Energy

Energy (222)

AfDB, African Union To Roll-out Continent-wide Electricity Market Masterplan

The African Development Bank (AfDB.org) and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) have agreed to jointly develop a blueprint for a pan-continental electricity network and market.

The agreement to set up a Continental Power System Master Plan between the Bank and AUDA-NEPAD was unveiled, on November 29th, during a three-day workshop on the sidelines of Programme for Infrastructure Development (PIDA) Week held in Cairo. The workshop also produced the Masterplan’s terms of reference.

“The Continental Power System Master Plan will ensure that competitive electricity markets are developed at regional and continental levels, creating unique opportunities to optimally utilize Africa’s vast energy resources for the benefit of Africa,” said Professor Mosad Elmissiry, a Senior Energy Advisor to AUDA-NEPAD’s CEO.

The workshop was aimed at advancing the launch of an Integrated Continental Transmission Network (ICTN) to link national power utilities into regional power pools and, ultimately, into a continent-wide transmission network. Plans also include setting up a market for electricity trading.

The Masterplan also will inform the energy component of a PIDA Action Plan, which focuses on key regional integration projects.

Development of a unified electricity transmission network and market for electricity trading are viewed as a critical priority to improve the lives of people across the continent.

“Most state-owned electric utilities in Africa today are unable to secure the financial resources needed to implement required segments of regional interconnectors and associated national feeder lines,” said Angela Nalikka, the Bank’s manager for National and Regional Power Systems, to explain the impetus for the partnership. “The Bank plans to encourage private sector participation in transmission projects in the continent.”

UNDP, IRENA Poised To Support Breakthroughs On Renewables

Nations around the world can make breakthroughs in the shift to renewable energy, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said today, adding that such a move would drastically cut emissions and help the world get on track to meet the Paris climate goals and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Action by countries to stop the continued progression of fossil fuels is possible, UNDP and IRENA said at a joint event held at the UN Climate Summit in Madrid.

Renewable energy deployment would have to accelerate six-fold by 2030 if the world is to achieve the goal of cutting global carbon emissions by 45 per cent and keep temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, IRENA said.

In September, UNDP launched a new initiative called the 'Climate Promise', vowing to support as many countries as possible to revise and submit enhanced climate pledges – known as Nationally Determined Contributions – or NDCs, by 2020.

Working with the NDC partnership and other partners, UNDP will support 100 countries to accelerate the enhancement of national climate pledges by 2020, building on its climate action portfolio in over 140 countries. Energy is a crucial part of this work and IRENA will provide the necessary knowledge, and support countries to accelerate energy transitions driven by renewable energy.

To date, 78 countries are drawing upon UNDP's experience in disaster risk reduction, gender, health, and nature-based solutions.

"Shifting to renewables will create far-reaching development impacts, triggering an economic stimulus and creating millions of jobs around the world, not to mention widespread health and other welfare benefits. Renewable energy should be an integral part of countries' climate pledges," said Achim Steiner, the Administrator of UNDP. "We recognise the challenges, but this transition is achievable. At UNDP we stand ready to support countries to take bolder action on climate change."

"There is no sustainable development without renewable energy. It's possible to accelerate the low-carbon energy transition and achieve sustainable development, thereby creating inclusive and prosperous economies," Francesco La Camera, the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency said at the Madrid Climate Summit.

According to IRENA, out of the 156 NDCs submitted to date, 135 countries mention renewables but most are underutilising renewables to raise their ambition. The agency also estimates that over USD 1.7 trillion would be needed by 2030 annually to implement adequate renewable energy targets, though much of that funding could come as a result of eliminating fossil fuel subsidies. 

In September, both partners launched a global campaign called #ItsPossible, engaging policy-makers and investors to join a push for renewables in countries around the world. The campaign will carry over into the next year.

During the joint event at COP25, IRENA also launched a new report 'NDCs in 2020: Advancing Renewables in the Power Sector and Beyond'.

