Energy (116)

Onshore Wind Power Now Affordable, Solar To Halve By 2020

The cost of generating power from onshore wind has fallen by around a quarter since 2010, with solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity costs falling by 73 per cent in that time, according to new cost analysis from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The report also highlights that solar PV costs are expected to halve by 2020. The best onshore wind and solar PV projects could be delivering electricity for an equivalent of USD 3 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), or less within the next two years.

Global weighted average costs over the last 12 months for onshore wind and solar PV now stand at USD 6 cents and USD 10 cents per kWh respectively, with recent auction results suggesting future projects will significantly undercut these averages. The report highlights that onshore wind is now routinely commissioned for USD 4 cents per kWh. The current cost spectrum for fossil fuel power generation ranges from USD 5-17 cents per kWh.

“This new dynamic signals a significant shift in the energy paradigm,” said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General. “These cost declines across technologies are unprecendented and representative of the degree to which renewable energy is disrupting the global energy system."

Released on the first day of IRENA’s Eighth Assembly in Abu Dhabi, ‘Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2017’ highlights that other forms of renewable power generation, such as bioenergy, geothermal and hydropower projects in the last 12 months have competed head-to-head on costs, with power from fossil fuels. The findings note that by 2019, the best onshore wind and solar PV projects will be delivering electricity for a USD 3 cents per kWh, significantly below the current cost of power from fossil fuels.

Competitive procurement practices together with the emergence of a large base of experienced medium-to-large project developers competing for global market opportunities, are cited as new drivers of recent cost reductions, in addition to continued technology advancements.

“Turning to renewables for new power generation is not simply an environmentally conscious decision, it is now – overwhelmingly – a smart economic one,” continued Mr. Amin. “Governments around the world are recognizing this potential and forging ahead with low-carbon economic agendas underpinned by renewables-based energy systems. We expect the transition to gather further momentum, supporting jobs, growth, improved health, national resilience and climate mitigation around the world in 2018 and beyond.”

The report also highlights that auction results are signaling that offshore wind and concentrating solar power projects commissioned in the period between 2020-22 will cost in the range of USD 6-10 cents per kWh, supporting accelerated deployment globally. IRENA projects that all renewable energy technologies will compete with fossils on price by 2020.

The report highlights that:

  • The global weighted average levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of utility-scale solar PV has fallen by 73% between 2010 and 2017 to USD 10 cents/kWh.
  • The average cost of electricity from onshore wind fell by 23% between 2010 and 2017. Projects are now routinely commissioned at USD 4 cents/kWh and the global weighted average is around USD 6 cents/kWh.
  • By 2019, the best onshore wind and solar PV projects will be delivering electricity for an equivalent of USD 3 cents/kWh, or less.
  • New bioenergy and geothermal projects commissioned in 2017 had global weighted average costs of around USD 7 cents/kWh.
  • Record low prices for solar PV in Abu Dhabi, Chile, Dubai, Mexico, Peru and Saudi Arabia have made USD 3 cents kWh (and below) the new benchmark.
  • By 2020, project and auction data suggest that all currently commercialised renewable power generation technologies will be competing, and even undercutting, fossil fuels by generating in the range USD 3-10 cents/kWh range.

The report was launched during the eighth IRENA Assembly, which welcomes more than 1,100 representatives of governments from 150 countries. As the world’s principal platform for international cooperation on renewable energy, the Assembly provides strategic guidance to the work of the Agency for the next four years and positions it to play a key role in driving the global energy transformation.

d.light Solar Launches The First Solar Television Of Its Kind In Uganda

d.light Solar, a global leader in solar powdered solutions this week launched a ground breaking solar television- X850, the first of its kind in Uganda. 

d.light Solar is the leading manufacturer and distributor of  Solar Home Systems worldwide with its headquarters are in California USA. The company has been in existence for over 10 years now and has impacted on nearly 100 Million lives globally. 

