Energy

Energy (136)

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.

ADFD, IRENA Open New Round Of Funding For Renewable Energy Projects

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), is inviting applications for renewable energy projects in developing countries.

Within the framework of the ADFD-funded US$350 million (AED1.285 billion) IRENA/ADFD Project Facility, the current funding round of US$50 million in concessional loans marks the sixth of seven annual cycles.

“In just the last few years, renewable energy has emerged as one of the most economical choices for new power generation in countries around the globe. Accelerated renewable energy deployment in developing countries expands access to energy, improves health and welfare, creates jobs and drives economic growth,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin.

“This new funding cycle provides greater opportunity for developing countries to access low cost capital for renewable energy projects to drive the energy transformation and achieve sustainable development. The continued partnership between ADFD and IRENA connects a stable and reputable source of funding to places where it can have the most impact and where financing is one of the greatest challenges.”

For his part, His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “Since the announcement of the first funding cycle of the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility back in 2014, this unique partnership has continued to support replicable, scalable and economically feasible renewable energy projects in developing countries.”

He added: “The five previous cycles have attracted a host of impressive, innovative and sustainable projects that go a long way in enhancing energy security worldwide. Following their contibution in advancing the global sustainability mandate, we are delighted to open funding for the sixth cycle and continue our journey of socio-economic growth.”

Funding from ADFD, provided through the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility, offers sustainable and affordable energy to millions of people with limited or no access to electricity. In the first four cycles, the Facility allocated US$189 million to 19 renewable energy ventures across the globe, covering up to 50 per cent of the project costs. The loan approval process saw ADFD and IRENA conduct a thorough assessment of entries in close collaboration to select projects that best fulfilled the eligibility criteria.

The ventures funded in the first four cycles will bring online more than 100 megawatts of renewable energy capacity and improve the livelihoods of over a million people through providing better access to energy.

Spanning Asia, Africa, Latin America and Small Island Developing States, the projects span the complete spectrum of alternative energy sources – wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass – and utilize a wide range of systems, such as hybrid, off-grid, mini-grid and on-grid including backup storage.

The projects selected for the fifth funding cycle will be announced in January 2018. Applications for the sixth cycle will be accepted until 17:00 GST on February 15, 2018.

Germany Backs Renewable Energy Projects In Africa With New Facility

KfW, the German Development Bank, and the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) announced, on the side lines of the annual Africa Investment Exchange: Power and Renewables Meeting, a new instrument to support renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa that targets small- and mid-scale (up to 50 MW) green power renewable energy projects.

The facility is designed to provide a viable solution to one of the biggest challenges facing independent power producers (IPPs) operating in Africa, specifically the requirement to provide project lenders with a liquidity guarantee.

The German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through KfW will provide funding of up to 32.9 million EUR to the facility, which aims to enable small-and mid-scale renewable energy projects in Africa to reach financial close by addressing liquidity requirements that lenders frequently require in order to fund such projects.

The launch of the new facility is happening at an opportune moment when emerging markets are seeing record investments in the renewable energy sector. The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects sub-Saharan Africa's renewables capacity to grow by 73% (24.4GW) over the period 2017-22.

In addition, small-scale projects are seen as a potential solution to Africa's energy deficit because they are easier to implement and can target energy requirements at source, but these projects find it difficult to access the type of guarantees needed to reach financial closure.

The facility will kick in by providing immediate liquidity to keep the IPP afloat during periods of payment delays that are beyond the grace period provided in the power purchase agreement.

Günther Nooke, Personal Representative of the German Chancellor for Africa, BMZ, said "The Regional Liquidity Support Facility will address a key challenge in renewable energy project finance and de-risk private sector investments. We are pleased to provide the funding to this innovative instrument underlining Germany's commitment to the objectives of the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI)."

The RLSF is designed to help independent power producers (IPPs) developing renewable energy projects in Africa to obtain the liquidity they need in the event that their off-taker (frequently a state owned entity) delays payment. The facility will provide immediate cash collateral supported by guarantees to a commercial bank that will in turn open a standby letter of credit to the benefit of the IPP. The amount provided will enable the IPP to operate and service the debt for up to 6 months. Furthermore, unlike most IPP letters of credit (which tend to be 12 month tenors) the facility is designed to be in place for multiple years.

Dr. Thomas Duve, KfW Director Southern Africa and Regional Funds, noted "We highly appreciate the opportunity to partner with ATI on this innovative instrument. The RLSF is a strongly market-driven concept, emphasizing KfW's strategy to support and leverage the resources of local partners and the private sector."

The facility, in combination with ATI's traditional suite of political and trade credit risk insurance products (in particular ATI's arbitration award default cover), means that ATI is able to cover the full range of political and financial risks facing investors on such projects.

