Energy

Energy (209)

No Room For Coal In Africa's Renewable Future, AfDB's Akinwumi Adesina

African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina on Tuesday unveiled ambitious plans to scrap coal power stations across the continent and switch to renewable energy at United Nations climate talks on Monday.

Addressing a gathering of leaders and officials from almost 200 countries in New York, Adesina outlined efforts to shutter coal-fired power plants and build the "largest solar zone in the world" in the arid Sahel belt.

"Coal is the past, and renewable energy is the future. For us at the African Development Bank, we're getting out of coal," Adesina told delegates to the Climate Action Summit in Manhattan this week.

The Bank's $500 million green baseload scheme will be rolled out in 2020 and is set to yield $5 billion of investment that will help African countries transition from coal and fossil fuel to renewable energy, said Adesina.

Adesina also talked about plans for $20 billion of investments in solar and clean energy that would provide the region's 250 million people with 10,000 MW of electricity. "There's a reason God gave Africa sunlight," said Adesina.

Presidents, princes and government ministers from around the world attended the UN's climate summit, as they faced mounting pressure to reduce heat-trapping gas emissions and slow the global rise in temperatures.

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres also took a swipe at the "dying fossil fuel industry" and said it was still not too late to keep the global rise in temperatures below the benchmark figure of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

"But it will require fundamental transformations in all aspects of society — how we grow food, use land, fuel our transport and power our economies," said Guterres.

"We need to link climate change to a new model of development — fair globalisation — with less suffering, more justice, and harmony between people and the planet."

The UN says mankind must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to about 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures to stave off the worst-case predictions of scientists.

The meeting was part of the run-up to the international climate talks in 2020, which is the next deadline for countries to make significant emissions reduction pledges under the 2015 global warming deal.

AfDB's Fund Approves $500,000 Clean Energy Grant

The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), managed by the African Development Bank, has this week approved a $500,000 grant to support the development and launch of the Nigeria Energy Access Fund (NEAF).

Nigeria Energy Access Fund is a new private equity fund developed by All On, a Nigerian impact investment firm financed by Shell.

NEAF will make strategic investments in sustainable energy in Nigeria, particularly in the country's burgeoning off-grid and mini-grid sectors.

The SEFA grant will support specific workstreams to set NEAF in motion and enhance its engagement with private and public sector investors.

NEAF will be a first-of-its-kind facility to provide eligible projects and businesses with equity solutions that are currently unavailable in the market.

"Nigeria requires bespoke and innovative market-based solutions to provide its off-grid population, estimated at 100 million, access to sustainable sources of energy.

The SEFA grant will be instrumental in the constitution of NEAF, and ultimately, the mobilization of much-needed private sector investment for the sector", said Wale Shonibare, the Bank's Acting Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth.

Once operational, NEAF is expected to complement the Bank's wide range of sustainable energy initiatives currently being implemented in Nigeria.

In November 2018, the Board of Directors of the Bank approved a $200 million package to support the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), designed to help scale-up green mini-grid solutions with subsidies, among other measures.

In May 2018, SEFA approved a $1.5 million grant to support the first phase of the Nigerian government's Jigawa 1-GW Independent Power Producer Solar Procurement Program.

SEFA's support to NEAF is aligned with the New Deal on Energy for Africa and the Bank's High 5 priorities, especially 'Light Up and Power Africa' and 'Improve the Quality of Lives of Africans.'

The project conforms with the Bank's Energy Sector Strategy and will boost the Nigerian government's power sector recovery plans.

Desert To Power Initiative Gets G5 Sahel Heads Of State

G5 Sahel heads of state at a Summit on Friday in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, gave strong support to Desert to Power, an Africa Development Bank -led initiative.

The summit, "Harnessing solar energy for the socio-economic development of the G5 Sahel countries" came on the heels of a high-level technical meeting attended by the region’s energy ministers, and development partners including the World Bank, and regional institutions such as the West African Economic and Monetary Union and ECOWAS.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Executive Chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, participated in the high-level meeting and endorsed the initiative.

Addressing journalists, the G5 Sahel President Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso urged the private sector to support the Desert to Power and underscored the strategic and critical role of power provision in the Sahel region.