Speaking during the launch, George Kawemba, Head of Sales d.light Solar Uganda said, ‘d.light Solar prides itself for giving consumers more energy options for less money. We envision a future where all people are empowered to enjoy the freedom and improved quality of life that comes with access to reliable, affordable off-grid light and power.

To this end, d.light  Solar recently released its award-winning Television solar product the X850 solar home system which is now available to the Ugandan masses with an affordable payment plan of only 2,000Ushs per day for 18 months. 

The Solar Television – X850 product specifications include:


Product Specifications

D.light specifications

Comparison with other products on the market 

TV Screen size

19”LED HD TV screen with in-built Decoder


15” and 19” flat screens without in built Decoder capability.

Signal Capacity

Duo Signal capability to receive both Analogue and Digital Signals and can work in the most remote



Only Digital Signal reception reducing reception with capability to work close to the main town centers only.

Operating Time

Over 10 hours of continuous operation without charge

Only about 3-4 hours operating time without charge.

Initial Deposit

Only 90,000 Ushs deposit to access core product; (TV Access with credit evaluation over customer life)


150,000/- to 200,000/=for initial Deposit.

Payment Plan

2,000/- Daily for 18 months

More than 3,000/- daily for 2-3 years.

Interest Charge

No interest charged on loan

High interest charged on loan

Kawemba concluded by noting that the X850 solar TV comes with multiple appliances to include 5 super bright lights with switches, a 5 phone charging cable, Radio, and a Torch. The Product also has a warranty of 2 Years and can be accessed countrywide at our outlets and distributor shops.

GE Reaches Half Way Point Of Medupi Power Plant Construction

GE, General Electric Steam Power Systems received a Final Acceptance Certificate from Eskom for the successful testing and transitioning of Medupi Power Station Unit 4. GE's commitment to work with the customer will bring the country's government closer to realizing its energy supply goals.

Upon completion, the power station will produce a total of 4800MW and will be sufficient to meet the electricity needs of 3.5 million households in the country.

This is a major milestone for GE and our customer Eskom as Unit 4 will be the third unit out of six units to be transferred to commercial operation marking the half way point of completing the project.

Once completed in 2020, Medupi will be the fourth-largest coal-fired power plant in the world and the largest in Africa. GE's scope includes 6 full EPC turbine islands, air cooled Condensers and overall project & construction management.

"Our team has been working with Eskom on the Medupi Power Plant since 2007 and our collaboration has achieved significant progress with more than just power supply in South Africa. We have invested over 1 billion rands to empower local businesses and trained over 300 students on technical and engineering skills" says Douglas Beigley Project Director, Medupi Power station.

Enterprise and Supplier development is a critical pillar of the country's Broad Based Economic Empowerment and it speaks to the true empowerment of sustainable business in South Africa.

This investment solidifies GE's long-term commitment to the country's national development plan. Medupi is a shining example of how Africa's power generation needs can be solved through successful public private sector collaboration.

ENGIE Acquires Thermaire Investments And Ampair

ENGIE announces that an agreement was reached with two South African energy services companies, Thermaire Investments and Ampair to acquire 100% of their respective shares.

Together, both companies employ more than 500 people across South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique, and are major players in the HVAC installation and service segment in their respective markets.

Jointly, the acquired companies will form the largest South African HVAC contractor with a strong capacity to export its skills cross-border and into the greater Southern African region.

"We are proud of this first step in the business to business market and excited about jointly exploring further opportunities in the region," says Mohamed Hoosen CEO of ENGIE Southern Africa.

As a global energy company and expert operator in Renewables and Energy Storage, Lighting, Heating and Cooling Systems, and Energy Management and Controls, ENGIE is embarking on an acquisition strategy to grow its presence in the African market.

JP Hargovan, CEO of Thermaire Investments adds: "As one of the oldest established HVAC businesses in Southern Africa, we are thrilled at the prospect of developing and growing our business in line with the greater ENGIE strategy."

