Energy (136)

Leaders Gather In Abu Dhabi To Accelerate Renewable Energy Deployment

Government officials from more than 150 countries including 75 ministers, and leaders from international organisations, the private sector and civil society are gathering this week for the Seventh Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The Assembly brings together energy leaders to set the global renewable energy agenda and take concrete action to accelerate the ongoing global energy transition.

“2016 was a remarkable year for renewable energy. The falling costs of solar and wind power in markets around the world highlight the increasing cost-competitiveness of renewable energy which has become the preferred option for new power generation capacity in many countries around the world,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin.

“In addition, innovations in technology and new business models are bringing renewable solutions to people who previously had no access to energy. These developments, coupled with the entry into force of the Paris Agreement and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, underscore growing momentum for renewable energy and give fresh impetus to the case for transitioning to a sustainable energy future.  Efforts now need to turn to scaling-up renewables in end-use sectors such as transportation, industry, and heating and cooling.”

Taking place 14-15 January at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, with a day of preliminary meetings and discussions on 13 January, the Seventh Assembly will focus on the critical role of renewable energy in powering economic growth, combatting climate change, expanding energy access and meeting global sustainable development goals.

Notable events taking place throughout the three days include:

  • The 2017 IRENA Legislators Forum on 13 January will gather legislators from around the world to discuss the key role of legislators in accelerating the deployment of renewables.
  • high-level meeting on renewable energy in South East Europe on 13 January will discuss the opportunities and challenges to expand the share of renewable energy in the region’s energy mix. The event will also be a platform for IRENA to launch its publication on cost-effective renewable energy generation in the region.
  • high-level event on renewable energy in islands settings on 13 January will discuss pathways for renewable energy deployment on islands and the enhanced efforts needed to support them.
  • Ministerial Roundtable on 14 January, ‘Towards an Economy Fuelled by Renewable Power: Innovation for the Next Stage of the Power Sector Transformation’, will discuss the innovative models and technologies needed for power sector transformation to inegrate higher share of renewables. 
  • On 14 January, IRENA and Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) will announce the funding of renewable energy projects in a number of developing countries as part of the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility.
  • Ministerial Roundtable on 15 January, ‘Catalysing off-grid renewable energy deployment - Towards universal electricity access and the attainment of SDGs’, will discuss how off-grid renewables can be best integrated into national electrification strategies and improve livelihoods.
  • The launch of REthinking Energy 2017 on 15 January, an IRENA publication that examines the dramatic changes of the energy sector under way and how they provide an opportunity to develop an energy system that underpins sustainable development objectives.
  • Three Programmatic discussions: Plenary discussions amongst Members will take on ‘Enabling the private sector to accelerate renewable energy deployment – Corporate sourcing of renewables,’ on 14 January and on ‘Driving the decarbonisation of the energy sector through innovation’ and ‘Investment pathways towards advancing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) on 15 January.

“IRENA is now the recognized leader for authoritative and objective knowledge resources on renewable energy costs, resource potentials and employment,” said Mr Amin. “The Agency has also developed practical tools to enable countries to better plan their energy transition. Our annual Assembly provides a critical opportunity for high-level engagement with our Members and partners to examine how international cooperation can speed the transition to a sustainable energy future through concrete action and initiatives.”

The Assembly marks the opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and preceeds the World Future Energy Summit, a global gathering of thousands of energy leaders. IRENA will participate in a number events throughout the week, covering topics ranging from the decarbonisation of energy systems to the scaling up of variable renewable power.


Eskom Uganda Sinks Shs110m To Upgrade Njeru Primary School

In line with its policy of shared values among communities, Eskom Uganda has embarked on a facelift project that will give a whole new look to the currently dilapidated Njeru Primary School, a government school under the Ministry of Education and Sports started in 1960.

The School was previously located in the present day Nalubaale power station and it was displaced to pave way for construction of the then Owen falls dam and transferred to Njeru village, where its presently location.

The School is currently dilapidated with broken windows and roofed with asbestos roofing materials which is said to be a Health risk for the pupils.

Eskom Uganda, the generating company running the Nalubaale and Kiira power stations has now come out to reinstate the lost glory of the School which faded away with the reduced number of children currently standing at 400, by injecting110 million Uganda shillings, to cover the renovation works which shall in the first phase include, replacement of the asbestos roofing material with iron sheets, replacement of the damaged window glasses, painting of both the interior and exterior surfaces and replacement of the doors and locks.

