Quantcast

Energy

Kenya Power & Safaricom to connect 12,000 homes to fibre internet this year

0

 Kenya Power, through its subsidiary Kenya Power International owns and operates more than 4,000km in length of fibre optic cable network in Kenya, which it leases to the major telecom players in the country.

Today, the firm announced a partnership with Safaricom to connect more Kenyans to broadband Internet via Kenya’s Power’s electricity distribution network. The deal will see Safaricom lease additional broadband infrastructure built and owned by Kenya Power in order to roll out a “last mile” network, with the aim of connecting more homes to its broadband internet services.

Kenya Power Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ben Chumo, “The agreement will promote development and improvement of additional telecommunications infrastructure for effective and efficient provision of telecommunications services to both public and private institutions through provision of adequate, reliable and competitively-priced fibre networks,” Dr. Chumo concluded.

Safaricom has to date rolled out 3,200km of fibre reaching 7,000 homes, and this deal gives it more opportunities to provide its consumers with fast, reliable broadband services from the comfort of their homes. The project targets more than 12,000 homes in a 12-month pilot to be carried out in residential areas in and around Nairobi.

The collaboration between the two firms will provide valuable lessons into how to scale and speed up the connection of homes and small offices to broadband.

“This collaborative partnership harnesses the strength of both partners to extend a new world of possibilities to our customers, in recognition of the transformative impact of the Internet, “said Bob Collymore, CEO – Safaricom Limited.

He added: “By leveraging on Kenya Power’s electricity infrastructure we will not only be able to accelerate the rate of connection to homes, we will tackle challenges experienced in roll-out of broadband services and reduce the inconvenience caused to Kenyans when we are forced to dig trenches to lay the underground fibre optic cable grid.”

 

M-KOPA Solar’s New Holy Grail | a Ksh 54,000, 16 Inch Solar-powered Digital TV

0

Finally,  M-KOPA Solar might have found its holy grail, a move likely to turn the green energy financer’s fortune around and reduce its dependency on investor money and turn a profit.

Originally distributing solar lighting kits in East African homes for a meagre Ksh 3,500 deposit and Ksh 50 daily for a year (Ksh 21,750), the firm realized it could maintain its solar energy route but add more items to its inventory to get any significant returns.

Today,  the firm launched its first solar-powered digital flat screen TV emotively aiming to appeal to the rural folks who may never have heard of or seen a TV set let alone own one. Backed with stats from Kenya Audience Research Foundation 2015, TV only reaches 31 percent of the entire adult population daily, leaving out a huge 69 percent in the dark. The firm has sold 500 solar TVs already.

However, from today the firm says existing customers who have finished paying off their M-KOPA payment plans are now able to extend their KES 50 per day payment plan to upgrade to the “M-KOPA + TV” system. After completing the 2-year payment plan, customers own the television and solar power system outright and can enjoy viewing without any ongoing bills. (Ksh 36,500)

According to Jesse Moore, CEO at M-KOPA, “What’s remarkable about the M-KOPA + TV is it enables customers to turn the same KES 50 per day that they used to burn on kerosene into a solar-powered 16 inch TV. We are literally turning dirty fossil fuels into a renewable, digital, modern home.”

New customers take the M-KOPA 400 option which comes with a 20W PV panel, a 16” digital TV, two lights, a torch, a phone charger, and a radio and is available for a deposit of KES 8,000 plus a year of daily payments of KES 125. (Ksh53,625 in total)

Though M-KOPA is so emotive on this issue, bringing out the fact that owning a TV is life-changing to its off-grid customers, its big business for it.Do the math.

“Owning a TV is life-changing for our off-grid customers. Many of them have traditionally had to pay to watch in a café or bar, or missed out on news and current events because they could not afford to be connected to information. We are now going beyond the grid to offer TV to homes all over Kenya. It’s great for the family to be able to watch together in the comfort and safety of their home,” says Moore.

Safaricom’s Bob Collymore also agree on the importance of an affordable digital TV.

“M-PESA and Safaricom are helping make digital TV affordable and accessible for the first time for millions of people. I think M-KOPA’s innovation signals a fundamental change for TV audiences in Kenya. We creating the genesis of a new economy based on clean energy that promises to include groups who have been previously marginalised.”

Safaricom also promised to develop free educational content for kids in rural homes in the near future.

 

Connected Summit 2016 aims to identify and fill the gaps in public sector service delivery

0

Themed ‘Bridging the Service Gap’, the 2016 Connected Summit,has taken off at the Leisure Lodge Beach and Golf Resort, Diani, Kwale County to help identify gaps in public sector service delivery and use ICT to solve them.

