Africa-Australia Micro grids & Off-grid Renewable Energy Newsletter

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Africa-Australia Micro grids & Off-grid Renewable Energy Newsletter.

March 2017 Edition.

Dear Subscriber,

As a lead up to the Africa Australia Technology + Infrastructure Conference to be held in September in Perth, we thought you may be interested in hearing exciting news from Africa and Australia in the renewable energy sector.

In this edition…

  • Nigeria targets 2000mw from solar energy…
  • Ghana sets out to make energy from its waves
  • Kenya, World Bank Consider $150 Million Off-Grid Power Project
  • South Africa opts for sun and wind as green energy investments surge in developing world
  • 300MW Solar Farm Project Approved in Queensland, Australia
  • South Africa basks in continent's first solar-powered airport
  • Kenya Taps Solar to Power Digital Learning
  • Ghana to get 200MW wind power
  • Uganda launches East Africa's largest solar power plant
  • Off Grid Electric raises USD 45m for distributed solar leasing in Africa
  • Strong Interest in Solar Panels and Batteries in Australia

Nigeria targets 2000mw from solar energy

Nigeria SolarThe Nigeria Government has concluded arrangement to generate at least 2000 megawatts of solar energy, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has said.

Dr. Onu, who addressed a World press conference on the outcome of his recent tour to the 7th General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), in Abu Dabi, United Arab Emirate and Ethiopia, said out of the 2000 megawatts to be generated this year, 1000 will be off grid while the other 1000mw will be on grid.

He disclosed that the world for the first time spent about $300 billion in 2016 to promote renewable energy, while countries were also increasing percentage of contributions to their energy mix. IRENA is an inter-governmental organization involving many countries from all the continents that emphasise the importance of renewable energy. Aside ensuring the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy, IRENA is also promoting the use of bio-energy, ocean, solar, Geo-thermal, hydro power energy.

While stressing the importance of renewable energy to Nigeria's quest for sustainable energy the minister said it had become necessary to join the rest of the world because renewable energy was the only sustainable way to ensuring accessible energy and energy security globally.

Culled from sunnewsonline, Nigeria.

Image courtesy Vanguard Newspapers Nigeria.

Ghana sets out to make energy from its waves

Ghana storyOne Israeli-based company, Yam Pro Energy, believes it can offer the ideal solution and is set to build a wave-energy plant on the coastline of Accra, Ghana's capital city.

While construction in Accra won't begin until well into 2017, Yam Pro Energy has already secured the coastline to build its power station. It has also teamed up with local partners, secured its power purchase agreement (PPA) from the local electrical company and has been given space on the grid so it can sell the energy produced.

"It was easy," laughed Yam Pro Energy's CEO, Zeev Peretz. "We negotiated (with Ghana) for many years, but in the end, we succeeded."

"The demand (for energy) is very big and I think it will help people (improve) their life."

Story from CNN.

Image courtesy Techbooky

Kenya, World Bank Consider $150 Million Off-Grid Power Project

Renewable energyKenya and the World Bank are in talks about financing a $150 million solar-and-wind project in the country's remote, off-grid northeastern region.

"We anticipate firm positions on where this project will be situated,” before inviting international bidders to tender, Ben Chumo, the managing director of electricity distributor Kenya Power Ltd., said in an interview recently in the capital, Nairobi.

The government of East Africa's biggest economy is building more power plants as it targets a tripling of capacity to 6,766 MW by 2020, from about 2,327 MW. Most of the new capacity will be from renewable sources, including geothermal, according to the state-run Energy Regulatory Commission.

Construction of the solar-and-wind project is expected to start by mid-2017, Chumo said. Electricity consumers in the remote northeastern region are currently served by diesel-fuel generation.

South Africa opts for sun and wind as green energy investments surge in developing world

South AfricaSouth Africans have long endured frequent power blackouts that can last for more than 12 hours at a time. The flickering lights severely hamper Africa's second-largest economy, as consumers stay at home, foreign investors pull back and factories lose out.

