Energy (170)

Egypt Turns To Renewable Energy To Meet Electricity Needs

Egypt has the potential to generate up to 53 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The Renewable Energy Outlook: Egypt report, released at a high-level conference in Cairo today in the presence of Egyptian government officials and regional decision makers, finds that pursuing higher shares of renewable energy could reduce the country's energy bill by up to USD 900 million annually in 2030.

Renewables could cost-effectively provide up to a quarter of Egypt's total final energy supply in 2030, per the analysis. Achieving the higher targets would, however, require investment in renewables to grow from USD 2.5 billion per year based on today's policies to USD 6.5 billion per year.

Under current plans, Egypt aims to source 20 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2022, rising to 42 per cent by 2035. Total installed capacity of renewables in the country today amounts to 3.7 gigawatts (GW).

"This analysis offers the Egyptian energy sector a roadmap, building on current ambitions and plans, to enhance our position as an energy hub connecting Europe, Asia and Africa," said H.E. Dr. Mohamed Shaker, Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy.

"Job creation, economic development and the growth of local manufacturing capabilities are at the heart of our renewables programme, and with the support of IRENA we can pursue our plans to grow the country's installed capacity base through smart policies, and the latest renewable technologies."

Egypt can draw on an abundance of renewable energy resources to achieve higher shares of hydropower, wind, solar and biomass. To capitalise on this, the report suggests that national policy makers may benefit from periodically re-evaluating the long-term energy strategy to reflect rapid advances in renewable energy technology and falling renewable power generation costs.

"Remarkable cost reductions in renewable energy in recent years are encouraging governments all over the world to rethink energy strategies so as to better reflect the new economics of renewables," said Mr. Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General.

"Egypt's renewable energy potential is vast and the Government has now moved decisively to accelerate its deployment. The Benban solar complex with its impressive scale reflects this new momentum."

"Building on these achievements, Egypt has the opportunity to further raise its ambition which entails substantially increased investments," continued Mr. Amin. "Attracting these investments requires stable policy frameworks and a streamlined regulatory environment that provides clarity and certainty for investors. Investments in renewable energy not only help to meet rising energy demand but they can also contribute to fostering economic growth, creating employment and developing local manufacturing."




The report was prepared by IRENA in close collaboration with Egypt's Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy, and the New and Renewable Energy Authority.

Karuma Hydro Power Project Completion Extended By One

The completion date for the highly awaited 600MW Karuma Hydro Power Project has been extended by one year. The contractor Sinohydro Corporation Limited has cited challenges such as land acquisition, delayed construction of transmission lines that has led to delays in the project. In the past the project also faced problems of cracks and shoddy works.

President Yoweri Museveni recently visited the project as announcements were made to signal the extension of completion deadlines. The project is located on the Nile River in Kyandongo District in mid-northern Uganda, 110km downstream of Lake Kyoga, and 270km from Kampala the Capital of Uganda..

The overall physical progress of works as of July 2018 stood at 80%. This translates into 67.3% for civil works. The $1.7b project cost is met by government of Uganda (15%) and EXIM Bank of China soft loan (85%). The project is expected to generate increased power for industrial, domestic use and for exports to the region.

The president toured the underground tunnels, the concrete dam, underground powerhouse, transformer, surge chamber of the project and addressed the workers, contractors and local leaders of the area. During the address the president commended the contractor for the good progress of the work.

He explained that he came to see the power house and dam structure before they were submerged by power as the project enters into its completion phase. On 12th August 2013 construction works was launched by Museveni and 16th December, 2013 was the project commencement date with a duration targeted at 60 months (five years).

He noted that he would return for the final commissioning of the project next year where celebrations are expected.

The president said the project was expected to generate 200MW by the end of this year, when two turbine units become operational.

The president asked the leaders of Kiryandango district to provide one square of mile of land for the construction of an industrial park. He said the park will have factories for food processing, juice making and other industries and will use the power stepped down from Karuma as it would be produced at high voltages.