Thermaire Investments and Ampair are affiliated companies often working together to offer clients supply, installation and maintenance services within the HVAC industry. They have built strong partnerships with customers in a large variety of activities including power plants, commercial buildings, shopping malls and data centres.

Bob Forbes, CEO of Ampair says: "Ampair is ecstatic at the opportunity to work hand in hand with ENGIE and believes that the value add from the ENGIE company will summersault Ampair into another league.

This, coupled with the new technology being developed within the existing Ampair Group will benefit our existing client base and any new clients that will be introduced by ENGIE going forward.

Furthermore, ENGIE will bring stability to Ampair at a time when Ampair is experiencing in excess of 30% growth based on the employment of top end engineers and technicians."

ENGIE activities in South Africa are currently concentrated on centralised generation assets. This success comes after commissioning of the 670 MW Avon Peaking Power, 335 MW Dedisa Peaking Power, 94 MW Aurora Wind Power and the combined 21 MW Aurora-Rietvlei Solar Power and Vredendal Solar Power Park (Photovoltaics), as well as the ongoing construction of the 100 MW Kathu Solar Park (Concentrated Solar Power).

With Thermaire and Ampair, ENGIE aims to develop a regional platform to offer energy services to the public, industrial and commercial building sectors.

Countries Discuss Global Energy Transformation

More than 350 government representatives from 115 countries — including Ministers and high-level officials — gathered today in Abu Dhabi to attend the 14th Council of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). At the outset of the meeting, the Council re-elected China as Chair of the meeting and Colombia as Vice-Chair.

The Council of IRENA meets twice annually to facilitate cooperation among Members, oversee implementation of the IRENA Work Programme and complete substantive preparations for the Agency’s annual Assembly, which takes place in January, at the outset of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. 

“We will promote a revolution in energy production and consumption, and build an energy sector that is clean, low-carbon, safe and efficient,” said Council Chair Mr. Zhi Guo, Chief Economist of China’s National Energy Administration, upon his election. “Renewable energy has now become a major part of China’s additional electricity generation, which highlights the impact of clean energy as a substitute.”

At the opening of the Council, IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin said: “Renewable energy has been the cornerstone of growth in the energy industry over the last five years, during which more than half of global capacity additions in the power sector have been from renewable energy. While great progress is underway in the power sector, attention can be turned to the relatively untapped potential that exists to integrate renewable energy into end-use sectors such as transportation, heating and cooling.”

“As the global energy system is undergoing a rapid transition with larger shares of renewable energy, this Council presents Members with the opportunity to set the Agency’s strategic direction towards accelerating this transition to a sustainable energy future,” added Mr. Amin.

During IRENA’s 14th Council, participants will discuss the Agency’s future work as part of the Work Programme and Budget for 2018-2019, and its Medium-term Strategy for 2018-2022. Programmatic discussions will cover increasing the share of renewable energy through Nationally Determined Contributions, and scaling-up renewables deployment through effective project facilitation.

Improving information about modern uses of bioenergy in support of energy transformation, enabling higher shares of variable renewable energy through flexibility options including electricity storage, and accessing funding in the sixth cycle of the IRENA/Abu Dhabi Fund for Development Project Facility, will also be discussed.

Since the last Council meeting in May 2017, IRENA’s Membership has increased by three to 153, with the addition of Lebanon, El Salvador, and Uzbekistan. Nearly 30 additional countries are in the process of becoming Members.

ICD, Shobak Wind Energy Sign $26m Agreements

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector ("ICD") and Shobak Wind Energy PSC have signed the facility agreements for a US$26 million Shariah-compliant senior financing to part fund the construction of a 45 MW wind farm (the "Project") in Jordan near the Shobak town municipality,160 km south of Amman.

The balance of the senior financing is being provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Europe Arab Bank (EAB).

The Project Company is majority owned by Alcazar Energy Partners, a UAE-based independent developer active in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey. Alcazar Energy is developing the project in partnership with Hecate Energy LLC, a US-based developer.

