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AfDB's Incubation of Innovations in Renewable Energy Praised By Participants, Partners


A group of young innovators, Africa Bio-Energy Team, being incubated by the African Development Bank (AfDB), undertook a field visit to Biogas Technologies Africa Ltd. in Accra, Ghana, from August 10 to 13, 2016. They were accompanied by members of the Bank's African Development Institute (EADI). The visit sought to empower the team about biogas production, as well as learn about the company's operations. It also provided an opportunity to discuss a possible partnership with Biogas Technologies Africa Ltd. The Africa Bio-Energy Team was one of the winners at an AfDB-organised Innovation Weekend in October 2015. This was the Bank's first-ever tech innovation event in Abidjan. It sought to stimulate a culture of innovative thinking among AfDB staff, that will result in new products, programs, projects and processes; and promote entrepreneurship among young people, encouraging them to find technology-based solutions to problems they are facing, thereby enhancing job creation.


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Nigeria: Country Gets Solar Power Worth $9.7m From Japanese Govt


As part of its efforts to boost electricity in the country, the Japanese government, through its agency, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has donated solar power worth $9.7 million to the Federal Government. The Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Mr Sadanobu Kusaoke, disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday during the inauguration of the project. Kusaoke stated that Japan considered the power sector as one of the most important areas to enhance Nigeria's socio-economic development. "Since from 1970s, Japan has helped to finance power sector to increase the capacity of power in Kainji dam hydro power station. "This is the 10th project of power sector by the Japan's Government since then and this will not be our last. " He said the project which entailed the introduction of clean energy by solar electricity was donated by the government of Japan to boost power and water supply at Usman Dam Water Treatment Plant.


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Nigeria: Banks Turn to Renewable Energy to Cut Cost


In a bid to cut the increasing cost of running their branches across the country, many Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) are now opting for renewable energy. LEADERSHIP gathered that the new strategy by the banks is to enable them spend less on diesel and maintenance of their power generating plants. While some of the banks are already at the pilot stage of test-running solar panels in some of their branches, others have perfected the use of inverters in running their Automated Teller Machines (ATM) across the country. It was also gathered that some of the banks now use Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) devices in some of their operations without reverting to power generating plants. One of them, Sterling Bank, recently commenced the pilot scheme of its solar plan. Likewise, Fidelity Bank which spent over N372 million in 2015 on power generation said it has now adopted the use of UPS' and inverters to power its ATMs and major operations.


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Japan confirms investment in African geothermal


Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, will announce the east Asian’s commitment to fund geothermal power projects across Africa during a conference in Kenya, Nairobi. Having identified Kenya and Ethiopia as the primary target regions, Africa has only developed 5% of this clean power fuel, which according to the Nikkei Asian Review is due to the high associated costs of drilling down to heat reservoirs and building the plants themselves. According to media, those Japanese players with a vested interest in the sector, are seeking to boost the existing 600,000kW of geothermal capacity to more than 1 million kilowatts in the east African region. For the initial phase, the Japanese government has earmarked over $9.97 million for grant provision as part of a supplementary budget for the current fiscal year, media reported.


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Rwanda: 14,000 Energy Saving Stoves for Refugees


A total of 14,000 energy efficient cooking stoves, able to save 80 per cent of firewood, will be distributed to refugee camps in the country. The "Save80 steel stoves" are produced by the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre- Kigali (IPRC Kigali) on the request of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR). According to Veneranda Ingabire, Programme Manager for Disaster Project at MIDIMAR, the stoves are part of Rwf1.5 billion two-year project dubbed; "Environment Protection in and around Refugee Camps", that started in May 2015 and ends May 2017. The project funded by Rwanda Environment and Climate Change Fund (FONERWA). In an interview with The New Times last week, Paulin Ruzibiza, the Manager of the Production Unit at IPRC Kigali, said the cooking stoves are intended to reduce the amount of firewood used for cooking or other heating activities in the refugee camps.


