GET FiT Zambia is official

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On Wednesday, GET FiT Zambia became the official implementation programme for the Zambian Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFiT) Strategy.  The REFiT Strategy was approved by the Zambian cabinet in July 2017 and formally launched by the Ministry of Energy in October.

REFiT strategy

The REFiT Strategy provides an allocation of 200MW for small- to medium-scale projects with a maximum size of 20MW, to be procured over a period of three years. Eligible technologies include hydro, solar photovoltaic (PV), geothermal, biomass, waste energy, and wind power.

The REFiT Strategy specifically allocates 100MW for hydro projects.

Call for tenders

In addition, in November, the Ministry of Energy approved Round 1 of the GET FiT Zambia programme, a solar PV tender of up to 100MW.

This tender will be launched in early 2018. In line with the REFiT Strategy, the maximum project size will be 20MW.

This tender will be run as a two-stage, sealed-bid auction, and applicants will be free to select project sites subject to grid constraints to be disclosed in a subsequent memo and on the GET FiT Zambia website.

Prior to initiating the Request for Qualification stage of the solar PV tender, GET FiT Zambia and partners in the Ministry of Energy will host a private sector workshop in Lusaka.

The date and location of this workshop will also be posted on the GET FiT Zambia website.

African Development Bank Finances $324 Million Renewable Energy Projects

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $324 million in loan support to two renewable energy projects in Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire.

In line with the New Deal on Energy for Africa, the projects are expected to significantly increase power supplies and keep economic growth track, according to AfDB.

Scaling up investments in energy, is the African Development Bank Group’s top High 5 priority, in a continent where more than 600 million people do not have access to electricity. The New Deal on Energy for Africa is a partnership-driven effort with the aspirational goal of achieving universal access to energy in Africa by 2025.

For Morocco, the bank’s commitment of $265 million will help develop two solar power plants (NOORM I and NOORM II) at a total cost of €2.048 billion with a cumulative capacity of 800 MW, under a public-private partnership (PPP). The solar plants will be connected to the national grid, and will guarantee electricity supplies to more than 2 million Moroccans (approximately 6% of the country’s population) and significantly reduce CO2 emissions. The investment is part of the Bank’s continued support to Morocco’s US$ 3 billion NOOR solar energy program.

The Côte d’Ivoire project involves the design, construction and operation of a 44-MW hydropower plant on the Bandama River. The country’s dynamic economy is exerting pressure on power supply, with demand projected to grow by 8-9% annually until 2020. To meet rising domestic and regional demand, Côte d’Ivoire intends to significantly raise its generation capacity, including hydropower.

The approval of both projects underscores the Bank’s focus on renewable energy in Africa. This year alone the Bank’s investments will contribute 1.4 GW of additional generation capacity exclusively from renewable energy sources.

“These approvals demonstrate once again the Bank’s leadership on renewable energy in Africa.” President Akinwumi Adesina stated. “These projects will be essential to achieving the countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) goals under the Paris Agreement. I believe this sends a strong message ahead of the One Planet Summit on Climate next week in Paris”.

In addition to utility-scale renewable energy generations projects, the Bank’s interventions in 2017 covered all facets of renewable energy:

Off-grid and mini-grid projects, such as the approval of the second phase of the Green Mini-Grid Market Development Program to address barriers to scaling-up of private sector mini-grids in Africa and the launch of the Off-grid Revolution by mobilizing funding, pushing for regulatory reform, achieving economies of scale, addressing currency risks and convening governments to provide incentives for off-grid.
Transmission and distribution projects including crucial regional interconnectors that are critical to evacuate power generated from renewable energy.
Investments in private equity and debt funds, such as the Facility for Energy Inclusion for which the Bank approved a $100 million anchor investment to close funding gaps in the small-scale energy infrastructure sector and catalyze growth in last-mile energy access solutions.
Project preparation support notably through the Bank’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), which has approved 12 projects in 2017 that aim to bring additional 166 MW and leverage US$ 340 million.
The African Development Bank’s energy agenda continues to attract international support. In October, the Bank’s first “Light Up and Power Africa” theme Bond for SEK 733 million (approximately JPY 10 billion) was issued and sold to Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company Limited, the sole investor in the transaction. The bond supports the bank’s ambition of bridging the continent’s energy deficit.