Giving opening remarks, Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of ICT said the summit is “an opportunity to work together to bring about changes. ”

Mucheru said the summit is a chance for Kenyans to give the ministry ideas to make Kenya work in regards to ICT. A time for people to debate on issues such as VAT on devices, 4G an 5G licences, dominance,  regulation of over the top services like Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram and much more.

Now in its 7th year, the Connected Kenya is the brainchild of the ICT Authority in consultation with ICT industry players and key government decision makers. The Summit has brought together stakeholders in the ICT sector to collaborate, build capacity and share knowledge and help carry out government IT projects to world-class standards.

Connected Kenya has seen some projects such as Kenya Open Data Initiative, Huduma citizen’s portal and the development of a national Information Security Policy discussed and formulated at the Connected SUmmit.

Also in attendance are ICT ministry officials from Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.

Solarcentury to deliver US$ 2.5m solar PV portfolio for world-leading Kenyan insect research centre

0

solarUK’s Solarcentury will undertake the $2.5m installation of three solar PV plants, with a total capacity of 1154kWp, at the Nairobi-based International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology(icipe).

Two solar roof systems combined with a carport system will be built at the icipe Duduville Campus in Nairobi. The third solar roof system will be built at the icipe Thomas Odhiambo Campus, in western Kenya, which will be combined with battery storage.

Solarcentury will design the systems and will be the EPC contractor (engineer, procure, construct), also with responsibility for O&M for the next five years. The project will be delivered by Solarcentury’s East Africa office, comprising a team of eight based in Nairobi, with support from the head office team in the UK.

Dr Segenet Kelemu, icipe Director General said, “Through this project, icipe’s goal is to create a sustainable energy supply and to reduce diesel fuel dependency by constructing solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants at its Duduville Campus headquarters in Kasarani, Nairobi, and at the icipe Thomas Odhiambo Campus on the shores of Lake Victoria.”

Funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the scheme is part of the icipe Greening Project, which, in addition to renewable energy, also includes energy saving initiatives and water conservation measures, with the overall aim of reducing the Centre’s carbon footprint and making its operations more environmentally friendly.

Guy Lawrence, Director at Solarcentury in East Africa said, “In the last two years in Kenya, we have built one of the largest solar farms in east Africa for a tea farm, as well as a solar carport on the roof of a brand new Mall in Nairobi. Now we are bringing our world-class engineering expertise to develop three systems, including what we believe to be the largest battery storage system for solar in east Africa. The awarding of this contract means that Solarcentury will have built the three largest PV systems in Kenya.

Lawrence added that the firm has always been keen to work with organisations who want to improve the sustainability of their operations, and are pleased to be able to help organisations save money too adding that icipe’s mission of safeguarding the environment aligns with its own mission to alleviate climate change.

Work on site will commence in July 2016 and the systems are expected to be generating solar electricity by October 2016.

Mobisol officially launches in Kenya |Connects 40,000 Homes to Smart Solar Solutions

0

Mobisol, a pay-as-you-go smart solar home solutions firm today officially launched in Kenya amidst celebrating reaching out to 200,000 beneficiaries in East Africa. “Our systems are designed to power entire households and even businesses with a variety of highly efficient DC appliances,” said  Mobisol’s CEO Thomas Gottschalk. “Many of our customers in Tanzania and Rwanda not only run 32 inch flat screen TVs with their system, but also power haircutters and hair-straighteners simultaneously, while entertaining their barbershop customers with music stereos.”

The firm says its solar systems are available in different sizes ranging from 80 to 200 Watt and can illuminate a medium-sized home with seven LED bulbs, power a radio, charge various mobile phones and run a TV – simultaneously.

Its large systems can can power multiple lights, laptop/TV, a DC refrigerator and charge up to ten mobile phones parallel. Mobisol also offers a “Business out of a Box” feature, which enables entrepreneurial customers to set-up income generating activities such as barbershops as well as phone and solar lantern charging stations.

The firm celebrated its Kenyan market entry with an installation ceremony in Kiambu County where they installed a 120Watt solar system at the premises of its 200,000th beneficiary, John Kimani Wanjiru.

Gottschalk is banking on the fact that Mobisol solar systems are ten times bigger than those of their competitors able to power up more appliances than just mobile phones and light.

