Energy

Energy (103)

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”.

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/

 

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