“The African Development Bank is our bank and the private sector must be involved in this important initiative for our countries. I have no doubt that with technical leadership of the AfDB, we will be able to mobilize the necessary funds. Access to electricity is key for the economic development, prosperity and security of the G5 Sahel countries” Kabore said at a joint press conference hosted with the President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina, after the Summit.

The goal of Desert to Power is to propel the Sahelian economies to higher growth and prosperity.

Adesina outlined the initiative’s ambitions of providing 10,000 MW of solar-generated electricity to 250 million people across the Sahel.

 “The African Development Bank is fully ready to work with all partners to make this Baobab of Energy a success. Your strong political support and policies to make solar energy affordable across the Sahel will be critical,” Adesina said.

“Generations of people in the Sahel have waited for light for too long. Generations today and in the future can wait no longer! The time for action is now. The time for Desert to Power to provide electricity for all in the Sahel is now,” he urged.

G5 Sahel heads of state acknowledged that limited energy access and a dependence on fossil fuels underscores the necessity of an energy shift and the need to accelerate the economic development of the region and ensure its stability.

Five priority areas for the G5 Sahel include  expanded utility-scale solar generation capacity; extending and strengthening power transmission networks; accelerating electrification through decentralized energy solutions; revitalizing national power utilities; and improving business climates for increased private sector investments.

A joint Task Force and a coordination unit, to be hosted by the African Developmemnt Bank, will be set up to improve legal and institutional frameworks, to ensure that priority in energy provision is given to rural communities.

Donor and development partners were asked to help mobilise $140 million for the initiatives project preparation phase.

Desert to Power has already galvanized huge political support at the global level. during the recent G7 Summit in Biarritz, France.

The Desert to Power initiative covers 11 countries: Burkina Faso, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, Djibouti, Senegal and Chad and is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement and the Renewable Energy Initiative for Africa.

“If the Sahel is blessed with this super abundant natural resource, it simply means God intended for us to have electricity. 100% through the sun. it is, therefore, time to turn the Sahel’s largest natural resource – the sun – into the most powerful driver of its growth and prosperity. That is why we are here,” Adesina said.

Fenix To Launch Off-Grid Solar In Mozambique

Fenix International, a next-generation energy company and subsidiary of ENGIE, opens its sixth market in Mozambique, where it expects to reach 200,000 households with clean energy and inclusive financial services within 3 years.

Launching sales in Mozambique is the latest step in Fenix's expansion. Headquartered in Kampala, the company has already connected 500,000 customers to solar power in Uganda, Zambia, Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, and Nigeria.

Fenix has rapidly grown operations as a subsidiary of ENGIE, enabling the company to scale off-grid energy and financial services across new markets, with Mozambique the fourth new market opened within the past year.

Luke Hodgkinson, Managing Director of Fenix Mozambique, comments, "Mozambique has set an ambitious target with their ProEnergia initiative to reach 100% of the population with electricity by 2030. The country represents an optimal market for off-grid solar products, with only 27% of households currently connected to electricity and a highly distributed population.

Fenix's operations here will focus on reaching those most in need of energy access, particularly districts in the North and people who are using expensive, polluting, and dangerous methods such as kerosene and candles to light their homes."

By replacing fossil fuel-powered lanterns, solar home systems allow off-grid customers to illuminate their homes with clean LED lights, as well as charge phones and run radios, TVs, hair clippers and speakers.

Fenix's latest product, Fenix Power, is a GSM-enabled power system that enables the company to determine product usage and potential technical issues remotely, improving the customer experience.

Fenix is the first PAYGO solar company in Mozambique to use these Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to reduce costs and bring high-quality, affordable technology to rural, last-mile customers.

Fenix has partnered with Vodacom and Vodafone M-Pesa SA to tackle the challenges of distribution, connectivity and mobile payments that have left rural Mozambicans underserved by affordable energy products in the past.

Luke adds, "We are delighted to partner with Vodacom and Vodafone M-Pesa SA. With their market-leading brand, distribution network and payment platform, and Fenix's high-quality products and excellent last-mile customer service, together we can provide clean energy and financial inclusion to millions of rural Mozambicans.

Once these foundations have been established, the possibilities to bring other life-changing products, from household appliances to crop insurance, are truly endless."

