Finance and Policy

ESI Africa is a provider of daily electricity news. Our coverage includes Africa investment news as well as energy regulation and energy funds.

Agreement to develop Kenya wind farm

[img:Green%20-%20Pic%201_0.jpg| ]3 June 2013 - A cooperation agreement has been signed between Luxembourg based Electrawinds and a fund created by the International Finance Corporation, IFC InfraVentures, for the development of a large scale wind project in Mpeketoni (Lamu county), Kenya. The planned wind farm is to have an installed capacity of 90 MW and is located in the south-east of Kenya.

Plans for converting power to gas to increase viability of renewables

[img:Gazprom%20-%20Pic%201_0.jpg| ]31 May 2013 - A coalition of companies in Europe are part of the recently established North Sea Power to Gas Platform which is aimed at further developing the concept of power to gas; the conversion of renewable power into gas. Power to gas is expected to play an increasingly important role in future energy systems, as it reduces temporal surpluses of renewable power by converting these surpluses into gases. As these gases can be used for different purposes such as transportation, domestic heating, as feedstock for the chemical industry, and power generation, the potential value of power to gas is considerable.

“The establishment of the North Sea Power to Gas Platform is an important step in the transition towards a sustainable energy system,” says Lukas Grond, power to gas expert at DNV KEMA and secretary of the platform.  The platform is an initiative of energy consulting and testing & certification company, DNV KEMA, and includes Fluxys Belgium and Hydrogenics (Belgium); and Maersk Oil (Denmark); Alliander, Gasunie and TenneT (Netherlands); ITM Power and National Grid (UK); and Open Grid Europe (Germany).

The share of electricity from renewable sources in the European electricity mix is increasing. As the power generation from wind and solar fluctuates, the match between renewable power supply and demand is becoming more challenging. At the same time, there are additional challenges to transmit the increasing volumes of renewable power from wind or solar farms to end users. The gas infrastructure can accommodate large volumes of electricity converted into gas in case that the supply of renewable power is larger than the grid capacity or than the electricity demand. As a result, power to gas enables the share of renewables in the energy mix to increase, making this innovation an important topic in achieving a carbon-neutral gas supply in 2050.

Risks associated with new areas of energy exploration

[img:Energy.thumbnail.JPG| ]30 May 2013 -  The demand for energy worldwide is expected to increase by 1.6% a year over the next 20 years. This is being driven by population and income growth. Developing markets are expected to account for the bulk of the energy demand increase.

Although the fuel mix is expected to shift away from oil and coal towards renewables, mimicking the growth of nuclear power in the 1970s, renewables and other alternative sources are expected to account for less than a fifth of world energy use by 2030.

Egypt sets aside finance to buy additional fuel

[img:Egyptf_0.jpg| ]28 May 2013 - Egypt has been struggling to fund fuel imports, which has led to electricity shortages across the country. To deal with the matter, the country’s government has set aside US$200 million to finance the import of additional petroleum products and is busy approving an additional US$525 million, according the Egyptian cabinet.

In April 2013 the country received US$5 billion in financial support from Qatar and Libya, with the former also agreeing to supply gas to Egypt as needed.

Nuclear power demand surge good for uranium sector

[img:nuclear_power.thumbnail.jpg| ]27 May 2013 - A predicted increase in nuclear power generation will drive up demand for uranium, states an energy report from research and consulting firm GlobalData. According to the report, global uranium demand will climb from 105,531 tonnes in 2012 to 145,680 tonnes in 2020, representing an increase of 38% over the eight years.

The worldwide demand for nuclear fuel marginally decreased at a negative average annual growth rate of 0.9% between 2006 and 2012, but a number of reactors expected to come online by 2020 will see the need for uranium jump significantly.

Construction of Ethiopia-Kenya link to begin in September 2013

20 May 2013 - The decision by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to provide US$338 million of funding for a 1,068 km high capacity transmission line between Ethiopia and Kenya has ensured its go-ahead in September 2013. The US$1.26 billion project, due for completion in 2018, will be a major boost to east African regional trade in electricity.

Construction begins on Ouarzazate CSP project

[img:Pwer.thumbnail.jpg| ]20 May 2013 - Construction of the 160 MW Ouarzazate concentrated solar power (CSP) project begun in Morocco during May 2013. The US$810 million project is expected to be completed in 2015.

A consortium led by Saudi developer ACWA Power won the contract to build the plant in September 2012, with financing coming from the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the European Investment Bank.

European Commission proposes trade duties on Chinese photovoltaic equipment

[img:ItalyS_0.jpg| ]17 May 2013 - The European Commission has proposed that its 27 member states should impose trade duties on solar panels imported from China. As a result, at the Global Solar Summit held in Milan during May 2013, a debate flared up on the trade disputes between Europe and China.

Reinhold Buttgereit, general secretary of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (Epia) says, “We cannot ignore the major trade conflict now underway but nor can we overlook the fact that the growth of renewables will increasingly be achieved outside Europe, driven by the Asian economies. The golden period for solar energy is not over, but we need rules.”

North African CSP plan world’s most ambitious

[img:North.thumbnail.jpg| ]15 May 2013 - The Climate Investment Fund (CIF) has given the go-ahead to north African countries Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia as well as middle eastern country Jordan to proceed with an updated version of a plan to create 1,120 MW from concentrated solar power (CSP). The plan will receive US$660 million from the CIF’s Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and is expected to leverage nearly US$5 billion from other donors and private financing.

Possibilities for second wind power factory in SA

[img:Suzlon%20w_0.jpg| ]By Antonio Ruffini

15 May 2013 - With South African heavy engineering group DCD having already begun construction of a wind tower factory at the Coega industrial development zone in the Eastern Cape, Suzlon, India’s largest wind-turbine maker, says its plans to build a plant in the country are also advanced.

Rob King, CEO of DCD, has said that there is room in the South African market, which plans for 8,400 MW of wind projects over the next 20 years, for a second or even third local factory. The country’s energy policy has taken a strong stance on localisation and the need for the renewable energy projects being undertaken to ensure technology transfer and create jobs in South Africa.

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