Energy

Energy (148)

ENGIE To Build 8 Hybrid Solar Power Plants In Gabon

ENGIE has signed an agreement with CDC, the Gabonese financial institution Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, to deploy eight hybrid solar power plants in Gabon, representing a combined capacity of 2.2 MW.

The implemented solution was developed by ENGIE's subsidiary, Ausar Energy in collaboration with CDC, the Gabonese Ministry of Energy, and the Gabonese energy and water company Société d'Énergie et d'Eau du Gabon (SEEG) and means that solar energy can be used in eight locations that are currently supplied by oil-fired thermal power stations.

With construction set to begin in a few weeks, this project will contribute to the Gabonese Republic's proactive policy of using renewable energy – solar and hydropower – to increase the country's energy capacities. The project will save the country 1 million litres of fuel oil per year, or 2,600 tonnes of CO2, and reduce generation costs by 30%.

Ausar Energy offers the African continent a hybrid solar power plant solution, with or without storage facilities, with capacities ranging from 50 kW to 2.5 MW. This solution is in line with ENGIE Group's strategy of promoting decentralised generation and distribution of electricity from renewable sources.

This strategic priority is designed to ensure continuous access to energy in isolated areas that are not and cannot be connected to grids, as well as to limit the consumption of fuel oil, manage costs and reduce pollution.

Uganda First African Country To De-Risk Renewables

Uganda becomes the first African country to sign an agreement with the Regional Liquidity Support Facility (RLSF), a joint initiative of the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI), a Pan-African and multilateral guarantor and KfW with funding from German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. Under the program, RLSF will offer protection to new small and mid-sized renewable energy projects (up to 50 MW) in Sub-Sahara Africa.

The World Bank estimates that the continent needs to generate annual capacity of 7,000 MW but such a ramp-up in generation capacity cannot be achieved without private sector participation. The RLSF, as a pragmatic option, could therefore become a more widely used solution to solve Africa's energy deficit challenge.

The RLSF has an initial capacity equivalent to USD74 million and will protect Independent Power Producers (IPPs) against the risk of delayed payments by public off-takers. This type of guarantee is a common requirement from the banks that fund the projects. Many projects have failed in the past to access funding because this guarantee was not available.

The move reflects Uganda's commitment to ensuring the viability of small and medium-scale renewable energy projects. Speaking during the signing ceremony, Honorable Matia Kasaija, Uganda's Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development commented on the government's commitment to improving conditions for investors within the energy sector "Uganda has a solid history of supporting our public concession with upwards of USD500 million spent in the last decade on improvements to the grid. With this agreement, we see RLSF providing a perfect complement to our on-going strategy of accelerating the delivery of clean energy to the national grid."

Uganda is seen as an ideal market based on the relatively high number of viable Independent Power Producers (IPPs). The country has also benefited from the GET FiT program, which is an existing energy-sector initiative managed by KfW on behalf of Government of Uganda, that supports countries to develop a standardised set of documentation for power projects and an enabling regulatory framework for IPPs.

This gives the necessary comfort to developers and lenders to invest in renewable energy projects. GET FiT has been a success in Uganda, attracting 19 IPPs in the last five years.

Under the RLSF program all renewable IPPs that have not reached financial close, as well as new IPPs can apply for the product.

"RLSF is a tool that can ensure more renewable energy projects reach financial close. For Africa, small and mid-sized projects may be a better fit to the current environment requiring less financing and they can be implemented much quicker.

This could be a model that works in many other African markets that may just pave the way for an expansion of the facility or other such initiatives," noted George Otieno, ATI's Chief Executive Officer.

The agreement was signed by Hon. Matia Kasaija, Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Hon. Irene Nafuna Muloni, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Mr. Willy. K. Kiryahika, Managing Director & CEO, Uganda Electricity Transmission Company (UETCL) and Mr. George Otieno, CEO, African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI).

Let The Fishing Communities Light

Hydromax Limited Company was contracted by government with funding from African Development Bank under the government’s Rural Electrification Program to develop a Mini Hydro Power dam project of Nine Megawatts in Buseruka Sub County known as Kabalega hydro power project.

The 36million dollar project is situated on River Wambabya, 18 miles away from the proposed oil refinery site in Kabaale parish  along the escarpment and few kilometers away from the fishing landing sites of Lake Albert.  

After the commissioning exercise, the communities were assured of reliable power supply in the region. The project reached its final stages by 2012 but up to date the neighboring parish of Tonya has never been connected to the grid or poles erected in the community.

