Energy (203)

Students Graduate At Eskom Aided Training Centre

Gulu War Affected Training Centre, (GWATC), an Eskom Uganda aided facility, last week held its sixth graduation ceremony with 99 students receiving certificates in catering, tailoring and hair dressing.

The training centre was established in the aftermath of the Northern war by Ms. Betty Lalam who started with only 5 students in a shop verandah in 2005. The centre is funded by Eskom Uganda, the Nalubale and Kiira dams Concessionaire.

“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 praising Eskom.

Lalam said the fresh graduates are joining 1,814 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.

Eskom Uganda Managing Director Thozama Gangi said Eskom started with initial donation of Ushs200m to build classroom blocks for GWATC which were officially opened and handed over to the Director and Board members on January 14th, 2010.

According to Thozama, who was speaking at the graduation, the company has since continued to offer assistance to the school by offering a sewing machine to the best student on graduation day.

“For me, I look at what is happening here today as 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.

According to Thozama, the idea of constructing the facility was hinged onto the relevance of community rehabilitation following the devastating war that ravaged these region years back.

Thozama said Eskom has since attracted other partners including MTN Uganda which donated 15 computers to start up an ICT lab within the facility. MTN also donated one Inverter and solar batteries.

“Eskom Uganda is proud to be one of those companies that came out to stand with the communities here at a time of need. We wanted to be part of the process that would eradicate those ugly scars left by war, in the hearts of our brothers and sisters in this region”, Thozama added.

The Guest of Honour at the event, South African High Commissioner His Excellency Prof. Rtd. Major Gen. Solly Mollo urged the graduants to make good use of the knowledge they have acquired at the centre to add value to their lives.

He hailed Eskom for standing with the people of Acholi in times of need, equating the move to a good friend who sticks around even in bad times. Major General Mollo pledged to explore channels through which the Acholi Cultural institution can engage in a cultural exchange with the South African people.

Other Eskom Uganda humanitarian initiatives

Eskom Uganda believes in adding value to the lives of local communities and hence it has over the last 13 years invested in environmental upgrade, sports sponsorship, health and education.

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 is looking at equipping the clinic with modern equipment to reduce maternity related risks.

In Education, Eskom plans to rehabilitate the Njeru Primary school in Buikwe district. Work begins in December 2016 to re-roof the school and install solarsupply system and stock a state of the art computer room as well as water supply system in partnership with other corporates.

Transferring skills to Ugandans

About 390 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 a 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. This year, Eskom has undertaken to train 25 Engineers, technicians and operators from UEGCL as part of Eskom’s contribution towards skills development of UEGCL.

Nigeria Launches First Renewable Energy Association

Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) was launched by industry leaders at the West African Power Industry Convention. The launch was attended by guests from over 100 organizations working in, and supporting, the renewable energy sector in Nigeria.

REAN is an umbrella association for organizations working across the renewable energy spectrum within the country, including renewable energy enterprises, project developers and promoters.

The association will provide a strong private sector voice to call for policies which catalyze the growth of the renewable energy market, and increase finance to the sector. REAN’s goal is for renewable energy—including solar, hydro, biomass and wind—to contribute forty percent of the national energy mix by 2030.

96 million people in Nigeria lack access to energy, by far the largest number of any country in Africa. Although Nigeria’s grid capacity is over 12,000 Megawatts (MW), only 4,500MW is available due to a chronic lack of investment.

An increasing range of decentralized renewable energy solutions provide a fast and affordable way to increase energy access, while greater support for renewable solutions is also critical for meeting the country’s ambitious climate goals set out this month at COP22.

REAN’s members manufacture, install, maintain, sell and finance an array of renewable energy solutions, from rapidly deployable decentralized technologies—including household solar, renewable mini-grids and off-grid irrigation systems—to larger grid connected solutions.

REAN President, Mr. Segun Adaju, said: “At this critical time for energy and climate we are delighted so many renewable energy enterprises are coming together to support the launch of the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria. It is vital for the sector to have a united voice with which to call for supportive policy, financing and regulation. We hope that many more organisations will join the association in the coming days and weeks, and join our efforts to ensure that all Nigerians can access clean, safe power.”

The launch event included presentations on the energy sector in Nigeria, and details of the REAN structure, constitution and plans for 2017. All organizations working in the renewable energy industry are invited to join the association.

The growth of REAN has been supported by its founding members, as well as national and international organizations including the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria, Heinrich Boll Foundation, the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association and Power for All.

