Sector News – March 2017


Pay-as-you-go solar and microgrids considered new class of infrastructure investment, Energy Transition – the Global Energiewende

Andrew Burger of Microgrid Media looks at international developments in solar power. In particular, mini and micro-grids are key for emerging economies. In Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, and more, people are taking advantage of cheap renewables.

4 Clean Energy Finance Lessons For Impact Investors, Medium

In 2017, foundations and other motivated investors need to get off the sidelines and start investing in clean technology in emerging markets.

Energy storage can open doors to clean energy solutions in emerging markets, the World Bank

For over a hundred years, electrical grids have been built with the assumption that electricity has to be generated, transmitted, distributed, and used in real time because energy storage was not economically feasible. This is now beginning to change.

#EnergyMatters: Why Refugees Deserve Better, African Clean Energy

At the end of 2014, the number of displaced people reached an unprecedented 59.5 million, a near 40 million increase in the span of one decade, primarily due to conflict and war. As the number of displaced individuals steadily increases, there is a decline of provisions for basic human needs. Many of these provisions are being met inadequately and inefficiently through ad hoc alternative resources which are usually unreliable and have high potential for causing damage to health and the environment.


Turning sunshine to energy ‘more possible, less expensive’ than ever, Thomson Reuters Foundation

A “solar revolution” is coming to Africa, comparable in scale and importance to the rapid surge in mobile phone use on the continent two decades ago, predicts the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Africa can’t afford to wait for energy investment, claims Kofi Annan report, PV Tech

Africa cannot wait for the development of electricity infrastructure and should exploit more quickly deployable solutions such as solar PV, according to a report by Kofi Annan’s Africa Progress Panel.

As solar refrigerator keeps mangoes cold, farmers’ profits heat up, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Solar-powered cold storage and biological pest control are helping protect Kenya’s mangoes from climate change.

Mobile Money Not As Useful As Expected For Banking Poorer, Rural Africans, AFK Insider

Kenya’s banks came together this month to launch PesaLink, a new platform that will be integrated into all banks in the country, allowing users to seamlessly send money from one bank to another.

Kenya Power’s rural electrification program on pause, ESI Africa

State-owned power utility, Kenya Power’s rural electrification program, also known as the Last Mile Connectivity Project, is currently on hold and will resume in July.

Switching on Finance for Off-Grid Energy, Global Network Perspectives

A new report explores the issues and opportunities related to the financing of off-grid energy innovations, primarily focusing on the provision of small home systems for individual households or village microgrids in East and Southern Africa.

Nigeria: Federal Government to issue Green Bonds to fund N52bn climate-friendly projects, Ecofin Agency

The Federal Government of Nigeria has identified climate-friendly projects valued at N52 billion ($165 million), according to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Bukar Hassan.

meeco installs largest PV plant in Zimbabwe, PV Tech

Swiss-based renewable energy company The meeco Group have installed the largest solar plant in Zimbabwe. The project boasts a generation capacity of 216kW and marks a major turning point for a country strongly dependant on fossil fuels. The mecco Group recently equipped the facility of a Zimbabwean company with its solar power solution, sun2live.

Solar Systems Improve Services for Aweil Citizens, UNDP in South Sudan

Current economic challenges facing South Sudan have had a particularly profound effect in Aweil, located in north western South Sudan, near the international border with the Republic of Sudan. Due to its location and nationwide supply issues, fuel remains very expensive and difficult to get in Aweil. With limited resources to power its generators, the local government encountered extreme issues recently with performing its duties as expected due to lack of electricity in its offices.

Namibia: Renewable energy answer to multi-faceted energy needs, New Era

For a geographically large and low population density country like Namibia it is not practical to connect everyone through the national grid in a time-bound manner. Therefore, the country needs to make serious efforts towards off-grid generation facilities, and renewable energy might offer an excellent solution for off-grid connectivity.

Solar-powered cinema opens in Burkina ahead of festival, Daily Mail

A solar-powered cinema was unveiled in Burkina Faso ahead of Ouagadougou’s hosting of Africa’s top film festival, even as movie theatres on the continent continue to disappear.


Vietnam among nations taking lead in clean energy – World Bank, VN Express International

Vietnam is emerging as a leader in the global race to switch to sustainable energy by 2030, the World Bank said.