Speaking at the launch, John Lentaigne, ATI's Chief Underwriting Officer commented "We are delighted to be working with the German government, represented by KfW, on an initiative that directly targets one of the main bottlenecks preventing green power projects from being financed in Africa."

Jef Vincent, Senior Advisor to ATI, who has overall responsibility for the initial implementation of the facility, added "Unlike some of the alternative solutions to the liquidity issue, ATI's guarantee (as provided via the RLSF) will not require a counter-guarantee from the relevant Ministry of Finance, and as such we are confident this will be a very useful tool for those projects that we expect to support."

Renewable Energy Can Be Strengthened In Next Round Of Climate Negotiations

Countries have an opportunity to significantly increase renewable energy ambition within Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and to accelerate its deployment in line with climate objectives under the Paris Agreement, per a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). 

Released today at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, the report found that current NDCs and energy strategies can be substantially enhanced to meet global climate objectives. Entitled ‘Untapped Potential for Climate Action: Renewable Energy in Nationally Determined Contributions’, the report also identifies that renewable energy already targeted within national energy strategies often exceeds renewable energy capacity currently envisaged under NDCs. 

Renewable energy deployment levels under current NDCs would bring online 80GW of renewable energy capacity globally each year, between 2015 – 2030. However, the current pace of deployment has seen countries install 125GW of new renewable energy capacity on average annually between 2010 and 2016, suggesting that NDCs can better reflect the global energy transition. The report highlights that a more integrated approach would send a clearer message to the global investment community willing to invest in this sector. 

“The case for renewable energy has strengthened considerably since parties first quantified the renewable energy components of their nationally determined contributions,” said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General at a press conference for the Global Climate Action energy, water and agriculture thematic segment. “Since then, the increasing attractiveness of renewables as the lowest-cost source of new energy supply in countries around the world has fuelled unprecedented levels of deployment. 

“As the global community prepares for a new round of climate negotiations under the Paris Agreement, it is critical we go in with a clear understanding of the trajectory required to avoid the worst effects of climate change,” continued Mr. Amin. “Our analysis finds that the convergence of innovation, falling costs and positive socioeconomic impacts of renewable energy – together with the climate imperative – make a compelling case for accelerating action.” 

As part of a mechanism built into the Paris Agreement, countries are required to update or submit new NDCs over time, each of which is designed to be progressively more ambitious than the last. With the second round of NDCs due in 2020, a ‘Facilitative Dialogue’ is set to start in 2018, during which Parties will take stock of initial progress toward the collective goals in the Agreement. 

Furthermore, while the power sector emissions are addressed in most NDCs, significant carbon reductions in end uses of energy (mobility, heating and cooling) are needed to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The use of renewable energy in other sectors of the economy such as transport, industry and residential buildings can also support increased ambition. 

IRENA also used the platform of the UN Climate Change Conference to announce the establishment of a new facility focused on providing strategic planning and technical support to countries to raise achievable renewable energy ambitions under their NDCs. 

“Given the gap we have found that exists between what countries are pledging to do under the Paris Agreement and actual progress and potential on the ground, it is clear that there is an opportunity to work with countries in a targeted fashion to ramp up both implementation and ambition,” added Mr. Amin. 

Key findings of the report, are:

  • Substantial scope exists for countries to increase their renewable energy ambitions in a cost-effective way under NDCs.
  • In Africa, NDCs could cost-effectively target 310 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy by 2030, almost four and a half times the capacity outlined currently in NDCs on the continent and more than twice the capacity envisaged in NDCs and national plans.
  • Only ten G20 countries currently include quantified renewable energy targets in their NDCs, while all of them have set targets as part of their national energy plans and strategies.
  • NDCs of G20 countries – responsible for 80 per cent of the global energy-related CO2 emission reductions needed by 2050 – could aim for an installed renewable energy capacity of 4.6 terrawatts (TW) by 2030, 60 per cent more than would be achieved though the combined implementation of national energy targets and current NDCs.
  • Greater alignment of renewable energy targets under NDCs and in national energy plans would facilitate the mobilisation of the investments required to accelerate the energy transition and advance progress towards achieving global climate objectives.
  • Achieving power sector renewable energy targets under current NDCs, requires almost USD 1.7 trillion by 2030 - USD 1.2 trillion of which is required for unconditional targets, and USD 500 billion will be needed to support targets conditional upon international support.

Alfanar Gets 50 MW Solar PV IPP Project Financing

Alfanar Company closed last week the financing for the development, construction, ownership and operation of a 50 MW solar PV plant which will be located in the proposed 1.8-GW Benban solar complex in Egypt's Aswan province and which will be supported by Egypt's FiT program.

This project will be the first in the row of alfanar current pipeline of 800 MW investment projects spread across Europe, East Africa and South Asia, in both solar and wind technologies.