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Egypt to develop solar PV manufacturing facility


Egypt is planning to develop a 1,000MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power station supported by a solar PV manufacturing facility. This news came after a meeting held on Tuesday between the Minister of International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, Minister of Military Production, Mohamad Al-Assar, and Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Mohamed Shaker. The ministers gathered to discuss the recent developments related to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed on 27 July to construct the solar power station, Daily News Egypt reported. The PV plant will be developed in two phases, bringing online 500MW at each stage. Both the plant and the manufacturing facility will be funded by China, which has confirmed $3.3 billion in concessional financing. According to Daily News Egypt: "This project would complement the MoU signed by the Ministry of International Cooperation with the Ministry of Military Production and China to exchange experiences, help local production, and the transfer of technology and knowledge required to manufacture and produce solar energy from silicon panels."


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Tanzania: Six-Year 456bn/ - Rural Electricity Deal Signed


The government and the World Bank yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in which the latter will provide 209 million USD (about 456bn/-) for the implementation of six-year Rural Electrification Expansion Programme. The six-year project will also be financed by other Development Partners (DPs). Other partners who will finance the project are Norway who will offer 80 million USD, Sweden (70 million USD), European Union (50 million USD), England (42 million USDs) and African Development Bank (25 million USD). Tanzanian government will issue 900m/- for the project. The MoU was signed at Kwedizinga Village in Handeni District of Tanga Region between the representative of the World Bank, Ms Bella Bird, and the Acting Director General of Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Mr Gissima Nyamo-Hanga. The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Professor Sospeter Muhongo, Tanga Regional Commissioner, Mr Martin Shigela, and other representatives from Development Partners (DPs) --Germany, Norway and African Development Bank (ADB).


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SA hydro plant reaches commercial operation

The Stortemelk Hydro Power Plant has reached commercial operation as of July 29 this year. Having won preferred bidder status in round 2 of government's renewable energy programme, Renewable Energy Holdings (REH) has now achieved the development of three hydro plants in the country, Engineering News reported. The 4.5MW run-of-river hydro project, located in the Free State province, was developed at a total project cost of R190 million ($14,166,239), where the capital cost was financed through Rand Merchant Bank. Equity financing was provided by REH, Mertech Group and an independent broad-based black economic empowerment firm, Engineering News reported. Having commenced construction in August 2014, REH Group said: "The project is being implemented under an engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) structure with contracts being awarded to Andritz Hydro GmbH and Indar Electrical SL for the plant’s turbine, generator and switchgear; to Aurecon South Africa (Pty) Ltd for engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services; and Eigenbau (Pty) Ltd for civil works construction."

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Nigeria: BoI, Gombe Sign N360 Million Solar Power Agreement

The Bank of Industry (BoI) and Gombe State Government have signed a N360million deal for the deployment of pay-as-you-go solar home systems in selected rural communities in the state. Gombe was one of the states that benefitted from the first phase of the BoI/UNDP rural electrification programme involving one community in each of the six geopolitical zones. Due to the success of the initial project, the Gombe State Governor, Dr. Ibrahim Damkambo wants the project replicated in other nine local government areas of the state. The acting Managing Director, BoI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju said the project would boost economic activities in the benefiting communities. The project, which is expected to commence with the deployment of stand-alone solar home systems in Lule 1 and 2 communities in Dukku LGA and Pata community in Yemaltu Debba, will be co- funded by the BoI and Gombe State Government on equal sum of N180 million each. Olagunju said the problem of electricity supply from the national grid in Nigeria underscored the need to explore other sources of power generation.


