Energy (128)

Let Industrialists Adopt Renewable Energy Options To Save Our Environments

By Sandra Atusinguza

I recently got interested in a story published in the print media where a renowned Breweries company (NILE) came up with a plan to go green in industrialization through establishment of biogas plants at her industries.

If 90% of all industries would also adopt this, then uganda would be a better country to live in . It is true the electricity bills are very high and have pushed many out of business including small scale and medium enterprises/ companies as well as scaring way potential investors despite incentives like tax holidays due to the sustainability aspect.

It is worse in communities where power lines are seen as they Passover the houses but they cannot be connected to the grid, even those with power in their houses use it for lighting at night but when it comes to ironing they use charcoal irons and firewood or charcoal for cooking.

In order for our country to achieve the sustainable development goals and reduce green house gasses, there is much need for sustainable production and consumption patterns where more companies/ industries must adopt sustainable practices like reducing green house emissions, currently industries are at the centre of environmental pollution and degradation despite the existing measures.

Renewable energy options such as wind mills, solar energy, and bio gas must be heavily invested in to generate more power, government through Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development must also develop the thermal energy plants such as Kibiro in Buliisa district to help generate clean energy to the communities and attract investments as an alternative away from the hydro electricity. This will help reduce green house emissions effects to our environment and other costs.

Complied by Sandra Atusinguza

AFIEGO Field officer


ENGIE, Meridiam Win Two Solar Photovoltaic Projects In Senegal

ENGIE and investment partner Meridiam have been selected by Senegal's Electricity Sector Regulation Commission (CRSE) as preferred bidder in a tender launched in October 2017 for two solar photovoltaic projects totaling 60 MW.

These two projects are part of the Scaling Solar initiative in Senegal, conducted jointly by the Senegalese authorities and the International Finance Corporation ("IFC", member of the World Bank Group). They are located in Kahone, in the Kaolack region, and in Touba-Kaël, in the Diourbel region.

ENGIE and Meridiam will hold a 40% shareholding in the project company. FONSIS, the Senegalese sovereign fund, will also be a shareholder with a 20% equity stake. The construction and the operation of the plants will be managed and executed by ENGIE.

Yoven Moorooven (CEO of ENGIE Africa): "Our consortium delivered a highly competitive offer by leveraging our experience of developing and operating renewable energy projects in Africa – in particular in Senegal. This success demonstrates the merit of our integrated model for solar whereby ENGIE is acting as investor, operator and EPC contractor through ENGIE Solar (formerly known as Solairedirect).

The CRSE and the IFC set out a clear, sound investment framework, which favored the presence of long-term investors like ENGIE. Our focus will now be on finalising the projects to deliver the most competitive solar photovoltaic plants, to serve the country's ambition of developing universal electricity access in a sustainable manner. Congratulations to the teams on this achievement."

Mathieu PELLER (COO of Meridiam Africa): "We continue to deploy our fund in Africa, choosing projects aimed at supporting sustainable economic development. Thanks to the reduced costs of solar equipment, this particular project will have a high developmental impact by expanding Senegal's capacity to generate clean energy at a very competitive price.

Increasing power generation is critical for the Government's objective to raise Senegal to the level of an emerging market by 2035. The Project aligns with the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goal Seven, which calls for increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix."

In Senegal, ENGIE is already involved in the Senergy project, a 30 MW solar photovoltaic plant in the town of Santhiou Mekhé and in Ten Merina, a 29.5 MW solar photovoltaic plant in the region of Thiès, near Dakar. Both projects are currently in operation.

In 2017, ENGIE signed a partnership with ANER, Senegal's National Renewable Energy Agency which focuses on accelerating the development of renewable energy in the country.

The Group is also implementing solar energy solutions for rural households in Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon. ENGIE has been selected for the Dakar TER project in partnership with Thales for the design and production of infrastructure and systems, with a contract amounting to 225 million euros.