Eskom Wins East African Sustainable Development Award

Uganda’s largest electricity generation company, Eskom Uganda, won the East African Sustainable Development award,at the East African Book of Record awards, for its outstanding contributionsand positive performance that it has made to the region.

The East African Book of Record, with its culture of document and profiling outstanding achievements within the region has an attraction of over 150 millionfollowers and readers in East Africa and beyond and is affiliated to the Guinness book of records.

The awards recognize the value of specific projects and reward institutions that have delivered projects which exceed the expectations of the public and focuses on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted a year ago in New York to embrace the need for economic development that leaves no one behind and gives everyone a fair chance of leading a decent life.

Eskom Uganda Limited has engaged in a number of projects in education, sports, environment and Health not forgetting the charities and donations which are all in the name of serving the community and giving back to the people.

The company has since 2015, sponsored the Sustainable energy exhibition by the Ministry of energy as part of its commitment to the promotion of sustainable energy best practices, goods and services through demand side management.

This year, the company undertook an initiative to train 25 Engineers, technicians and operators from UEGCL as part of Eskom’s contribution towards skills development of UEGCL technical team andalso launched the construction of the Gulu War Affected Centre that provides skills and knowledge to persons that were affected by war in Northern Uganda.

IRENA Given €1m To Accelerate Renewable Energy Deployment

The Government of Wallonia of Belgium has committed €1 million to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) as part of the Government’s support to international climate efforts.

The announcement was made during a meeting between IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin and Mr. Paul Furlan, Walloon Minister of Housing, Energy, Climate and Local Government and City Policy, Government of Wallonia, at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP22, in Marrakech, Morocco.

“In the post-Paris context, the Walloon Region strongly wishes to contribute to the clean and fair development of developing countries especially in Africa, by supporting renewable electrification,” said Minister Furlan.

Renewable energy can play a major role in the alignment of global climate and development objectives, and IRENA provides an active and direct support to countries to accelerate the deployment of renewables.

“The Paris Agreement highlighted renewable energy as a key solution to advance climate action and achieve universal access to sustainable energy,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech.

"We are grateful to the Wallonian Government support for its continued support to IRENA’s work, and especially at this critical juncture for global efforts to accelerate the transition to a sustainable energy future.”

Developing Countries To Benefit From IRENA $50m Renewable Energy Funding

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) have officially opened the fifth round of funding for renewable energy projects in developing countries. The funding round of approximately USD 50 million is part of ADFD’s USD 350 million (AED 1.285 billion) commitment offering concessional loans to renewable energy projects endorsed by IRENA.

Since 2012, the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility has enabled USD 333 million in loans to 15 renewable energy projects in 14 developing countries. Selected projects thus far have included off-grid, mini-grid and on-grid projects using wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass sources. Thanks to the first three cycles, more than 68 megawatts of renewable energy capacity will be brought online, improving the livelihoods of 760,000 people.

“Many developing countries are blessed with abundant renewable energy resources, yet access to financing can still hinder development,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “IRENA’s partnership with ADFD helps overcome this challenge by offering concessional loans to quality renewable energy projects in developing countries, which then leverage additional investment. Funding from the Facility helps boost renewable energy deployment and trigger economic growth, offering sustainable and affordable energy to people with limited or no access to electricity.”

His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD added, “The IRENA/ADFD Project Facility is a pioneering partnership that supports the developing world’s energy needs by tapping into their abundant renewable energy sources. Selected projects have the potential to improve the livelihoods of millions of people by facilitating sustainable economic growth, bolstering energy security and expanding energy access.

This collaboration with IRENA exemplifies our core business of partnerships and alliances to drive advancements in all key economy sectors, especially the renewable energy sector, which will guarantee a long-term, sustainable and environmentally conscious future. At ADFD, our aim is to provide governments with the financial resources and instruments to achieve their desired development goals and ensure a secure future for their citizens.”

Through the Facility, ADFD provides consessional loans ranging from USD 5 million to USD 15 million per project. Finance is offered at 1 to 2 per cent lending rates with a 20-year loan period, including a 5-year grace period. Loans for each project cover up to half of the estimated project cost so additional co-financing must be acquired from other sources. To help facilitate additional sources of funding, project developers can register and seek financing sources from IRENA’s Sustainable Energy Marketplace.

Only projects located in IRENA Member States, Signatories of the Statute, or States in Accession are eligible to apply. Applications are evaluated by an international panel of experts who review the projects based on technical feasibility, economic/commercial viability and socio-economic and environmental benefits.