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African Renewable Energy Gains Attention

The potential for renewable energy development in Africa is experiencing an increase in attention lately as investors and world leaders seek a new clean energy frontier. The continent could become a gold mine for renewable energy due to abundant solar and wind resources. But roadblocks to clean energy worldwide are amplified throughout the troubled regions of Africa - financial resources are thin and infrastructure is often unreliable. Meeting at the Africa Carbon Forum in Senegal's capital Dakar last week, United Nations officials, World Bank specialists, and business leaders exchanged strategies for "Clean Development Mechanism" (CDM) projects on the continent - greenhouse gas-reducing initiatives that industrialized countries can support as a way to compensate for their excess emissions. A theme throughout the meetings was the possibility of future CDM projects under a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol, especially if the United States joins the market.


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Ghana: Government Approves U.S.$230 Million Renewable Energy Investment Plan

The Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper has announced the approval of a $230 million scaling-up Renewable Energy Investment Plan (SREP-IP) by the Climate Investment Fund. The approval, which will allow government to invest in the mini-grid sector, is expected to increase the country's renewable energy generation capacity to achieve price reduction in electricity. According to Mr. Terkper, the plan would be public sector-led, with the private sector providing essential services such as engineering, procurement and construction. "The SREP-IP is currently being considered by the government for implementation. The Ministry of Power would leverage additional financing to achieve flagship investments in the renewable energy sector under the SREP-IP Programme," he said. Speaking at the second edition of the Ghana Renewable Energy fair themed, 'Energy and Energy Efficiency, Accelerating Energy Access and Security,' Mr. Terkper, whose speech was read on his behalf by Deputy Minister of Finance, Mona Quartey, said the government is well aware of the important role renewable energy can play in accelerating and catalyzing the country's socio-economic development and the achievement of universal access ahead of the target date of the UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.


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Djibouti to harness geothermal power resources

Toshiba has advanced its geothermal power generation business on a global scale as the company has delivered 53 geothermal turbines, with a total capacity of 3,400MW to plants in the USA, the Philippines, Iceland and other countries around the world. In the African market, the corporation is stated to have recently delivered four geothermal turbines to Kenya that are now in commercial operation. In December 2015, the company concluded a MOU with Tanzania Geothermal Development Company Limited for comprehensive collaboration in the geothermal power generation business. Under the MOU, the innovation company will be responsible for promoting geothermal resources while providing training for personnel working at the geothermal plants. According to a company statement, ODDEG is set to draw on Toshiba’s comprehensive capabilities as one of the leaders of geothermal energy equipment, including creation of guidelines for plant operation and management, the development and supply of generation systems, and support in training personnel to operate plants.


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New flywheel energy store invention

The flywheel energy store invention retains energy kinetically in a levitated floating mass. The rotor, which can be made from composites such as carbon fibre, is permanently levitated as opposed to electromagnetically, not requiring additional control mechanisms and so does not need maintenance or user input. A smart telemetry set (monitoring equipment) would be included. From simulations and calculations, the power rating of the FES can be tailored and has the potential to reach the substantial MW range. Although with the initial aim of rotating at 100,000rpm, Carson’s research figures show the design can easily rotate at 144,000rpm without any adjustment. Lancaster University believes this is more powerful and quicker than most existing designs, which can spin at around 60,000rpm, reported Renewable Energy Focus. Making it ideal for domestic users, the design is approximately the size of a soccer ball and has the potential to be scaled-up for industrial applications through a stacking approach, says the University. Futhermore, using multiple individual units on the same network means that if one is affected, the whole system would not need to be shut down – a key advantage for large single unit systems.


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Tanzania: Arusha Invents New Coal, Firewood From Garbage

With charcoal topping the list of domestic fuel across the country, depleting thousands of hectares of forests yearly, inventors here have vowed to reserve the trend. The innovators, working from the Tanzania Engineering and Manufacturing Design Organization (TEMDO) at Njiro area, have come up with special type of coal briquettes and firewood planks made from recycled garbage to soon replace wood-based charcoal. The innovators who hatched the idea and produced their first batch of coal are among the young pioneers of technology working under Finnish government funded project, TANZICT, through the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication here. "We intend to start selling the green coal after being satisfied that through the project we can produce massively to supply to every household," said Mr Adam Faraji, one of the innovators.