 Despite the escarpment hosting most of Uganda’s oil wells in the Albertine graben, little attention has been focused to enable them access electricity or any other energy options , even government’s rural electrification program has not benefited these communities.  

During my recent visit to the fishing communities along Lake Albert at Kaiso and  Kyehoro landing sites, Tonya parish Buseruka Sub county Hoima district. From 7pm to 6am, what any person can see is like a lite - city on the waters lighting till dawn.

At the landing site over 80% of households have access to clean energy for lighting, charging and other domestic purposes.

 The fishing communities have resorted to using solar energy to fish all night with battery charged bulbs to catch silver fish and other spices. Not long ago did the communities do away with the steamer pressure lamps and kerosene which was expensive to maintain though produced a bright light.

The method of solar light fishing has been adopted from the neighboring landing sites it is cost effective, durable, environmental friendly , it is also  which is believed to have increased in fish catch especially silver fish though some fisher men say it has also reduced in other types of fish spices and weather dependant.

As the fishing communities’ moves towards energy security through access to solar energy as a form of ensuring environmental sustainability, government must decentralize energy sites to increase access especially to marginalized communities.

More investments by all players in energy sector must focus more on off grid and micro grids options; this will also help to reduce energy costs. There must be tax subsidization of imports on clean energy products so as they can be affordable and cheaper to the consumers.

Compiled by Sandra Atusinguza

AFIEGO – Field coordinator

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

Modi Extends $141m Credit To Electricity Development

The coming of India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Uganda saw a number of Memoranda of Understanding and other frameworks of cooperation signed between Uganda and India as the two friendly nations re-energized their sovereign relations.

Among the announcements that the influential Prime Minister made was the two lines of credits worth about $200m would go to the development of energy and agriculture sectors.

Specifically, $141m will go into construction of electricity lines and Substations and $64m into agriculture and dairy production. These sectors the foundation of Uganda’s economy and the country’s Vision 40 that aims to make Uganda a middle income country.

The minister also announced a contribution to establishment of Mahatma Gandhi Convention/ Heritage Centre at Jinja, a financial support of $929,705 for capacity building and creating a supportive infrastructure for East African Community (EAC) which is currently chaired by Uganda.

Other contributioins include provision of 25 slots for training under the ITEC scheme in the field of dairy cooperation in order tostrengthen cooperation in the Dairy sector and gifting gifting of 88 vehicles, 44 each for the Ugandan Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) and forthe civil use by the Ugandan Government.

The Prime Minister also gifted a Bhabhatron Cancer Therapy machine to assist Uganda’s efforts towards eradicating the malaise of cancer, 100,000 NCERT books for school going children of Uganda and 100 solar power irrigation pumps to Uganda for helping Uganda’s efforts in the development of agriculture.

In a joint statement released, the Prime Minister and his host President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni directed concerned individuals to ensure that implementation of existing agreements, Memoranda of Understanding and other frameworks of cooperation, is fast-tracked.

GE Power Releases Whitepaper On Digitization of Energy Transmission & Distribution in Africa

As Africa faces emerging opportunities to help deliver efficient, affordable and reliable electricity to consumers, GE Power's Grid Solutions business unveiled a whitepaper on the "Digitization of Energy Transmission & Distribution in Africa."

The paper explores the opportunities and challenges faced in Sub-Saharan Africa as the new future of energy and electrification emerges.  The paper also looks at the role of smart technology to transform grids as they continue to reflect the changes in the way energy is generated, distributed, traded, managed and stored. 

Co-authored by the Strategic Marketing unit of GE Power in Sub-Saharan Africa and Energy & Environment Research Analysts of Frost & Sullivan, the white paper presents several challenges that affect energy access and power supply stability in Africa. They include inadequate power generation but more significantly, low levels of electrification caused primarily by faulty, aged or wrong setup of transmission and distribution infrastructure. 

With the digital transformation of the energy sector rapidly gaining traction on a global scale, new opportunities are emerging to help deliver efficient, affordable and reliable electricity to consumers.

According to the whitepaper, smart grids can create the potential to combat SSA's power sector challenges, and provide the opportunity for the region to develop its energy capabilities and, therefore its energy security as well as security of supply

The digital transformation of grids allows users to take a holistic approach to achieve efficiency, flexibility, transparency and long-term sustainability.