Mobisol is already operational in Tanzania and Rwanda, where it has already installed over 40,000 solar systems, an estimated 4 MW of decentralized solar electricity to rural areas. The firm also aims to connect approximately 13,000 businesses in East Africa to generate an significant additional household income of over 5 million USD per year.

Mobisol officially launches in Kenya |Connects 40,000 Homes to Smart Solar Solutions

0

Mobisol, a pay-as-you-go smart solar home solutions firm today officially launched in Kenya amidst celebrating reaching out to 200,000 beneficiaries in East Africa. “Our systems are designed to power entire households and even businesses with a variety of highly efficient DC appliances,” said  Mobisol’s CEO Thomas Gottschalk. “Many of our customers in Tanzania and Rwanda not only run 32 inch flat screen TVs with their system, but also power haircutters and hair-straighteners simultaneously, while entertaining their barbershop customers with music stereos.”

The firm says its solar systems are available in different sizes ranging from 80 to 200 Watt and can illuminate a medium-sized home with seven LED bulbs, power a radio, charge various mobile phones and run a TV – simultaneously.

Its large systems can can power multiple lights, laptop/TV, a DC refrigerator and charge up to ten mobile phones parallel. Mobisol also offers a “Business out of a Box” feature, which enables entrepreneurial customers to set-up income generating activities such as barbershops as well as phone and solar lantern charging stations.

The firm celebrated its Kenyan market entry with an installation ceremony in Kiambu County where they installed a 120Watt solar system at the premises of its 200,000th beneficiary, John Kimani Wanjiru.

Gottschalk is banking on the fact that Mobisol solar systems are ten times bigger than those of their competitors able to power up more appliances than just mobile phones and light.

Mobisol is already operational in Tanzania and Rwanda, where it has already installed over 40,000 solar systems, an estimated 4 MW of decentralized solar electricity to rural areas. The firm also aims to connect approximately 13,000 businesses in East Africa to generate an significant additional household income of over 5 million USD per year.

Facebook & Eutelsat to build a satellite system to get more Africans online

0
Facebook and Eutelsat have announced plans to build satellite technologies to get more Africans online just months after the firm announced its solar-powered drones are ready to beam internet to millions of people in marginalized areas in sub-Saharan Africa.
Set to start in the second half of 2016, the two will be working with Spacecom, to build a satellite and a dedicated system comprising satellite capacity, gateways and terminals with high gain spot beams covering large parts of West, East and Southern Africa for community and Direct-to-User Internet access.

This move is in line with Facebook’s Internet.org, aimed at connecting billions who are offline to super-fast and affordable internet.  Facebook plans to work with local partners across Africa to utilise satellite and terrestrial capacity to deliver services to rural areas.

“Facebook’s mission is to connect the world and we believe that satellites will play an important role in addressing the significant barriers that exist in connecting the people of Africa,” said Chris Daniels, VP of Internet.org.  “We are looking forward to partnering with Eutelsat on this project and investigating new ways to use satellites to connect people in the most remote areas of the world more efficiently.”

Akon Launches Solar Academy in Mali to to Develop Expertise to Light Up Africa

0

akonThe Akon Lighting Africa initiative founded by Akon, Thione Niang and Samba Bathily recently announced the creation of a “Solar Academy” to develop skills and expertise in this field in Africa.

Based in Bamako, Mali, the Solar Academy is a first on the continent and targets future African entrepreneurs, engineers and technicians and will open its doors this summer to all Africans wanting to help develop the use of solar power.

“We expect the Africans who graduate from this center to devise new, innovative, technical solutions. With this Academy, we can capitalize on Akon Lighting Africa and go further,” Thione Niang said.

Akon Lighting Africa is working with Solektra international, in collaboration some European experts who will supply training equipment and programs.  It aims to reinforce expertise in every aspect of installing and maintaining solar-powered electric systems and micro-grids in particular, which are really taking off in rural Africa.  With its 320 days sunshine a year, the continent is perfectly suited to the development of solar power, particularly since 622 million Africans still do not have access to electricity.

“We have the sun and innovative technologies to bring electricity to homes and communities.  We now need to and that is our objective” explained Samba Bathily at the SE4All. “We are doing more than just investing in clean energy.  We are investing in human capital.  We can achieve great milestones and accelerate the African transformation process on condition that we start training a new generation of highly qualified African engineers, technicians and entrepreneurs now” he added.

With 70% of the population aged under 35, Africa is the continent with the youngest population today.  One of the biggest challenges it faces is training and creating sustainable employment.

Akon Lighting Africa will provide training and create jobs enabling local populations to embrace technical solutions and become self-sufficient.  The Solar Academy  aims to use this business model and promote inclusive growth throughout Africa.