The deadline for applications for the fifth cycle is 15 February, 2017. Results will be announced in January 2018.


Shell Takes Gas To Rolex Chefs

After government embarking on promoting the Rolex on the international scene to attract tourists who love to explore food and recipes across the continent, private companies have also come up to add more value to the business.

The food originally a roadside snack, has evolved into a house-hold fast food which has been internationally recognised with restaurants and hotels now serving it everywhere in the country as part of their regular menu.

Now a roadside seller has been in trouble after house hold restaurants started advertising the rolex on their menu. Some consumers would argue that the restaurant is much cleaner and convenient to offer the rolex compared to the road side seller.

Now Shell gas has taken an initiative to add value to the rolex on the roadside to make it cleaner and more convenient than before. Shell Gas is encouraging Rolex chefs to adopt gas which is quicker, cleaner and easier to use, compared to charcoal.   This will create more competition since the roadside rolex will be cleaner and more convenient to customers.

Jerry Etolu who runs a Rolex business in Ntinda under the names may man rolex stand, is the first Rolex chef to embrace gas and he says, gas is much flexible because it can be regulated according to the fire needed, compared to charcoal where they have to use ash in case the fire is much.

Clean Energy Training Starts At Victoria University

The consortium of the Supporting African Municipalities in Sustainable Energy Transitions (SAMSET) researchers are convening at Victoria University in Kampala to promote the responsible use and access to clean energy.

The Meeting which started Monday 7 November till Friday 11 November, 2016 is offering a practitioner’s insight into urban energy planning, implementation and management. It was officially opened by Chris Baryomunsi, state minister for housing on Tuesday morning.

The first day, Monday, saw members attending the course go for a field trip to acquaint themselves with the scope of urban energy. The five day training will see participants share with stakeholder’s findings, strategies and case studies from the research. Concepts from these sessions are geared towards supporting initiatives for energy transitions in various arena in the urban environment, an official document explained.

On Day 3 and 5, there will be parallel sessions offering tutorials for the Long-range Energy Alternative Planning (LEAP) tool. LEAP is widely regarded as a useful integrated modelling tool to account for the energy usage and transformation throughout a defined economy, and also importantly the energy and nonenergy sector Green House Gas (GHG) emissions resulting from a range of consumption patterns at urban scale.

The project, according to the organizers, is cognizant of the fact that social or socio-economic engagement in as far as they influence attitudes toward sustainable energy transitions are key drivers. Participants are undergoing through in-depth presentations to familiarize themselves with the subject matter.

The training which is also in partnership with Uganda Martyrs University and under The Center For Urban Governance & Development has attracted participants who include environment practitioners ranging from government departments, development partners, architects, engineers, planners, building control officers, energy managers, contractors, housing associations, developers, clients, students, academics and researchers.

At the core of the SAMSET project is promoting responsible use of and access to clean energy. The role of national policy and regulatory frameworks and how these have since evolved to link government and governance on the one hand and academia, finance, investment and community on the other, in developing instruments that promote and facilitate energy transitions is interrogated in this project.

Dynamic Policies Driving Renewable Energy Growth In Latin America

Buoyed by rapid technology cost reductions and the consolidation of renewable energy policies, Latin America hosts some of the world’s most dynamic renewable energy markets, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Renewable Energy Market Analysis: Latin America finds that the region – endowed with some of the world’s best renewable resources – has an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate the uptake of renewables across all sectors.

“The proven business case of renewables, combined with the imperative to decarbonise the energy sector, provides a compelling rationale for Latin American countries to continue deploying more renewables, including solar and wind,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “Policymakers also increasingly recognise renewables as a catalyst for job creation, GDP growth, development of local industries, and energy access. Add the environmental benefits – and the fact that nearly 2 million people are employed by renewables in the region – and the case for renewables is even more compelling.”

In 2015, Brazil, Chile and Mexico ranked among the top ten markets in terms of renewable energy investment. Latin America holds some of the most cost-competitive hydropower, solar and wind resources globally and today, more than a quarter of the region’s total primary energy comes from renewables, twice the global average.

Renewable Energy Market Analysis: Latin America offers the most up-to-date and comprehensive review of the status and trends in the region’s renewable energy development that are enabling this success. It compiles the region’s wealth of knowledge, draws key lessons from its experience, and outlines key findings that can support the continued regional expansion of renewables across all sectors. These include: catalysing public and private finance, adapting policies to dynamic market conditions, adopting a system-level approach in the power sector, harnessing complementarities across technologies, unlocking the potential for renewable sources in end-use sectors, and fully recognising the socio-economic benefits of renewable energy deployment.