Consider Rural Women In Development Of Energy Sector

By Edwin Mumbere

The gender question in regard to energy issues in Uganda has for long been kept in the background. It is evident that women and children in rural areas are the most affected by energy needs.

Most of us have all witnessed the situation in rural households where women and children spend countless hours either collecting firewood or fetching water. Clearly energy, gender and poverty in Uganda are very strongly inter-related.

Solving rural women’s cooking energy needs, water needs through water pumping would free up women’s time and reduce drudgery allowing them to participate more in productive activities.

This would contribute to enabling livelihoods through increased output, improved working conditions and increased hours for production thus reducing poverty.

For rural women, clean energy would directly translate into health gains through clean cooking and improved health services by ensuring the efficient operation of medical equipment that would guarantee safer deliveries thus reduced maternal and infant mortality rate. 

How then does the most affected person by major energy needs become excluded from the energy sector planning, policy formulation and interventions?

Have we ever asked ourselves that most probably consulting rural women on energy issues could lead to informed energy sector interventions and provide solutions to energy woes and eradicate poverty in Uganda? 

Without question, for the Ugandan government to achieve sustainable energy for all(SE4ALL), the unique aspects that gender dynamics play in influencing energy access, energy efficiency and most importantly gender needs in relation to the preferred renewable energy sources have to be taken into account.

Over the years one of the single biggest concerns has been the limited evidence relating to the use of the gender approach in energy sector reform and regulation in Uganda. In Uganda’s energy sector the emphasis on women and girls is limited because energy interventions are usually implemented in a gender-neutral way. 

This is based on the assumption that women and men benefit equally. In reality, energy interventions are gender-blind and fail to recognise that the needs of women and men are different thus missing issues that would be significant in implementing interventions that are of relevance to women.

A perfect example is that the question of using a gender approach has not been taken into account in the extension of energy sources in Uganda rural areas. The importance of extensively consulting women and getting their suggestions is never considered. 

Questions are never asked to ensure that the energy sources distributed are affordable, accessible and efficient to the needs of women instead, the government concentrates in distributing unaffordable energy sources like hydro power electricity which isn’t affordable to rural women. 

Therefore, Uganda’s energy sector should take into account the gender dynamics specifically the involvement of women.

The reason is that women’s productivity and wellness is greatly affected by challenges entwined with energy issues leading to high poverty levels. Understanding of the aspects of gender in relation to interventions of improving energy access can empower women, girls and improve affordable energy access thus reduce poverty.

Edwin Mumbere

Kasese Field Officer

Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Eskom's Kusile Gas Desulphurization Plant Achieves 93% Removal Efficiency Rate

GE's Steam Power business has announced that it has successfully completed tests for performance of Unit 1, of the Wet Flue Gas Desulphurization Plant (WFGD) at Eskom's Kusile newly built plant, the first air quality control system of its kind in Africa.

The WFGD Plant will be the cleanest coal-fired power plant in Eskom's fleet. During its performance tests, Kusile's WFGD plant has exceeded original performance commitments as it achieved 93% removal efficiency rate, to deliver more value to Eskom and the local communities.

Eskom's Acting Chief Executive Phakamani Hadebe said "Kusile is the first power plant in Africa to implement clean fuel technology such as flue-gas desulphurization – a state-of-the-art technology used to remove oxides of Sulphur, such as Sulphur dioxide, from exhaust flue gases in power plants that burn coal or oil.

This technology is fitted as an atmospheric emission abatement technology, in line with current international practice, to ensure compliance with air-quality standards, especially since the power station is in a priority air shed area.

Th WFGD system at Kusile is the most advanced environmental control technology to significantly reduce SO2 emissions. GE's WFGD system guarantees cleaner air for the environment and the inhabitants of the Mpumalanga area.

"The energy demands of South Africa are growing and coal remains a vital part of the energy mix. By bringing cleaner, affordable, reliable and efficient technology solutions to the Kusile Power plant, we have proven that coal can continue to play an essential role in meeting the country's growing energy needs.

