Commercial and industrial (C&I) off-takers can become the main driver for the energy transition in Africa and elsewhere. This is in-line with a global trend that is seeing C&I businesses integrating renewable energy solutions to power on-site operations. Renewables address three issues: greening energy supply, reducing cost and making power more reliable.
Almost without exception, the growth of distributed renewable energy (DRE) in sub-Saharan Africa and developing economies in South and Southeast Asia has been achieved on the back of inexpensive imports from China. That is changing.
To improve lender confidence and increase project financial attractiveness, micro-grid developers should reduce the risks of non-steady cash flows through four short-term actionable strategies
An updated analysis of electricity access by the International Energy Agency (IEA) concludes that “decentralised systems, led by solar PV in off-grid and mini-grid systems, will be the least-cost solution for three-quarters of the additional connections needed” to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) by 2030.
“New investors are interested in mini-grids, but they look at companies and say ‘They are not ready for us’,” says Katrina Pielli, senior energy advisor for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). “It’s exhausting for investors to go through 16-tab spreadsheets with no two developers presenting things the same way.”
Our Director of Research, Dr. Rebekah Shirley, took a post-conference opportunity to explore the catalysts of growth in the Kenyan decentralized solar market. In this article, she shares key insights and reflections from KEREA, Steama.co, Azuri and Tropical Power.
One of the most pronounced effects of a changing climate is the increase in extreme weather and other natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires. These disasters are not spread evenly: of the 30 countries most affected by changing weather, 26 are least developed countries. To put it another way, 423 million people living in extreme poverty are considered likely to experience the impacts of a changing climate. The tragic events of hurricane Matthew in Haiti are just the most recent example.
East Africa is a leader in the decentralized renewable energy revolution, and along with India it is the most closely watched market as it relates to scaling mini-grids. This is especially true of Tanzania. What happens in Tanzania will have implications for the success of mini-grids elsewhere.
Decentralized renewable energy has traditionally been under-estimated in emerging markets as only being capable of delivering electricity for home use, and then mostly for basic lighting. “Productive use”—creating goods and services either directly or indirectly for the production of income or value—has been more elusive.
In an advert this week in The Economist, the African Development Bank posted an opening for a Vice President of Power, Energy and Green Growth (VP of PEGG), who it said “will champion the New Deal on Energy for Africa and will lead the Transformative Partnership on Energy for Africa to achieve universal energy access in Africa.” Great news, right?
This article was originally printed in the World Post | 14 April 2016