He said power will be available to the local people and it should be used for productive activities. He urged Ugandans to use the power to do big business advising that big towns should start doing big business employing many people.

The president directed the ministry of education and sports to provide vocational skills to the youth of the project area using the technical school at Kiryandongo.

The president recalled that earlier developers had planned to build Karuma to generate 200MW which he rejected. He explained that the contract was given to Sinohydro Corporation, a big company that could handle the magnitude of the project.

The Chinese Ambassador to Uganda Mr. Zheng Zhuqiang expressed with gratitude that the project was a good example of China Uganda economic cooperation.

Mr. Zhuqiang said that by 2017 $150m (sh570b) has been spent on local content materials such as cement steel, wood, vehicles.

He said when the project was complete it would produce $200m (sh760b) in revenues annually equivalent to 1% of Uganda’s GDP. “Power is a bottleneck for the development in Africa. China is helping address this bottleneck,” he said. He noted that the Karuma project has created over 6,000 jobs.

The ambassador added that the Chinese Government was supporting the construction of Isimba Dam, Entebbe Airport Expansion and the Kampala to Entebbe Expressway and the construction of several industrial parks which will create over 30,000 jobs.

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Eng. Irene Muloni explained that the construction of the power plant is in progress with 80% completion achieved while the transmission lines are at 42%.

Eng. Muloni said the construction of transmission lines delayed because of the challenges of land acquisition where only 70% of the required project land has been acquired to date. The minister noted that the ministry of finance has provided all the funds needed to carry out the Resettlement Action Plan.

She noted that because of the delay to acquire land for the transmission lines, the contractor has asked to revise the completion date of the project from December 2018 to December 2019.

“The contractor has indicated that the first two units of 100mw each will be commissioned by December 2018 while the last unit will be commissioned in July 2019. Full commissioning and commercial operations date is dependent on the earliest completion of the Karuma Interconnection Project expected by December 2019,” Muloni said.

She said the ministry together with the implementing agencies are to implement the Community Development Action Plan whose main objective is to address pressure on local social infrastructure, social services, livelihoods and natural resources. The three districts to benefit from the plan are Oyam, Nwoya and Kiryandongo districts.

Eng. Muloni disclosed that the contractor has agreed to donate two hospitals, a civilian one in Oyam district and a military one in Masindi district.

The contractor will donate one primary school in the project area, set up a study fund for orphans and hand over the contractors camps and offices to Government.

“The sites for the construction of the aforementioned facilities were identified and the EPC Contractor is to commence with construction works at the identified sites,” Eng. Muloni explained.

Mr. Joseph Oryem, LCI Chairperson Karuma Cell welcomed the positive impact of the project on Karuma Town Council. Oryem highlighted that there was good cooperation between Sinohydro Corporation and the community in garbage management, the contractor has constructed two boreholes for the community, they have built a new market for the community.

Mr. Oryem said other support provided by contractor included creation of jobs for the youth and opening up access roads especially Karuma Primary School access road. He called for the improved welfare of employees working at the project.

On key features of the project; on civil works of the dam the concreting works in all the dam blocks are completed except few blocks in the stilling basin with percent complete ticked at 100 %. On the surge chamber concreting is going on left and right surge chambers percent completed 75 %, power house work (69.4 %), lowering of turbine shaft and runner in unit 2, 3 completed.

On the power intake the installation of emergency gates for all the six units completed. Installation of gantry crane for maintenance gate in progress. The removal of bracings and painting for penstock is in progress.

Small Island States, IRENA To Take Energy Transformation To Next Level

Leaders of small island developing states (SIDS) and development partners met on the side-lines of the United Nations General Assembly to launch the SIDS Lighthouses 2.0, an initiative that seeks to accelerate energy transformation in SIDS, strengthen climate resilience and contribute to the achievement of the sustainable development goals.

SIDS which are among the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and often heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels for their energy needs.