Information Communication Technology Integration will support real-time or deferred bi-directional data transmission that will enable stakeholders to efficiently manage the grid through increased speed and volume of data output, providing utilities the opportunity to maximize cost reductions, increase power reliability and increase customer satisfaction

Wide Area Monitoring and Control ensures visibility into the power systems to observe the performance of grid components allowing for major cost-saving benefits associated with predictive maintenance and self-diagnosis.

Smart technology like Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs), Advanced metering infrastructure and grid automation ensure seamless transition and integration of renewable generation or micro-grids where necessary; predictive maintenance in distributed grids to reduce outages; and effective revenue management.

"Transmission and distribution networks are seen to be the weakest links in Africa's power systems and hence represent a huge opportunity area for improvement," said Lazarus Angbazo, CEO, GE's Grid Solutions business, Sub Saharan Africa. "Going forward, there is a need to move beyond simply maintaining and repairing aged infrastructure.

To truly advance the power sector, a holistic approach needs to be adopted; one that ensures sustainability, reliability and longevity of power supply. By utilizing internet of things (IoT) technology, the smarter grids of tomorrow will deliver all-encompassing solutions based on the convergence of operating technology (OT) with information technology (IT) and incorporating emerging concepts such as distributed generation and energy storage," he further added. 

Smart grids will play a key role in the region's transition to a sustainable energy system through facilitating smooth integration of new energy sources; promoting interoperability between all types of equipment; enabling the growth of distributed generation and its potential incorporation into the main grid; supporting demand-side management; and providing flexibility and visibility of the entire grid. GE's grid solutions six-step process highlighted in the whitepaper will help utilities along the digitization journey of their energy infrastructure.

GE Partners With Ethiopian Electric Power Authority

Aligning with Ethiopia's Growth and Transformation Plan, GE's Grid Solutions business last week announced it has completed a $40M Electricity Transmission System Improvement turnkey project with Ethiopian Electric Power.

The project will raise access to electricity by transferring bulk electric power to the southern and south-western parts of the country. New substations will also help reduce technical losses in the transmission system in the medium term. 

"This project will support overall electrification plans of Ethiopia, provide sustainable power and allow the transmission of reliable power from the interconnected system to demand centers across the country and in the region", said Wudineh Yemane, Project Manager, Ethiopian Electric Power.   

"It will facilitate the implementation of the Universal Electrification Access program as well as Government's ambition to export energy to Sudan." 

Over 70% of people in Ethiopia have no access to electricity although the grid covers about 60% of the towns in the country.  "There is urgent need for household electrification" said Lazarus Angbazo, Regional Leader for GE's Grid Solutions Business in Sub-Saharan Africa.

"This project will significantly reduce high transmission losses while improving system efficiency, stability and reliability. GE has always been a committed partner to Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), and we are honored to be able to deliver the largest number of substations to EEP on a turnkey basis with this project."

GE Power's Grid Solutions provides complete, engineered solutions for high voltage (HV) substations to power generation companies, utilities, and industries, bringing together the right mix of high-voltage products through expert engineering and full project management. GE Power's Grid Solutions business has designed and implemented over 1,700 substation projects in the last 10 years. 

"This project reinforces GE's commitment to continuously support the government of Ethiopia in its efforts to upgrade the national grid and achieve its objective of making electricity accessible to all citizens", said Daniel Hailu, GE's Country Director in Ethiopia. "It will result in increased economic activities and enable Ethiopia to further exploit its energy potential" he commented. 

GE works with the government, corporate customers and other stakeholders in Ethiopia to support economic growth through infrastructure development in the power, healthcare and transport sectors. An integrated GE Ethiopia office was inaugurated in 2017 as a commitment towards long-term partnership in Ethiopia.

Botswana Signs First Time Contract For GE Power's Software Technology

Aligning with Botswana's commitment to provide energy users access to affordable energy services and improve its grid efficiency, GE Power's Grid Solution business has announced that it has signed its first contract with Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) on May 24, 2018. 

The contract includes the design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of a SCADA/Energy Management system at the principal grid control centers in Botswana Power Corporation's (BPC) headquarters in Gaborone and the back-up control center in Francistown. 

At the contract signing ceremony, Dr. Stefan Schwarzfischer, Chief Executive Officer for Botswana Power Corporation said, "The functionalities of this platform will improve customer services by leveraging our existing customer call system, reduce down-time, improve revenue collection as well as overall customer satisfaction. Once the project is completed, BPC will benefit from a single platform for both Gaborone and Francistown." 

