Energy

Energy (72)

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”.

Two Billion People Around The World Lack Reliable Access To Electricity

A report ‘Powering Productivity: Early Insights Into Mini Grid Operations In Rural Kenya’ released by Vulcan Impact Investing team, in partnership with steama.co has revealed that more than 2 billion people around the world lack reliable access to electricity. The least electrified region is sub-Saharan Africa, where some 620 million people – mostly in rural areas – lack power.

Many governments and utilities have expressed intentions to expand national grid capacity, but with high up-front costs and low consumption by individual users, publicly funded rural electrification has been extremely slow, the authors of the report explain in their summary.

The off-grid energy industry is tapping into the opportunity presented by a vast market of unconnected people, resulting in the development of innovative business models and technologies. Yet, the electricity usage behaviors of the people that these new businesses aim to serve is

not well understood. Understanding this market, and serving it well, requires real world-experience and operational data.

Beginning in 2014, Vulcan Inc. and steama.co developed and have been operating ten solar powered off-grid mini grids of 1.5 – 6 (kw) in distinctly different villages across Kenya. “Our goal is to demonstrate the potential of the mini grid sector to be commercially successful and to generate valuable experience and insights to share with other off-grid businesses and investors.” The authors explained.

This white paper is the first of several data-driven research pieces that will be produced by Vulcan and steama.co. It focuses on consumption and revenue growth and on building a knowledge base about rural consumers’ ability and willingness to pay.

The paper, Powering Productivity, investigates various factors that can make or break the value of a mini-grid including recruiting the appropriate customer base, generating revenue, balancing supply and demand and creating social impact.

Key findings of the report include:

  1. Breaking up with fossil fuels - It’s remarkable how many of our customers are willing to shift away from an energy source they’ve used their whole lives. Prior to the installation of our grids, 86% of our customers used unsafe and unhealthy kerosene, disposable batteries or diesel generators to meet their energy needs. Post-grid installation, only 4% of customers are still using any of these fossil fuels.
  2. Electricity is sparking economic development - Simply put, the arrival of power allows for entrepreneurship and opportunity, particularly for rural youth. The majority of new businesses in the villages we’ve electrified have been started by younger and tech savvy customers. We’ve learned that, as a result, more young people are staying in the villages because of this newly available job opportunity.
  3. Unlocking access to energy using mobile phones - Throughout rural Kenya, consumers are accustomed to pay-as-you-go mobile services via their cell phones. Since cash flow can be an issue, if the power goes out due to lack of payment, with a quick tap on their cell phones, our customers can make instantaneous micro-payments to turn the lights back on. One-time payments can be as low as $0.10 with some customers buying electricity as often as five times per day.
  4. Turning on more than just the lights - Appliances are critical to driving electricity demand and making mini grids profitable and sustainable. Our customers tell us that they would buy more electricity if they could afford more appliances, but they often struggle to afford these refrigerators, TVs, welding machines, etc. We’re working to develop a program which will enable our users to access appliances either through a leasing or a rent-to-own program.
  5. Going off the grid and into the 21st century - At the current rate of connecting new homes to the national electricity grid, it will take more than 60 years for every African to have access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy — an UN Sustainable Development goal. Privately operated renewable energy mini grids, on the other hand, can be installed and operating in a matter of weeks. Mini grid companies — much more nimble than national governments — are providing clean and reliable to consumers. They are also making connections to electricity more affordable.

 

5 Things You Should Know About the Future of Electricity in Rural Africa

When the sun goes down, much of rural Africa is left in the dark. More than 600 million rural Africans are without electricity and use dangerous, polluting and expensive energy sources to dimly light their homes.

For the last two years, I, along with Lauren Kickham, have led philanthropist Paul Allen’s Vulcan Impact Investing efforts to help plug in Africa. Partnering with steama.co, a remote monitoring company, we own and manage 10 solar powered mini grids that provide clean electricity to rural Kenyans.

The project has been impactful and enlightening: here are five things we’ve learned so far.

  1. Unlocking access to energy using mobile phones

Throughout rural Kenya, consumers are accustomed to pay-as-you-go mobile services via their cell phones. Since cash flow can be an issue, if the power goes out due to lack of payment, with a quick tap on their cell phones, our customers can make instantaneous micro-payments to turn the lights back on. One-time payments can be as low as $0.10 with some customers buying electricity as often as five times per day.