The Project, which will deploy 13 wind turbines supplied by Vestas Wind Systems, will be constructed over a 2-year period and have a total cost of approximately US$104 million. Once the Project is operational, the generated power will be sold to the Jordanian National Electricity Power Company (NEPCO) under a long-term power purchase agreement.

The Project will support Jordan in increasing its electricity generation capacity from clean, indigenous and renewable sources and reducing reliance on costly hydrocarbon imports. It will help the country abate more than 100,000 tons of CO2-equivalent per annum, supporting Jordan's emission reduction targets under the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as promoting sustainable energy development and private sector participation in the country's energy landscape.

Mr. Khaled Al-Aboodi, the Chief Executive Officer of ICD, commented: "We are delighted to be part of this success story, and happy to have been able to support Alcazar Energy in this important investment,”
“I would also like to thank the Government of Jordan for their continued support and commitment to this critical sector, and we are looking forward to expanding and deepening our involvement in the country through similar interventions in the very near future.
We are also very pleased to continue our fruitful cooperation with EBRD, as this transaction follows the recent closing of several comparable co-financings in the Arab Republic of Egypt just last month."

Daniel Calderon, Co-Founder and CEO of Alcazar Energy, said: "The Shobak project is another significant milestone for our company to build a sustainable portfolio of assets. By early next year when Shobak construction starts, our portfolio will comprise seven projects in construction or operation in the region. We appreciate the continued support of the government of Jordan, our lenders and investors. Shobak is the first of our projects to be partly funded by a Sharia compliant financing and we are delighted to welcome ICD as a new financing partner."


126 Girls Graduate From Eskom Aided Gulu War Affectedtraining Centre

The Gulu War Affected Training Centre, (GWATC), an Eskom Uganda aided Centre which was established in the aftermath of the Northern war has held its seventh graduation ceremony with 127 students (126 girls & 1 boy) receiving certificates in catering, tailoring & hair dressing among other courses offered. 

While officiating at the graduation ceremony on Saturday 25th November 2017 in Gulu town, the Deputy High Commissioner South African Embassy in Uganda, Her Excellency Phumeza Mukedi urged African girls to rise up and take their place at the high table of professionalism. 

Phumeza said African governments recently pronounced joint aspirations for 2023 which looks atdeveloping the potential of women and youth by empowering for prosperity and broadmindedness which will in turn, trigger development in the continent.                                  

Speaking at the same event Eskom Uganda Managing Director Thozama Gangi said Eskom started with initial donation of UGX 200 Million to build classroom blocks for GWATC which was officially opened and handed over to the Director and Board members on January 14th, 2010.  According to Thozama, the company has since continued to offer assistance to the school by offering a sowing machine to the best student on graduation day. 

At the same event, Eskom donated assorted items to boost the hairdressing section of the training centre. The items worth several millions include Hair driers, hair washing sets, sterilizing machines, fans, salon seats and a brand new tent among others.  The overall best Student received a brand new sewing machine. 

Thozama said Eskom’s continued support to the Centre is a demonstration of Eskom’s commitment to continue making a difference in the lives of ordinary people, to ensure their wellbeing is improved. 

“Initially, the Gulu War Affected Training Centre was set up to equip women affected by the 20-year insurgency that ravaged Northern Uganda with Vocational hands-on skills like tailoring, catering and hairdressing to help them get a decent living. With Eskom’s support that vision has come to bear fruits as you can see for yourselves today” Thozama said. 

The founder of the Centre, Ms. Betty Lalam who started with only 5 students in a shop verandah in 2005, showered praises at Eskom Uganda, the Nalubale and Kiira dams Concessionaire for making the school what its today through consistent funding. 

“The People of Gulu and indeed the whole of Acholi Sub region, especially those who have gone through this training centre look at Eskom as God’s messenger, send to wipe tears off our eyes, following the trauma that we went through during the LRA war which ravaged this area. We can never thank them enough. 

