation, has awarded contracts to two Gambian electrification firms to provide the installation of two solar lighting systems and for the sales and supply of 200 solar lighting kits valued at over D1.2M. SFG offers sustainable growth by implementing solar energy in off the grid villages. The contractors for the project are Faal's General Construction and Baldeh's Electrical Services and Eseim Solar Energy Limited. Faal's General Construction and Baldeh's Electrical Services will install two solar lighting systems in Jareng Upper Basic and Senior secondary Schools in the Central River Region (CRR) and Yorro Bawol Health Centre in the Upper River Region (URR)

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Mathenge fetches Sh1,700 a tonne from power firm

Farmers in Baringo are set to earn up to Sh13,000 for every Mathenge tree cut from supplies to Cummins Cogeneration (Kenya) Limited’s biomass power generation plant in the county.Fabian Musau, the company’s manager, said they buy a tonne of biomass at Sh1,700 from farmers with the plant requiring 250 tonnes per day to meet its power generation target for the second phase of the project ending September. The power plant used 60 tonnes of biomass per day in the first phase that ended in June. Through a power purchase agreement, the company — a subsidiary of US-based Cummins Ltd — is set to supply 7MW of electricity to Kenya Power by the end of this year.

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Nigeria: UNDP to Spend N21 Million On Energy Projects in Nasarawa

The Global Environment Facility - United Nations Development Programme (GEF-UNDP) said it would spend N21 million on the provision of sustainable energy-related projects in selected communities in Nasarawa State. The National Coordinator of GEF-UNDP, Mr Etiosa Uyigue, said this at Karu, Nasarawa State in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Uyigue told NAN that the project would be executed in collaboration with the Energy Commission of Nigeria and National Orientation Agency (NOA). The coordinator said that the intervention would be on renewable energy and energy efficiency in the selected communities of Roguwa, Lower and Upper Uke in Karu Local Government Area.

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Tanzanian Schools Urged to Teach and Practice Sustainable Development

Schools in Tanzania are being encouraged to become more self-supporting, with projects for better food, water supplies, sanitation and energy usage. There is the hope that the wider community will also benefit. At Hekima and Tandale Primary Schools in Dar es Salaam every student has a story to tell about how water shortage and poor sanitation is both a threat to their health and affects their performance in class. "There's no drinking water in this area, we depend on a borehole whose water is too salty to drink, we only use it for cleaning toilets," said Mariam Saleh, a grade six student at Tandale school. A poor learning environment, neighborhood crime and inadequate nutrition has forced many students from low-income families to abandon classes altogether.

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South Africa’s IDC throws weight behind biogas industry

Uhuru founder David Sonnenberg said although South Africa had small natural gas resources, biomethane produced from the conversion of biogas from feedstocks such as manure, sewage and crops could be used in the same way as natural gas for electricity generation, heating and transport. Mr Sonnenberg said the Department of Energy had allocated only 1%, or 16MW, of its renewable power target to biogas. But if it were to allocate the 9,600MW it had targeted for nuclear power to biogas instead, this would require only a 300,000ha area to grow the feedstock and would create 300,000 permanent jobs.

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Tanzania: Rural Electrification Boost Farmers' Earnings

RURAL electrification has proved to be efficient driver in promoting value addition particularly of agricultural products that helped farmers to fetch premium market prices. Statistics from Rural Energy Agency (REA) shows that there are 16 small hydropower projects operating since 1970's and 13 projects with a total capacity of 28.8 MW which are in various stages of development. Presenting research paper on Management of the Hydro power plants in southern highlands in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, Mr Stephen Kirama, the University of Dar es Salaam lecturer and consultant said there was an increase of the processing and value addition to some selected products like sunflower, timber and coffee due to extension of electricity services in rural areas.

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Tanzania: Tap Energy Potential Now - Bilal

TANZANIA is endowed with a huge 4,000mw-cheap geothermal energy potential and the Vice-President, Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal, has challenged geoscientists in the country and Africa to tap it for the betterment of the people. The geothermal potential is about three times the existing generation capacity of 1,583mw produced by both Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) and independent power producers from hydro and thermal plants. "Our neighbours in Kenya now produce about quarter of their electricity from geothermal but we are hardly generating a kilowatt from the energy," the Vice-President, Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal, has revealed in Dar es Salaam on Monday while officiating at the opening of the three-day Third Young Earth Scientists Congress.

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Tanzania: Biogas Tech Set to Raise Farmers' Income

SERENGETI District agricultural team has set up a bio-gas plant which is expected to be exemplary of modern farming and productivity . In an interview with the 'Daily News' at the just ended Nane Nane exhibitions at Nyamhongolo Grounds in Mwanza, the Serengeti District Agriculture Irrigation Officer, Mr Simion Waryuba said the plant could be built at home. Biogas refers to gas produced from organic matters. It can be useful at home as a school project, institution and even at the hospital. "While agriculture remains the backbone of our economy, still, a number of farmers are not aware of the functions of agricultural resources surrounding them.