Survey shows Nigerians are willing to buy fuel online

0
Image:9jalegal.com.ng

Even as the latest fuel scarcity that almost paralyzed the Nigerian economy wears off, a large proportion of citizens have expressed their interest in purchasing fuel online.

A survey conducted by online marketplace Kaymu Nigeria has revealed that 73% of Nigerians are willing to buy fuel online. This was revealed by Tomiwa Oladele, head of Public Relations, Kaymu Nigeria.

She said: “For an online shopping community like Kaymu where buyers and sellers meet to conduct business transactions, the fuel scarcity impacted on us and our customers in a different way.

“We noticed increased inquiries from members in our social media community as to whether we had fuel for sale”.

She said that the company carried out a survey asking Nigerians whether they will buy fuel online if it wasn’t against the law.

She said, “We found 73% of respondents stating their readiness to purchase fuel online. This goes to show Nigerian’s frustration at the scarcity of fuel and their increased reception to online shopping and the lease of life it provides.”

Africa needs $60 billion a year to end its energy shortage

0
Photo source: umaizi.com

metAfrica is no stranger to energy cuts. What’s worse is that more than 600 million people in the region still live without the benefits of electricity. According to the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) report, at least $60 billion a year until 2040 is needed for the construction of energy facilities that can end power woes.

Renewable energy may be present in some African regions but current green facilities aren’t enough to provide continuous power to the big communities. Solomon Asamoah, Vice President of AfDB, said that electricity in the rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa is terribly low.

“Over 30 African countries now face regular power shortages while access to electricity in the sub-Saharan region stands at between 15 % and 40 %,” said Asamoah. “As this amount is far beyond the capacity of any single institution, we are working to leverage other sources of finance and establish strategic partnerships with other development partners. We are also helping our member States to develop public-private partnerships for power infrastructure and to access sources of climate change finance.”

Part of the $60 billion will most likely be used in the construction of facilities that can distribute oil to the local communities. Africa may have abundant reserves of oil but most of them get exported due to the fact that there aren’t a lot of channels that can effectively deliver the commodity within the region. Some countries in Africa have already started countering the distribution problem, with Aliko Dangote’s construction of pipelines in Nigeria being the latest.

Engineering firm Sulzer, Unaoil’s associate in providing maintenance to power companies in Iraq, reports that several countries around the world have made commitments to significantly increase their share of electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Many countries in Africa have committed to using renewable energy so part of the $60 billion will be used in constructing additional solar and wind energy facilities. Simon Mizrahi, AfDB’s Quality Assurance, Results, and Energy Director, said that clean energy solutions will play a vital role in bringing power to the remote areas.

Access Power Launches US$ 5 Million Competition For Early Stage Renewable Energy Projects in Africa

0

africa-fundDubai-based Access’ Power, a developer, owner and operator of power assets in Africa, today launched the Africa Co-Development Fund (ACF), a US$ 5 million competition designed to bridge the gap between early stage renewable energy projects in Africa and the expertise and funding they require to come to operation.

Open to entries between 1st April and 20th May, the ACF will short list up to five projects from those submitted for a final round of screening by a panel of experts to take place on 11th June 2015 during the 2015 Africa Energy Forum (AEF) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The winning project(s) from the AEF final round will enter into a Joint Development Agreement with Access. Access will take an equity stake in the successful project(s) and fund third party development costs related to the project(s), such as feasibility studies, grid studies, environmental and social impact assessments and other due diligence fees. The successful project(s) will also be able to draw upon Access’ expertise for technical support, financial structuring and development process management.

In a statement, Reda El Chaar, Chairman of Access PowerMEA, said: “ACF is a unique platform bringing together the funding and expertise renewable energy project originators and developers across Africa need to succeed.The inaugural ACF will be an exciting feature of this year’s Africa Energy Forum and we are confident that the ACF will develop in subsequent years into a platform that attracts early stage funding from Development Financing Institutions, International Financing Institutions and various donor organizations.”

Project originators and developers interested in applying to the inaugural ACF have until 20th May 2015 to enter. More information about the application process can be found through the dedicated link on Access’ website – access-power – or the AEF 2015 website – africa-energy-forum.

Recently, the firm won a tender to build a US$17 million, 10 megawatt plant in Soroti Uganda. The project is set to power 40,000 homes, in a country where just 15 per have access to power. The company is looking to develop a portfolio of renewable energy projects in 15 countries in Africa.