USADF And ALL ON Announce Partnership For Off-Grid Energy Investments in Nigeria

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Today the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) and All On announced the creation of a $3 million partnership with the goal of expanding access to energy for underserved and unserved markets in Nigeria. Over the next 3 years, both parties will jointly provide funding for up to 30 Nigerian small and medium enterprises that improve energy access through off-grid energy solutions spanning solar, wind, hydro, biomass and gas technologies. USADF will provide grant funding to the selected companies while All On will provide an equal amount of impact capital in the form of convertible loans and/or equity.

“We are proud to partner with All On to find sustainable solutions to the significant energy gap in Nigeria,” says C.D. Glin, USADF President and CEO. “It is through such collaborative partnerships that we can transform local energy access, identify unexplored opportunities, and bring affordable energy sources to those who need it most.”

According to All On CEO Wiebe Boer, “This partnership with USADF to provide blended capital for Nigerian owned off grid energy companies is an innovative approach towards investing in Nigerian solutions to the country’s energy gap. We look forward to working with USADF to invest and support the growth of Nigeria’s future off grid energy sector leaders.”

Since 2013, USADF off-grid energy investments have already turned on the lights for over 120,000 people in hard-to-reach areas. USADF has invested over $7.5 million in 75 energy entrepreneurs in nine countries to bring affordable and renewable energy to rural communities across Africa. USADF is a key partner in Power Africa, a U.S. Government-led initiative aimed at doubling the number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa who have access to electricity.

“Public-private partnerships are the cornerstone of the Power Africa model, and we are pleased to support USADF and All On to foster the growth of energy enterprises to bring reliable electricity to more Nigerians,” says Andrew M. Herscowitz, Power Africa Coordinator. “This partnership demonstrates that ‘bankable’ projects do not just exist at the multi-million dollar level. Nigeria’s off-grid energy sector is full of potential to serve a vast untapped market and this partnership will combine USADF’s grant dollars with private sector funding to produce even greater impact.”

All On is an impact investing company that works with partners to increase access to commercial energy products and services for under-served and unserved markets in Nigeria, with the Niger Delta as the priority region of focus. It seeks both financial returns and social impact to provide or improve access-to-energy for millions of households and SMEs. The company recently announced their first set of debt and equity investments.

About USADF
The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) is an independent U.S. Government agency established by Congress to support and invest in African owned and led enterprises which improve lives and livelihoods in poor and vulnerable communities in Africa. For more information, go to www.usadf.gov.

About ALL ON
All On is an impact investing company established to stimulate the development of collaborative partnerships for innovative solutions that facilitate increased access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy sources in Nigeria. All On seeks both financial returns and social impact to provide or improve access-to-energy for millions of households and small and medium enterprises. For more information, go to www.all-on.com

About POWER AFRICA
Power Africa is a U.S. Government-led partnership coordinated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Launched in 2013, Power Africa’s goals are to increase electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa by adding more than 30,000 megawatts of electricity generation capacity and 60 million new home and business connections. Power Africa works with African governments and private sector partners to remove barriers that impede energy development in sub-Saharan Africa and to unlock the substantial natural gas, wind, solar, hydropower, biomass, and geothermal resources on the continent. To date, Power Africa has leveraged over $50 billion in commitments from the public and private sectors, including more than $40 billion in commitments from the private sector.

USD 50 Million Available For Renewable Energy Projects In Developing Countries — IRENA/ADFD Call for Proposals

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Maintaining the solar panels which power Radio Douentza. This radio station was opened in 1993 and broadcasts in local languages.