Gulamo Nabi, from Vodafone M-Pesa SA adds, "We've been working to unlock the potential of M-Pesa for the millions of Mozambicans in rural areas, far from the national grid or traditional financial services.

"Vodafone M-Pesa SA is excited to work with Fenix to access these areas and provide the easy, fast and secure payment platform for customers to light up their homes with clean, affordable energy. This is totally aligned with our mission to create mobile solutions to change our customers lives."

Fenix is headquartered in Maputo, but will operate in every province of Mozambique within the next three years. Whilst sales have already begun in the South Region, the next point of entry for investment will be in the province of Nampula before the end of the year.

This decision is motivated by Fenix's commitment to delivering its solution to households most in need and in the hardest to reach corners of rural Mozambique.

To serve its customers across the country, Fenix will train and employ over 150 full-time sales and marketing, customer service, product diagnostics, and logistics professionals. 

Engie Acquires Mobisol To Become Africa’s Off-grid Solar Market Leader

ENGIE expands its decentralized energy offering in Africa through the acquisition of Mobisol, a pioneer of off-grid solar solutions.

Founded in 2011, the company employs over 500 people as well as approximately 1,200 contractors.

Mobisol has operations in Tanzania, Rwanda, and Kenya and has installed more than 150,000 solar home systems, providing clean and reliable energy to over 750,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa.

With the acquisition of Mobisol, ENGIE will be offering solar home systems in 3 additional countries, complementing the six countries where it is already present with its solar home system company Fenix International.

Mobisol’s focus on productive use products, combined with Fenix’s inclusive home solar power systems, will enable ENGIE to offer an unparalleled range of affordable energy products as well as extending its customer base from rural to urban areas. The closing of the acquisition of Mobisol will happen once all approvals of the relevant regulatory bodies are received.

ENGIE already has significant activities in off-grid electrification in Africa. With its subsidiary Fenix International, it provides access to energy and financial services via its solar home systems to over 500,000 customers, improving the quality of life for over 2.5 million people in Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and Mozambique.

Additionally, with ENGIE PowerCorner, it supplies affordable electricity to rural populations through smart mini-grids powered by solar energy and battery storage. PowerCorner offers 24/7 energy services to households, local businesses and public services in villages across Tanzania and Zambia.

All of these services are enabled by digital financial solutions such as mobile money and Pay As You Go technologies.

Isabelle Kocher, ENGIE CEO declared: “With the acquisition of Mobisol, ENGIE expands its access to a market of millions who are not connected to the grid and establishes itself as the market leader on the continent.

Not only do we change people's lives with clean energy but we trigger economic activities for households and entrepreneurs who generate additional income once they are connected. With ENGIE Power Corner, Fenix, and now Mobisol, we will pave the way for a new generation of affordable energy services, in line with our strategy focused on the acceleration of the zero-carbon transition.”

Universal electrification is the 7th of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that the global community has committed to achieve by 2030.

Currently more than 600 million people have no access to electricity in Africa and by 2030 the continent is expected to be home to 80 percent of the world’s off-grid population, according to the International Energy Agency.

African Energy Chamber In China To Discuss Energy Deals

To support growing energy cooperation and investment between China and Africa, the African Energy Chamber has organized a working visit to Beijing this week.

Led by Executive Chairman Nj Ayuk, the delegation from the Chamber will be meeting with CEOs and Chairmen from China’s state-owned energy companies and the private sector, along with key industry associations in China.

The visit aims at further introducing the Chamber to the Chinese market following a series of roadshows organized in China by the Chamber over the past two years and increasing demand for investment information on Africa by Chinese investors.

“The investment appetite of Chinese companies for Africa is only getting stronger given current international trade and business dynamics,” said Mickael Vogel, Director of Strategy at the Chamber.

“We are receiving an increasing number of requests from Chinese companies to join the Chamber, especially to gain access to the latest investment opportunities in Africa, and to credible and reliable information on African energy markets.

Our visit will be consolidating several relationships we have developed over the past two years and will lead to discussion on major energy deals for Africa.”

Last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged an additional $60bn for African development over the next three years during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. Traditionally, a large majority of Chinese investments have been made in energy and transport, especially oil & gas, power, mining, railways and airport infrastructure.

As Chinese investment into Africa increases, the Chamber is assisting several Chinese companies in navigating Africa’s fast growing energy markets.