Kenya Is A Solar PV Hot Spot, Says M-kopa Solar

1

 solar

 

Kenya has embraced solar technology to help in reaching out to the areas which electricity is yet to be installed making technology accessible; because of this a study done last year by the M-KOPA Solar and InterMedia shows that Kenya has emerged as a hot spot for off-grid solar, with 14 percent of the population surveyed using solar as their primary lighting and charging source.

The population, according to Kenya Power, calculates that 30 percent of the population has access to the grid, which leaves up to 56 percent still relying on kerosene, batteries and candles.

The study compares Kenya to other African countries and it concludes that Kenya is a leader for off-grid power. It explains that the most recent Africa-wide study by Lighting Africa in 2012 showed that the penetration of ‘pico-powered’ lighting systems (solar and wind-up) in Africa’s 115-120 million off-grid households was estimated to be just 4 percent.

Jesse Moore, MD and Co-Founder M-KOPA says, “Off-grid solar is a vital part of Kenya’s energy mix. This market has been ignited by new and improving solar equipment, and much of it has been made affordable to the mass market by pay-as-you-go offerings or other consumer financing models.”

M-KOPA has connected over 140,000 homes in Kenya to solar power in the past two years, plus 20,000 more in Uganda and Tanzania. The Nairobi-based company partnered with Safaricom in late 2012 to launch the first commercial offering, globally, that combines mobile payments with GSM sensor technology to sell solar power systems to households on a daily payment plan.

Jesse Moore says, “We’ve developed solar home systems to power lighting, phone charging and radio. Being able to provide this on a payment plan that was on average 40% cheaper than kerosene, batteries and candles was what has enabled us to build scale – to the point we’re now connecting 500 or more homes a day.”

The M-KOPA and InterMedia study surveyed 300 households across Kenya. It also looked at what consumers were spending on their energy consumption. Off-grid homes, without solar, are spending on average Ksh 24,820 ($ 272) per annum with 55 percent of this on kerosene. The balance is spent on batteries, third party phone charging, torches and candles.

Jesse Moore says, “The Kenyan solar category has grown quickly because consumers are being offered more and more solar options at different price points and with affordable payment options. Much of this is enabled by the convenience of mobile money, especially M-PESA. Making solar affordable has had a positive impact on people’s lives and savings, though we believe that the scale and impact will grow many times over in the coming years.”

Most off-grid homes in Kenya are classified as low income, with average per capita annual incomes of Ksh 66,430 ($ 730). Solar providers in Kenya have been successful at creating products and payment options that work financially and practically for these consumers. The M-KOPA and InterMedia study calculates that the total annual energy spend by consumers in Kenya is now valued at over Ksh 150 billion $ 1.3billion).

Jesse Moore concludes, “In many markets around the world, solar is seen as something of a luxury. In Kenya, this has been turned on its head. Solar is giving millions of people an essential foot on the energy ladder and helping them save money. The entire solar industry in Kenya is focused on improving customer offerings and powering up many more homes. At M-KOPA alone, we expect to power at least a million homes in 3 years time.”

Orange & GreenLight Planet Partner To Light Up Off Grid Homes

1

solarsolar

 

Orange Kenya and GreenLight Planet have come together and have signed a strategic partnership today looking to provide solar lighting to Kenyan homes, limited to electricity.

The two have launched a competitive range of product bundles that include internet enable mobile handsets and solar lamps.

The internet enabled device being bundled with the solar lamps will be officially launched in early march. The telco company is still in the move to improving the quality of its data services as well as expanding its reach to more regions across the country.

The solar lamps come with a 2 year warranty will be available in all orange shops countrywide; and mat be purchased, bundled with the low cost internet enabled mobile phone from orange.

Solar energy is slowly being embraced in Africa, just the other day, Gigawatt Global launched an 8.5MW solar power utility in Rwanda worth $23.7 million and it is the first utility-scale solar project to be under the US-Africa Clean Finance (ACEF) programme; for the same reason, bringing electricity to the unreachable as it is through electricity that technology breeds.

Take for example the mobile phone; according to the Orange Kenya CEO Vincent Lobry said that the mobile phone enlightens people’s mind through communication and information and also connects them with their friends and family as well as the globe through the internet.

It is for this reason that Orange has decided to work with the solar power company to provide affordable internet data as through this solar lamp people will have the means to charge their phones and to keep communication up and running.

