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  1. Egypt Renewable FiT Taking Shape

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015 9:12 am by , and

    Egypt’s renewable Feed In Tariff (FiT) continues to take shape, albeit at a slightly reduced speed than expected earlier.  Happily, the additional time appears to be being used to respond to constructive comments from developers and other stakeholders.  It is also expected that some clarifications will be issued in writing.  Developers are reporting that up to now many details are only emerging verbally in face to face meetings, which many have found somewhat frustrating. (more…)


  2. West Africa – a role for off-grid renewable energy?

    Monday, February 9, 2015 4:45 pm by and

    West Africa is a land of opportunity, home to some of the richest oil and mineral resources in the world.  The rush for the region’s oil, gold, iron and other commodities has driven economic growth at a faster rate than anywhere else in Africa.

    Yet West Africa’s bountiful wealth may also be limiting its development potential.  The increasing demand from industry is placing enormous strain on an aging and inadequate infrastructure, with installation of new capacity hampered by inefficiency and poor governance.

    With population growth now outstripping the rate of new supply, it seems unlikely that West Africa’s energy demands can be met solely by development of national or international grids.  In this article, we consider the energy challenges facing the region, the role of the West African Power Pool and the potential of off-grid development to provide renewable, reliable energy supply beyond the grid. (more…)


  3. Electrifying Africa: A View from Washington

    4:05 pm by

    As Western governments continue—and rightfully so—to focus on the threats to African nations from the Ebola virus and Boko Haram, policymakers are also eyeing the continent as a critical producer and consumer of energy in the 21st century.

    Power Africa

    In 2013, President Obama announced an initiative, “Power Africa,” to direct U.S. funds, loan guarantees, and technical assistance to electrification projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. The program is coordinated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), with 12 different agencies involved in project implementation. Power Africa’s goal is to facilitate the installment of 10,000 MW of new generation capacity. To date, the program has closed on financial transactions that will generate 2,792 MW. (more…)


  4. Renewable Power in Egypt: The Right FiT?

    Wednesday, February 4, 2015 11:55 am by , and

    The Government of Egypt has said that Egypt must invest US$12 billion in the electricity sector over the next five years in order to meet that country’s urgent electricity demands.  Renewable power – both solar and wind – will be a key part of this initiative.

    Egypt plans up to 2,300 MW of solar and up to 2,000 MW of wind generation in the first regulatory period.  This will include 2,000 MW of Solar PV from 500 kW up to 50 MW, 300 MW of Solar PV Projects below 500 kW and 2,000 MW of wind generation. The first regulatory period will end when these targets are met, or after 2 years, whichever is sooner. (more…)


  5. Economic Development Obligations: Unintended Consequences

    Wednesday, November 12, 2014 10:14 am by

    The message from the South African Department of Energy at the Windaba Conference in Cape Town last week could not have been clearer. In his address during the opening session of the conference, Dr. Wolsley Barnard (Deputy Director General: Energy Programs and Project at the DOE) forced home the point that the South African authorities “…will be enforcing penalties…” for breaches of the mandatory economic development obligations under the South African Government’s Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme.

    Listening to Dr. Barnard’s address got me thinking. Three years on from its launch has the REIPPP Programme made a real difference to South Africa’s manufacturing and service sectors? The answer quite clearly has to be a yes. The development of the R300-million wind turbine tower factory at the Coega IDZ, the recent announcement by SunPower of the construction of a new 160MW solar panel manufacturing facility in Cape Town and the DOE’s job creation forecasts for construction and operational posts in the renewable energy sector make this apparent. But it did occur to me that there may be some unexpected side effects to the approach being taken by the DOE to this point. (more…)


  6. Kenya’s Lake Turkana Wind Power Project Lights the Way for the East African Power Market

    Wednesday, October 29, 2014 10:07 am by and

    Kenya is East Africa’s largest economy, yet it faces a power supply crisis.  Per capita, it generates barely 4% of the power generated by South Africa.  Only 18% of the population has access to electricity and, even for this fortunate minority, rationing and blackouts remain a daily reality.

    The Kenyan Government has ambitious development goals for the country, seeking to achieve annual double-digit growth and to ‘create a prosperous and globally competitive nation with a high quality of life by the year 2030’.  There is certainly plenty of cause for optimism.  Politically, the country is relatively stable. The capital, Nairobi, is home to the regional offices of some of the world’s largest multinational corporations, including General Electric, Google and Coca Cola.  These companies enjoy access to a labour force that is increasingly urbanised, professional, computer-literate and English-speaking. (more…)


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