This WFGD system ensures the highest removal of Sulphur from the combustion process, ensuring that Kusile coal power plant will comply with the most stringent international standards and protect the communities around it while responding to growing energy demands across South Africa" said Lee Dawes, General Manager, GE Steam Power business in Sub-Saharan Africa.

GE's scope in Kusile is the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of six turbine islands, air cooled condensers and wet flue gas desulphurization plant (WFGD). Once in full operation, Kusile power plant will consist of 6 units delivering 800MW each for a total of 4,800 MW. This is enough power to meet the electricity needs of 3.5 million households in South Africa.

Global Renewable Generation Continues Its Strong Growth

By the end of 2017, global renewable generation capacity increased by 167 GW and reached 2,179 GW worldwide. This represents a yearly growth of around 8.3%, the average for seven straight years in a row, according to new data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). 

Renewable Capacity Statistics 2018 is the most comprehensive, up-to-date and accessible figures on renewable energy capacity statistics. It contains nearly 15,000 data points from more than 200 countries and territories.     

“This latest data confirms that the global energy transition continues to move forward at a fast pace, thanks to rapidly falling prices, technology improvements and an increasingly favourable policy environment, said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin.

“Renewable energy is now the solution for countries looking to support economic growth and job creation, just as it is for those seeking to limit carbon emissions, expand energy access, reduce air pollution and improve energy security.”

“Despite this clear evidence of strength in the power generation sector, a complete energy transformation goes beyond electricity to include the end-use sectors of heating, cooling and transportation, where there is substantial opportunity for growth of renewables,” Mr. Amin added.

Solar photovoltaics (PV) grew by a whopping 32% in 2017, followed by wind energy, which grew by 10%. Underlying this growth are substantial cost reductions, with the levelised cost of electricity from solar PV decreasing by 73%, and onshore wind by nearly one-quarter, between 2010 and 2017.   Both technologies are now well within the cost range of power generated by fossil fuels.

China continued to lead global capacity additions, installing nearly half of all new capacity in 2017. 10% of all new capacity additions came from India, mostly in solar and wind. Asia accounted for 64% of new capacity additions in 2017, up from 58% last year. 

Europe added 24 GW of new capacity in 2017, followed by North America with 16 GW.  Brazil set itself on a path of accelerated renewables deployment, installing 1 GW of solar generation, a ten-fold increase from the previous year.

Off-grid renewables capacity saw unprecedented growth in 2017, with an estimated 6.6 GW serving off-grid customers.  This represents a 10% growth from last year, with around 146 million people now using off-grid renewables.

Highlights by technology:

Hydropower: The amount of new hydro capacity commissioned in 2017 was the lowest seen in the last decade. Brazil and China continued to account for most of this  expansion (12.4 GW or 60% of all new capacity).  Hydro capacity also increased by more than 1 GW in Angola and India.

Wind energy: Three-quarters of new wind energy capacity was installed in five countries: China (15 GW); USA (6 GW); Germany (6 GW); UK (4 GW); and India (4 GW). Brazil and France also installed more than 1 GW.

Bioenergy: Asia continued to account for most of the increase in bioenergy capacity, with increases of 2.1 GW in China, 510 MW in India and 430MW in Thailand. Bioenergy capacity  also increased in Europe (1.0 GW) and South America (0.5 GW), but the increase in South America was relatively low compared to previous years.

Solar energy: Asia continued to dominate the global solar capacity expansion, with a 72 GW increase. Three countries accounted for most of this growth, with increases of 53 GW (+68%) in China, 9.6 GW (+100%) in India and 7 GW (+17%) in Japan. China alone accounted for  more than half of all new solar capacity installed in 2017. Other countries that installed more than 1 GW of solar in 2017 included: USA (8.2 GW); Turkey (2.6 GW); Germany (1.7 GW); Australia (1.2 GW); South Korea (1.1 GW); and Brazil (1 GW).

