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Sector News – February 2016 | Energy Access Practitioner Network

News

Sector News – February 2016

Why energy is a priority in sustainable development, Sci Dev Net

Access to safe and sustainable energy is of vital importance to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), says Marcel Alers, global head of energy at the UN Development Programme (UNDP).


Team of Researchers Launch Yearlong Study of Uganda’s Energy Ladder

Anecdotal evidence in the world of off-grid lighting solutions in developing countries has pointed to a presumed “energy ladder,” in which first-time buyers of small solar-powered products such as solar lanterns then make follow on purchases of  larger and more expensive solar home systems. For the first time, a research team from Humboldt State University in the United States is taking a rigorous look at this assumption. Over the course of the next 12 months, researchers from the University’s Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) will conduct a study in Uganda, with funding from UNCDF’s CleanStart Programme to determine actual experience in the Ugandan context. The results will be published in 2017. The research initiative is jointly supported by UNCDF’s CleanStart Programme, Acumen, the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association and GSMA.


Africa “could be the first continent to go green”: Kofi Annan, Africa Progress Panel

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan indicated that “Africa has the possibility of being the first continent to become a green continent” in his recent remarks about the ‘New Deal on Energy for Africa’ during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.


West Africa off-grid solar venture gets US$3.4 million investment boost, PV Tech

Ghana-based pay-as-you-go solar firm, Persistent Energy Ghana (PEG) has raised GHS13.2 million (US$3.4 million) to expand its presence in the West African country. The firm, which targets remote and rural communities, is aiming to install 500,000 systems in West Africa over the next five years.


6 initiatives tackling African electrification, Devex Impact

Continued African economic growth will hinge on the availability of the power and electricity needed to ignite industries and enable everyday business activity throughout the continent.


Kenya: UK Team Opposes Free Solar Kits Deal for Kenyans, All Africa

Results from recent UK government sponsored research led by the Overseas Development Institute and sanctioned by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) have led to opposition to a planned donation of two million free solar kits for low income Kenyans planned in a deal between the Kenyan government and a Canadian based company, Sky Power, saying this could wipe out businesses in the sector.


As fuel crisis grips Nepal, solar industry eyes growth, Economic Times

After enduring endless blackouts in Nepal’s longstanding and ongoing national fuel crisis, management consultant Pankaj Shrestha finally splurged on a set of solar panels for his home in Kathmandu.


Tanzania: REA Pledges to Support Mini-Grid Electricity Suppliers, All Africa

Tanzania’s Rural Energy Agency (REA) and the Swedish Development Agency (SIDA) have both pledged their support to the Tanzanian micro-grid sector.


Foreign assistance vital in boosting energy in Myanmar, the Nation

Energy sector officials in Myanmar call for ongoing financial and technical assistance from foreign governments and institutions stating such support will be as important as foreign direct investment (FDI) in boosting Myanmar’s power sector development.


Bangladesh: Country’s first-ever battery charging solar station opens, the Financial Express

The country’s first-ever battery charging solar station started its journey Friday in Keraniganj. Food Minister Advocate Quamrul Islam and State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu opened the solar station set up on the roof of Sunny Filling Station at Ruhitpur in Keraniganj upazila. The 21-KWP capacity solar station was installed at a cost of Tk5.1 million under a government pilot project. According to officials, the solar station could charge 20 to 25 battery-operated vehicles at a time. 


Rwandan Entrepreneur’s Solar-Powered Mobile Kiosks Charge Phones, Create Jobs, AFK Insider

Mobile phones are essential in Rwanda. More than 70 percent of the population owns a one and many people own two or more. Yet, just 22 percent of people have access to electricity, meaning they have trouble charging all these phones, according to the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority. This is where entrepreneur Henri Nyakarundi saw a niche. His business, African Renewable Energy Distributor (ARED), consists of solar-powered charging kiosks that provide phone charging as well as airtime and mobile money transfers. He has developed a franchise system where people run his kiosks as their own businesses.


Bright ideas: Exploring the importance of light on learning, Euro News

More than 60,000 schools in Latin America lack access to electricity. However one project is helping light up lives and minds in rural schools and their local communities.


This Solar-Powered Streetlight Also Zaps Mosquitoes, the Atlantic City Lab

Innovations in street lighting are not always the kind of scientific discoveries that get the masses jumping for joy. But researchers at Malaysia’s University of Malaya have come up with a particularly cool and multitasking streetlight, one with an extra-bright LED light powered by the sun and wind that—bonus!—also happens to trap and kill mosquitos.


Kopernik: Going the last mile, the Jakarta Post

Putting in the hard yards to deliver simple, clean energy technology to remote communities has earned a US$1.5 million prize for Indonesia-based not-for-profit organization Kopernik.


Powerhive Is Bringing Clean Energy To The Developing World—With Prepaid Solar, Fast Company

The remote village of Monomoni, Kenya, is too far from cities and too sparsely populated to be part of the national grid. Now, however, it’s possible for a family of cow herders or a small business to buy prepaid solar power through a mobile phone.


Rwanda: Firm to Invest Rwf37 Billion in Lighting Up Rural Homes, All Africa

At least 250,000 households could soon get access to electricity, thanks to a new deal between the Government of Rwanda and Ignite Power Ltd, a Mauritian firm engaged in large-scale deployment of clean energy solutions in Africa.


Morocco to switch on first phase of world’s largest solar plant, the Guardian

Morocco’s king will switch on the first phase of a concentrated solar power plant on Thursday that will become the world’s largest when completed. The power station on the edge of the Saharan desert will be the size of the country’s capital city by the time it is finished in 2018, and provide electricity for 1.1 million people.


Rural households can own solar lighting system at just Rs 18, Imphal Free Press

A young entrepreneur from Khonghampat Mantri Leikai, has set out to light every villages in Manipur launching his ambitious project to “create 100 solar villages in Manipur 2016-17’ at a very affordable price.


EnSync’s Distributed Energy Management Successfully Powers Off-Grid Agricultural Project in Hawaii, Press Release

EnSync Energy Systems, a leading developer of innovative energy management systems serving the commercial, industrial and multi-tenant building markets, announces the ongoing successful operation of a distributed energy project utilizing EnSync’s energy management system integrated with solar PV and Aquion Energy’s Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI™) batteries to power an agricultural installation at Mari’s Garden in Mililani, Hawaii. Continually operating for more than four months, EnSync’s technology is providing power for water pumps critical to supporting 24/7 hydroponics and aquaponics fishery operations.


New tariff policy can be a significant reform for the power and renewable sector; Bridge to India

Last week, India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved amendments to the National Tariff Policy 2005 (refer). While the policy document has not yet been released, the draft version issued by the Ministry of Power in April 2015 is available (refer). This policy is meant to guide central and state regulators for determining tariffs and other regulations.


Maharashtra government approves off-grid energy policy, Business Standard

Maharashtra Cabinet (in India) on Monday approved integrated solar off-grid energy policy to encourage use of new and renewable energy. The policy aims to enhance use of green energy to preserve environment and curb the burgeoning issue of waste disposal.


West Australia looks to solar-storage micro-grids to replace poles and wires after bushfires, REnew Economy

The West Australian government and its state-owned network operator Western Power is facing what has been described as the biggest restoration job in its history following the January bush fires, which were sparked by lightning and damaged or destroyed 873 power poles, 77 transmission poles, 44 transformers and up to 50 kilometers of overhead power lines.