The sixth funding cycle of the IRENA/Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) Project Facility is now open! This latest cycle offers around USD 50 million in concessional loans from ADFD.

Background information on the sixth cycle is available in EnglishFrançais and Español.

The Facility is welcoming summary project proposals until 15th February 2018 from renewable energy projects in developing countries, that are at feasibility study stage and have the support of the central government.

ADFD funding offer:

  • USD 5 million to USD 15 million per project, covering up to 50% of the total project cost.
  • Loan rates of 1 to 2%, 20-year loan period including a 5-year grace period.
  • Government guarantee required for the ADFD loan (usually from the Ministry of Finance).

 Apply now at www.irena.org/adfd and register for our webinar on 22nd November 2017 to learn more.

 Contact the IRENA/ADFD team at adfd@irena.org with any questions.

Best regards,

Michael Madsen

Communications Unit

Egypt: solar projects secure international investment

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In North Africa, an Egyptian renewable energy developer and Germany-based solar partner, have secured a $87 million syndicated loan for the construction and operation of two solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants at the Benban complex in Upper Egypt.

The funds were pooled from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Dutch Development Bank (FMO).

With a total capacity of 80MW, once completed that plants will be the largest solar installation in the world, with a planned total capacity of 1.8 GW, EBRD said in a statement.

International investment

Infinity Solar Energy SAE, an Egyptian renewable energy developer, and to ib vogt GmbH, an international solar developer established in Germany, will be responsible for the construction and operation of the plants.

EBRD explained: “ Each development will be funded through loans of $87 million under an A/B structure, comprising EBRD A Loans of $58 million, of which $44 million will be from the Bank’s own account and $14 million from the Green Climate Fund.

“FMO will provide B Loans of $29 million. The development consortium was supported by Synergy Consulting and Solizer, which acted as transaction advisors for the two projects.”

Ayaan Adam, Private Sector Facility Director for the Green Climate Fund, commented: “This first investment with the EBRD under our Egypt Renewable Energy Financing Framework project is a big step forward. It shows the potential for public and private climate finance to drive the transition to low-emission energy in support of Egypt’s climate goals.”

EBRD added: “The investment is part of the EBRD’s $500 million EBRD framework for renewable energy in Egypt, adopted by the Bank’s Board of Directors earlier this year. The framework aims to develop Egypt’s potential in renewables and strengthen private sector involvement in the power and energy sector.

Support for the framework has been provided by the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) Energy Efficiency Policy Dialogue Framework, funded by the European Union’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility, and the SEMED Multi-Donor Account.

Harry Boyd-Carpenter, Head of Power and Energy Utilities for the EBRD, said: “We are delighted to welcome Infinity and ib vogt as new partners in this important project, which will significantly change the way that Egypt generates energy.

“The expansion of renewables is crucial not only for the environment, but also for the wider economy. It will create jobs, increase energy security and reduce the burden on the economy. The introduction of a regulatory framework that private investors can rely on will ensure that all this happens at sustainable cost and affordable prices.”

Mohamed Mansour, CEO of Infinity Solar, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with the EBRD and its partners GCF and FMO on these two projects under the Egyptian feed-in tariff programme.

“We see this cooperation as a big step in achieving our capacity goals for the Egyptian market, and hope to see many more projects in the near future.”

Anton Milner, managing director of ib vogt, added: “We strongly appreciate the very constructive cooperation with our financing partners on these important projects. The successful application of public and private climate financing is key in driving the deployment of sustainable, low-emission energy technologies both for Egypt and on a global scale.”

NEK to go for more wind energy projects in Ghana

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The Swiss engineering company NEK Umwelttechnik AG has not only completed the development of the 225MW Wind Farm Ayitepa in the Greater Accra region, for which construction will start soon, but has also other wind energy projects under development.

As published in a previous article, the Ayitepa wind farm did receive all required permits and licences to start construction and operation.