The move is part of the Chamber’s support to a large and expanding base of investors seeking to do business in Africa, mostly from China, Russia, India the Middle East and Turkey. 

Muloni, Katureebe Swear In New Electricity Disputes Tribunal Members

The Electricity Disputes Tribunal (EDT) has been fully constituted by government with as seven-member Tribunal to hear and determine electricity related complaints.

The tribunal led by Charles Okoth Owor as chairman, and Mr. Anaclet Turyakira as his vice was established by the Electricity Act in 1999 after the liberalistion of the power sector and been operating with only three members since 2006.

Following the death of one of the members, Eng. Moses Musaazi in 2018, the Tribunal has lacked the requisite quorum of three members, to effectively and efficiently carry out its statutory mandate.

Eng. Irene Muloni, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development on Thursday 15th August 2019, presented the five new and additional members before the Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Bart katureebe to take oath before embarking on their new appointments.

The new members are Eng. Dr Terry Kahuma, Mr Judy Mike Mudoma , Ms Harriet Wanyoto, Mrs Christine Muhindo and Eng Paul Mubiru.

Chief Justice Bart Katureebe welcomed the move to have a fully constituted EDT insisting that a growing economy generates a myriad of business disputes, which may require such specialized tribunals.

“To facilitate a fast, and efficient resolution of industry related disputes, we need such tribunals. Unresolved disputes lead to long delays in growth as business comes to a standstill awaiting justice”, said Justice Katureeba.

Justice Katureeba added that about 3-4 trillion shillings is tied up in the commercial court due to unresolved disputes. He said such Tribunals are needed in the entire country not only to speed up justice but to also facilitate business and growth.

Mr. Charles Okoth Owor, the chairperson EDT said the demise of their colleague in 2018 had negatively impacted the ability of the Tribunal to function.

“We are pleased to have new members to the tribunal. The EDT can now resume work on the backlog of complaints that have accumulated overtime since we lost our colleague Eng. Dr Musaazi”, said Okoth Owor.

The EDT is mandated to hear and determine all electricity related disputes that are referred to it except criminal cases. The EDT has all powers of the High Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction.

Search For Promising Sub-Saharan Solar Photovoltaic Projects Returns

Phanes Group, an international end-to-end solar provider headquartered in Dubai, UAE, is once again on the hunt for promising solar photovoltaic (PV) projects to support in sub-Saharan Africa, as the company relaunches its Solar Incubator program.

Now in its third consecutive year, the competition continues towards its goal of electrifying more communities for a sustainable future.

With over 600 million people lacking access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, the need for sustainable, affordable and commercially viable energy sources – such as solar PV – is undeniable.

In the sub-Saharan region, a lack of energy access also remains a key barrier to economic and social progress. Phanes Group’s Solar Incubator was initiated in 2017 to tackle the issue head-on, fostering local innovation and investment by providing local solar PV developers with the funding and commercial and technical knowledge they otherwise couldn’t access. In 2018, that access to expertise was awarded to Senegalese engineer and innovator Mbaye Hadj.

“I had been working on my solar farm idea since July 2018, but these projects require a lot of intricate know-how, financial expertise, and funding – some of which I lacked,” noted Hadj.

“The guidance of Phanes Group and its partners will allow us to finally bring our project to life, so we can feed power to Senegal’s national electricity company. By achieving this we’ll help the local economy to grow, which so far has been held back by a lack of electricity,” he added.

Hadj’s triumph came at the 2018 Unlocking Solar Capital: Africa conference, where he presented his proposal for a 30-megawatt solar farm in his hometown of Gossas, Senegal.

Evaluation panel members were inspired by his desire to electrify schools, healthcare centers, and other critical services that are today in decline due to a lack of dependable power. Bettering applications from over 20 countries, Hadj also drew interest for his passion, knowledge, and heavy involvement in the region.

With the 2019 Solar Incubator open for entries, Phanes Group and its partners hope to see similar dynamism and community-focused concepts from this year’s applicants. Shortlisted developers will be invited to present their concept at Solarplaza’s Unlocking Solar Capital: Africa 2019 conference, held in Dakar, Senegal from October 16 to 17.

