Energy

Energy (227)

Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea discuss Energy Cooperation

The Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, held a meeting today with his Ethiopian counterpart H.E. Samuel URKATO, Minister of Petroleum.

This follows the visit of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali to Equatorial Guinea and aims to confirm the support and sharing of Equatorial Guinea's experience to the Ethiopian hydrocarbons sector, promoting the exchange of information and know-how between the two countries.

H.E. Samuel Urkato expressed his sincere thanks for the good reception of his Equatorial Guinean counterpart and of the country in general, specifying that the great discovery of gas in Ethiopia will enrich the bonds of union between both African countries.

On the same day, H.E. Samuel Urkato, accompanied by Mr. Robustiano Eyegue Mangue, Director General of Hydrocarbons, visited the CNG plant for the transformation of vehicle flue gas and also visited the oil installations complex of the Marathon, Ampco Methanol and EG LNG companies with the objective of learning about the operation, productivity, distribution and sale of the final product produced in the complex.

Siemens Supports Ghana's Energy & Infrastructure Transformation Trajectory

Siemens has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Republic of Ghana to address the country's energy and infrastructure challenges while contributing to the government's growth and development agenda of creating high-quality jobs and enhancing the vocational skills of Ghana's youth.

The MoU was signed by Siemens and the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) in the presence of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo and the President and Global Chief Executive Officer of Siemens AG, Joe Kaeser.

Under the agreement, the two companies will work collaboratively to upgrade and extend Ghana's transmission infrastructure, improve the country's grid capacity and stability, enable and expand a stable power export to neighboring countries in the West African Power Pool.

"Access to electricity is an imperative need for the people and business and, thus, for the economic success of any economy. As Ghana has significantly invested into generation capacity, there is now an urgent need to build a reliable, affordable and sustainable electrical network for the country and its people. With our proven and unique end-to-end electrification solutions, our expertise, and reliability, Siemens can be a technology partner and help the country achieve its objectives," Joe Kaeser, President, and CEO of Siemens. 

The President of the Republic of Ghana has set out to achieve an ambitious strategy to transform the country, both socially and economically, driving its progress to become a sustainably industrialized county. The Government is currently delivering on the promises made in their 2016 election manifesto. These goals include the issuing of National ID Cards, the reduction of electricity prices, reviving Ghana's railways and reversing the trend of declining economic growth.

"We applaud Ghana for all its achievements under the leadership of President Nana Akufo- Addo. We are eager to contribute to Ghana's successes by creating local value and being a powerful and reliable regional partner to the country's socio-economic development goals," says Joe Kaeser.

To support Ghana's increasing need to reform the national Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system, Siemens will also educate and train young Ghanaians in various engineering disciplines and provide training on Siemens equipment for STEM education and TVET.

Joe Kaeser further stated that Siemens is pleased to be entering this partnership and contributing to the growth and development of Ghana. Improving the energy sector in Ghana is now one of the key priorities for Siemens, therefore the implementation of this MoU will help leapfrog the country and its people towards its industrial and societal development goals.

150 Countries Discuss Energy Transformation At 10th IRENA Assembly

The 10th Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) got underway this morning, bringing together decision makers from 150 countries. In total, more than 1,500 delegates will participate in the meeting held annually by the world's lead intergovernmental organisation for the energy transformation.

 The 10th Assembly represents a curtain-raiser to a decade in which the world must achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations and adopt a climate safe energy path. Renewable energy is recognised as playing a central role in the achievement of several goals including energy access (SDG 7), climate safety (SDG 13), sustainable economic growth (SDG 8) and sustainable cities (SDG 11). A report published yesterday by IRENA found that jobs in renewables could reach 40 million by 2050 under a climate-safe energy scenario.

 In opening remarks addressing his first Assembly, IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera, said: "We have ten years left to fulfil the commitment set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This period will also be decisive for the ability to hold the line on rising global temperatures. Transitioning to clean energy systems is at the heart of these global agendas. And renewable energy increasingly plays a major role in national development and climate strategies."

 He continued: "We have renewable energy at our disposal today to make the future more predictable, more prosperous, more inclusive, and more secure. But it is now that we need to make the right decisions, so that the benefits of accelerated deployment can unfold worldwide.  We enter the next decade with confidence because of your support and active engagement." He concluded: "United behind IRENA's mission, we are setting the stage for success."