AfDB, Germany Inaugurate Rwanda's Shango Power Substation

The African Development Bank, Embassy of Germany in Rwanda and the KfW Development Bank joined the Government of Rwanda to inaugurate the high voltage 188 MVA Shango power substation in the capital Kigali and its related transmission network.

The substation is part of the NELSAP Regional Interconnection Project involving Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, and Burundi. The Rwandan component, at an estimated cost of 111.03 million euros, involves the construction of 286 km of 220 kV lines, three substations and the upgrade of two substations.

The African Development Fund, part of the African Development Bank Group, contributed 38 million euros (about 34%) of the total project cost.

The Shango substation, the biggest in the country, has been designed to play a key role in the management of electricity dispatching services in Rwanda and a routing node for electricity trading between the East African neighbors. Itis line with the Bank's High 5 priorities, Light Up and Power Africa and Integrate Africa.

Speaking at the inauguration, held on 5 December, Martha Phiri, Bank Country Manager in Rwanda expressed appreciation for the strong cooperation that the Bank continues to enjoy with the Government of Rwanda.

The energization of the Shango substation and related network will facilitate the country's access to excess power of nearly 1,040 MW from the regional market, reducing reliance on expensive fossil-fuel generated power.

"This would eventually benefit the people and industries in Rwanda through increased availability, reliability of clean power and possible reduction in electricity tariffs," Phiri said.

Rwanda is pursuing an ambitious target to achieve affordable, reliable and universal access to electricity by 2024 in line with the National Strategy for Transformation.

The Bank's support to the energy sector has more than doubled over the past three years to the current level of 410.66 million euros, supporting seven public sector operations (of which three are regional projects) and one private sector operation.

With a total on-going portfolio of 1.04 billion euros, the Bank's country strategy for Rwanda has two pillars: (i) investing in energy and water infrastructure to enable inclusive and green growth, and (ii) developing skills to promote high value-added economic activities and economic transformation.

COP25: Renewable Energy Ambition In NDCs Must Double By 2030

Countries are being urged to significantly raise renewable energy ambition and adopt targets to transform the global energy system in the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) that will be released at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid.

The report will show that renewable energy ambition within NDCs would have to more than double by 2030 to put the world in line with the Paris Agreement goals, cost-effectively reaching 7.7 terawatts (TW) of globally installed capacity by then. Today's renewable energy pledges under the NDCs are falling short of this, targeting only 3.2 TW.

The report NDCs in 2020: Advancing Renewables in the Power Sector and Beyond will be released at IRENA's official side event on enhancing NDCs and raising ambition on 11 December 2019. It will state that with over 2.3 TW installed renewable capacity today, almost half of the additional renewable energy capacity foreseen by current NDCs has already been installed. The analysis will also highlight that delivering on increased renewable energy ambition can be achieved in a cost-effective way and with considerable socio-economic benefits across the world. 

"Increasing renewable energy targets is absolutly necessary," said IRENA's Director-General Francesco La Camera. "Much more is possible. There is a decisive opportunity for policy makers to step up climate action by raising ambition on renewables, which are the only immediate solution to meet rising energy demand whilst decarbonizing the economy and building resilience".

"IRENA's analysis shows that a pathway to a decarbonised economy is technologically possible and socially and economically beneficial," continued Mr. La Camera. "Renewables are good for growth, good for job creation and deliver significant welfare benefits. With renewables, we can also expand energy access and help eradicate energy poverty in line with the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. IRENA will promote knowledge exchange, strengthen partnerships and work with all stakeholders to catalyse action on the ground. We are engaging with countries and regions worldwide to facilitate renewable energy projects and raise their ambitions".

NDCs must become a driving force for an accelerated global energy transformation. The current pledges reflect neither the past decade's rapid growth nor the ongoing market trends for renewables. Through a higher renewable energy ambition, NDCs could serve to advance multiple climate and development objectives.

 

Greenlight Planet Partners With Telecom Operators In Sub-Saharan Africa

Greenlight Planet, the market leader in the rapidly expanding pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar industry has successfully partnered with major telecom operators in Africa. Recognizing the natural synergy between the telecom and pay-as-you-go solar industries, the company is pursuing a strong telecom-focused strategy that aims to have a far-reaching impact on more than 600 million unelectrified consumers across the African continent.