Speaking during an engagement meeting with the Njeru municipal council executive officials at Eskom offices today, the Managing Director Eskom Uganda, Thozama Gangi noted that the first phase of the renovation is expected to be completed by 31st January 2017 before the beginning of the new term.

She said that the second phase will include installation of proper electricity supply, water harvesting, renovation of staff housing and a computer lab. “We are in a changing world with fast moving technology we should not live the children behind. We are looking for partners who will join us to create a conducive environment for the children in Njeru primary school” said Thozama.

She further said that Eskom is willing to help the parents by finding innovative ways to utilize the available land so that they may be able to feed their children hence motivating them.


The Chairman of the school board Pastor Fred Kiwanuka said that the idea by Eskom to give Njeru Primary School a face lift will not only change the School, but the entire Education system in Njeru.

“We welcome this humanitarian initiative that Eskom is implementing in our community. Indeed, Eskom has always been here for the community whenever we need their intervention. This spirit of giving as being demonstrated by Eskom should be emulated by other companies around us”, he said.

In line with its policy of shared values under its CSR program, Eskom MD will also meet with Jinja Municipality Mayor Majid Batambuze to explore areas of intervention in 2017. Currently, Eskom together with Hon. Moses Balyeko have embarked on a project to upgrade Kimaka Health centre.

Fury as Tororo Cement Goes Against all Country Laws to Abuse Environment before Destroying Wetlands with Impunity

Top managers at Tororo Cement can make one believe they track their descendants in flogs’ fraternity. This belief is prompted by the way the cement industry, which would be interested in hard grounds and environment protection, have, to the contrary, a great knack for wet-lands consumption, to the tune of total destruction.

The post Fury as Tororo Cement, one of Uganda's leading cement makers,  Goes Against all Country Laws to Abuse Environment before Destroying Wetlands with Impunity, this is according to a report that appeared first on The Investigator, an online publication.


Students Graduate At Eskom Aided Training Centre

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

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

“The People of Gulu and indeed the whole of Acholi Sub region, especially those who have gone through this training centre look at Eskom as God’s messenger, send to wipe tears off our eyes, following the trauma that we went through during the LRA war which ravaged this area. We can never thank them enough.” Lalam said praising Eskom.

Lalam said the fresh graduates are joining 1,814 other beneficiaries who have graduated from the centre since inception and have gone off to start profitable ventures using the skills they acquired at the centre.

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

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

“For me, I look at what is happening here today as a demonstration of Eskom’s commitment to continue making a difference in the lives of ordinary people, to ensure their wellbeing is improved.

Initially, the Gulu War Affected Training Centre was set up to equip women affected by the 20-year insurgency that ravaged Northern Uganda with Vocational hands-on skills like tailoring, catering and hairdressing to help them get a decent living. With Eskom’s support that vision has come to bear fruits as you can see for yourselves today” Thozama said.

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

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

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

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

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

Other Eskom Uganda humanitarian initiatives

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

In Environment, Eskom has engineered the planting of over 40,000 trees around Jinja district. Eskom also partnered with Busoga Development Agency to plant trees along all major roads in Busoga Sub-region.

In Health, Eskom has partnered with local leadership to upgrade and rehabilitate Kimaka Maternity Clinic in Jinja. Eskom is looking at equipping the clinic with modern equipment to reduce maternity related risks.

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

Transferring skills to Ugandans

About 390 graduate trainees in Uganda have been absorbed by Eskom to gain hands on experience in hydro generation engineering since commencement of operations. EUL has continued to offer a continuous industrial training of 30 students per annum.

In line with government of Uganda’s focus on Skilling Uganda, Eskom is already making a contribution towards taking Uganda to a middle income economy by 2020. This year, Eskom has undertaken to train 25 Engineers, technicians and operators from UEGCL as part of Eskom’s contribution towards skills development of UEGCL.

Nigeria Launches First Renewable Energy Association

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eskom Wins East African Sustainable Development Award

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

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

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

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

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

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

IRENA Given €1m To Accelerate Renewable Energy Deployment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Shell Takes Gas To Rolex Chefs

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

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

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

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

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

Clean Energy Training Starts At Victoria University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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