The only missing puzzle to get to financial close is the conclusion of negotiations with the Government of Ghana related to a Put-Call-Option Agreement (PCOA), which will facilitate the immediate start of construction within few months after its signature.

Ghana will therefore once again play a pioneering role to be the leading West African country to switch from the predominance of thermal and conventional energy generation systems to the generation of clean and sustainable electricity from Ghana based renewable sources.

200 MW Wind Farm Konikablo

Some few kilometres east of Ayitepa, NEK developed for several years now through its local branch NEK (Ghana) Ltd. a wind park called Upwind Konikablo. This project is located in the neighbourhood of the villages of Dawa and Sege along the Accra – Aflao main road approximately 40km east of Tema.


Visualization of Konikablo Wind Farm with cattle grazing in between the turbines.

As at writing this article, plans are far advanced to finalize the development of the Konikablo wind farm during the next 12 – 18 months.


Photomontage of three wind turbines at Konikablo.

The project has already received several permits and licences, among others the Energy Commission provisional wholesale electricity licence, an environmental permit from the Environmental Protection Agency, the building and construction permit from the District Assembly Ningo-Prampram and the general consent of other major Ghanaian stakeholders.

This wind energy project will be located on farming land belonging to one of the families from the Ningo Traditional Area and will extend over a surface of roughly 10,000 acres.

The required land, however, is not purchased from the original and rightful land owners, but just leased for a period of 30 years. This means that the land on which the wind farm will be operated does still belong to the traditional landowners and will be – once the lifespan of the project is over – be given back to them.

This follows the philosophy of the developer that the traditional land owners should keep their most precious good. However, the wind farm will only require some 1 – 2% of the total leased surface, while the biggest part of the land can still be used for farming activities.

The area allows the installation of up to 60 wind turbines with a rated power of around 3MW each, what will bring an installed electrical capacity to up to 200MW.

The yearly electricity production of the Konikablo project will be in the size of 500 GWh, which is enough to cover the demand of around 120,000 Ghanaian house holdings.

The produced electricity will be fed into the new 330kV WAPP line which passes nearby the project area, and distributed from there to the end consumers spread over the whole of southern part of Ghana.

One of the main concerns of NEK is not only to develop clean electricity projects, but to give to the local population and especially also to the local youths live perspectives for them and for their families. During the construction period of the wind farm, which will last about 2 years, we will therefore employ around 400 people, recruited from the surrounding communities.

And after completion of the project, dozens of direct permanent jobs and hundreds of indirect jobs will be created through this wind farm. All benefits to the local population will be accelerated under an umbrella called “Community Engagement”, which stands for a Fund that will be fed from a portion of the generated income and used for sustainable programmes in the surrounding communities: Refurbishment and constructions of schools, kindergartens and medical centres, waste management programmes, improvement of sewage and drainage systems, training programmes for different educations, new irrigation and agriculture facilities including an education centre for modern agriculture technologies and related installation will contribute to the large benefits this project will have for the whole affected region.

The completion of the Konikablo wind project will be – apart from our 225MW Ayitepa wind farm – a major step towards Ghana’s target of 10% renewable energy capacity by 2030 and the transition from conventional to renewable energy supply as announced by the new government repeatedly.

Government to facilitate wind energy in Ghana

The harvested wind energy will constitute a great addition to the energy mix to Ghana’s thermal and hydro generation. One of the key advantages of wind power generation is the competitive tariff system it brings along. The project generates power at an attractive overall cost and once completed, does not require any fuel or gas to run.

The natural and never-ending “fuel” to produce clean electricity is the constant wind blowing at the project site. These wind conditions have been measured and deeply analysed by NEK throughout the past years, which allows for a good energy yield estimation for the Konikablo wind farm.

The project now requires the ultimate support from the Government to reach financial closure and take-off.

With the relevant Government support, this project will bring enormous political benefits to the country. It would be – right behind the 225MW Ayitepa wind farm – the largest wind park in West Africa, solidify Ghana’s Energy position in the Region, whilst and the same helping Government achieve its vision of being a net electricity exporter.

