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Sector News – October 2016 | Energy Access Practitioner Network

News

Sector News – October 2016

SECTOR NEWS

Global

The growing influence of telecom companies in off-grid markets, Solar Plaza

The growing use of mobile money solutions for electricity tariff payment is redefining the solar off-grid market in regions such as Africa. Here, mobile money services have seen a tremendous growth over the last decade.


Off-grid renewables: the sustainable route to 100% global electricity access, the Ecologist

Off-grid renewable energy is key to achieving the global goal of 100% electricity access by 2030, writes Adnan Z. Amin, and to achieving the emissions reductions enshrined in the Paris Agreement. Thankfully, a confluence of factors – including rapid cost declines and impressive technology innovations – are making this goal more achievable than ever, and investment in the sector is taking off.


Solving energy poverty through an off-grid solar electricity revolution, How We Made It In Africa

Energy poverty is an enormous challenge that we must address if we are to ensure universal access to affordable and clean energy. More than one billion people currently live without access to electricity. Changing this fact requires us to involve the entire energy ecosystem and combat the status quo within governments, the kerosene mafias and customers. However, the declining costs of solar energy and the ubiquity of mobile technology offer a unique opportunity to rise to this challenge. Acumen CEO Jacqueline Novogratz argues that we can make no more important bet than building an off-grid energy ecosystem aimed at providing energy to those living in poverty without electricity.


Total corporate funding in the solar sector in Q3 2016 was $3 billion: Mercom Capital Group, Saur Energy International

Mercom Capital Group has released a report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the solar sector in the third quarter of 2016. According to the global clean energy communications and consulting firm, total corporate funding, including venture capital and private equity (VC) funding, public market and debt financing into the solar sector in Q3 2016 was up to about $3 billion in 45 deals, compared to $1.7B in 32 deals in Q2 2016.


Africa

Five lessons from Kenya’s energy access boom, Thomson Reuters Foundation News

Kenya’s market for decentralized renewables is the fastest-moving in Africa. Already 15 to 20 percent of Kenyan households use solar lighting, and the country is home to a pioneering green mini-grids program, thousands of biodigesters and 3,000 megawatts (MW) of micro-hydro systems.


Africa’s portable solar revolution is thwarting thieves, the Guardian

More secure supplies of electricity are helping to spawn new industries in rural Africa by enabling reliable refrigeration and irrigation.


Why Google Cares about Wind Power in Africa, Scientific American

Google Inc.’s investment in Kenya’s Lake Turkana Wind Power Project is its largest on the African continent to date, but it almost certainly won’t be the last. The California internet giant has shown a growing interest in sub-Saharan Africa since it made its first cash outlay three years ago – a $12 million investment in the Jasper Solar Power Project in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province.


Africa’s first fully solar powered airport costs just over $1.2 million, pulse.ng

South Africa’s George Airport has become Africa’s first solar powered airport. The airport is also only the second airport of its kind in the world after India’s Cochin Airport. About 2000 solar panels provide the airport with 750Kw of energy daily, though the airport requires only 450Kw to run its operations.


How do you charge your phone when the sun doesn’t shine?, BBC News

Seeing our mobile phone running low on juice can induce near panic in many of us these days – we’ve become so reliant on them. So imagine what it’s like living in a remote village whose only electricity comes from solar power. What do you do when the sun doesn’t shine?


Siemens plans off-grid power solutions in Nigeria, PUNCH

Siemens Limited has said it is looking to deploy off-grid power solutions in Nigeria as part of efforts to promote energy efficiency in the country.


First solar-powered bubble driers for Kenya, CIAT

Kenya’s first solar-powered “bubble” drier, which improves bean quality and commercial value, retaining nutritious qualities before they are turned into a porridge flour, is here. It has been installed as part of a project to fight malnutrition among vulnerable urban and rural consumers.


Accra Brewery builds irrigation system for farmers, Ghana News Agency

Accra Brewery Limited (ABL) has handed over a solar powered irrigation plant to farmers of Gbi Avega in the Hohoe Municipality. The project, under the “Eagle Farmer Project”, is aimed at supporting rural farmers with a mechanized borehole to help them carry their activities in lean seasons.