Geothermal energy: Geothermal power capacity increased by 644 MW in 2017, with major expansions in Indonesia (306 MW) and Turkey (243 MW). Turkey passed the level of 1 GW geothermal capacity at the year-end and Indonesia is fast approaching 2 GW.

Eskom Completes Refurbishment Of Unit 3 At Nalubale Power Station

Eskom Uganda Ltd (EUL) has announced they have completed refurbishment of unit 3 at Nalubale power station adding 18 megawatts onto the National grid.

At the Control room, The Managing Director Ms. Thozama Gangi, Finance Director Mr. Stephen Byaruhanga, Ag.Technical Director Eng. Daniel Oluga and a team of Technical staff watched with heightened anticipation as Engineers carried outload rejection and step response tests for the addition of 18 Megawatts onto the national electricity grid. The room exploded into songs of ‘praise the Lord’’ and hugs when the tests proved successful.

Ä visibly excited Thozama hugged each of the staff thanking them on behalf of EUL Board of Directors and Management for the tireless effort, determination, resilience and commitment that saw them register the achievement.

“I equally thank the contractors who worked closely with our Engineers i.e. Andritz Hydro and ABB, your inputs were invaluable. I also recognise the contribution made by other individual contractors throughout this journey. Thank you all for the technical input”, she said before popping the Champaign in celebration.

Eskom Uganda operates and maintains 10 Units with an installed capacity of 18 Megawatts each at Nalubaale Hydro power plant and five Units with a capacity of 40 Megawatts each at Kiira Hydro Power plant. Eskom embarked on repairs and refurbishment of Unit 3 a few years back, leading to this successful completion.

Engie, Fenix Acquisition Deal To Bring Affordable Power To Africa

Global utility company ENGIE and off-grid energy leader Fenix International have closed their acquisition agreement today. Fenix is the first Solar Home System "SHS" company to join a major worldwide energy company and has already delivered clean, safe and affordable energy and financial services to over one million people.

ENGIE and Fenix have ambitious targets to reach millions of households across Africa and this partnership will accelerate and expand Fenix's ability to scale off-grid energy and financial services. Fenix will gain access to ENGIE's supply chain, expertise, long-term capital investments and talent across the energy value chain.

Aligned with ENGIE's core values, the Fenix team and mission will remain unchanged and at the heart of the company. Fenix headquarters and key offices are anchored in Africa, close to their customers and operations, so that Fenix can continue its pursuit of an exceptional customer experience.

Bruno Bensasson, CEO of ENGIE Africa, said: "Closing this acquisition gives us the go-ahead to accelerate access to energy through Fenix's strong solar home system model. Until now, availability of capital has been a major hurdle in the solar home system business, a constraint that we are now helping to remove.

We believe this is a major step along the path to universal energy access. The dramatically falling price of solar panels and batteries, combined with the inclusive "pay-as-you-go" financing platform created by Fenix, make solar home systems a key part of the energy mix for Africa's future in combination with grid extension and micro-grids."

Lyndsay Handler, CEO of Fenix International, said, "It's unacceptable that over 600 million people across Africa lack access to energy. By joining forces with ENGIE, we aim to bring affordable energy and other life-changing products to millions of people living off-grid.

Realizing this ambitious vision will require significant commercial investment and innovation in product, last-mile distribution, inclusive financing and customer experience. With this agreement, ENGIE will provide the support, expertise and opportunities the Fenix team needs to innovate in these areas and rapidly scale the business."

Fenix's flagship product, ReadyPay Power, is one of the most affordable solar home systems on the off-grid market. Customers pay as little as $0.19 per day to access power for lighting, phone charging, and products such as TVs and radios.

After 24-36 months of payments, customers own the solar home system outright. Based on the credit score customers establish while paying off their power systems, they are able to purchase upgrades to their energy system, energy-efficient appliances, or other life-changing financial products.

