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Sector News – November 2016 | Energy Access Practitioner Network

News

Sector News – November 2016

Global

Bank of America Charitable Foundation Provides $500,000 Grant to GivePower Foundation to Help Provide Solar Energy to Communities in Developing Countries, PR Newswire

GivePower Foundation, a non-profit organization that uses solar energy technologies to deliver essential community services to the developing world, was awarded a second $500,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, totaling $1 million in grant funding in the past year. Funds from the new grant will support GivePower’s expansion into seven strategic sectors – education, water, health, food security, economic development, telecommunications and conservation – and help provide the equipment, training and labor for solar installations across the globe. The donation is part of the continued partnership between Bank of America Charitable Foundation and GivePower Foundation, which together have brought light to nearly 1,000 schools and communities since 2015.


Tesla’s price shock: Solar + battery as cheap as grid power, REnew Economy

Last week, Tesla launched their Powerwall 2.0 residential battery storage system, a little less than a year after Powerwall 1.0.


SolarCity Has a Plan to Unlock Tomorrow’s Electric Grid, Green Tech Media

Tesla’s solar roof and Powerwall 2.0 announcements show that new products are critical to raising the profile of clean energy. But recently, there’s been a shift in focus away from individual technologies and toward a broader range of products and services that can serve many functions on the electric grid. Ultimately, Tesla and SolarCity want their individual technologies to meet this need.


Six innovative wind turbine designs, Engadget

The International Energy Association (IEA) announced last week that renewable energy capacity around the globe has eclipsed coal power for the first time ever. Wind power makes up a large percentage of global renewable energy, and with all the recent technological innovations in wind turbine design, it’s no mystery that it’s become the fastest-growing form of clean energy. With refined technology, engineers have developed new devices that are more efficient and safer for birds. Some wind turbines can even continue to generate energy while the air is still.


Africa

The uptake of off-grid solar systems in Africa, Climate Action UNEP

In Africa 60 million people are using off-grid solar panel systems for cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy. According to statistics from IRENA, 10 percent of the 600 million people living off-grid in Africa now use clean solar energy to power their homes.


Emergence of a commercial market for mini-grids in Africa, ESI Africa

Given the $37 billion (in cash, not opportunity cost) that the IFC estimates is spent annually on meeting basic household energy needs, there is certainly a market for better solutions.


Africa’s green energy challenge: mega projects, off-grid or somewhere in between?, Ensia

A 310-megawatt wind farm sprouting up in a remote, barren landscape near Lake Turkana in northern Kenya has the clean energy world buzzing — and for good reason.


Masiyiwa: Green investment is the only bet, the Africa Report

In every sphere of life, Africans are great innovators and entrepreneurs. You only have to step into an African market to see and hear that ingenuity. But every entrepreneur needs investment, and that’s where things often get tough in Africa. Investment is hard to come by, whether you’re a small trader trying to open a bank account or a company trying to get a loan so it can grow.


Solar firm PEG Africa raises $1.5m debt round, Disrupt Africa

Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar provider PEG Africa has announced a US$1.5 million debt raise to fund the purchase of solar home systems that will reach 75,000 people in Ghana. PEG has established itself as the largest PAYG financing company in Ghana, providing loans for solar home systems and other useful assets to off-grid households.


Tanzania: 40,000 Homes ‘To Get Power From Mini-Grids’, All Africa

Over 40,000 households in 160 villages across the country would be connected with electricity by 2020 through mini-grids to be installed by PowerCorner Tanzania, a firm established in 2015 to provide energy access to the rural areas.


Solar Energy Lights Up Zambia, Power Africa

After a World Bank power auction made Zambia the home of the cheapest grid-scale solar power in Africa, financiers are moving in to invest in the next hot spot of solar energy.


Seven off-grid solar projects being developed in Senegal, PV Magazine

As off-grid solar booms in East Africa, seven villages in Western African nation Senegal are preparing to start benefiting from off-grid solar solutions, as non-profit organization Solar Village Project begins preparations to install solar arrays within the communities.


SolarWorld signs 20 MW module supply agreement for Senegal solar plant, PV Magazine

The German module manufacturer will begin delivering the modules in time for March next year. The solar plant is to be located 100 kilometers from Senegal’s capital, Dakar.


How Nigeria is expanding its solar footprints, Solar Plaza

The tone of the conversation around utility-scale solar power in Nigeria is changing. Complicated conditions for fossil-based grid generation provide the needed motivation for the government and private sector to further explore clean-tech power.


Selling solar lighting products in Nigeria with the aid of D-Lab’s Off-Grid Energy Group, D-Lab

The D-Lab Off-Grid Energy Group supports the development of energy access programs driven by community-based organizations by creating publicly available resources and providing technical assistance. One such resource is the Solar Lighting Product Comparison, which provides consumers and distributors information more than 60 products ranging from solar lanterns to solar power and lighting systems capable of powering small appliances.


Nigeria: Groups seek zero tariffs on renewable energy products, the Guardian

Following the dearth of funding from the Nigerian government and donor agencies for research into alternative energy sources, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) have urged the government to grant zero tariffs on renewable energy products for greater energy access in the country.