It will be Ghana’s second Wind Farm showing the world that Ghana is a place where large-scale renewable energy can flourish, which attracts further foreign investments in the sector.

NEK has different other wind farm projects underway, which are also relatively far advanced in the development stage, and is ready to support the government in achieving its plan to improve the energy generation mix by increasing the percentage of renewable energy within medium to long-term expectations.


Mussel Roe Wind Farm in Tasmania.

Not being any more dependent on foreign countries regarding the import of fossil energy such as gas, diesel, LNG or coal, renewable energy will contribute to make Ghana become a sustainable electricity producer.

The main parameters are: “Homemade”, “renewable”, “inexhaustible”, “independent”, “domestic and free natural energy source” and “combat climate change”. The key is with the Government to show to the world its pioneering role in implementing wind energy projects!

Phanes Group Solar Incubator

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Phanes Group is pleased to announce one of the most exciting new initiatives aimed at PV projects in sub-Saharan Africa: The Phanes Group Solar Incubator 2017, in partnership with Hogan LovellsProparco, responsibilityRINA Consulting and Solarplaza.

  • Get your PV project funded and drive it to financial close;
  • Connect with key industry players and receive mentorship from them;
  • Give back to the local community and make a difference.

Submission deadline is October 1, 2017 – so don’t miss out!

What are we looking for?

We are looking for PV projects in sub-Saharan Africa that come with a solid Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) concept aimed at making a positive impact for the local community.

The owners of the shortlisted projects will be invited to present on October 26, 2017, during the “Unlocking Solar Capital Africa” conference in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire,  to a high-profile evaluation panel hosted by Solarplaza and composed by Hogan Lovells, Proparco, responsAbility, RINA Consulting and Phanes Group.

The Benefits:

  • Shortlisted candidates will receive a complimentary return flight, accommodation and entry ticket to the “Unlocking Solar Capital Africa” conference;
  • Winner(s) will enter a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Phanes Group to co-develop and execute the project, holding a long-term stake in its success;
  • Winner(s) will receive full project funding and related instruments to reach financial close and deliver a bankable project;
  • Winner(s) will receive a complimentary invitation to visit Phanes Group’s headquarters in Dubai, UAE, to kick-off the 2-month incubator phase through a 4-day long intensive workshop with some of the best industry experts in their respective fields;
  • Winners’ CSR concept will be refined during the incubator phase and rolled out with the project.

Seize this opportunity to win and bring your project to financial close – apply now, the submission deadline is October 1, 2017!

For more information please read our FAQ and apply using the application form here. All submissions or further enquiries should be to be sent through to incubator@phanesgroup.com.

We are looking forward to receiving your application, and together, shaping a sustainable future.

Good luck!

The Phanes Group Solar Incubator Team

Le groupe Phanes est ravi d’annoncer le lancement d’une des initiatives les plus passionnantes dans le secteur du photovoltaïque en Afrique sub-saharienne : l’Incubateur solaire du groupe Phanes 2017, en partenariat avec Hogan Lovells, Proparco, responsAbility, RINA Consulting et Solarplaza.

  • Faites financer votre projet photovoltaïque et menez-le vers le bouclage financier ;
  • Connectez-vous aux acteurs-clefs du secteur et faites-vous orienter ;
  • Donnez à nouveau à la communauté locale et faites la différence

Date limite des dépôts : 1er octobre 2017 – ne ratez pas l’échéance !

Que cherchons-nous ?

Nous cherchons des projets dans le secteur du photovoltaïque dans la région de d’Afrique sub-saharienne, liés à un concept solide de Responsabilité sociale de l’entreprise (RSE) et visant à avoir un impact positif sur la communauté locale.

Les candidats présélectionnés seront invités à une présentation en direct le 26 octobre 2017, durant la conférence « Libération du potentiel solaire en Afrique » (Unlocking Solar Capital Africa), devant un panel d’évaluation de haut niveau accueilli par Solarplaza et composé de Hogan Lovells, Proparco, responsAbility, RINA Consulting et du groupe Phanes.