ReadyPay Power, by providing off-grid families with clean, affordable energy and a safer home environment, is a natural fit with ENGIE's goal to provide decarbonised, decentralised energy using the latest digital technologies.

As Fenix officially joins the ENGIE group of companies, Lyndsay comments: "It is a privilege to be a part of a bold global energy company with over 50 years' experience with energy in Africa. Over 100 years ago, Ford set out on a mission to make cars affordable in America.

MTN have made telecommunications and Mobile Money affordable to all across Africa, and today Tesla is working to make rockets and electric cars affordable. Together, Fenix and ENGIE want to make modern energy radically affordable to all."

Orange Eyes Energy Transition In Africa

At the Africa CEO Forum, which is currently being held in Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire), Orange confirms its desire to become a key player in the energy transition sector in Africa, by providing services directly to the general public or as a wholesaler to public operators.

Orange already provides a service offering rural populations access to solar energy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Madagascar. Today Orange is announcing the launch of this service in Burkina Faso, and further ahead in Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire.

Africa has a population of 1.2 billion, but 50% do not have access to electricity. In rural areas, far from the national electrical networks, this rate reaches 82% of the population, i.e. over 600 million people [1], making it particularly important to bring electricity to these zones.

Electricity at the heart of Orange's ambitions in Africa

Committed to providing access to energy for many years, Orange has chosen to contribute to the challenge of electrifying Africa in countries within its footprint.

After the launch of Orange Energie in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in December 2017, then Mijro in Madagascar in February, Orange now is moving forwards in the deployment of its electrification programme for rural zones by launching the service in Burkina Faso.

Offered in the form of a kit including a solar panel, a battery and accessories (LED lightbulbs, kit to recharge several telephones, a radio and/or television), the equipment is provided by partners (BBOXX in the Democratic Republic of Congo, D Light in Madagascar and Niwa in Burkina Faso) selected by Orange for the quality of their products and their ability to respond to a massive demand.

The solar kits that Orange is offering are robust and can light up a whole house, charge the household's mobile phones, and power a radio or even a television. Quick and easy to set-up, all you need to do is install a solar panel on the roof and a control unit in the house. Users also benefit from a full guarantee from Orange, which covers the entire installation, maintenance and repairs, in conjunction with technical partners.

Several packages exist to suit the pace of each household's life with daily, weekly or quarterly subscriptions. The monthly subscriptions start at USD 15 for example in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Payment via Orange Money makes it possible to automatically grant or re-establish the service remotely for the requested period. This innovative service makes solar energy more widely accessible thanks to the great flexibility of mobile payments.

Towards an acceleration of ecologically-responsible economic development

The energy sector is a significant opportunity for Orange's plan for diversification in Africa where it is particularly difficult to access reliable sources of electricity.

Especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 70% of the population does not have access to the power grid and power cuts are frequent, even in large cities.

A new milestone will be reached in the first quarter of 2018 with the distribution of 12,000 "Orange Energie" kits and the launch of the service in four new countries (Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire) for the Football World Cup in June.

The next step will involve the massive deployment of the Orange Energie service in other countries across Orange's footprint, and the sale of several hundred thousand kits in the next five years, particularly through the extension of the partnership already established in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with BBOXX.

"Orange wants to be much more than a telecoms operator in Africa. We want to be a provider of essential services for our customers.

The development of solutions that allow as many people as possible to access everyday essentials such as sustainable energy is a strong message in this direction," says Bruno Mettling, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa.

"We think first and foremost of children who will be able to do their homework in the evening, but also of professionals who will gain in efficiency thanks to more readily available energy."

Orange is present in 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East where it has over 130 million customers (December 2017). Generating 5 billion euros in sales in 2017, this zone is a strategic priority for the Group.