The SIDS Lighthouses Initiative (LHI) was launched at the 2014 UN Climate Summit to support SIDS in scaling up renewable energy through partnerships between public institutions, the private sector, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Coordinated by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the LHI has supported a rapid growth of renewable energy among the 36 SIDS members of the initiative, where more than 250 MW of solar photovoltaic and over 50 MW of wind energy came online between 2014 and 2017, and more than USD 500 million in renewable energy investment mobilised.

“Small island developing states are on the frontlines of climate change, and they are also at the forefront of global energy transformation. SIDS governments have demonstrated tremendous leadership in harnessing their renewable energy potential, and the LHI was created to help them reap the benefits of a renewable energy transformation,” said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General.

“The SIDS LHI achieved its 2020 targets three years ahead of schedule, creating a tremendous momentum for the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative 2.0 to now take even further.”

“Global temperatures continue to rise, and hurricanes and drought continue to threaten our livelihoods. It is for this reason why we remain committed to the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative 2.0 and tackling climate change through rapid deployment of resilient renewable energy,” said the Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda.

The official launch of the LHI 2.0 is a unique occasion to reaffirm, at the highest level, the commitment of SIDS and development partners. The roundtable will discuss the proposed priority areas for the LHI 2.0 developed in consultations with key stakeholders.

They include support for revising and implementing NDCs, facilitating access to finance, strengthening capacities, reinforcing the nexus between renewables and other sectors and expanding the focus of the initiative beyond the power sector to end-use sectors such as transportation.

The SIDS Lighthouses Initiative 2.0 High-Level Roundtable is taking place on 28 September 2018 from 13:15–14.30 in the ECOSOC Chamber – United Nations in New York.


South Africa: Eskom To Expand $218m Transmission Network

The African Development Bank has approved a ZAR 2.886 billion (US$217.9 million ) loan to South Africa's power utility Eskom Holdings Ltd, towards the upgrade and expansion of its transmission facilities. The entity is crucial to power supply within the sub-region.

The funding supports the Eskom Transmission Improvement Project (ETIP), which will see the construction of 555km of 400kV transmission lines in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga province and the upgrading of substation equipment and improvement of various substation earth mats in Mpumalanga.

The transmission lines will provide additional power evacuation paths for new generation capacity, ensure availability of power for future load growth, enable the reduction of network losses and ensure safety of personnel and assets during network operations to ensure compliance to the Grid Code.

The Bank's intervention will enable the provision of additional power evacuation paths to the network from the Kusile, Majuba, Drakensburg and Ingula power stations. It will also benefit the utility's corporate restructuring and governance program.

The ETIP aligns with the Government of South Africa's National Development Plan 2030, geared toward financing infrastructure to support the country's medium- and long-term economic and social objectives. ETIP was identified in the Bank's South Africa Country Strategy Paper ((CSP) 2018–2022) and is consistent with its pillars of promoting industrialization and deepening regional integration. The project is also consistent with the Bank's ten-year strategy 2013–2022.

The loan, which was approved by the Bank's board on Tuesday 25 September, includes an additional co-financing of US$25 million from the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF). The Bank's contribution, covered by a South African Government guarantee, will finance up to77 percent of the critical project. Eskom will provide 15 percent. These investments will enhance regional energy trade, end-user energy access for industrial development, and address the potential addition of 130 million on-grid connections by 2025.

Eskom operates South Africa's national grid, which comprises 157 transmission substations and approximately 31,107km of transmission lines and 160 distribution substations, totaling 139,610MVA of installed transformer capacity. The utility contributes approximately 77 percent of the total installed power capacity in the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) and makes up approximately 80 percent of the regional power demand.

Efficient power trade within the SAPP is hampered by system losses and weakening of the transmission capacity. Access to electricity in all SAPP member states (excluding South Africa), remains below 45 percent and is as low as 10 percent in Malawi. Eskom trades within the SAPP, selling electricity to, and buying from, member countries. 

IRENA Conference To Showcase Centrality Of Off-Grid Renewables To Energy Development

The central role of off-grid renewable energy in achieving universal energy access and sustainable development will be under the spotlight during the fourth edition of the International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition (IOREC).