Les avantages :

  • Les candidats présélectionnés recevront gratuitement un billet aller-retour, un hébergement et un billet d’entrée à la conférence « Libération du potentiel solaire en Afrique » ;
  • Le gagnant signera un Accord de codéveloppement avec le groupe Phanes afin de codévelopper et d’exécuter le projet, pour un engagement à long terme ;
  • Le gagnant  recevra un financement complet du projet et les outils adéquats pour le bouclage financier, afin d’aboutir à un projet capable de bénéficier d’un concours bancaire ;
  • Le gagnant recevra une invitation tous frais compris au siège du groupe Phanes à Dubaï aux Emirats Arabes Unis, afin de lancer la phase de préparation de deux mois par un atelier intensif de quatre jours avec des experts de renom du secteur.
  • Le concept de Responsabilité sociale de l’entreprise du gagnant sera revu durant la phase de préparation et déployé avec le projet.

Saisissez cette opportunité afin de gagner et de mener votre projet vers le bouclage financier – Présentez votre projet maintenant, la date limite des présentations étant le 1er octobre 2017 !

Pour de plus amples informations, merci de lire notre section questions-réponses et de soumettre votre candidature ici. Toutes les candidatures ou autres requêtes devront être envoyées à l’adresse suivante : incubator@phanesgroup.com.

Nous attendons vos dossiers avec impatience et espérons pouvoir contribuer à un avenir durable.

Bonne chance !

L’équipe de l’Incubateur solaire du groupe Phanes

$1.5 Billion Microgrid Market Opportunity Emerges in Kenya

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Maintaining the solar panels which power Radio Douentza. This radio station was opened in 1993 and broadcasts in local languages.

A confluence of innovation, risk taking, and public and private effort has created a five-year, $1.5 billion microgrid market opportunity in Kenya, leading Germany’s TFE Consulting to dub the East African nation, “The World’s Microgrid Lab.”

International startups are deploying innovative mobile ‘pay as you go’ (Pay-Go), home solar, and microgrids in off-grid rural areas across the East African nation and far beyond. Their work is backed by development agencies, regional governments, non-government organizations (NGOs), venture capitalists and corporations.

It’s still early to know, but the rapid development of zero- or low-emissions microgrids and distributed energy could prove to be the linchpin of an emerging new model for environmentally friendly energy and socioeconomic development.

“Globally, microgrids for electrification have a market potential of $400 billion,” says the report, “Kenya: The World’s Microgrid Lab.”

Looking ahead, TFE estimates that over the next five years the number of microgrids installed in Kenya, alone, will surge to between 2,000 to 3,000.

As a result, Kenyans are taking their first steps up the sustainable energy ladder.

Sharply declining costs and widespread availability of solar PV, LED lighting and DC electricity — and more recently lithium ion battery storage — are key factors opening up the green distributed energy and microgrid market opportunity in Kenya and across Sub-Saharan Africa and other developing market regions. The market also is driven by widespread access to wireless/mobile money and communications networks.

According to TFE’s study,  just 20 percent of Kenyans have access to grid power. Nearly nine in 10 – 88 percent – have mobile phones. Most use mobile e-payment services, such as MTN’s M-Pesa – to pay for goods and services.

Kenyans are using these mobile money services to pre-pay for off-grid home solar or ‘microgrid as a service’ energy services in small increments as their needs and ability to pay warrants.

“Mobile money alleviates many of the drawbacks associated with earlier cash or scratchcard systems,” says the TFE study. “For one, it vastly simplifies revenue collection: no cash changes hands. Cash-based revenue collection is a significant administrative challenge for energy access businesses, as seen in other energy access markets such as India.

“The cashless payment system unlocks the possibility of running remotely located energy vending machines in Kenya. Consumers and businesses benefit, as transaction, electricity and business expansion costs fall,” TFE says.