Plagued by these rolling blackouts, South Africa vowed in 2010 to launch a string of renewable energy projects that will deliver 18 gigawatts of power to the nation. This landmark decision to use renewables to keep the country's lights on means that South Africa is now on the cusp of a green energy transformation.

From 2014 to 2015, South Africa's investment in renewable energy rose by 329 per cent to $4.5 billion, one of the many reasons why last year was the time that investment in renewables – excluding hydro power – was higher in developing economies than in developed countries.

Renewable energy from sources like the wind and sun were once seen by some critics as a luxury affordable only in richer parts of the world. But South Africa and other developing economies are proving these critics wrong, according to a UNEP report released recently called Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016.

Culled from

Image courtesy of UN environment

300MW Solar Farm Project Approved in Queensland, Australia

SolarQueensland's Western Downs Regional Council has approved the largest solar energy project in the region to date, one that will create 400 local jobs during the construction phase.

The facility will be constructed near Columboola, between Miles and Chinchilla. Covering 540 hectares, the solar farm will generate an estimated 640,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity per annum; enough to power approximately 110,000 homes.

The 300MW clean power station will avoid approximately 518,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions each year. In addition to the hundreds of jobs during construction, five ongoing operational positions will also be created. This is the fourth large scale renewable energy project to be approved by Council for the region.

Culled from

South Africa basks in continent's first solar-powered airport

Airport in GeorgeAt first glance there's nothing out of the ordinary about the regional airport in George, a town of just 150,000 residents on South Africa's south coast. In fact, though, the small site is Africa's first "green" airport to be powered by the sun.

The control tower, escalators, check-in desks, baggage carousels, restaurants and ATMs—every service here depends on a small solar power station, located a few hundred metres away in a field of dandelions next to a runway. Its 2,000 solar panels produce up to 750 kW every day, easily surpassing the 400-kW needed to run the airport.

The excess is fed back into the municipal power grid, and a computer screen in the terminal informs passengers: "Within this month (September), 274 households were supplied through this system with green electricity." 

It now serves as a transit hub for shipments of home-grown flowers and oysters, as well as golfers visiting one of the region's many courses. Some 700,000 passengers pass through its doors each year. The solar plant, launched in September 2015, is the second solar-run airport in the world after Cochin airport in southern India.

Culled from

Kenya Taps Solar to Power Digital Learning

Solar energyIn one of the most ambitious rural electrification projects in Africa that has tapped the use of solar energy, the Kenyan government has completed connecting some 4,100 primary schools to power using solar PV systems.

Under the project a total of 22,249 schools have been connected to power, with 18,074 of those being connected using grid extension, while another 4,175 have been powered by solar PV systems in areas far away from grid power lines, a statement by the country's rural power body, Rural Electrification Authority (REA) said.

At the completion of this project, a total of Kshs 35 billion (U.S. $350 million) will have been spent,” the authority said a statement by REA CEO Ng'ng'a Munyu, underlining one of the heaviest expenditures on power infrastructure in the country in recent history.

Culled from

Ghana to get 200MW Wind Power

Wind PowerGhana's energy sector will receive a boost of 200 megawatts of wind power following Swiss wind farm developer NEK Umwelttechnik's plan to develop the Ayitepa Wind Farm to produce about 10 per cent of the country's total electricity generation capacity.

Speaking to Executives of NEK Umwelttechnik, the Ghana Energy and Petroleum Minister underscored the need for other energy sources to enhance generation capacity.

The Minister also noted that the wind power project is also in line with government's plan to generate 1o percent of the country's energy mix from renewable sources by 2020.

The Minister further urged management to ensure that all necessary licensing and requirements are met, adding that government has put in place investor friendly policies to ensure smooth execution of projects as this.

Eddie O'Connor, Mainstream Renewable Power CEO said his company's decision to invest in Ghana's renewable energy sector was influenced by the enthusiasm in America and Europe about Ghana and prospects in the energy sector.

Mr O'Connor and his team expect the Wind Farm project to begin generating electricity in less than 18 months from start of construction.