Registrations are now open for the two-day conference, organised in cooperation with the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), that will take place on October 31 – November 1, during the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW). IOREC is co-located with the Asia Clean Energy Summit (ACES).  

Dramatic cost reductions and technology improvements now make renewable technologies the most economic and reliable option for off-grid electrification. An estimated 133 million people are already benefiting from such decentralised energy solutions – with millions more potentially gaining energy access – further driving job creation and economic growth for people in rural communities across the world. 

IRENA will gather global policy makers, civil society and private sector leaders in Singapore at the IOREC to accelerate the adoption of the off-grid renewable energy solutions proving to be key to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

“Off-grid renewable energy systems have transformed our ability to deliver secure, affordable electricity to rural communities all over the world, and are playing a vital role in breaking a cycle of energy poverty that has held back socioeconomic progress for hundreds of millions of people,” said Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency. 

“IOREC will showcase the extent to which flexible, renewables-based energy solutions have become a catalyst for entrepreneurship, job creation, livelihoods, women’s empowerment and improved healthcare across the world, and thus decisively contributing to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” concluded Mr. Amin. 

While there is tremendous momentum in the deployment of off-grid renewables, more than one billion people still live without electricity access today. Attendees will discuss best practice off-grid policies and regulations, together with innovations in technology, financing and delivery models for stand-alone and mini-grid systems. IRENA will also present updates to its analysis on mini-grid renewable energy policies as well as on technology innovation. 

IOREC will take place alongside other high-level discussions during SIEW including the Association of South East Asian Nations Energy (ASEAN) Ministers Meeting, chaired by Singapore. 

IOREC will be followed by the First International Conference on Renewable Energy for Healthcare, organised by IRENA on November 2. The one-day conference will bring together representatives from across the energy and healthcare fields to forge partnerships and co-develop pathways to improve the provision of electricity to health centers through decentralised renewable energy. 

It is estimated that one billion people are served by health facilities without electricity. Concerted action from both health and energy sector stakeholders is needed to address the issue. The conference will facilitate discussions on developing synergies at the policy and strategic levels, addressing financing challenges, examining the most suitable energy delivery models and exploring the opportunities created by improved energy access for modernising rural healthcare in low-income areas.

Speke Resort’s Efficiency Recognized At Energy Management Award

Ruparelia Group’s Speke Resort Munyonyo emerged Winners in the Best Energy Management Practices (Hotels) during the inaugural Energy Management Awards which recently took place at Pearl of Africa Hotel. The hotel also emerged First Runners Up in the service sector.

Speke Apartments and Kabira Country Club, also part of Ruparelia Group, emerged first runners-up under the category of Best Energy Management Practice/Services Sector- Hotels and second runners-up under the category of Best Energy Management Practices-Hotels respectively.

The Energy Management Awards are organised by Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development with support from GIZ, Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) and French Development Agency.

They aim to recognize and reward organizations that have made major and sustainable gains in energy efficiency through the application of modern energy management principles and practices, and in the process made significant energy and cost reductions.

The awards were categorized into five categories: Best Champion of the Year, Best Energy Management Practices, Electricity Savings Award (Industrial Large, Industrial Medium and Industrial Small), Fuel Savings Award (Industrial Large, Industrial Medium and Industrial Small) and Service Sector Award. 27 companies participated including hotels, universities and commercial buildings.

IRENA Innovation Week Talks Future Renewable Energy System

Leading companies, startups and policymakers convened at the second edition of IRENA Innovation Week in Bonn on Wednesday to explore ground-breaking innovations that are driving the global energy transformation.

Remarkable cost reductions driven by technological innovation and an increasingly conducive policy environment have made renewable energy increasingly competitive with conventional fuels in many parts of the world.

In parallel, innovations such as the Internet of Things, blockchain, artificial intelligence, smart charging of electric-vehicles, and hydrogen power and storage are making energy systems increasingly integrated and flexible and are supporting the transition to a renewable-powered future.