A fast growing crop of solar pay-go and microgrid pioneers

Azuri Technologies, BBOX, Fenix International, Lumos Global, Mobisol and Powerhive number among the growing roster of ambitious, young solar mobile Pay-Go and microgrid developers providing services in the region.

Multilateral sustainable energy and development programs, such as USAID’s Power Africa, launched by former President Barack Obama, have played a critical, formative role. Reaching out to aspiring sustainable energy entrepreneurs in Kenya and across the region, they have been providing seed capital, technical and other forms of assistance and support.

Success breeds success, and now the effort is attracting both equity and debt financing from leading international venture capital and private equity investment groups and multinational corporations. The growing list includes ABB, Caterpillar, GE, Khosla Ventures, Paul Allen’s Vulcan Facebook, Microsoft and Jaguar Land Rover and other African wireless/mobile telecoms services providers, such as Airtel and Orange SA.

microgrid market opportunity

“Kenya shows that the global microgrid market is ready for significant private investment. While there still remain some challenges – especially around the regulatory framework and aggregation of projects – there are now enough businesses with viable business models to provide early stage, strategic or even crowd investors with commercially attractive opportunities.

“The medium-term growth potential for the microgrid market in Kenya, as well as in other energy access markets including in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, is very high,” TFE Consulting writes in the executive summary of its report.

According to TFE, a $1.5 billion microgrid market opportunity exists in Kenya over the next five years. Significantly: 

  • There are more than 65 microgrids up and running in Kenya
  • The cost of building out and delivering microgrid power in Kenya has dropped to $5-10/watt
  • Customers are willing to pay $4/kWh
  • Per capital GDP rose to $1,377 as of 2015
  • 25 million mobile phone users made 6 billion mobile money transactions in Kenya in 2016, transferring nearly $150 million every day.
  • Mobile money makes up almost 67 percent of all (cashless) transactions via the National Payments System, according to the Central Bank of Kenya.
Myth busting

Some still view Kenya and other developing countries as too industrially undeveloped and risky to offer a substantial microgrid market opportunity. Similarly, Kenyans — rural Kenyans in particular — are considered too impoverished to serve as the basis of a sustainable business model.

But it’s important to note that proportionally Kenyans spend more of their budgets on energy — in this case ages-old forms like kerosene and charcoal — than residents of industrially developed countries. And as the experience of pioneering solar PV-battery energy storage PAYG and microgrid companies is revealing, they are more than willing to pay as much for safer, cleaner and more reliable and efficient power and energy these technologies now offer.

Furthermore, the pace and scope of socioeconomic development that has been taking place in Kenya over the past decade may be under-appreciated.

“Kenya is the economic lion of East Africa,” TFE writes.

“Its GDP almost quadrupled from $16.1 billion in 2004 to $63.4 billion in 2015, growing twice as fast as the average rate of Sub-Saharan Africa. Its growth has been driven by a relatively stable currency, low inflation, low fuel prices and substantial public investments in energy and transportation. This has boosted an expanding middle-class with steadily rising incomes,” says the report.

Fashola: Buhari Will Give Nigerians Uninterrupted Power

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The Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has reassured Nigerians that plans by the federal government to provide them with uninterrupted electricity supply would be achieved meticulously, but not with any ‘magic wand’.
Fashola said there was no magic wand to getting uninterrupted power supply to Nigerians, but that it required a process which involved all stakeholders in the sector including users of electricity conserving and efficiently using whatever energy the country generates.

The minister stated this when he spoke in Abuja at the launch of the National Building Energy Efficiency Code (BEEC) which was developed by the Nigeria Energy Support Programme (NESP) for use in Nigeria’s built industry.