Alfa Solar Company - subsidiary of alfanar group - has signed the facility agreement for $57 million with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) (http://ICD-ps.org) in early October 2017.

Mr. Sabah Mohammed Al Mutlaq, Chairman of Alfa Solar and Vice-chairman of Alfanar group, stated: "We are happy to achieve this milestone. We appreciate the trust placed on us by EETC/EBRD/ICD and look forward to delivering the plant in time".

Mr. Jamal Wadi, CEO - Alfanar Energy, said: "It is to the credit of EETC and the various counterparties that we could achieve the financial close in appropriate time. These projects are sort of a testimony to the changing standard in the energy field and can deliver equal if not higher dependable and long term value to countries and developers."

Mr. Khaled Al-Aboodi, CEO of ICD, added: "ICD is engaged with the financing of this solar project in Egypt as a proof of its commitment to encourage the renewable energy in the member countries.

ICD stands ready to work with Alfanar and other investors on further improvements in the business climate for renewable energy, especially under the Government of Egypt's feed-in-tariff (FiT) renewable energy program."

Mr. Harry Boyd-Carpenter, EBRD Director, Power and Energy Utilities, commented: "We are delighted to work with Alfanar and to support them in such an important investment. The EBRD has been a firm supporter of renewable energy development in Egypt, providing policy advice, technical assistance and financing. We are very pleased to take another step forward in this area, and to continue our successful cooperation with ICD as well."

The Power Purchase Agreement ("PPA") for the project was signed with EETC on May 7th 2017. Project will be 100% compliant with the Country's Green Economy Evolution Approach and will support the expansion of renewable energy Generation to meet Egypt's targets in this area including its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution and will offset 900,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year, once operational.

With the launch of this landmark project, Alfanar group is setting pace to deliver newly won renewable projects in Spain (720 MW Wind project), India (50 MW Wind Project) & Kenya (40 MW Solar PV project).

Schneider Electric, Electrical Switchboards Botswana Sign Manufacturing Agreement

Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation, is empowering the continent through supporting and addressing the transfer of skills and technology in the power and energy industry.

As part of the initiative, Schneider Electric has signed an agreement with Gaborone-based SDM Electrical Switchboards Botswana (SDM), which will allow it to import incomplete Schneider Electric medium voltage (MV) switchgears and customise them in Botswana to meet local customers' specific requirements.

Currently the agreement covers two solutions namely PREMSET and PIX RoF and more is yet to come. PREMSET is the future of secondary distribution switchgear.

It embraces the functionality for smart grids needs and is a new generation of Schneider Electric's MV switchgear featuring the Shielded Solid Insulation System (2SIS). The PIX Roll on Floor (RoF) Air Insulated Switchgear adapts to all electrical power distribution requirements up to 17.5kV, with floor rolling vacuum circuit breakers.

"As part of the execution of the agreement, Schneider Electric will carry out technology transfer through on-site training for local engineers, to enable them to customise the switchgear. The skills would include engineering and design, as per customer specifications.

Apart from the engineering teams being trained on the customisation of the switchgear, field engineering teams would be trained to deal with installation, commissioning, troubleshooting and all after sales support," explains Taru Madangombe, Vice President of Energy in Southern Africa for Schneider Electric.

"Schneider Electric has been working with our company for the over seven years and this agreement will create more local employment opportunities in Botswana," explains Stephen Bond, managing director of SDM.

"We currently employ 60 staff members, with the capacity to manufacture over 100 switchboards panels per annum. We hope to see this grow substantially."

SDM manufactures electrical distribution boards, which are used on electrification systems. Its business has expanded to electrical switchgear installation maintenance and servicing. Via Botswana-based companies, SDM has supplied distribution boards into Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola and Zambia.

"This agreement will enable SDM to customise Schneider Electric solutions specifically for the Botswana market. Its main customers are all power electrical users, which includes electrical switchboards for Botswana Power Corporation and Water Utilities Corporation.

We see this as expanding SDM's current business to many of the electrical contractors supplying both the private and government sectors," concludes Madangombe.

Hoima-Buseruka Power Line Affected Residents Demand Compensation

By Busiinge George

Over 300 Hoima residents whose property were destroyed during the construction of 33kv Hoima-Buseruka power line project are demanding that government compensates them, after the contracted company did work without paying them.

 The affected residents say they lost property during the early stages of constructing various power lines in parts of Bujumbura division, Kitoba and Buseruka sub-counties.

Government in 2014 under Rural Electrification Agency-REA contracted M/S Resco property consultants to undertake assessment and valuation of affected properties but since then some affected persons have never been paid.

Lawrence Barungi, the affected persons’ chairperson says the contracted company undervalued their affected property, omitted some persons and asked for bribes among other anomalies.

He said they have already contacted their lawyers Owen Mulangira and co advocates to pursue a civil case to compel government to compensate them.