Innovation is key to ensuring that all countries can benefit from low-cost renewable power and reliably integrate high shares in their power systems at a time when significant acceleration of renewable energy deployment is needed if the world is going to achieve the Paris Agreement target and meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Renewable energy coupled with technological innovation are changing the way that energy is produced, distributed and consumed. The new global energy paradigm that is emerging is more sustainable and has greater socioeconomic benefits for an unprecedented number of people,” said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General.

“Innovation Week brings leaders from diverse fields together to share their vision for the energy sector of the future, and is a crucible for the innovative ideas that are moving the energy transformation forward.”

More than 400 corporate leaders, government officials and experts at the forefront of energy system innovation will discuss, debate and dissect the disruptive technologies, business practices and policies that are driving the energy revolution.

Thought leaders from the China State Grid Corporation, ENGIE, GE, NREL, IBM, Masdar, the German Energy Agency, Statnett, Toyota, Schneider Electric, ENEL, governments and regulators and many others will explore how digitalization, decentralization and end-use electrification are changing the way that we produce, trade and consume power.

A senior-level public-private roundtable will explore the transformative impacts of innovation in the energy system, and emerging startups will demonstrate their work in an innovation showcase.

Umeme Earmarks Ushs20.6 Billion For Dividend Pay-Out

Umeme Limited announced a Ushs12.7 dividend pay-out per ordinary share to all its shareholders for the six months ended 30 June 2018. 

A top official said the total interim dividend pay-out of Ushs20.6 billion was based on the stellar performance of the company over the period of January to June 2018. 

The dividend subject to deduction of withholding tax, where applicable, will be paid on or about 11 January 2019 to shareholders in the books of the company at close of business on 20 December 2018. 

Commenting on the results, Umeme Managing Director, Mr. Selestino Babungi said the sector was on a steady growth after the demand by industrial consumers grew by 8.6%, up from the 7.5% registered in the same period the previous year. 

“In simple terms, the sector is growing. Maximum demand grew just slightly under 600MW. The main drivers are the large industrial customers who are registering high annual growth rates of up to 13%,” Babungi explained. 

He noted that the industrial demand for electricity was in line the GDP growth, which is projected to grow at 6% in the 2018/2019 financial, up from 3.9% in 2017, adding that GDP growth goes hand-in-hand with electricity demand. 

Babungi pointed out that the setting up of National Cement Company and the new Hima Cement plant, the two new cement plants in Tororo and the expansion of Tororo Cement Industries, all of which were fully commissioned, boosted the industrial sales. 

“Existing industrial consumers like Coca-Cola and Roofings have also boosted their production. The Buy Uganda, Build Uganda drive is helping a lot. The South Sudan and DR Congo markets have also reopened. Commercial use of electricity is fundamental. Industrial use is essential in up taking the increasing generation capacity,” he explained.

 The giant utility also registered progress in the energy loss reduction targets in the six months of 2018 to 16.7% compared to 17.5% for the same period in 2017.

“We focused the half-year loss-reduction efforts on commercial losses and are in dialogue with the Electricity Regulatory Authority on specific approvals required for technical loss reduction investments,” Babungi said. 

He disclosed that for these efforts, delegations from Nigeria and Mozambique, were expected to visit the utility to benchmark on how they are doing this when the regional utilities are struggling to tame their losses figures. 

The company has also maintained an average collection rate of 99.2% over the last three years, while the revenue collection rate for the period under review stood at 102.8%, attributed to the rollout of prepaid metering, recoveries of past unpaid bills, timely payment by industrial customers, government agencies and provision of payment systems available 24 hours per day.   

During the first half of 2018, the company added up to 82,373 customers to the grid, increasing our total customers to a record 1,207,664. The firm targets to add a total of 200,000 new customers to the grid by end of 2018. 

Customers on prepaid metering increased to 76.3% of the customer base. Prepaid revenue from these customers represents 24% of the total revenue.

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).

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