  1. Breaking up with fossil fuels

It’s remarkable how many of our customers are willing to shift away from an energy source they’ve used their whole lives. Prior to the installation of our grids, 86% of our customers used unsafe and unhealthy kerosene, disposable batteries or diesel generators to meet their energy needs. Post-grid installation, only 4% of customers are still using any of these fossil fuels.

  1. Going off the grid and into the 21st century

At the current rate of connecting new homes to the national electricity grid, it will take more than 60 years for every African to have access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy — an UN Sustainable Development goal.

Privately operated renewable energy mini grids, on the other hand, can be installed and operating in a matter of weeks. Mini grid companies — much more nimble than national governments — are providing clean and reliable to consumers. They are also making connections to electricity more affordable.

  1. Turning on more than just the lights

Appliances are critical to driving electricity demand and making mini grids profitable and sustainable. Our customers tell us that they would buy more electricity if they could afford more appliances, but they often struggle to afford these refrigerators, TVs, welding machines, etc. We’re working to develop a program which will enable our users to access appliances either through a leasing or a rent-to-own program.

  1. Electricity is sparking economic development

Simply put, the arrival of power allows for entrepreneurship and opportunity, particularly for rural youth. The majority of new businesses in the villages we’ve electrified have been started by younger and tech savvy customers. We’ve learned that, as a result, more young people are staying in the villages because of this newly available job opportunity.

There’s still more to learn about our mini grids like how electricity is changing the lives of our customers, if electricity consumption changes over time, and how profitable mini grids can be. One thing is clear, though, rural Africans want electricity and Vulcan Impact Investing will continue to share our lessons so that, together, we can power Africa.

SOURCE: https://medium.com/

 

Renewables Vital To Achieve Climate And Development Goals

Cities now have an unprecedented opportunity to transform and decarbonise their energy supply and use, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Renewable Energy in Cities, released this week on the sidelines of the Habitat III Conference in Quito, estimates energy use in 3,649 cities and explores their potential to scale-up renewable energy by 2030. It finds that while there is no one-size fits all solution, every city has massive potential to cost-effectively boost renewable energy use at the local level.

“Cities can play a transformative role in leading the world to a clean and sustainable energy future,” said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General. “We have to rethink the entire urban energy landscape, which requires rigorous planning and holistic decision-making. Renewable energy, combined with energy efficiency, will power the future growth of cities. We must ensure this transition happens as soon as possible.”

Electricity use varies widely across cities depending on climate conditions, population density and development stage. Likewise, energy use for transport varies greatly depending on urbanisation models. Today, renewables supply only 20 per cent of this energy, but much more is possible.

Renewable Energy in Cities outlines three priority areas – both in technology and in policy – where cities can take action to scale up renewables use: renewable energy in buildings (for heating, cooling, cooking, and appliances); sustainable options for transport (electric mobility and biofuels); and creating integrated urban energy systems.

Accounting for 65 per cent of global energy use and 70 per cent of man-made carbon emissions, cities must play a key role in the transition to a low-carbon economy. By highlighting best practice from cities around the world, the report shows what is possible and what policies are needed to enable the change. It also provides concrete examples of how city actors can accelerate the switch to renewable energy at the local level by acting as planners, regulators, financiers and operators of urban infrastructure.

“By 2050, urban populations are expected to double, making urbanisation one of this century’s most transformative trends,” said Mr. Amin. “Now is the time to grow with renewables, leapfrog dirty technology, and create cities of the future that people are proud to call home.”

Renewable Energy in Cities was released in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Habitat III Conference taking place in Quito, Ecuador. Meeting every 20 years, this year’s Habitat Conference is focused on sustainable urbanisation. Within this context and for the first time ever, the Conference is discussing the proliferation of renewable energy as a means to achieve a sustainable urban future and common prosperity.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is mandated to be the global hub for renewable energy cooperation and information exchange by 149 Members (148 States and the European Union). 27 additional countries are in the accession process and actively engaged. IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.

Exploit Renewable Energy To Achieve Sustainable Development Goals

The year 2015 went into the books of history where more than 150 world leaders representing 150 nations gathered at the United Nations General Assembly in New York to discus and adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Sustainable development is an approach to development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The SDG are aimed at guiding the pathway to sustainable future for which universal adoption of renewable energy technologies can exceedingly contribute to their success especially in developing countries.  

For instance, though SDG 7 is the only goal that openly points out the energy sector with emphasis on renewable energy and urges policy makers and governments to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030. Energy from sun, wind, water, geothermal and others is of significant importance to achieving other SDGs as well especially in developing countries. 