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Africa: Solar Exhibition Set for Windhoek

Namibia will host its first ever Solar for Development International Exhibition and Conference from 13 to 14 October at the Windhoek Country Club and Resort. Electricity Africa, the publicity of RDJ Consulting Services, a local enterprise will host the event to showcase existing practical solar projects in Namibia as well as show the utilisation of solar for national development and effective service delivery. David Jarrett, Director, RDJ Consulting Services said, "we are proud to say that is the first of its kind as all other (non-solar) events have focused on what was not being done and not focussing on service delivery achievements and challenges". Jarrett said the organisation will use the event to showcase progress made in the area of service delivery using solar technologies and that the relevance of this event lies in its awareness raising opportunity to demonstrate current achievements of the nation and the wider world to him the event is progressing in its evolution and a full figure is not yet available, but he however said that they can confirm the involvement of Germany, Zambia and South Africa Senior Advisor, Renewable Energy at RDJ Consulting Services, Lahja Amaambo, said, "this event allows for the clear demonstration of the potential that solar energy development can bring".


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Swaziland to procure 28% power through biomass

A local forestry and sawmilling company, Montigny, is currently developing plans with various partners to drive the project from pre-feasibility to bankable feasibility. The Swazi-based firm owns 60,000 hectares of Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified plantations, which will be used as the primary feedstock for the biomass plant. Kelly Cure, head of strategic initiatives at Montigny Investments, told Renewable Energy World“Our company focuses on sustainably maximising the value of our forests, while leaving a positive impact on Swaziland and continuing to grow as a leader in the region." With an obvious need for additional power coupled with a substantial amount of wood waste, Cure, through research, discovered that forest residue left over from the timber harvesting process would be a suitable and sufficient feedstock. “We now understand that our plantations can sustainably supply nearly 30% of the country’s energy,” she said. “Our estimates indicate that we will be able to supply 30 of the 35MW to the national grid and use the remaining 5MW internally.” With attempts to reach financial closure within the next year, Cure said: “The biggest challenge thus far has been agreeing the right partners to take this long-term venture forward; although we are getting closer to the decision point."


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Kenya to host IRENA renewable energy conference

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has partnered with the Kenyan ministry of energy and petroleum and the Alliance for Rural Electrification to host the renewable energy gathering in the capital city, Nairobi. This year’s forum is set to discuss ways to improve electricity access by scaling up off-grid renewables. IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin noted: “Achieving 100% electricity access by 2030 will require the pace of electricity expansion to nearly double but this has never been more possible.” Amin further underlined the turn around that has been witnessed in the growth of the renewables. He said: “Dramatic cost reductions in recent years have made renewable technologies the most economic option for off-grid electrification, even cheaper than diesel-fired generation or kerosene-based conventional lighting in majority of contexts. “Off-grid renewables can spur socio-economic growth while also contributing to multiple Sustainable Development Goals.”


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Kenya: AFD Provides 33 Million Euros to Add Renewable Power in Kenya Power Mini Grids

The French Development Agency (AFD) signed a new 33 million Euro financing (about 3.7 billions Kenyan shillings) to support the installation of renewable energy generation units (primarily solar photovoltaic, but also in some cases wind turbines) in 23 Kenya Power mini-grids currently powered by diesel generators. This operation will be implemented by Kenya Power. It is expected that around 9.6 MW of solar photovoltaic and 0.6 MW wind capacities will be installed. The project is in particular expected to: - reduce the average cost of electricity production of mini-grids by an average of 20%; - contribute to the improvement of energy security of supply of Kenya; - support economic development by promoting more reliable electricity service; - reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the combustion of diesel.