The company has collaborated with more than fifteen telecom operators, banks and payment gateways to make Sun King products more affordable and accessible for rural individuals, increasing long-term value for a common consumer base. Full-fledged sales and distribution partnerships have been launched with three leading telecom operators, Vodacom (Tanzania), Orange (Burkina Faso) and Telma (Madagascar), to enable sales of solar-powered energy solutions through each operator's subscriber base and mobile money channels.

In addition, Greenlight Planet has integrated its innovative PAYG technology platform with leading mobile money providers across sub-Saharan Africa, enabling consumers to make continuous installment payments in a secure and simple way. Greenlight Planet establishes unique operating models with each telecom partner to best serve and work with each service provider's strategic goals, local business model and competitive landscape.

Dhaval Radia, Senior Vice President at Greenlight Planet, says “The time is right for telecoms to look beyond their traditional revenue earning models and explore innovative partnerships that can lead to a sustained increase in ARPU and customer retention. By expanding to rural consumer segments with value-added services such as PAYG solar products for daily energy and infotainment, telecom operators can help deliver higher value to their customer base.”

Recent collaborations between PAYG solar companies and telecom operators have demonstrated that PAYG solar customers are amongst the most active profiles of mobile money users in sub-Saharan Africa, many opening their first mobile money account specifically to purchase a PAYG solar home system.

Ninety-eight percent of Greenlight Planet’s PAYG customers make roughly 60 mobile money payments between $2 and $5 each over a period of twelve to twenty-four months to complete their installment payment plans for a PAYG solar device. The company has processed nearly 40 million mobile money payments from customers in Africa in the last three years.

With more than 100 million mobile money subscribers, and nearly 600 million people that lack reliable access to electricity on the African continent, opportunities for the telecom and distributed energy sectors to join forces remain tremendous. Since inception, Greenlight Planet has installed nearly six million solar products, benefitting over 24 million individuals, across Sub-Saharan Africa through its direct distribution channels in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda and through more than 200 strategic alliances in 32 countries across the African continent. The company will showcase its flagship Sun King range of solar-powered products at the upcoming AfricaCom conference from 12th to 15th November 2019 in Cape Town.

Nigeria, Tanzania & Kenya Get Rosatom’s Atoms For Africa Youth Video Competition Awards

Fifth “Atoms for Africa” online video competition for Sub-Saharan Africa youth has finally come to its finale. After casting over 14000 votes online, the public chose three winners out of top 10 that were pre-selected by the jury from 66 applications.

Three teams from Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania each received over 2000 votes and won an all-expenses paid trip to Russia. The participants of seven other shortlisted videos will be rewarded with commemorative certificates and gifts.

This year, young people from Central and Southern Africa were invited to research how nuclear technologies can assist in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) on the continent.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals address poverty, hunger, human health, clean water, affordable and clean energy, industry and innovation as well as climate change, to name but a few.

The competition was organized by Rosatom in cooperation with EnerConnect as well as the African Young Generation in Nuclear and South African Young Nuclear Professionals Society.

The winners will make their journey following the steps of winners of 4 previous years. Since its inception in 2015, a total of 36 winning participants have already visited various state-of-the-art Russian nuclear facilities and well-known Moscow landmarks, top nuclear universities as well as other scientific and technological facilities. Winners will also meet African students currently studying various nuclear disciplines in Russia.

Gaopalelwe Santswere, AYGN Interim President and SAYNPS Executive Chairperson highlighted that over past 10 years, more and more African countries began to explore various nuclear technologies as viable options that contribute to sustainable development.

“Countries such as Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia are all currently actively exploring various nuclear technologies to solve a number of issues hampering development.

Opportunities like “Atoms for Africa” competition allow young generation to truly understand the immense benefits that nuclear technologies can bring to their countries and the wellbeing of their people”.