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EU woos Africa with Sh97 billion development kitty

The European Union has stepped up its bid to woo African states in the week that the continent’s top leaders have gathered in Washington to chart new political and commercial partnerships with world’s largest economy. The EU Wednesday launched the first phase of its ambitious Sh97.7 billion programme aimed at improving key growth sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture and information technology in Africa. It will run from 2014-2017.Under the programme, Europe will spend Sh48 billion (415 million euros) on projects in the initial phase of the initiative known as the “Pan-African Programme”, which was first announced in April during the fourth EU-Africa summit in Brussels.

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Africa: World Bank Group Commits US$ 5 Billion to Boost Electricity Generation in Six African Countries

The World Bank Group today committed $5 billion in new technical and financial support for energy projects in six African countries-- Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania—which have partnered with President Obama’s Power Africa initiative. Making the announcement on the second day of the 1st US-Africa Summit, World Bank Group President, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, said the new financial commitment was urgently needed to generate more electricity for the people of Africa, 600 million of whom have no access to electricity, despite the fact that Africa possesses some of the world’s largest hydropower, geothermal, wind and solar potential, as well as significant oil and natural gas reserves

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Astonfield to build 4MW solar farms in Mauritius

Astonfield Renewables has been awarded two solar projects in Mauritius for a total of 4MW under a 10MW solar photovoltaic (PV) Government programme. The firm, a leading solar independent power producer across India, Eastern Africa and the Middle East, has signed a Power Purchase Agreement with the Mauritius Central Electricity Board (CEB). Mr Balraj Naroo, Chairman of CEB, and Dr Babou Rajpati, resident board member of Astonfield Renewables, signed the agreement today at the CEB head office in Mauritius’ second city Curepipe.

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Africa: Standard Bank Seeks to Finance Power Deals in Africa

Te Standahrd Bank Group Limited will seek to finance renewable-energy projects and arrange the sale of power infrastructure in Africa as it meets with governments and United States companies this week in Washington. The continent's largest lender wants to broker deals that will let nations sell power assets to US companies, similar to one in Nigeria last year, its co-Chief Executive Officer Sim Tshabalala, was quoted by Bloomberg to have said in an interview yesterday. He declined to name whom he is meeting. "We are talking either with authorities or clients to put in place the transactions," he said, adding: "A lot of policy makers, a lot of the people providing the equipment and a lot of the people providing the finance and the risk mitigation instruments will be here."

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Kakira Sugar Works plans to produce Ethanol fuel by 2016

Kakira Sugar Works Ltd., Uganda’s biggest processor of the sweetener, plans to build an ethanol plant by the end of 2016 after it spent $75 million (Shs197 billion) expanding cane-crushing and power operations over the past two years. The ethanol from the facility that will have capacity to produce 20 million liters (5.3 million gallons) annually will be distilled from 85,000 metric tons of molasses, the result of processing 2 million tons of cane, Kenneth Musinga Barungi, an assistant to the company’s general manager, said by e-mail yesterday.

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Uganda: Districts to Draw Power Plans for Their People

The ministry of Energy has told district communities to draw up plans that would help the government to scale up power in the countryside. Local government entities have a chance to create working groups that will liaise with the ministry of Energy after guidelines improving energy access at district level were drafted. These guidelines will guide the local entities to draw up their plans. Samson Tolessa, a development coordinator at GIZ, said prevailing issues in the energy sector are due to the missing link between the centres of policy and plan development at ministries and local government bodies. Most Ugandans use firewood as their energy source.

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Local govt asked to participate in alternative energy planning

Ministry of energy officials and experts from GIZ have urged local government leaders to participate in developing affordable and efficient sources of energy at district level to light up districts instead of the long waiting for the central government to do for them what they can do themselves. The experts and energy officials said local governments developing energy sources would increase access to energy by Ugandans. Only 17% of Ugandans have access to electricity with over 90% relying on wood and charcoal for cooking, ironing, lighting and heating.

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Tanzania: Designing Improved Cookstoves for Tanzanians

Improved cookstove designs reduce the use of firewood in rural communities, countering deforestation, soil erosion and food insecurity. They also ensure cleaner combustion than in traditional open-fire cooking, reducing harmful indoor pollution. CHEMA Programme, a Tanzanian NGO that works in the rural Kagera region, develops stoves that are designed to be a good match for available fuel resources and local people's cooking habits. It aims to preserve the environment, produce energy from organic waste and empower women and girls by alleviating their daily tasks.

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Rwanda's first utility scale solar PV plant to be commissioned

The Rwandan government is set to commission the first utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) plant at eastern Rwanda's Rwamagana district in August 2014 The project, with a production capacity of 8.5MW, has commenced testing, stated local reports. Dutch company Gigawatt Global is the developer of the project, while Norwegian firm Scatec Solar has agreed to operate and maintain the plant.

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KenGen eyes 20.4MW from Ngong wind farm

Kenya Electricity Generating Company will increase power output from its Ngong wind farm by 20.4 megawatts following construction of additional turbines financed by the governments of Belgium and Spain. KenGen is currently generating 5.1 megawatts of wind power from the farm that was commissioned in 2008 comprising of six turbines. “We’re fast-tracking renewable energy projects, comprising wind and geothermal as part of government’s target of adding 5,000 megawatts to the national grid by September 2016,” said Albert Mugo, KenGen’s managing director during an inspection tour at the Ngong wind farm, on Thursday.

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