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Namibia: Renewable Energy Policy in Final Stage

Mines and energy minister Obeth Kandjoze told the workshop participants that the renewable energy policy is long-overdue and very important for Namibia to increase the uptake of renewable energy technologies in the country's energy mix to address the concerns of security of supply. "It is my hope that the implementation of the policy will be accompanied by the same vigour. Policy implementation is not always easy; the real work starts now," he stated. Namibia must address the problem of inadequate access to electricity (especially in rural areas), the challenge of extending affordable energy services to underserved populations and the need for self-sufficiency and energy independence. The country must also ensure that the energy sector development is climate-resilient and able to secure energy access even in a non-stationary natural environment. Renewable energy, if developed strategically and with foresight, holds the solution to all these challenges.


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Tanzania: World Bank Supports Tanzania's Rural Electrification

The Tanzania government has received a financial package of USD 200 million from the World Bank (WB) loan to boost rural electric connectivity. The World Bank board of executive directors approved the financing for the Tanzania Rural Electrification Expansion Programme from the International Development Association (IDA). The new financing is a big boost to the project that is expected to connect up to 2.5 million households in rural areas to the national electricity grid over the next five years, according to a statement from the WB headquarters in Washington. "The programme aims to build on the recent achievements of expanding nationwide access to 36 per cent in 2014. In addition, the Programme will scale up the supply of renewable energy in rural areas while strengthening sector institutional capacity," said Bella Bird, WB country director for Tanzania, who also covers Malawi, Burundi and Somalia.


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Nigeria approves solar energy sale price

The Nigerian federal government honours its pledge of promoting solar energy by approving an entry price for solar power stations. The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) has finally reached an agreement with solar developers, endorsing $11.5 cents down from $23 cents per kWh for solar energy sale price. A team of solar developers comprising 14 pioneers are collectively expected to generate 1,125MW of electricity, which will be distributed to the grid through a stepped down transmission network to enable them to minimise levels of transmission losses, reports local media This Day. NBET managing director Waziri Bintube said: “Working in concert with our advisers, NBET developed a form solar PPA to be used in negotiations with these solar power developers. In the course of negotiations, NBET made it quite clear from the on-set that it was not ready to offer any developer the MYTO II tariff as published by NERC."


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AfDB arranges $.13 billion ‘jumbo’ loan to Eskom

The agreement was signed on 7 July 2016 to support Eskom's 2016-2020 capital expenditure programme, including investments in new generation, plant refurbishment, transmission lines, and capacity building in excess of $17 billion, the AfDB said in a statement. South Africa has struggled with load shedding and energy reliability. The AfDB said that the ‘jumbo’ loan as it called it, will boost electricity generation in Africa by nearly 10 per cent. AfDB has arranged $965 million through participation arrangements with nine commercial banks, which include: Bank of China, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, CaixaBank, Citibank, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, KfW IPEX Bank, Siemens Bank, and Standard Chartered. The operation represents the largest syndicated A/B Loan arranged to-date in Africa.


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South Africa signs €60m credit agreement for green projects

South Africa's Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has signed an agreement with France's development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), for a €60-million credit line aimed at local small-scale green projects. The facility, a collaboration under the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance initiative, provides long-term loans on attractive terms for developers who find it difficult to access funding for renewable-energy and energy efficiency projects. The IDC will use the credit line to provide loans directly to small and medium-sized companies according to certain criteria, such as the size of the project and the environmental impact of the project. The facility will also contribute to the creation and preservation of jobs at companies that are highly exposed to rising electricity and energy tariffs.


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Energy Commission launches 2nd Ghana Renewable Energy Fair

The Energy Commission in collaboration with West Africa Clean Energy and Environment (WACEE) organized the first ever Ghana Renewable Energy (RE) Fair in November 2015 to educate the general public on Renewable Energy Technologies. The three-day Conference and Exhibition attracted over 1,900 people with 33 companies exhibiting. This year, the 2nd RE Fair comes off at the Accra International Conference Centre in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and in collaboration with the Ministry of Power. The Renewable Energy Fair which will take place from the 9th to 11th of August 2016 from 8am to 5pm daily. It’s a three-day Conference that will run concurrently with the exhibition.