Culled from

Uganda launches East Africa's largest solar power plant

UgandaUganda has launched a 19 million U.S. dollar solar power plant in the remote eastern district of Soroti, of the country. The project which is the largest in East Africa, is the latest addition to Uganda's power generation plants, to feed its increasing demand for power as the east African country strives to fast track its development.

The plant run by Access Power Middle East and Africa and Luxembourg-based Eren Renewable Energy will power over 40,000 rural households in eastern Uganda.

Managing Director Project Origination at Access, Vahid Fotuhi, told Xinhua at the launch of the plant that although the station has a nominal capacity of 10MW, it is scalable to 20MW

The Ministry of energy figures show that electricity demand in Uganda is estimated to increase constantly at an average annual rate of about eight percent. Annually, 50MW of new generation capacity is needed to be added to the national grid in order to avoid supply shortages.

Culled from

Off Grid Electric raises USD 45m for distributed solar leasing in Africa

off gridOff Grid Electric has secured about USD 45 million (EUR 41.5m) in debt financing to support the installation of distributed solar and energy storage systems for African homes and small businesses.

The company, a solar installer with dual headquarters in Tanzania and the US, said recently that the Packard Foundation, Ceniarth, Calvert Foundation and other family offices will lend up to USD 40 million to a new investment vehicle, which is the first of its kind for distributed solar in Africa. At the same time, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will grant a further USD 5 million to the vehicle through its Development Innovation Ventures programme 

Through its solar leasing platform, Off Grid Electric installs solar arrays for more than 10,000 households and businesses each month. "We have pioneered a business model that allows consumers with no formal credit to use their existing energy budget to finance solar. We simply redirect funds they were already paying for kerosene and batteries to a solar lease payment,” said Xavier Helgesen, the company's co-founder and CEO.

The firm has partnered with the national government and Tanzanian Investment Centre to power one million households in Tanzania over the next three years.

As a result of the new financing vehicle, Off Grid Electric has now raised some USD 70 million in equity and debt funding this year, including the proceeds from its recent USD-25-million venture capital financing round. 

Culled from

Image courtesy of Mathieu Young

Strong Interest in Solar Panels and Batteries in Australia

TeslaA recent survey in Australia revealed 34% of respondents were considering installing solar panels and 27% are contemplating battery storage. While uptake of solar power in Australia has been strong for years, there are still plenty of rooftops around the country being under-utilised. This valuable rooftop real estate could be put to good use in generating electricity – and it seems there are still plenty of households interested in doing so within the next 5 years.

The results of the survey, carried out for Energy Consumers Australia and KPMG, were first reported in The Sydney Morning Herald recently. 

With regard to battery storage, 41% of those considering purchasing batteries strongly agreed less dependence on mains electricity was a factor in their decision. Other factors included reducing household electricity bills, making the most of solar-generated electricity and issues relating to the level of solar feed in tariffs.

Culled from

Image courtesy of TESLA.

Africa Australia Technology + Infrastructure Conference 2017

Theme: Powering Africa Through Micro-grids & Off-grid Renewable Energy.

Join us at the Africa Australia Technology + Infrastructure Conference 2017 in Perth. The 2-Day international event will enable you network with decision-makers from African countries and Australia. The prospects for micro-grids & off-grid renewable energy business opportunities in Africa cannot be over emphasized; indeed, this is the start of a new beginning with Australian stakeholders. 

Registration for AATIC 2017 & Micro-grid Masterclass will open online in April 2017.

Download the AATIC 2017 Program draft here

Venue: Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCIWA), Perth, Western Australia.

Dates: Monday 4th & Tuesday 5th September 2017

Micro-Grid Masterclass

Be part of the inaugural Micro-Grid Masterclass immediately following AATIC 2017.

You will learn about different micro-grid technologies ranging from solar, wind, modular, hybrid, power storage technology, project management and maintenance methodologies.

Dates: Wednesday 6th & Thursday 7th September 2017:

Venue: Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCIWA), Perth, Western Australia. 

Register your interest here

For sponsorship and participation inquiries:

Contact Founder: Mr. Frank Aneke.


mobile: +61 (0)401 808 739.



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