Particularly, this is the case for; (SDG 1) End poverty in all its forms everywhere, (SDG 3) Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, (SDG 5) Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls,  (SDG 8) Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, (SDG 9) promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation, (SDG 10) reduction of inequalities, and (SDG13) take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

It should be noted that, access to clean, affordable and reliable energy is a cross cutting issue among these goals and can only be the case if we are all going to adopt and use renewable energy technologies and minimize the use of fossil fuels to the least possible means. In fact, renewable energy technologies have the potential to spur sustainable development if implementation follows the principles of revenue sharing, diversity, equality and decentralization.

According to the Alternative Energy Sources Assessment Report (2004) and the National Biomass Assessment Study, Uganda has enormous potential for clean energy, amounting to over 5,300MW and if well exploited will be instrumental for achieving sustainable development including Uganda's vision 2040 and improve the living standards of people.

On the other hand, sustainable development does not only refer to environmental management issues but  must also be based on an economy that conserves its ecosystem jealously  while mindfully focusing on wealth creation and act as an instrument for wealth redistribution and creation of social well-being. Therefore, Environment, economy and society are the three spheres of sustainable development.

This article was written By Samuel Okulony

Programs and research coordinator

Africa Institute for Energy Governance

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

 

I Think Uganda Is Confused About Renewable Energy

If you argue that the government is not skeptic, cynic and hesitant about investing in renewable energy, look at the words of one Tchouate Pepin of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), a project aiming at promoting clean energy: “It is possible to achieve renewable energy for lighting but not for transport and cooking.”

“In life, it is better to dream than thinking of nothing,” Pepin says. “Renewable energy for lighting is feasible because Uganda is endowed with sufficient resources to enable us do this using hydro- power. But on energy for trans- port and cooking, we can’t.”

Clearly, this is a disheartening statement. But the good news is it is just another opinion. I believe key experts in Uganda’s energy field have such negative opinions too, yet access to just any form of electricity, leave alone renewable energy, has remained a dream to many Ugandans.

Majority households in urban areas leave alone the villages, mainly cook using charcoal and this has posed a huge burden on the country to provide biomass made out of wood. In the rural areas, the situation is much worse. The condemned charcoal is their gold, and the scarce wood fuel a luxury.

The threats of climate change flares high; the government is under pressure from United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC), with a handful of aid organisations working closely to offer help they can to mitigate and adapt to global warming.

But government minds seem corrupted by cynicism and their actions tell a different story—that’s if we honestly understand what is meant by renewable/clean energy.

Clean energy includes biofuels, biomass and waste, geothermal, solar, wind and small hydro (up to 50MW) – but not large hydro.

The government herself has maintained its traditional, conservatist course of investments in gigantic hydro power projects. First, not until not so long ago, in 1999 when the Electricity Act was passed,was the monopoly of a statutory corporation, the Uganda Electricity Board downsized.

Today wehave spent over 1 trillion in the financial year 2014/15 in the “first track” of the construction of the 600mw Karuma and 188mw Isimba hydro power plants. Bujagali power dam was also built at the cost of an arm and a leg, all in the mighty name of redeeming the country from darkness.

But beyond these splendors and good intentions, it must be put blatantly that the government is biased on clean energy investment.

Another wicked irony, the most dystopian capitalistic illusion masquerading as oil and gas sector is under gigantic investment…and plans to build geo-thermal and nuclear sources, using uraniumhave remained in the papers too long.

Clearly, steeping up renewable energy sector would lift the country out of years of darkness than these much anticipated much bureaucratic, unclean energy sources.

Can’t we draw lessons from our neighbour Kenya who has achieved relatively high levels of penetration with installed capacity to the grid 5.45mw of clean energy tapped from wind alone? Wind energy is a clean energy source and environmental friendly. Wind turbines don’t produce atmospheric emissions that cause greenhouse gasses responsible for global warming effect, unlike burning of wood fuel that has been customised by most rural households.

The global call to end carbon is loud and clear: cut carbon dioxide emissions and aim towards investing in renewable energy—at all costs—and indeed there are available documents to show the government would be willing to cooperate better if some misgivings are cleared off its throat.

With charcoal demands currently standing at 44 million tonnes per year, yet the forests at the moment can only meet 26 million tonnes of the demand, according to the 2015 Energy Report for Uganda, which was released at the closure of 2015 renewable energy options are no longer optional but a clear way to achieve a safer, carbon free future in order to achieve 1.5 degree global temperature goal.

 

Authored by Boaz Opio

 

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