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Kenya Taps Solar to Power Digital Learning

In one of the most ambitious rural electrification projects in Africa that has tapped the use of solar energy, the Kenya government has completed connecting some 4,100 primary schools to power using solar PV systems. The schools have been electrified as part of a determined digital learning program that will see electricity from the panels being used to power learning tablets currently being rolled out in public primary schools countrywide.Under the project a total of 22,249 schools have been connected to power, with 18,074 of those being connected using grid extension, while another 4,175 have been powered by solar PV systems in areas far away from grid power lines, a statement by the country’s rural power body, Rural Electrification Authority (REA) said.


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Nigeria: Jigawa Signs 80 MW Plant Deal

The Jigawa State government has signed a 80 mega-watts plant deal. It was gathered the 80 MW power plant will generate an estimated 200,000 MWh of clean, renewable energy per year, enough electricity to power over 200,000 Nigerian households. The project represents an investment of approximately $USD 150 million. The project will sell electricity at 11.5 US cent per kWh. NSPDL plans to begin construction in 2017, with operations beginning a year later. The project will bring investment and contribute to local job creation with the potential to catalyze long-term growth in Jigawa State and the broader region


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Kenyan conservancy installs off-grid microgrid

In East Africa, a wildlife research and ecotourism conservancy has recently installed an off-grid microgrid, which has since replaced a heavy duty diesel generator. The Loisaba Conservancy, comprising of 56,000 acres of land, will use this clean power system to power a commercial laundry, swimming pool, kitchen, business services, lighting, cooling, and other facility loads. According to the manufacturer of Aqueous Hybrid Ion batteries and energy storage systems, Aquion Energy, the microgrid, which was funded, designed, installed, and integrated by SolarAfrica, consists of two independent systems, each of which has 106kWh of Aquion batteries paired with a 37kW solar array. The conservancy CEO, Tom Silvester, said: “We embrace the idea of living lightly on the earth, minimising our carbon footprint and maintaining a clean, safe, and sustainable environment.


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Africa: AFD, DTB to Support Renewable Energies

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are interested in investing in renewable energy technologies will now receive soft loans from the French Development Agency through Diamond Trust bank (DTB). Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) and DTB have signed a credit agreement worth Shs 33bn to finance green energy projects in the country. Yves Boudot, the regional director for AFD in East Africa, said the soft loans are accessible to businesses interested in investing in technologies such as small hydroelectric power generation, geothermal, biogas, and solar. "This technical and financial offer is particularly important to bringing additional solutions to achieve the diversification of energy resources in East Africa and help the region to move towards sustainable energy solutions that are technically, economically and financially viable," Boudot said. Varghese Thambi, the managing director of DTB, said the partnership will boost energy efficiency.


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Tanzania: Green Energy Initiative Receives Boost


Tanzania's newly launched renewable energy initiative has received a Sh1.7 trillion boost in pledges from foreign donors. Energy minister, Prof Sospeter Muhongo, said at the launch of the initiative yesterday that such pledges from foreign sources complement the government budget of Sh1.2 trillion for rural electrification projects countrywide. The donors are the European Union which pledged 108 million Euros, the African Development Bank ($100 million), Nordic countries ($300 million) and the World Bank ($300 million). The minister said the giant rural electrification project will begin this month as the funds are available to carry out the schemes. The donors are the European Union which pledged 108 million Euros, the African Development Bank ($100 million), Nordic countries ($300 million) and the World Bank ($300 million). "The government is strongly committed to embark on renewable energy projects in line with the UN declaration of 2011 with Sustainable Development Goal number 7, emphasising on all countries in the world to embark on renewable energy development for mitigating the effects of climate change," said Prof Muhongo.


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