Cheap solar ambulances to speed into service in rural Bangladesh, Thomson Reuters Foundation

An inexpensive, solar-powered ambulance that can fit down narrow laneways is set to hit the road in rural Bangladesh this year, its manufacturers say.

Tata Power Solar nearly doubles manufacturing capacity in Bangalore, PV Tech

Integrated PV firm Tata Power Solar has doubled its module manufacturing capacity and raised its cell capacity by 65% at its plant in Bangalore, southern India.

India: New battery tech to bolster off-grid solar plants, the Hindu Business Line

New technology for batteries will soon electrify India’s off-grid power facilities. The Institute of Transformative Technologies (ITT) is currently working on three different battery types in the hope of reducing cost and increasing the lifespan of batteries.

India: Solar systems made mandatory in all private schools in Haryana, the Hans India

In a move to enhance self-sufficiency, the Haryana Government has made mandatory for all private schools to install solar systems. The government is also doling out a special grant at a rate of Rs 20,000 per kilowatt to schools complying with the orders.

India: Solar Mini-grids Approved for 19 Chhattisgarh Villages, the Pioneer

A total of 19 remote villages have been approved for creation of solar ‘mini grids’ to provide them access to power supply as of February 2017 in Chhattisgarh, the Central Government has informed.

Mahagenco proposes separate solar feeders for farmers, the Indian Express

The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Ltd (Mahagenco) has floated tenders to set up separate solar feeders for the agriculture sector. It is one of the most ambitious projects of the state government. A pilot project to this effect had already been successfully set up in Sangamner Tehsil of Ahmednagar.

Sky Electric launches Smart Energy System to provide affordable energy in Pakistan, Techjuice

The US-based company has launched its operations in Pakistan to provide clean solar energy. The company addresses the power challenges faced by the country through the renewable source of energy. The Smart Energy System (SES) combines the technology with solar grid to provide high quality and cleaner energy at an affordable cost.

Malaysia installed 32MW solar under FiTs in 2016, PV Tech

Malaysia installed 31.78MW of solar PV under its Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) scheme last year. This brings its cumulative installed solar capacity under the FiT regime to 294.85MW. Also under FiTs, the nation’s cumulative renewable energy capacity has reached 458MW.

Middle East

Upsolar to provide 23MW of modules for Turkey PV plant, PV Tech

Upsolar will be providing 87,630 of its UP-M270P modules for the Hilvan Enerji project. Source: Upsolar

Global PV module producer Upsolar will provide 23.6MW of modules for a solar plant in Hilvan, Sanliurfa, Turkey.

Latin America / the Caribbean

 North America

SunLink secures US$10 million credit facility with Heritage Bank of Commerce, PV Tech

Solar power company SunLink announced Wednesday that it has agreed to a financial deal with Heritage Bank of Commerce to provide an expanded line of credit and other financial services in an effort to spur expansion.

New York sees 800% surge in solar, PV Tech

New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced that state-supported solar power has increased nearly 800% over the last five years.

Caterpillar solar PV to backbone Illinois microgrid, Decentralized Energy

Caterpillar has announced that Cat dealer Altorfer has commissioned a 1000 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system in Rantoul, Illinois, US.

California city mandates solar or mitigation fee for all new-builds, PV Tech

Lancaster, a charter city in northern Los Angeles, has passed an ordinance that requires new-build homes to hit net energy standards by having rooftop arrays or paying a mitigation fee.


Europe strongly advancing renewable energies in Africa, the European Commission

The European Commission continues its leading role in the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, in line with its wider efforts in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

EPS: New Storage System Microgrid Connected in Sardinia, Reducing Emissions by 14 Thousand Tons of Co2, BUSINESS WIRE

Electro Power Systems S.A. (“EPS”), a technology pioneer in energy-storage systems and microgrids listed on the French-regulated market Euronext Paris, announces the starting of the commissioning of a new energy storage system microgrid-connected in Sardinia, Italy.

Steel drum contains a complete solar charging station for off-grid & remote power, TreeHugger

The Solar Charging Can has a self-contained solar power hub inside it that can be set up in about half an hour for events, off-grid situations, or emergency power.


How a Pacific Island Changed From Diesel to 100% Solar Power, National Geographic

The island of Ta’u in American Samoa now boasts a solar microgrid from Tesla’s SolarCity.