With about 70% of the country's population having access to electricity, Botswana is currently focused on the digital transformation of its grid network to enhance reliable access for its people. 

"GE technology will bring reliable, efficient and sustainable electricity, using cutting edge digital solutions while powering the country forward," said Lazarus Angbazo, CEO, GE Grid Solutions, Sub-Saharan Africa. 

"This project marks the beginning of a rewarding partnership with BPC, reinforces GE's commitment to support the government of Botswana in its digital transformation process and will further expand GE's leadership on the Energy Management Systems market in Southern Africa where more than 50% of the Transmission utilities are relying on GE's Advanced Energy Management System (EMS) Solution Platform to operate their networks." 

With the extended IT/OT integration, more interconnected networks and further regional integration, there is a need for the renewal of many existing Energy Management Systems to achieve better monitoring and asset management across the various power pools in Africa. 

Steven Martin, Chief Digital Officer, GE Power, added, "GE Power's Digital Energy software portfolio -- including Advanced EMS – enables us to support new customers like BPC in parts of the world where portions of the population still need access to electricity. 

We are inspired by the digital strategies that BPC has created to ensure its communities grow and thrive in a time of intensive change and opportunity within the energy sector." 

GE Power's Grid Solutions business provides complete, engineered solutions for high voltage (HV) substations to power generation companies, utilities, and industries, bringing together the right mix of high-voltage products through expert engineering and full project management. GE has designed and implemented over 1,700 substation projects in the last 10 years.

IRENA To Discuss Renewable Energy At UN Meet

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) will highlight the central contribution renewables make to sustainable development and the substantial, cross-sectoral socioeconomic benefits of energy transformation during the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. The meeting will take place at UN headquarters New York from July 9-18.

Under the theme ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies’, the meeting will review the implementation of a number of Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 7 – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy. 

IRENA will underscore the importance of accelerating renewable energy deployment to realize SDG 7 as well as a number of other key goals, including health (SDG 3), jobs and economic growth (SDG 8), sustainable cities (SDG 11) and climate action (SDG 13) among others. 

“Renewables are transforming the global energy system at rapid pace moving us towards a new age of energy,” said Mr. Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency, who will moderate the official SDG 7 review session during the HLPF on 10th July. 

“This shift promises to not only support our long-term climate objectives but it also contributions to the realisation of a number of other key development goals.” 

IRENA’s 2050 analysis finds that renewable energy and energy efficiency combined could achieve 90 per cent of the energy-related emission reductions needed to achieve the well-below 2°C target of the Paris Climate Agreement. 

Accelerated renewables deployment could also boost global GDP by 1 per cent and welfare by 15 per cent compared to business-as-usual, and by 2050 renewables could account for nearly 29 million jobs, up from 10.3 million today. A significant proportion of these benefits are achievable by 2030.

“Renewable energy is supporting economic growth, creating jobs and improving health and welfare in addition mitigating climate change and delivering energy access,” continued Mr. Amin. “The energy transformation’s multifaceted benefits can be realised if we put renewables at the heart of global efforts to achieve the SDGs and we accelerate the speed of their adoption.”

Globally, more than one billion people today still live without access to electricity – a challenge that off-grid renewable energy technology is helping address. Since 2008, off-grid renewable energy capacity has witnessed a spectacular three-fold increase from under 2 GW to over 6.5 GW in 2017. Currently, up to 133 million people are estimated to be served by off-grid renewables. 

Capturing these trends, IRENA will launch a consolidated renewable energy off-grid report entitled ‘Off-grid Renewable Energy for Electricity Access: Status and Trends’. The report will deliver a comprehensive picture of off-grid renewable energy technologies and adoption, harmonizing national and regional level data from around the world.

GE, Lagos State Government Sign Key Agreement

GE, the world's premier digital industrial company and the Lagos State Government have agreed to pool their resources for the development of critical infrastructure in the state in the areas of Power, Healthcare and Skills Development.

This was announced during the signing of a Support and Cooperation Agreement by both parties during the France-Nigeria Business Forum held yesterday in Lagos, one of several events hosted during the visit of President of France, Emmanuel Macron, to Nigeria.

The agreement signing between GE and LASG was witnessed by the French Secretary of State to the Minister of Economy and Finance, Delphine Geny-Stephann. It aims to record areas of mutual interest and participation between both parties, streamline the relationship and set out the terms and conditions of collaboration. Focus areas for this collaboration cut across several sectors including Power, Healthcare, Technology, Education & Financing.