Greenlight Planet CEO, Anish Thakkar, said: “Close to 1.5 billion people worldwide still don’t have access to grid-based lighting and often individuals must walk several kilometres to purchase fuel and also to charge their phones at a fee. We are thrilled to broaden the reach of the solar lighting products through this partnership that will give greater access to these products through orange shops throughout Kenya.”

The lamps bundled with the mobile phone will cost Ksh for 3899 for the Sun King mobile Ksh. 4699 for the King Pro and Ksh 8799 for the Sun King Home. The stand-alone solar devices that are not bundleid with the orange mobile device will cost 2900 for the Sun King Mobile Ksh. 3700 for the SunKing Pro 11AND Ksh 7800 for Sun King Home.

Electricity Charges Drop In Kenya

0

electricity-12

The cost of electricity in Kenya has really reduced and it is attributed to the additional 140 MW to the national grid.

Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta, during the commissioning of the lasr phase of the 280MW of geothermal power, said that the move was aimed at stabilizing the cost of electricity in East Africa.

“By generating and injecting 280MW, we have driven the electricity cost by the 30 per cent which we had pledged last year. Manufacturers will have access to electric power at rates devoid of transformation costs,” he said. Kenyatta said.

According to Kenyatta, the country is also likely to see an increase in export production and expanded employment opportunities for Kenyans.

Following the additional MW to the power grid, the cost of fuel has fallen by 65 percent to 2.51 Kenyan shillings per kilowatt per hour. With this in hand, Kenya is ready to start exporting electricity to its neighbouring countries.

“Electricity costs have been a huge component of industrial and household expenditure. Economic growth can be arrested by energy costs. My government is committed to reducing the cost of energy and the cost of production in order to accelerate development,” Kenyatta noted.

It looks like not only key a will be enjoying the benefits of electricity as Rwanda will start importing electricity from Kenya. This  move will be made possible following Kengen’s effort in increasing its electricity production as well as distribution systems.

The president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame said: “As we produce electricity, as we continue to lower prices of electricity, what is expected is that the prices of other things of essentials are also going to come down.”

With this  in progress Kenya, according to the government will be spending  about $2 billion to upgrade its power distribution systems. Meanwhile, plans are underway for the power producer to raise Ksh.15 billion through a rights issue to finance expansion of its power generating capacity.

The Kenyan government said that it will spend about 2 billion US dollars in the medium term to upgrade its power distribution systems. The government identified energy as one of the infrastructural enablers of growth and macroeconomic stability, equity among others.

The East African country is looking at increasing its national power output to 5,000MW by 2016 in order to spur industrial growth.

 

Rwanda Recieves $23.7 million Solar Power Plant

2

solar

 

Gigawatt Global launched an 8.5MW solar power utility in Rwanda worth $23.7 million and it is the first utility-scale solar project to be under the US-Africa Clean Finance (ACEF) programme. The utility is located in the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in the southeast of the country and is shaped like the African continent.

“The project expands electricity generation capacity by more than 6 per cent in a country where more than 80 percent of the people live without access to electricity, and is providing enough grid-connected power to supply 15,000 homes,” said John Kerry, US Secretary of State.

This is one of the longest solar facilities in Africa and to cap it all it comes with minimal maintenance and no fuel cost.

“Projects like Gigawatt Global’s, realized with the support of the US Department of State, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the US Trade and Development Agency through ACEF, underscore that the best path to energy access and economic development is also the sustainable path of clean energy,” he concluded.

AfDB Offers $145 Million For The Construction Of The Kenya-Tanzania Power Line

0

2013-12-04-09-20-19-powerlines

The African Development Fund (AfDB) has approved a $145 million loan request by Kenya and Tanzania to fund the building of an electricity line between the two countries.

This, according to the bank, will improve the power connections as that is the major problem that deters the growth, development and investment opportunities of the East Africa.

This funding, the bank says will help construct 508km of transmission lines and substations along to allow the transfer of 2000MW of electricity in either direction between Kenya and Tanzania.

With this project, Kenya will be adding 5000 MW on installed capacity by 2017 from approximately 1664; while Tanzania wants to double its generation capacity to 3000MW by next year.

Similar connections will be done between Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia by 2018 that will cost them $1.4 billion. Ethiopia and Kenya will also have a similar connection that will improve the electricity supply.

KARIBU Solar Power Is Making Solar Lamps More Accessible In East Africa

0

maxresdefault

 

The Most African problems can be solved by increasing the amount of energy each country produces; and speaking of energy we are talking about the basic energy of lighting. Many use Kerosene lamps which is hazardous to both the health and the environment.