Malo: Decentralized renewables can rapidly accelerate energy access, the Guardian

Ify Malo is the Campaign Director for Power For All in Nigeria and Co-founder of the Clean Tech Hub. In this interview with Emeka Anuforo, she spoke of a neglected potential for improved electricity access in Nigeria.


Taste of solar power builds appetite for more in Kenya, survey finds, Reuters

Fuel seller Nancy Kaisa has for years used solar power to light her premises at the Entasopia shopping center in Kajiado, in southern Kenya. But recently she’s started using energy from a solar mini-grid system to operate her fuel pumps and meet her other energy needs, ditching her diesel generator.


Vulcan Impact Investing Makes its Mark with Rural Kenya Solar Mini-grids, Microgrid Media

New business names, terms and buzzwords seem to be created even faster than technological innovations these days as executives and entrepreneurs seek to develop an organizational ¨culture,¨ craft an image and influence public perception and decision-making. Examples include impact investing, an evocative, yet somewhat nebulous, term that GIIN (Global Impact Investing Network) defines as follows: ¨Impact investments are investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.¨


Fighting grain loss, new solar biomass hybrid dryer to the rescue, Joy News

How it started is irrelevant; the bottom line is how farmers get their farm produce safe and secure to the market center, after harvest. There are general concerns about what farmers in Africa go through to recoup the huge investment they make on acres of farmlands.


Asia

ADB, Myanmar Launch Off-Grid Renewable Energy System in Mandalay, ADB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Myanmar inaugurated a solar photovoltaic (PV) mini-grid system in Mandalay.


Energy access and a light-bulb moment: How stronger collaboration on renewables will benefit the Asia-Pacific region, Asia & the Pacific Policy Society

The emergence of new ideas, technological advancements and innovative market-driven financing solutions has lent confidence to the idea that universal access to energy services is attainable. This is particularly good news in the Asia-Pacific region, where, despite making significant contributions to global growth and poverty reduction since 2000, nearly half a billion citizens still have no access to modern energy, principally in rural and far-flung areas. Three-quarters of these people live in South Asia alone. Some 70 per cent of the Pacific island households are un-electrified, a level similar to sub-Saharan Africa. The lack of electricity and clean cooking options marginalizes predominantly remote and slum communities, which are trapped in energy poverty, preventing them from stepping on the first rung of the ladder to prosperity.


Panasonic Provides Solar Storage Power Package to Off-Grid Areas, Myanmar Business Today

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic Corp has provided a standalone photovoltaic power package to the village of Yin Ma Chaung in Magway Region.


World Bank outlines extent of Bangladeshi power investment, Power Engineering International

The World Bank has been heavily active in attempting to transform power generation capacity in Bangladesh, a sector that has been neglected for decades. Nearly two-fifths of Bangladesh‘s 160 million people do not have access to electricity, according to the bank, which has outlined just how much investment and support resource is going to address the issue.


Edotco installs wind turbines in mobile phone towers, the Financial Express

Aiming to provide power in the remote coastal areas of Bangladesh, mobile phone tower company edotco Bangladesh installed two wind turbines in Shah Porir Dwip, Teknaf and Cox’s Bazar recently.


Harnessing energy from the sun, wind and tides on offshore Semakau Landfill, the Straits Times

SINGAPORE – Harnessing energy from the sun, wind or tides for conversion into electricity is already possible. But making them work together in an integrated system disconnected from a main power grid used to be just a theory – until now. Scientists from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) are building the region’s first large-scale, offshore power grid system on Semakau Landfill, taking up about 64,000 sq m of land, roughly the size of about eight soccer fields.


Latin America / the Caribbean

Microgrid Rebuilding Continues as Haiti Struggles to Recover from Hurricane Matthew, Microgrid Knowledge

The Virginia-based National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is mounting an effort to repair a microgrid in Coteaux pummeled by Hurricane Matthew, leaving the 1,200 co-op members it served without power for an expected two months or longer.


Argentina kicks off major rural off-grid solar tender, Recharge

Argentina expects to conclude tendering by the end of this month for what it claims will be the world’s largest rural electrification program to feature rooftop solar. The tender covers the installation by mid-2017 of 7,500 off-grid rooftop PV arrays in rural areas of eight provinces in the South American nation.


North America

USDA to Provide $3.6B in Loans for Rural Electric Projects, Power

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will provide $3.6 billion in loans to fund 82 projects in 31 states to finance new transmission and distribution lines, smart grid technologies, renewable projects, environmental improvements, and energy efficiency.


Oceania

Solar power drives financial inclusion: MiBank pilots affordable solar loans platform in Papua New Guinea, One Papua New Guinea

A new pilot partnership in Papua New Guinea providing affordable green energy has the potential to drive the adoption and usage of financial services among rural low-income Papua New Guineans.


ARENA backs world-leading solar plus wind plus storage project in Queensland, PV Magazine

A world-leading project that will combine solar PV, wind energy and battery storage, and which could ultimately be one of the biggest power stations in Queensland, has received financial support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.