In Power, the collaboration is focused on working with the state government to provide the generation capacity (MW) needed by Lagos State to power industries and households, ensuring the power generated gets to the consumers where it is needed. Using gas turbine and grid solution technologies produced in GE Power's manufacturing sites in France, GE is well positioned to deliver world class power solutions to Lagos state.

Under the healthcare sector, GE will focus on working with the state government to upgrade Primary, Secondary & Tertiary healthcare centers across the state whilst developing an efficient financing solution that will help Primary Healthcare SMEs get much needed access to funding. There will also be a strong focus on capacity development through several clinical, biomedical and leadership training programs for health workers in Lagos state.

GE also seeks to collaborate with the Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation & Employment on its Yaba technology hub project by setting up the Lagos Garage advanced manufacturing training program at the hub once completed. Both parties are also exploring areas of possible collaboration with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund to offer access to financing opportunities to top graduates of the training program.

Speaking on the collaboration between GE and Lagos State government, Lazarus Angbazo, President and CEO, GE Nigeria said "We are grateful to today be signing an important MOU with the state government across key sectors in alignment with the progressive agenda of the state. We look forward to executing on these projects and know that we can count on the true partnership and support of the Government as usual."

GE has been in operation in Nigeria for decades, originally as an equipment manufacturer. Over the course of many years, through organic growth and acquisitions, the company has grown substantially and now represents the largest GE platform on the African continent. The company has about 900 employees in Nigeria, and virtually have the entire portfolio of companies of GE represented here. We have a very significant footprint in terms of manufacturing and service facilities.

GE has been operating in Nigeria for over 40 years, with more than 900 employees, 90% of whom are Nigerians.  The company has businesses spanning across key sectors including oil and gas, power, healthcare and rail transportation.

GE Commissions Hybrid Distributed Power Unit For Digo Village

General Electric (GE), the world's premier Digital Industrial Company, has commissioned a scalable micro grid system powered by a Hybrid Distributed Power unit for Digo Village in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.  

The system which was implemented in partnership with Ethiopia's Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, the Oromia Region Energy bureau as well as Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) will provide reliable, cost effective power to 1,500 inhabitants of Digo providing critical power to a health clinic, school, administrative offices and homes.   

The commissioning is consistent with Ethiopia's National Electrification Program – Implementation Road Map (NEP-IRM) which seeks for a coordinated off-grid implementation program plan, designed for accelerated scale-up of mini grid solutions in rural and deep rural areas.

According to Dr. Eng. Sileshi Bekele, Ethiopia's Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, "Electricity access is an essential pillar of economic and social development. Localized solutions such as the Hybrid Distributed Power unit provided by GE will be part of the solution to electrify Ethiopia going forward".

GE's Hybrid Distributed Power combines PV solar panels, batteries, and a diesel generator to provide reliable, cost effective power to a mini-grid system.  GE's Predix platform, designed for digital Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), maximizes the use of clean solar power and batteries for the unit while a variable speed diesel generator provides essential backup when battery power is insufficient.  

The entire system is containerized inside a standard shipping container that can be efficiently and speedily installed.  GE partnered with a local entity, Solar Tech Plc, in the installation and commissioning of the system.

The Digo village Hybrid power system is GEs third installation in Ethiopia.  In 2017, GE funded two similar units at Health Centers in Guba and Ashoka in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region (SNNPR) region.

"Electrification of Digo is a continuation of the impactful contribution that GE Is making in Ethiopia, while playing a central role in the implementation of Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) priority projects," said Daniel Hailu, Chief Executive Officer of GE in Ethiopia.

The Hybrid Distributed Power unit was funded by GE Renewable Energy's "We Share the Power" program which brings power to remote, off grid areas of the world through efficiency savings at GE Renewable Energy's manufacturing sites around the world.

The project was also supported by GE Licensing, which works with partners around the world to bring GE's containerized hybrid power island to remote areas of the world requiring off-grid distributed power solutions to meet their energy needs.

GE businesses have been active in the Ethiopia market for over 20 years. The project execution in Ethiopia was led by the GE Hydro team in charge of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project, where GE supplies 5 units of 400MW.  

An integrated GE Ethiopia office was inaugurated in 2017 as a commitment towards long-term partnership in Ethiopia. The company continues to be a key partner for Africa with over 2600 employees in 33 countries. GE recently achieved its 100th power plant milestone in Sub-Saharan Africa across renewables, gas and steam plants generating over 46GW of power.

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