More than 500 million Africans cannot afford to get electricity in their home and solar powered lighting is not pocket friendly either due to their initial cost; that is why Tanzanian Start up, ‘KARIBU Solar Power’ wants to bring solar energy to the locals.

KARIBU helps the Tanzanian Citizens to buy the solar lamps in instalments by dividing the lamp into three parts, the solar panel, the battery and the lamp itself. This is how it works, a customer will rent the battery and the lamp at a small fee and will take the battery to be charged everyday which they will have to pay. As the customer pays for the charging everyday they keep redeeming the total cost of the whole lamp and when they reach the total amount (cost price of the lamp), the customer gets to keep the lamp, battery and KARIBU will give them the solar panel to charge the battery.

“By splitting up the conventional solar lamp into its components, we split up the payments, replicating the cash flow for kerosene, which in turn make the solar affordable,” says the company.

KARIBU Solar Power was founded by Adam Camenzuli, who lives and works in Tanzania; although the company takes care of the East African market mostly in the rural areas where lighting is very expensive.

The other part of the team include; Ricki Tatz, Sameer Gulamani- founded enerprises in East Africa, Afzal Habib –operational expert, Oluwaseum  Kolarinwa  and Andrew Clark.

CAMAC Oil Company Has Now Completed The 2D Purchase In Kenya

1

oil-well-art-d0e8499fbec07478

 

Oil and gas exploration company CAMAC Energy has now done with its onshore 2D seismic acquisition in Kenya.

The program, conducted by geophysical services company, BGP Kenya, and covering around 700 line kilometres, aims to identify potential exploration targets in the the Paleozoic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Middle to Lower Tertiary sections, which are known to be oil-bearing in the East Africa region.

CAMAC Energy Inc added that the seismic survey, paired with the previously completed airborne gravity and magnetic surveys, will be used to help identify potential drilling targets on the blocks.

“The preliminary results from data processing in the field are encouraging. These seismic surveys are fundamental to advancing our onshore Kenya work program and our understanding of the resource potential on these blocks and will help us determine potential locations to begin our exploration drilling,” said Segun Omidele, senior vice president of exploration and production at CAMAC Energy.

Tropical Power Commissions The First Grid-Connect Biogas Plant In Africa

0
Mike Nolan left and Johnnie McMillan right

 

Mike Nolan left and Johnnie McMillan right
Mike Nolan left and Johnnie McMillan right

 

Tropical Power Energy Group, (Tropical Power) has built and is commissioning the first grid-connect Anaerobic Digester (AD) plant in Africa, which is situated in Naivasha Kenya.The 2.2MW Farm AD plant will be selling electricity into the local grid to Gorge Farm.

The facility only uses crop residue, mostly from maize as it has high hydrogen content and catalyse it with cow dung as it has the bacteria required for the whole process. This waste is digested by micro-organisms feeding in the absence of oxygen to produce biogas; which is then combusted in gas engines to produce electricity and heat.

Johnie McMillan, Managing Director, Tropical Power said: “Through biogas and solar, we want to displace expensive and imported generation fuels like diesel and heavy fuel oil from Kenya’s distributed power mix. The Gorge Farm AD Plant is physical proof that locally-produced feedstock can be used to generate clean and cost effective distributed power for all Kenyans.”

This farm has more than one the end product this include:-

  • Electricity

This farm produces 2.2MW and has predicted that wit only 1 percent of Kenya’s landmass was deployed in grid-connect AD plants it will produce 1813, which is the entire consumption of electricity in Kenya

Plant sells electricity to Kenya Power; it is the first AD plant to be granted a Power Purchase Agreement with Kenya power this year.

The farm is providing electricity to an average of 8000-1000 homes in the neighbourhood and also provides its own electricity and energy it needs to function as a company.

  • Fertilizers

The farm uses 50,000 Tonnes of organic crop waste each year to produce electricity; and it will produce at least 35,000 tonnes of Nitrogen –rich matter which can be used as fertilizers. The farm uses this as fertiliser for its very own crops.

Mike Nolan, the company’s Operations Director says that this is a potential business opportunity as farmers will sell their farm residue to the company and later buy the fertilizer which is at a more nutritious state than leaving the residue in the farm to decay.

This, McMillan added, will be a boost in crop production which will in turn boost Kenya’s GDP as it Agriculture is the mainstay of the country.

  • Heat

Nolan told TechMoran that there is always excess of energy in the process; excess energy mainly collected in the exhaust is used to heat water which is used regulating temperatures in the green houses.