Yowasi Katuku, a resident of Bulemwa village says his house was demolished but to date, he has never been compensated.

Joan Atugonza also an affected person says that during the construction of the power line, her eucalyptus trees, mangoes and jack fruit were destroyed adding that they were her only source of income.

Ronald Kato Rwahwire, a lead counsel at the law firm said they wrote to Rural Electrification Agency notifying them about the people’s concerns and are still waiting for feedback.

A letter from the authority signed by the acting Executive Director John Turyagyenda however reveals that they only know 165 project affected persons and their payment is in the process as opposed to 384.

But Rwahwire, asked the affected persons to get calm saying this gives a good basis to challenge them in court.

Tribunal to Address Concerns Of Power Line Affected Persons

By Busiinge George

Over 100 residents from nine villages whose property were destroyed during the construction of the Kihomboza-Kikonoka power line are relieved after the electricity disputes tribunal agreed to address their complaints.

The residents from Kihombooza, one, two and three villages, Bujwahya, Bulyango and Kikonoka among others petitioned the tribunal after government failed to compensate them for their lost property in 2012.

The power line was constructed under the rural electrification programme. Through Musa Baale and co. Advocates the affected persons have since been waiting for the final decision from the tribunal.

During a complaints hearing session held in Kampala recently, the tribunal officials promised to liaise with the Hoima leadership to have a dialogue to help them listen to all complaints.

Some leaders of the affected persons are happy with the decision. The tribunal was established in 2003 and sits in Kampala.

ENGIE Joins Forces With Fenix To Accelerates Off-Grid Energy Development

ENGIE and Fenix announced last week that they had agreed on a transaction in which ENGIE will acquire 100% of Fenix International, a next generation energy company, offering Solar Home Systems (SHS) in Africa.

Founded in 2009, Fenix employs over 350 people and has its main activities in Uganda where it is the leading SHS player with more than 140,000 customers. Fenix recently expanded into Zambia and plans further roll-outs in other countries across Africa.

Fenix will be the first SHS Company to join a major worldwide energy company, which puts the fight against climate change and energy access at the very center of its purpose.

Bruno Bensasson, CEO of ENGIE Africa noted that they believe that combining the strengths of ENGIE, a global energy player and Fenix, a successful company with very strong customer focus, high-quality products and an experienced team anchored in the heart of Sub-Saharan Africa, will enable faster deployment of SHS to the large African population still lacking access to electricity.

“Fenix will be the agile growth engine for ENGIE's SHS business in Africa and enable us to become a leading profitable off-grid energy services company on the continent, reaching millions of customers by 2020.

We do believe that universal access is now reachable in a foreseeable future by the combination of national grids extension, local micro-grids and solar home systems, depending on the local characteristics of the energy demand."

Lyndsay Handler, CEO of Fenix International: "Fenix and ENGIE share the belief that universal access to energy is possible and paramount. To date, Fenix has delivered reliable solar power to over 900,000 people in East Africa.

By joining forces with ENGIE - one of the world's largest independent utility companies with a firm commitment to a decentralized, decarbonized and digital energy revolution - we will greatly accelerate the path to our vision."

She added, "Our values and our team will remain at the core of Fenix. We will continue to relentlessly pursue an exceptional customer experience in all we do and we will invest even more in building a great team with a strong culture.

Together with ENGIE's ambitions, experience, talent and long-term investments, we will deliver affordable power and other life-changing products to customers across Africa and make universal access to modern energy a reality."

Over 600 million people lack access to modern energy in Africa. Rapid improvement of photovoltaic, battery storage technologies and mobile payment platforms make it possible for companies to offer affordable, reliable and expandable solar home systems.

 Fenix's flagship product, ReadyPay Power, provides lighting, phone charging and power for TVs and radios. The technology is offered on a lease-to-own basis so that off-grid customers can finance their power system through micro instalments over mobile money.

Fenix uses the financing of the solar home system to build a credit score for each customer which can then be used to power and finance other life-changing products and services from Fenix.

This investment will contribute to ENGIE's goal of providing 20 million people around the world with access to decarbonized, decentralized energy by 2020, using the latest digital technologies.

Fenix's strength within the home solar market in Africa will play a strategic part in the realisation of this goal, given the number of households that off-grid solar is expected to reach over the coming years.

The World Bank has estimated that up to 99 million households, more than a third of those that are off-grid, will rely on home solar by 2020, with the market growing fastest in Africa.

Closing of the transaction will happen once all approvals of the relevant regulatory bodies are received.

Subscribe to this RSS feed

26°C

Kampala

Mostly Cloudy

Humidity: 74%

Wind: 22.53 km/h

  • 24 Mar 2016 28°C 22°C
  • 25 Mar 2016 28°C 21°C