Mr. Dmitry Shornikov, CEO of ROSATOM Central and Southern Africa outlined the company’s commitment towards supporting the development of young nuclear professionals.

“One of our key missions at ROSATOM is to assist the brightest young minds from across the globe to shape the future of energy by solving global challenges”.

He added: “This is a great opportunity for young people from very different walks of life who share a common passion to build a bright and sustainable future for Africa to discover more about various nuclear applications and their vast benefits for the region”.

The list of winners who were awarded the first prize – all-expenses paid trip to Russia:

  • Winner #1– Egbe Joy, Derick Nwasor and Oghale Trust Yome from Nigeria.
  • Winner #2– Edgar John, Ritha Deusdedit and Theresia Mbuli from Tanzania.
  • Winner #3– Wafula Lukorito, Job Ogenche and Felix Kipng'etich from Kenya.

AfDB's Sustainable Energy Fund For Africa Converts To Concessional Finance Facility

The African Development Bank's Board of Governors has approved the conversion of the Bank-administered multi-donor trust fund SEFA into a "special fund", to amplify its development impact by allowing it to access a wider range of financial instruments beyond the current scope of technical assistance.

Currently, SEFA, the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa, supports small and medium-scale renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects through early stage interventions that enhance project bankability and access to private sector investments. Under the new dispensation, the fund will focus its interventions on three areas: (1) green mini-grids to accelerate energy access to underserved populations; (2) green baseload to support clean generation capacity; and (3) energy efficiency to optimize energy systems and reduce energy intensity. This support will be provided through technical assistance and concessional investments that will improve the bankability of projects across innovative technologies and challenging geographies and crowd-in more commercial investments into the sector.

"The new SEFA will provide critical support to African countries to accelerate the transition towards greener and more sustainable power systems. The special fund's ability to provide various financial instruments will unlock more private sector investments in new technologies and businesses," said Wale Shonibare, the Bank's Acting Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth.

Dr. Daniel Schroth, Bank Acting Director for Renewable Energy and Efficiency, added that the proposed restructuring was designed to incorporate lessons from SEFA's seven years of operational experience. "The new structure of the special fund responds to the demand from external clients and the Bank's teams for catalytic support, and sufficiently accommodates market needs arising from the transformation of the renewable energy landscape in African countries," he said.

First established in 2012, SEFA is anchored in a commitment of $121 million by the Governments of Denmark, United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Norway and Spain. To date, the fund has committed $76 million across 56 projects in 30 countries. The fund's investments are expected to leverage in excess of $1.5 billion in investments in new capacity and connections across the continent. SEFA is central to the Bank's New Deal on Energy for Africa Strategy, and a "catalytic" financial vehicle for the achievement of universal energy access by 2030 in line with Sustainable Development Goal 7.

Engie Starts Commercial Operation Of Egypt's Wind Farm

ENGIE Africa has announced that construction and commissioning of the 262.5 MW Ras Ghareb wind farm in Egypt is complete 45 days ahead of schedule. The wind farm is now fully connected to the grid and is ready for commercial operation at maximum capacity.

The project company, Ras Ghareb Wind Energy SAE is owned by ENGIE (40%) and its consortium partners Toyota Tsusho Corporation/Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation (40%) and Orascom Construction (20%).

The wind farm is located near Ras Ghareb on the Gulf of SUEZ, an optimal site with about 60% of gross capacity factor. The energy is sold under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC). The total investment cost of the project is approximately USD 380 million.

Ras Ghareb Wind Energy is the first wind farm tendered on a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) scheme and is part of the Egyptian government's drive to increase the share of renewables in the energy mix with a target wind generation capacity of 7 GW by 2022.

Yoven Moorooven, CEO of ENGIE Africa commented : "There is a huge potential for low-cost renewable energy in Africa. We are honoured that the Egyptian authorities have selected the ENGIE consortium to be part of their strategic energy plan.

ENGIE's clean energy solutions are based on competitiveness, reliability and safety. Ras Ghareb Wind Energy has been developed with a continuous focus on Health and Safety and is completely in line with ENGIE's ambition in the zero-carbon transition. We are committed to apply the same standards with the same success for the adjacent 500 MW wind farm that is being developed by this consortium."