Lalam said the fresh graduates are joining 1,913 other beneficiaries who have graduated from the centre since inception and have gone off to start profitable ventures using the skills they acquired at the centre. 

Other humanitarian initiatives activated by Eskom Uganda Limited 

In Environment, Eskom has engineered the planting of over 40,000 trees around Jinja district.

Eskom also partnered with Busoga Development Agency to plant trees along all major roads in Busoga Sub-region.

In Health, Eskom has partnered with local leadership to upgrade and rehabilitate Kimaka Maternity Clinic in Jinja.

Eskom has also equipped the clinic with modern equipment to reduce maternity related risks. We are currently constructing a Placenta Pit to improve the functionality of the unit.

In Education, Eskom has rehabilitated the Njeru Primary school in Buikwe district. We intend to embark on the second phase of the project which includes fencing off the school.

Transferring skills to Ugandans

Hundreds of graduate trainees in Uganda have been absorbed by Eskom to gain hands on experience in hydro generation engineering since commencement of operations.

EUL has continued to offer continuous industrial training of 30 students per annum. In line with government of Uganda’s focus on Skilling Uganda, Eskom is already making a contribution towards taking Uganda to a middle income economy by 2020.

Mobisol 10mw Solar Facility To Benefit 500,000 Tanzanians

Mobisol, a Germany-based provider of decentralized solar solutions, has successfully installed a capacity of 10 MW and electrified over 500,000 people in East Africa to date.

The company fights global climate change by offsetting 50,000 tons of CO2 equivalent per year through smart rent-to-own solar systems, benefitting communities in Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya.

Mobisol provides solar solutions beyond lighting and focuses on the development and supply of large solar systems that power a range of energy-efficient household and productive use appliances.

While currently distributing business appliances such as multiple phone chargers and barber salon packages, the company plans to increase its offering around productive-use appliances for small and medium enterprises in 2018.

As part of its commercial strategy, Mobisol has recently grown its workforce to develop a number of B2B partnerships and support solar providers in an additional nine countries through their software suite SolarHub, which builds a digital foundation for pay-as-you-go (PAYG) business model.

The company aims to bring partners up to speed fast and increase the scaling of off-grid. Klaus Maier, Mobisol’s Head of Partnerships and Expansion reveals that in the past six years they have revolutionized ‘Innovation made in German’.

“We’ve engineered reliable high-tech solar systems, paired with the most efficient appliances. We’ve developed highly innovative software, allowing for swift management from PAYG services to last mile logistics,”

“Now, we are putting a stronger focus on corporate partnerships, enabling other sustainable businesses to utilise our versatile software solution, save costs and efficiently run their operations, while concentrating on their core business.”

Mobisol’s founder and CEO, Thomas Gottschalk, adds: “We are proud to have reached this important milestone to electrify half a million people in rural East Africa. But it does not end here: Our vision is to help make poverty history by providing sustainable and affordable energy solutions to 20 million people by 2023 – and ultimately to show the world that a cleaner, non-fossil fuel dependent future is possible.

The solutions are out there to sustainably, yet profitably provide energy access to millions of people, empowering people and boosting economies while protecting the global climate.”

Two Off Grid Projects To Electrify Rural Communities In Nigeria

The first project - headed up by Pan Africa Solar– is an 80MW utility scale Photovoltaic Power Plant located in Katsina State, near the town of Kankia.

The project focuses on a stable state in the north of the country, where – due to lack of available hydro resources and gas supply – renewables are the only long term sustainable option.

The project will integrate panels mounted on tilting structures that track the path of the sun throughout the day, constructed on 210 hectares of land.

BBOXX is collaborating with Pan Africa Solar on a second project supplying the distributed energy service that is operating in Kano State, Northern Nigeria, with hopes to expand across the country.

BBOXX's VP of Business Development, Anshul Patel said Pan Africa Solar is a dedicated team with a core understanding of the Nigerian market; a very exciting BBOXX partner in a much underserved market. Nigeria has 60 million people who lack access to electricity.