Sudan Gets $21m Grant To Roll Out Solar Powered Irrigation

The African Development Bank's Board of Directors has approved a grant to the government of Sudan to accelerate the adoption of solar-powered irrigation pumps in the country's West Kordofan and North Kordofan states.

The project will enable farmers' adoption of renewable energy technology through the installation of 1,170 photovoltaic (PV) irrigation pumps, the establishment of maintenance and repair workshops for the pumps, and the supply of equipment for a pump testing laboratory to provide certification and training.

Agriculture is an important economic sector in Sudan. In 2016, nearly 40% of the country's GDP came from farming. For the sector, and for the wider economy, the project offers significant and numerous knock-on benefits. As a result of the expected phasing out of diesel-fueled pumps, participating farmers will realise cost savings from no longer needing to purchase diesel, which is scarce in rural areas. Productivity also would increase: diesel generators require time consuming maintenance and repair. Pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, the country's largest contributor, would fall.

Mr. Paul Baldeh, the Bank's Director for Power Systems Development, noted that "by extending farmers a grant covering 75% of installation costs, the government, with Bank support, will overcome the most significant hurdle of adopting clean PV technology: high upfront costs." The remaining 25% will be payable in installments over three years. He added that the project will conduct a ground water survey and sustainability assessment that will inform the development of subsequent projects in Sudan.

The project meets the Sudanese government's renewable energy and poverty reduction objectives as well as the Bank's High Five and Energy Sector Policy. Moreover, the project has strong potential to be replicated and scaled up in other parts of the country.

Burundi Gets $1m To Support Innovative Solar-Hydro Hybrid Project

The African Development Bank-managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has approved a $990,000 grant to support the preparation of a 9-MW solar-hydro hybrid project in Burundi.

The project consists of two plants, each featuring a solar and a hydro component as well as a local distribution network and interconnection to the national power grid. The innovative hybrid design is anticipated to regularize the power output during dry and wet season and mitigate power shortfalls caused by climate change.

The SEFA grant, which is instrumental in assuring project bankability, will support technical feasibility, environmental and social impact assessment and financial advisory for the project.

Upon completion, the project will also electrify about 20,000 households in surrounding communities through a local distribution network. By enhancing access to electricity, the project will also generate socio-economic benefits especially for women and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).

"In addition to the energy access and socio-economic benefits, with the strong government support, this innovative project will pave the way for increased private sector participation in renewable energy to diversify the energy mix in Burundi," said Wale Shonibare, the Bank's Acting Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate, and Green Growth.

Welcoming SEFA's support, Daniel Brose, President, and CEO of Songa Energy Burundi said, "We are privileged to have secured this funding which is instrumental to the further development of our portfolio.

This funding will bring us and the people of Burundi one step closer to our collective goal of widespread rural electrification in a country that has one of the lowest rates of access to electricity in the world."

The project is fully aligned with the Bank's strategic goal to support inclusive green growth by promoting access to clean, modern, reliable and affordable energy services in rural areas, and to promote energy access and renewable energy technologies.

It is also aligned to the Government of Burundi's objectives to expand renewable energy generation capacity, and promote private sector involvement in the energy sector

AfDB, African Union To Roll-out Continent-wide Electricity Market Masterplan

The African Development Bank (AfDB.org) and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) have agreed to jointly develop a blueprint for a pan-continental electricity network and market.

The agreement to set up a Continental Power System Master Plan between the Bank and AUDA-NEPAD was unveiled, on November 29th, during a three-day workshop on the sidelines of Programme for Infrastructure Development (PIDA) Week held in Cairo. The workshop also produced the Masterplan’s terms of reference.

“The Continental Power System Master Plan will ensure that competitive electricity markets are developed at regional and continental levels, creating unique opportunities to optimally utilize Africa’s vast energy resources for the benefit of Africa,” said Professor Mosad Elmissiry, a Senior Energy Advisor to AUDA-NEPAD’s CEO.

The workshop was aimed at advancing the launch of an Integrated Continental Transmission Network (ICTN) to link national power utilities into regional power pools and, ultimately, into a continent-wide transmission network. Plans also include setting up a market for electricity trading.

The Masterplan also will inform the energy component of a PIDA Action Plan, which focuses on key regional integration projects.

Development of a unified electricity transmission network and market for electricity trading are viewed as a critical priority to improve the lives of people across the continent.

“Most state-owned electric utilities in Africa today are unable to secure the financial resources needed to implement required segments of regional interconnectors and associated national feeder lines,” said Angela Nalikka, the Bank’s manager for National and Regional Power Systems, to explain the impetus for the partnership. “The Bank plans to encourage private sector participation in transmission projects in the continent.”

