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Top Stories – April 2016 | Energy Access Practitioner Network

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Top Stories – April 2016

Clean Energy Ministerial will feature parallel event on energy access

The seventh annual Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7) will bring together energy ministers and other high-level delegates from the 23 CEM member countries and the European Commission, an opportunity for major economies to collaborate on solutions that advance clean energy globally and demonstrate tangible follow-up actions to COP 21.

A parallel program, EnergyAccessX, will focus on the critical role of clean technologies and distributed renewables in advancing universal energy access. Co-located with CEM7 in San Francisco on June 1, EnergyAccessX will gather a unique mix of entrepreneurs, thought leaders, technologists, designers and policy experts from around the world to challenge conventional wisdom and put forth a compelling new vision for achieving the global goal of universal access to modern energy services by 2030. EnergyAccessX is supported by the CEM’s Global LEAP initiativeUK Department for International Development, and Power for All; the Host Committee includes EnergyAccessSF, United Nations Foundation, Sustainable Energy for All, GOGLA and Power Africa.

This first-of-its-kind event will tackle forward-looking topics, including the intersection of energy access with emerging technology and business areas such as big data, design thinking, and energy storage for the off-grid context. For example:

  • Beyond the Grid: Emerging Markets and Utilities of the Future
  • Disruptive Development: How Energy Changes Everything
  • The Revolution Will Be Decentralized: The Policies Changing Energy

This is an invitation-only event. Space is limited – please reach out to info@powerforall.org to express interest or for more information.


 

March highlights from Power Africa

On March 11, Power Africa and the Government of Canada (under its new Liberal Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to increase sustainable energy access in sub-Saharan Africa. Intended areas of cooperation include: sharing information and exploring opportunities to collaborate in investments in multilateral financing and project preparation facilities; coordinating commitments under the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative; expanding the number of Canadian transaction advisors, outreach to Canadian companies; and support to gender inclusive growth in the power sector.

Construction of USAID Liberia’s remaining three pilot Beyond the Grid projects, with a total capacity of 1.2 MW targeting at least 3,000 rural connections, is in progress. The Mein River hydro project is under construction until 2018; the Kwendin biomass project is under construction until July 2016; and the Sorlumba crude palm oil project is under construction until May 2016.

On March 23, the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec, and the KenGen Managing Director & CEO, Albert Mugo, signed a Power Africa-KenGen Cooperation Framework. The partnership will help KenGen meet its development goals and will better align KenGen’s programs across all U.S. Government agencies.

More highlights from Power Africa can be found here.


 

ADB, USAID to Collaborate on Developing Clean Energy Infrastructure in India

On March 29, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on supporting India’s ambitious expansion plans for clean energy infrastructure.

ADB is currently financing the development of power evacuation infrastructure for solar parks in Gujarat and Rajasthan in India. The Department of Economic Affairs in India’s Ministry of Finance has requested that ADB provide financing up to US $500 million each to support rooftop solar and expansion of the transmission network to connect solar parks in multiple states under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) solar park program. Under the terms of the MoU, USAID will align components of its technical assistance with ADB’s current and planned investments in renewable energy.

USAID, through its Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Deployment (PACE-D) Program, will work with ADB to assist MNRE and select states in the design and development of public private partnership (PPP) investment models for solar parks. Future technical assistance will focus on bringing innovation to the grid integration of power from areas of concentrated renewable energy generation, such as at solar parks.

More information is available at India and ADB.


Indian government looking to boost “made in India” solar panels

In a bid to push Make in India, the government will soon announce a policy to boost end-to-end manufacturing of solar equipment such as polysilicon, wafers, cells and panels. The incentives under this policy are expected to be given to those setting up manufacturing units worth Rs 1000 crore (USD 150 million) or more. The focus of the policy is to reduce the cost of electricity and capital. The Make in India policy recognizes solar manufacturing as an industry with “strategic importance”.


Madagascar to make a big push for mini-grid solutions

Arizona-based energy storage provider Fluidic Energy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of Madagascar to collaborate on the provision of renewable energy-based turn-key mini-grid solutions to 100 remote villages and communities who currently do not have access to reliable electricity.

The village mini-grid systems will utilize more than 7.5 MWp of photovoltaic panels, 45 MWh of energy storage products, connections and pre-pay billing systems. This project, which will provide reliable and clean electricity for the first time to more than 400,000 people in rural areas of Madagascar, has the potential to be one of the largest off-grid rural electrification projects in Africa.  It demonstrates the commitment of Madagascar’s government to increase the national electrification rate and bring reliable energy access to all populated areas of the country. 


 

OFID and WPC launch “Oil and Gas Industry Energy Access Platform”

Executives from major oil and gas companies as well as strategic partners have joined together with the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the World Petroleum Council (WPC) to launch an “Oil and Gas Industry Energy Access Platform (EAP).” Designed within the context of the UN multi-stakeholder Sustainable Energy for All initiative, the EAP will directly support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG7 on universal access to sustainable energy.

OFID and WPC are joined by representatives from TOTAL S.A., Shell International B.V., The Global LPG Partnership, The International Gas Union and Shell Foundation, along with several others.

OFID Director-General Suleiman Al-Herbish said that the new platform would give members the chance to both help the poor and steer the industry in a positive direction. “The EAP will also be a catalyst for meaningful action for other oil and gas companies, development financial institutions, and the private sector to follow,” he added. The EAP will provide a space for oil and gas companies to collaborate with other stakeholders on a range of specific actions focused on energy access, including the identification of corporate social responsibility opportunities in host countries, and the better integration of energy access in policies and projects at country level.