According to him, improved conservation and efficient use of generated electricity in the country would contribute to the government’s plan of incremental, stable, and uninterrupted power in Nigeria, instead of the propensity to waste energy.
He also noted that a revised national building code with all the contents of the BEEC would be launched by the government before the end of 2017.
He explained that the BEEC specifies minimum energy required to achieve energy efficient buildings which in turn impacts on the socio-economic wellbeing of Nigeria, adding that it will complement the revised national building code.

“In our roadmap for the power sector, we have said we want to first get incremental power; the second leg of that roadmap which you can call the medium stage is stable power, when we have had enough power and taken our energy audit to know how many people need electricity and when they need it, we know what is peak and off peak demand, then we now build a redundancy for repair and upgrade.
“As the ambassador has said, there is no hocus-pocus here, there is no magic wand, it is a journey. But even if we have stable power, there is a place the Buhari government wants to take Nigerians to – uninterrupted power, that is the part that deals largely with you and I, that is the part that deals with conservation, reduction of waste, and efficient use of energy,” said Fashola.

He further stated: “We don’t have to wait for stable energy before we start conserving (power), even what is not enough now can be optimally utilised if we conserve it. Conservation, waste reduction, and efficient energy use case are critical contributors to increasing supply of energy, stabilising supply of energy and ensuring unfailing supply of energy because whatever is wasted will never be enough.”

Speaking on the significance of the BEEC in Nigeria’s built industry, the minister explained that the National Council on Housing has approved its inclusion in the revised national building code, adding that the BEEC was in line with Nigeria’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change.
He said: “If there is any group of people who still deny climate change, they are denying the obvious. The evidence is clear in extreme weather conditions when it is hot, it is extremely very hot, and when it is raining, it doesn’t rain anymore, it pours.

“We have a role to play, we have seen evidence of it locally. When we talk about energy efficiency, we are not asking people to do government a favour, we are asking people to actually do themselves a favour. Energy efficiency is about cost of living, it is about the economy and how much money you spend.”
In his remarks, the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Dietmar Kreusel, noted that with the BEEC, Nigeria could save up to 40 per cent of energy usage in buildings in Nigeria.

Kreusel, stated that using power was as important as generating it, and that Nigeria has a unique advantage of incorporating energy efficiency in her built industry which is still being developed.
“Energy efficiency has been from the onset the mainstay of the EU co-founded Nigeria Energy Support Programme. Gains in energy efficiency are particularly promising in the building sector with a huge demand for new buildings in the years to come in Nigeria. Nigeria can achieve up to 40 per cent energy savings in new buildings with the codes,” Kreusel added.

New $6 billion African Development Bank initiative to power Africa by 2025

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In an interview with The East Africa, Gabriel Negatu, The African Development Bank regional director-general provided details on how East Africa will benefit from the new Japan-Africa Energy Initiative supporting the New Deal for Africa.

Announced in early July this year, the $6 billion initiative of Japan in partnership with the African Development, is seeking “to support the small and medium players who want to join the regional energy sector under Japan’s Light up and Power Africa initiative which aims to enable regional countries achieve universal access to energy by 2025, using available energy sources and the most advanced technologies.

These funds are a mix of concessional, non-concessional and grant. The AfDB will take the lead in project development in consultation with regional member countries but within the initiative’s guidelines.”

Japan will provide the funds and technical support for the implementation. The use of Japanese energy technologies into the region’s energy projects are not a pre-condition.

As for the projects to be supported, AfDB sees the initiative “to support the full range of activities associated with public and private sector energy projects, ranging from preparation to construction and operations, through a mix of financing and technical assistance. We will not give any sector undue priority but will support all. The goal will be achieved, either through public or private sectors.

We hope that through this initiative, we will accelerate the provision of electricity across Africa, including through the best available low-emissions clean coal technologies.”, so Gabriel Negatu.

While the funding assistance seems to be relative wide open to energy technology, it talks about high-efficiency coal-fired plants, but also specifically mentioning geothermal plants, solar and wind power projects.

It will be interesting how geothermal projects in the region can benefit from the initiative and – also importantly – how it will be open to non-Japanese technology providers.

Source…