UNDP, IRENA Poised To Support Breakthroughs On Renewables

Nations around the world can make breakthroughs in the shift to renewable energy, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said today, adding that such a move would drastically cut emissions and help the world get on track to meet the Paris climate goals and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Action by countries to stop the continued progression of fossil fuels is possible, UNDP and IRENA said at a joint event held at the UN Climate Summit in Madrid.

Renewable energy deployment would have to accelerate six-fold by 2030 if the world is to achieve the goal of cutting global carbon emissions by 45 per cent and keep temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, IRENA said.

In September, UNDP launched a new initiative called the 'Climate Promise', vowing to support as many countries as possible to revise and submit enhanced climate pledges – known as Nationally Determined Contributions – or NDCs, by 2020.

Working with the NDC partnership and other partners, UNDP will support 100 countries to accelerate the enhancement of national climate pledges by 2020, building on its climate action portfolio in over 140 countries. Energy is a crucial part of this work and IRENA will provide the necessary knowledge, and support countries to accelerate energy transitions driven by renewable energy.

To date, 78 countries are drawing upon UNDP's experience in disaster risk reduction, gender, health, and nature-based solutions.

"Shifting to renewables will create far-reaching development impacts, triggering an economic stimulus and creating millions of jobs around the world, not to mention widespread health and other welfare benefits. Renewable energy should be an integral part of countries' climate pledges," said Achim Steiner, the Administrator of UNDP. "We recognise the challenges, but this transition is achievable. At UNDP we stand ready to support countries to take bolder action on climate change."

"There is no sustainable development without renewable energy. It's possible to accelerate the low-carbon energy transition and achieve sustainable development, thereby creating inclusive and prosperous economies," Francesco La Camera, the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency said at the Madrid Climate Summit.

According to IRENA, out of the 156 NDCs submitted to date, 135 countries mention renewables but most are underutilising renewables to raise their ambition. The agency also estimates that over USD 1.7 trillion would be needed by 2030 annually to implement adequate renewable energy targets, though much of that funding could come as a result of eliminating fossil fuel subsidies. 

In September, both partners launched a global campaign called #ItsPossible, engaging policy-makers and investors to join a push for renewables in countries around the world. The campaign will carry over into the next year.

During the joint event at COP25, IRENA also launched a new report 'NDCs in 2020: Advancing Renewables in the Power Sector and Beyond'.

AfDB, Germany Inaugurate Rwanda's Shango Power Substation

The African Development Bank, Embassy of Germany in Rwanda and the KfW Development Bank joined the Government of Rwanda to inaugurate the high voltage 188 MVA Shango power substation in the capital Kigali and its related transmission network.

The substation is part of the NELSAP Regional Interconnection Project involving Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, and Burundi. The Rwandan component, at an estimated cost of 111.03 million euros, involves the construction of 286 km of 220 kV lines, three substations and the upgrade of two substations.

The African Development Fund, part of the African Development Bank Group, contributed 38 million euros (about 34%) of the total project cost.

The Shango substation, the biggest in the country, has been designed to play a key role in the management of electricity dispatching services in Rwanda and a routing node for electricity trading between the East African neighbors. Itis line with the Bank's High 5 priorities, Light Up and Power Africa and Integrate Africa.

Speaking at the inauguration, held on 5 December, Martha Phiri, Bank Country Manager in Rwanda expressed appreciation for the strong cooperation that the Bank continues to enjoy with the Government of Rwanda.

The energization of the Shango substation and related network will facilitate the country's access to excess power of nearly 1,040 MW from the regional market, reducing reliance on expensive fossil-fuel generated power.

"This would eventually benefit the people and industries in Rwanda through increased availability, reliability of clean power and possible reduction in electricity tariffs," Phiri said.

Rwanda is pursuing an ambitious target to achieve affordable, reliable and universal access to electricity by 2024 in line with the National Strategy for Transformation.

The Bank's support to the energy sector has more than doubled over the past three years to the current level of 410.66 million euros, supporting seven public sector operations (of which three are regional projects) and one private sector operation.

With a total on-going portfolio of 1.04 billion euros, the Bank's country strategy for Rwanda has two pillars: (i) investing in energy and water infrastructure to enable inclusive and green growth, and (ii) developing skills to promote high value-added economic activities and economic transformation.