Its flagship mobile-based money transfer and financial services offer, Orange Money, is available in 17 countries and has over 37 million customers.

The Group's strategy in Africa and the Middle East is to position itself as a major partner of the digital transformation and to provide its international expertise to support the development of new digital services.

$7 million Access Co-Development Facility Competition Launched

Access Power a developer, owner and operator of power projects in emerging markets, today announced the launch of ACF 2018, the third edition of the highly successful funding and support platform for renewable energy projects in Africa and Asia.

For this third edition, Access has included Asia for energy projects and invite entrepreneurs across both Africa and Asia to compete.

Now in its fourth year, the ACF is an innovative US$7 million financial support programme designed to provide local power project developers and originators with project development support, technical experience, expertise and funding required to bring their renewable energy projects to life.

ACF 2018 aims to further build on the success of the previous three years where a total of 234 projects have been considered for the prize with several winning projects now benefiting from the mix of funding and technical expertise provided by Access Power.

This year's finalists will once again be evaluated and scored by an independent panel of industry experts, similar to last year's which comprised of senior representatives from Power Africa, InfraCo Africa, Proparco, and the Dutch Development Bank (FMO).

The winners of ACF 2018 will be announced during a live final evaluation panel on June 19th 2018 during the Africa Energy Forum in Mauritius. The top three finalists from Africa and Asia will subsequently enter into direct Joint Development Agreement (JDA) discussions with Access Power.

Reda El Chaar, Executive Chairman, Access Power commented; "This year we are delighted to welcome projects across Asia too to compete.

By introducing new markets, we hope this will enable us to reach a bigger network of innovative and pioneering entrepreneurs across Africa and Asia with the opportunity to develop their ambitious ideas into tangible projects."

GE Power, FieldCore Successfully Restart Production At Metahara

GE Power and FieldCore, the company's independent field services execution arm, have successfully restarted Metahara Sugar Factory in Ethiopia, seven months after the plant was severely damaged by a major thunderstorm.

The outage execution service of two steam turbines, which lasted 20 days, succeeded in bringing back the 5000-person workforce and solving sugar scarcity for more than the 100 million people in Ethiopia.

Metahara's Deputy Factory Manager Mr. Fahmi Dawud said the team providing solutions and getting the factory back up and running in a record 20 days was a miracle.

"We had lost all hope that these extremely aged units, manufactured by Compagnie Electro Mecanique, in the 1950s, would ever come online again due to the damage. Hotels and supermarkets had run out of sugar, and it was a critical situation. We are excited to hear the machines humming again."

"GE Power and FieldCore are proud to have helped bring sugar production back to Ethiopia," said Elisee Sezan, General Manager, GE's Power Services business for Sub-Saharan Africa. "We all experienced a great sense of accomplishment when the turbines were revived at startup and we heard the them working again.

This project reflects the passion, the wealth of power generation experience and the world-class services capabilities that keep GE and FieldCore competitive and consistent around the globe for our customers," he added.

The Metahara Sugar Factory is in the Oromiya Regional State, about 200 kilometers from Addis Ababa and it produces about 136,000 tons of sugar annually, representing an estimated 20% of Ethiopia's sugar consumption.

Daniel Hailu, Executive Country Business Leader for GE's Global Growth Organization, explained that sugar is a key commodity for Ethiopia, both for local consumption and export. He said: "It's extremely important for the country's foreign currency revenue stream. We are honored to participate in such a crucial project for the country."

GE works with the government, state owned enterprises as well as private sector corporate customers in Ethiopia to support economic growth through infrastructure development in the power, healthcare and transport/aviation sectors. In 2016, GE opened a 60-capacity permanent office in Addis Ababa, and now has over 40 employees - 90% of which are Ethiopians.

Subscribe to this RSS feed



Mostly Cloudy

Humidity: 74%

Wind: 22.53 km/h

  • 24 Mar 2016 28°C 22°C
  • 25 Mar 2016 28°C 21°C