“The good news is that the success achieved in Latin America, and the benefits realised, can be even further enhanced with the right policies being established,” added Mr. Amin. “Latin America’s advanced renewable energy policies and financing schemes also offer valuable insights for other energy markets around the world, especially as countries seek to scale up renewables to achieve emission reduction targets under the Paris climate agreement.”

The report will be launched today in the opening session of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean VII Regional Policy Dialogue on Energy Efficiency, which focuses on sustainable energy in the context of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Falling Costs, Tech Innovations Will Drive Offshore Wind Power Boom

Offshore wind power has the potential to grow from just 13 gigawatts (GW) in 2015, to 100 GW in 2030, according to new analysis from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Innovation Outlook: Offshore Wind, launched today at the World Wind Energy Conference in Tokyo, provides an overview of the future developments that will drive the offshore wind power boom, including technology advancements and further cost declines.

“Offshore wind power is poised to become a leading power generation technology in a decarbonised global economy,” said Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA. “Now that onshore wind power is cost-competitive with conventional power generation technologies, more attention is shifting to offshore applications, characterised by high technical power generation potential.”

Technology innovation will be a key driver of the offshore wind boom. The report highlights upcoming innovations that will enable sector development, including next generation wind turbines with larger blades, and floating turbines, which will open up new markets in deeper waters. These advancements, combined with other sector developments, will reduce average costs for electricity generated by offshore wind farms by 57 per cent over time – from USD 170 per megawatt hour (MWh) in 2015 to USD 74 per MWh in 2045.

“The potential for offshore wind is enormous, but to realise it, governments must support technology innovation, and implement mechanisms to reduce technical risk and finance costs,” said Stefen Gsaenger, Secretary-General of the World Wind Energy Association. “This report from IRENA helps lay the foundation for this needed action.”

Innovation Outlook: Offshore Wind provides a set of recommendations for the effective implementation of policy mechanisms and incentive programmes that would allow offshore wind technology to realise its potential to decarbonise the energy market. Recommendations include provisioning targeted research and development funding and supporting information sharing and skills development, amongst other measures.

The report is part of the Innovation Outlook series, which highlights innovations and future outlooks for various renewable energy technologies. Innovation Outlooks are also available for mini grids and advanced liquid biofuels.

Sierra Leone's Energy Revolution Campaign Progressing

The Government of Sierra Leone last week provided an update on the progress of its Energy Revolution initiative to supply basic power to all of its citizens by 2025.


Announced by President Ernest Bai Koroma in May, the Energy Revolution pledged to provide at least 250,000 homes with solar units and introduce household solar to all 149 chiefdoms by the end of next year, as well as to deliver modern power to 1 million people by 2020.


As of the start of October, results included:

  • The National Finance Policy has been amended to make all solar PV home systems exempt from VAT and import duties, in order to reduce the cost to consumers

  • A “Green Lane” has been set up by customs authorities to allow approved companies to get their products cleared  faster from ports

  • 13 companies have been vetted and approved by the Minister of Energy for import waivers and Green Lane status. These companies all adhere to International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards, ensuring that quality is maintained

  • A Renewable Energy Association of Sierra Leone was created with 17 initial members

  • Mechanisms to create access to finance for the sector are being explored with national and international actors. A pilot financial model is being pioneered by a local commercial bank, microfinance institution and private company, which addresses company capitalization, consumer financing and FOREX hedging

  • Sierra Leone has been included in the Africa Clean Energy (ACE) program being launched by DfID, which means new financing opportunities for the decentralized solar market will be made available in 2017

  • Getting all key government agencies and ministries aligned on policy and regulation, including the Ministry of Energy, the National Revenue Authority, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Finance and the Standards Bureau


Minister of Energy, Henry Macauley said: “Today off-grid solar technology provides us with an opportunity to get modern energy to all those living far from the grid. Through the elimination of taxes and tariffs and creation of a ‘Green Lane’ corridor at customs, the Government has taken rapid action to speed up the importation of solar products, and to make them cheaper for consumers. But we must urgently increase investment into the sector to maximize the impact of these strong policy measures, and ensure the Energy Revolution reaches its targets. We are calling our partners in the international community to help us unlock catalytic finance to ensure we can reach 250,000 homes with modern energy by the end of 2017, and achieve power for all by 2025”.

Subscribe to this RSS feed