Energy (179)

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).

Let The Fishing Communities Light

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Compiled by Sandra Atusinguza

AFIEGO – Field coordinator

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

Modi Extends $141m Credit To Electricity Development

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GE Partners With Ethiopian Electric Power Authority

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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