The consortium arranged non-recourse project financing from The Japan Bank for International Corporation (JBIC) in coordination with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Société Générale under a Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) cover. Commercial International Bank (CIB) Egypt is acting as working capital bank and Attijariwafa Bank provided an equity bridge loan for Orascom Construction.

With its global references in areas such as facility management, gas distribution, cold networks or green mobility, ENGIE is also keen to develop its service activities and energy solutions for smart cities in Egypt.

ENGIE's ambition is to become a world leader in a competitive "as a service" zero-carbon transition and the Group is focusing on Renewables to accelerate the energy transition. With 93% of its businesses low-carbon, ENGIE has set a target of developing 9 GW of additional renewable capacity by 2021, and intends to invest approximately €2.5 billion in the sector.

Russia Agrees To construct Nuclear Science Centre Rwanda

Russia and Rwanda signed an agreement to construct the first Centre of Nuclear Science and Technologies in Rwanda with the participation of ROSATOM. The signing ceremony took part at the Russia-Africa Economic Forum.

The agreement to construct Rwanda’s first Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology (CNST) was signed by ROSATOM General Director Alexey Likhachev and Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure Claver Gatete.

The CNST will become a modern platform for carrying out a whole range of scientific research and practical application of nuclear technologies. It will allow the production of radioisotopes for widespread use in industry and agriculture as well as in healthcare, thus addressing the issue of lack of cancer treatment.

Moreover, the Centre will facilitate the analysis of the elemental composition of ore and minerals and environmental samples, train highly qualified local personnel for the nuclear industry, contribute to digital technologies research and many others.  

The CNST is expected to comprise of a multipurpose research water-cooled reactor with up to 10 MW capacity. It will be equipped with laboratories, systems and functional units necessary for safe operation.

Russia, Ethiopia Agree On Peaceful Use Of Atomic Energy

On the side lines of the Russia – Africa Economic Forum Russia and Ethiopia signed the Intergovernmental framework agreement on cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of atomic energy.

The document was signed by Alexei Likhachev, ROSATOM Director General on behalf of Russia and by Getahun Mecuria Kuma, the Minister of Innovation and Technology of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on behalf of Ethiopia.

The Intergovernmental agreement will serve as a springboard for starting active dialogue between the two countries in the field of nuclear technologies and practical implementation of specific projects within the framework of cooperation.

Alexei Likhachev noted: "We are glad to provide Ethiopia with access to more than 70 years of experience in the peaceful use of nuclear technologies in Russia and hope that our cooperation will contribute to the sustainable development of Ethiopia and improve the quality of life of the nation."

The Intergovernmental agreement creates a legal framework for establishing cooperation between Russia and Ethiopia on a wide range of areas. These areas include: fine tuning the projects for construction of the Center for nuclear science and technology (CNST) and nuclear power plant (NPP) on the territory of the Republic of Ethiopia, developing nuclear infrastructure in accordance with international recommendations; applying nuclear and radiation safety regulations; implementing fundamental and applied research for peaceful uses of nuclear technologies; producing and using radioisotopes in various industries, healthcare and agriculture; cooperating in the field of radiation technologies and nuclear medicine applications and education, training and retraining of specialists for the nuclear industry.

The Intergovernmental agreement was signed following the signing in 2017 of the Memorandum of understanding between ROSATOM and the Ministry of science and technology of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. In May 2019, the parties signed the roadmap or establishing cooperation on the construction of an NPP and a CNST in Ethiopia.

ROSATOM is the only company in the world to offer integrated clean energy solutions across the nuclear supply chain and beyond, including design, construction and operation of nuclear power stations, uranium mining, conversion and enrichment, supply of nuclear fuel, decommissioning, spent fuel storage and transportation and safe nuclear waste disposal.

With 70 years’ continuous experience, the company is the world leader in high-performance solutions for all kinds of nuclear power plants. It is also working in the segments of wind generation, nuclear medicine, energy storage and other.

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