  • Employment opportunities

It will create opportunity for the engineers who have not yet been absorbed in the job market.

It will also improve farming which in turn; Kenya will have more farmers hence food security. This will also urbanisation, where people crowd the cities in search of employments.

Operation Director, Mike Nolan told TechMoran that they are planning on sitting up a training centre in the farm to teach anyone who is interested in taking up the technology either commercially or domestically. He added that the biogas technology is not new but not many people have the ‘know-how’.

 

According to Nolan, if we had such plants in every county, things like garbage and sewage collection problems will be minimal if not extinct, as the AD will be collecting all organic waste to produce energy.

With all this good things that may come from this plant one would think that the cost of constructing such a plant is way over board, but company Director said that the Gorge farm was constracted in less than 12 months and it cost $6.5 million that is Ksh. 591 million to build; and it has an effective lifecycle of more than 20 years.

The farm has partnered with:

  • Kenya’s VP group- the largest producer and exporter of fresh produce in East Africa,
  • Has an exclusive development licence with Snow Leopard Project GmbH- a leading developer of AD technology based in Germany
  • GE- it deploys its gas engines

The farm will be owned and managed by Biojoule Kenya an independent power producer (IPP) and has a gold standard certificate of Carbon Credits.

Lodwar county to install Ksh 16m solar hybrid borehole pumping system

0

solarLodwar Water Services Company (LOWASCO) has partnered with Davis and Shirtliff, and the Japanese Aid Agency (JICA) to install a Ksh 16m solar hybrid borehole pumping systems in Lodwar.

The project will see the system installed in LOWASCO’s three of its seven borehole fields, in a move set to lower the cost of water supply by 33 per cent and improve reliability thereby cutting down the exorbitant cost of electricity.

The boreholes will now pump water using solar energy by day and switch over to mains power by night, when the demand for mains power is at its lowest. Until now, water from the boreholes has been pumped solely with mains electricity, which was not only unreliable, but also extremely expensive.

Through the installation of the solar hybrid borehole pumping system, the water service provider will now incur a cost of Sh30 for each cubic metre of water.

“Supplying water to Lodwar had been costly due to the large amount of electricity used in pumping water from the boreholes. We wanted to keep the tariffs low and as such it was imperative that we found solutions to lower our costs to under Sh33 per cubic metre to at least break even,” said Rtd. Col. John Esekon, LOWASCO Managing Director

With the desert town of Lodwar receiving an average 9.6 hours of sunshine a day, higher than most towns in Kenya, according to the Kenya Meteorological Department, drastically lowering the reliance of the three boreholes on mains power through the use of solar energy was deemed a viable alternative in improving water supply to the business hub of Turkana  County.

To achieve this, Davis and Shirtliff installed 94 solar panels on one borehole and 144 solar panels on each of the other two and added hybrid generators, so that each borehole supplies between 125 and 250 cubic metres of water a day.

The installations feature a remote monitoring mechanism that measures the rate of flow of water, current consumption and available radiation. This is vital for the timely repair and regular maintenance of the systems so that they operate at their full capacity where they pump 675 cubic metres of water daily.

“Each pumping system is fitted with a tracking system so that we can keep tabs on the performance of the solar hybrid pumping systems. We can, therefore, run the diagnostics necessary to keep them at optimum performance by facilitating timely post-installation support,” said Anthony Karunguru, Davis and Shirtliff’s senior technician for the Lodwar project.

Turkana County has been the focus of concerted investment due to the recent oil exploration in the county. Lodwar, the business hub of the region, has seen sizeable growth in the hospitality and trade sectors, as a spillover effect, increasing the need for a reliable and affordable water supply to meet the demands by businesses.

With the installation of the solar hybrid borehole pumping systems having facilitated the maintenance of water tariffs at Sh33 per cubic meter, LOWASCO now plans to convert its remaining four boreholes to hybrid pumping systems to further improve the reliability of water services in the town.

Davis and Shirtliff has previously undertaken similar installations in Wajir, Isiolo, Machakos and Moyale counties. The five-week project in Lodwar has, however, been a different kind of experience for the Davis and Shirtliff team, which had to hire four protection officers as escorts from Kainuk to Lokichar and onwards to Lodwar, with visitors highly susceptible to attacks by gangs in Turkana County.

Transporting essential parts of the pumping system proved to be complex. “It would take three days for equipment to arrive from Nairobi, 684km away, due to the poor road network. At one point, we had to airlift a motor from Nairobi due to the urgency with which it was required and its delicate nature” said Mr. Karunguru.