“Through our work across sub-Saharan Africa, we’ve met many individuals and organizations who possess great solar PV project ideas for their community but lack access to the necessary support and expertise to realize them,” commented Martin Haupts, CEO, Phanes Group.

“We launched the Solar Incubator program in 2017 to identify the very best of these projects, and reduce the knowledge and funding gap they face in a collaborative way. We hope to once again enable participants to bring lasting positive change to the community around them,” added Haupts.

“The return of the Solar Incubator program spells great news for passionate solar PV developers who have the vision and on-ground knowledge but not necessarily the broader project-wide expertise,” commented Edwin Koot, Solarplaza.

“Financial viability is a fundamental part of any successful solar PV project, and we hope that our continued partnership will provide that all important commercial strength, alongside a breadth of technical knowledge.”

To support the vision and ambition of more innovators like Mbaye Hadj, Phanes Group is encouraging eligible solar PV developers to apply for the third annual Solar Incubator program, held under the theme, “Your Project, Our Expertise, For a Sustainable Future”.

Before the deadline of 04 September, 2019 interested candidates should submit their applications via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. More information can be found at https://PhanesGroup.com/incubator, or at the Unlocking Solar Capital Africa conference website: https://africa.unlockingsolarcapital.com/solar-incubator.

Embrace Renewable Sources Of Energy To Conserve Environment

The most efficient way to curb environmental degradation and its impacts is to embrace renewable energy technologies including solar power and energy-saving stoves.

This was the main message disseminated by renewable energy sources stakeholders’ and experts at the Expo on renewable energy sources at Hoima Booma Sports Ground in municipality yesterday.

James Baanabe Isingoma the Director for Energy Resources Development in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development said the technologies reduce pressure on forests in the country that are facing serious destruction mainly for energy now.

He says the demand for charcoal and firewood willed replaced by the use of biogas and solar panels among others which have tested to be efficient in various countries.

Grace Walukamba the Communications Manager for Uganda National Association for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Alliance says, renewable energy technologies also help the population to reduce the costs on energy because of their affordable prices on the market.

UBOS report for 2014 census indicates that 80% of Ugandans depend on forests for energy warning that forests by be completely degraded if by 2040 if alternative energy sources are not embraced.

 

Chinese Firms To Acquire Mining, Oil & Gas Assets In Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea Ronda has received great interest from public and private Chinese companies to invest in Equatorial Guinea and explore opportunities in oil & gas and minerals at the upcoming EG Ronda Licensing Round meetings in Beijing organized by the African Energy Chamber.

The Chamber will be hosting the 2-day investor forum at the Kempinski Hotel Beijing on July 2nd and 3rd, on behalf of the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea.

The biggest names amongst the Chinese energy industry are confirmed to attend, including companies such as PowerChina Group, Sinochem, ENN Group, CCCC, CMEC, China Minmetals Corp, China Gas, Beijing Gas, Jincheng Anthracite Mining Group, PetroChina, Sinoenergy, CNOOC etc.

"We look forward to welcoming Chinese and global stakeholders at the EG Ronda forum in China. This is going to start our drive to build a successful and profitable mining sector as we have done with oil and gas," declared H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons who will be in Beijing next week with his delegation of senior officials.

"Our mining, oil and gas industry has one thing that foreign investor treasure which is certainty in the policies and regulations thanks to the leadership of the President.  Operating for years with a predictable and reliable framework has made our country competitive and we are going to develop our oil, gas and mining resources to benefit investors and our people," added the Minister.

The EG Ronda Licensing Round Roadshow 2019 in Beijing will be showcasing the 27 oil & gas blocks on offer under the country's 2019 oil & gas licensing round, and promote the high-potential that Equatorial Guinea has in minerals such as gold, diamonds, bauxite and iron ore.

H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima will notably be accompanied by the Director General of Hydrocarbons and the Director General of Minerals and Quarry, and hold several private meetings with Chinese investors.

"Equatorial Guinea has improved its mining and oil and gas policies to reflect the best international practices, as well as improving legal certainty for investors. It is no secret why there is a lot of interest from investors towards our Beijing forum.

The Chamber believes this will help attract more investments and jobs for to Equatorial Guinea. We expect Equatorial Guinea's strategy of outreach and engagement with global markets to result in very successful licensing rounds this year," said Mickaël Vogel, Director of Strategy at the Chamber.

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