Introducing Pay-as-you-go solar products to Benin, SNV

In Benin, a small country in West Africa, most people in rural areas are not connected to the electricity grid and depend on dirty and costly kerosene lanterns or short-lasting battery powered lamps for lighting. They also spend significant amounts of money (550 FCFA – or around $1 – a week according to an SNV inquiry) on charging their phones at local kiosks. Solar lanterns with phone charging capabilities could be an ideal replacement for these energy needs. SNV spoke with many rural households in Benin and found out that demand for such products is high. Especially Greenlight Planet’s Sun King products were popular, but potential customers did not have the cash available to pay for these products in full up front and would prefer paying in installments.


JCS Investments launch solar kiosks in Ghana, Citi FM Online

JCS Investments Limited has introduced into the Ghanaian market the first locally manufactured solar kiosk in Ghana.


Asia

Off-grid solar can be game-changer for electricity access in Central Asia, Asian Development Blog

Solar rooftops are popping up everywhere. Many consumers in the developed world are generating and producing their own electricity, and leaving their grid connection as a lifestyle choice. Off-grid electrification is today a viable alternative to grid-based electricity.


Good Solar campaign powers up off-the-grid advantages, Stuff Cambodia

A nationwide campaign to help raise awareness of the benefits of solar energy in rural Cambodia has been hosting events in communities around the provinces since July. More than 10,000 people in Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu and Siem Reap have attended the events so far.


Malaysia’s third largest mobile operator DiGi is testing clean energy solar power and fuel cell technology for off grid sites, FuelCellsWorks

Digi is spearheading a proof of concept to test the use of a combined solar power and hybrid hydrogen fuel cell system to power off-grid base stations and replacing or reducing the use of diesel generators.


Schneider offers solar lamps in rural Tutong, the Brunei Times

Sixty-year-old Angkit Bukuh never had proper access to electricity other than switching on generators or wiring car batteries to her house for day-to-day commodities. For the first time in her life, the born-and-bred Tutong Iban witnessed solar-powered lamps being installed at her home that nestles deep inside the forest.


Middle East

Israeli solar tech could make clean water a global reality, the Jerusalem Post

The Jerusalem-based SunDwater, whose standalone system harnesses heat through concentrated solar power, now has two fully operational pre-production models purifying water in the Arava Desert.


Latin America / the Caribbean

Island in the Sun: Saint Lucia Goes Solar, the Huffington Post

The public residence of the Governor-General of Saint Lucia, a small island nation, is about to get an upgrade. As a part of reaching the nation’s target of generating 35 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, the Government of Saint Lucia is partnering with the nonprofit Solar Head of State to install a solar PV system on the roof of Government House – Saint Lucia’s equivalent of the White House.


Chile mines to turn greener, says power auction winner Mainstream, Reuters

Mining in Chile, which consumes over 30 percent of the nation’s power, much of it via dirty sources like coal, could become a lot greener as the industry turns to wind and solar energy to cut costs, the local chief of Mainstream Renewable Power told Reuters.


North America

Ideal Power’s solar-plus-storage microgrid solution for US Air Force, PV Tech

Ideal Power, a power conversion expert, has partnered with EnerDel and its lithium-ion batteries to create a mobile solar-plus-storage microgrid for the US Air Force.


Europe

THEnergy closes financing gap for mid-sized off-grid solar and wind power plants, PV Magazine

Backed by a German investor, THEnergy will build a pipeline of solar- and wind-diesel hybrid plants, focusing on USD 1-4 million investments per site.


Eltek brings solar power to the Arctic, Eltek

In the land of eternal winter Eltek has turned a telco site hybrid to lower operator cost and ease the impact of a fragile environment.


Oceania

No internet, no power, no problem. Solar library empowers schools abroad, ASU Full Circle

Many islands in the Pacific Ocean lack two things that are essential for accessing information and performing educational pursuits: a library and the internet.


Pumped on solar: How Australian farmers are harvesting the sun to water their fields, One Step Off The Grid

In the renewables backlash triggered by South Australia’s recent energy market woes, certain media reports painted farmers, dependent as they are on reliable and affordable power, as some of the nation’s biggest critics of wind and solar proliferation.


Kangaroo Island could be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, Phys.Org

South Australia’s iconic Kangaroo Island could be powered by up to 100 percent renewable energy at a comparable cost to replacing the aging undersea electrical cable connecting the island to the mainland grid, a new study announced today.


Residents of ‘Eua soon to reduce diesel fuel consumption due to its solar farm, Tonga Broadcasting Commission

Tonga Power Limited will soon reduce expenses on diesel fuel for generating electricity in ‘Eua after setting up its 200-kilowatt solar farm.