COP25: Renewable Energy Ambition In NDCs Must Double By 2030

Countries are being urged to significantly raise renewable energy ambition and adopt targets to transform the global energy system in the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) that will be released at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid.

The report will show that renewable energy ambition within NDCs would have to more than double by 2030 to put the world in line with the Paris Agreement goals, cost-effectively reaching 7.7 terawatts (TW) of globally installed capacity by then. Today's renewable energy pledges under the NDCs are falling short of this, targeting only 3.2 TW.

The report NDCs in 2020: Advancing Renewables in the Power Sector and Beyond will be released at IRENA's official side event on enhancing NDCs and raising ambition on 11 December 2019. It will state that with over 2.3 TW installed renewable capacity today, almost half of the additional renewable energy capacity foreseen by current NDCs has already been installed. The analysis will also highlight that delivering on increased renewable energy ambition can be achieved in a cost-effective way and with considerable socio-economic benefits across the world. 

"Increasing renewable energy targets is absolutly necessary," said IRENA's Director-General Francesco La Camera. "Much more is possible. There is a decisive opportunity for policy makers to step up climate action by raising ambition on renewables, which are the only immediate solution to meet rising energy demand whilst decarbonizing the economy and building resilience".

"IRENA's analysis shows that a pathway to a decarbonised economy is technologically possible and socially and economically beneficial," continued Mr. La Camera. "Renewables are good for growth, good for job creation and deliver significant welfare benefits. With renewables, we can also expand energy access and help eradicate energy poverty in line with the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. IRENA will promote knowledge exchange, strengthen partnerships and work with all stakeholders to catalyse action on the ground. We are engaging with countries and regions worldwide to facilitate renewable energy projects and raise their ambitions".

NDCs must become a driving force for an accelerated global energy transformation. The current pledges reflect neither the past decade's rapid growth nor the ongoing market trends for renewables. Through a higher renewable energy ambition, NDCs could serve to advance multiple climate and development objectives.

 

Greenlight Planet Partners With Telecom Operators In Sub-Saharan Africa

Greenlight Planet, the market leader in the rapidly expanding pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar industry has successfully partnered with major telecom operators in Africa. Recognizing the natural synergy between the telecom and pay-as-you-go solar industries, the company is pursuing a strong telecom-focused strategy that aims to have a far-reaching impact on more than 600 million unelectrified consumers across the African continent.

The company has collaborated with more than fifteen telecom operators, banks and payment gateways to make Sun King products more affordable and accessible for rural individuals, increasing long-term value for a common consumer base. Full-fledged sales and distribution partnerships have been launched with three leading telecom operators, Vodacom (Tanzania), Orange (Burkina Faso) and Telma (Madagascar), to enable sales of solar-powered energy solutions through each operator's subscriber base and mobile money channels.

In addition, Greenlight Planet has integrated its innovative PAYG technology platform with leading mobile money providers across sub-Saharan Africa, enabling consumers to make continuous installment payments in a secure and simple way. Greenlight Planet establishes unique operating models with each telecom partner to best serve and work with each service provider's strategic goals, local business model and competitive landscape.

Dhaval Radia, Senior Vice President at Greenlight Planet, says “The time is right for telecoms to look beyond their traditional revenue earning models and explore innovative partnerships that can lead to a sustained increase in ARPU and customer retention. By expanding to rural consumer segments with value-added services such as PAYG solar products for daily energy and infotainment, telecom operators can help deliver higher value to their customer base.”

Recent collaborations between PAYG solar companies and telecom operators have demonstrated that PAYG solar customers are amongst the most active profiles of mobile money users in sub-Saharan Africa, many opening their first mobile money account specifically to purchase a PAYG solar home system.

Ninety-eight percent of Greenlight Planet’s PAYG customers make roughly 60 mobile money payments between $2 and $5 each over a period of twelve to twenty-four months to complete their installment payment plans for a PAYG solar device. The company has processed nearly 40 million mobile money payments from customers in Africa in the last three years.

With more than 100 million mobile money subscribers, and nearly 600 million people that lack reliable access to electricity on the African continent, opportunities for the telecom and distributed energy sectors to join forces remain tremendous. Since inception, Greenlight Planet has installed nearly six million solar products, benefitting over 24 million individuals, across Sub-Saharan Africa through its direct distribution channels in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda and through more than 200 strategic alliances in 32 countries across the African continent. The company will showcase its flagship Sun King range of solar-powered products at the upcoming AfricaCom conference from 12th to 15th November 2019 in Cape Town.

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