“To date, 2000 people have been impacted by our work in Kano, and the business is currently in the process of scaling its operations. The partnership between BBOXX and PAS is instrumental in leveraging expertise in the off-grid business combined with local market knowledge to successfully scale operations with a goal of electrifying 1 million people by 2020."

EnergyNet launched the Off the Grid Club initiative in 2016 to provide a networking platform for off grid technology providers, financiers and regional leaders working in Africa's off grid industry.

The membership programme collaborates with partners such as the Shell Foundation, ElectriFi, Akon Lighting Africa and Solektra in developing and financing off grid projects to electrify rural communities in Africa. 

From 6 – 8 February 2018, off grid developments will be discussed by energy leaders in Kampala, Uganda at the Africa Energy Forum: Off the Grid Summit - held with the endorsement of Her Excellency Irene Muloni, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development of Uganda.

This meeting is co-located with the regional East Africa Energy & Infrastructure Summit. Both meetings will unite governments from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia, leading utility and regulatory companies from the region as well as international financiers, donor organisations and power developers to focus on what is needed to unlock investment in energy for regional growth.

East Africa’s Huge Potential Continues To Excite Energy Experts

Huge potential, unlimited opportunities – this is how energy experts in the region describe the East African power sector. A required investment of approximately $93 billion per annum needed to address East Africa's power and infrastructure needs opens up exciting business opportunities for suppliers and solution providers from across the globe.

Future Energy East Africa, with the official support of the Kenyan Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, will once again host many of the region's leading energy decision makers from 29 – 30 November 2017 at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi.

Formerly known as the East African Power Industry Convention (EAPIC) the event boasts both a strategic conference and a large trade exhibition which provides a platform for public and private stakeholders to engage in discussions around the future of the East African energy sector, giving stakeholders the opportunity to benchmark their operations, challenges and achievements against their peers and seek suppliers who are looking to gain access to projects across the region.

Leading energy experts and industry suppliers who are excited about the region's potential and opportunities in the sector that will be at Future Energy East Africa include: "The electricity industry in this region is one of the fastest developing on the continent and Future Energy East Africa presents the perfect opportunity to showcase our products, services and expertise to a key growth market. We have been participating in EAPIC for many years and we are excited to see the event develop after its rebranding as Future Energy East Africa this year." - Connie Ochola, Regional Marketing Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa, Lucy Electric, returning platinum sponsors.

"The smart money is on East Africa, Africa's new economic powerhouse is taking root in Eastern Africa, with Ethiopia and Kenya taking the lead, and Tanzania and Uganda reinforcing this emerging regional cluster of more than 300 million people." - Lukas Duursema, CEO, Siemens Eastern Africa, platinum sponsors.

"Energy access related start-ups have been among the most prominent of the start-up scene in the recent years in East Africa. Kenya in particular is a commendable player in the African innovation and entrepreneurship market. The number of start-ups being born and entrepreneurs being developed here reflect this." - Paras Patel, Investment Manager, Energy Access Ventures, Kenya and part of a panel discussion on the potential of mini grids at Future Energy East Africa.

"I dream of the day when all our school kids will do their evening homework using electricity. Our main opportunities lie in the upscaling of the production of renewable energy. With the decreasing costs of storage batteries, distributed generation will go a long way in ensuring that all citizens of East Africa have access to clean and reliable energy." - Mbae Ariel Mutegi, Chief Engineer, Network Audit, Kenya Power and panelist at Future Energy East Africa. 

"Both generation and distribution of energy in East Africa are markets to watch closely over the near future. Access to energy certainly represents a major opportunity in the region and, in my opinion, solving the issues around making mini-grids economically viable is at the core of unlocking that opportunity. Furthermore, there are few credible players with on-ground experience in this space, which makes it a particularly exciting time to be involved." - Riccardo Ridolfi, the Head of Business Development for Absolute Energy Capital (AEC) and discussion panellist at Future Energy East Africa.

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