GOGLA Newsletter August 2016

Dear GOGLA members and friends, 

Welcome to the summer edition of the GOGLA newsletter. Traditionally a period of rest and relaxation for many, developments within GOGLA and the off-grid solar sector continue at pace. 

Firstly, I would like to warmly welcome Jua Solar, Nizam EnergyNew Light Africa and CDC Group to GOGLA. As our newest members, we all look forward to a productive and long lasting relationship. 

In GOGLA news; we have, in cooperation with our partners in East African Community member countries, taken the first steps to address the tariff exemption confusion. This follows the publishing of a gazette by the EAC which included a new interpretation of the regulation for the “free of duty” import for appliances powered from solar. Taking a coordinated approach and bringing in-country stakeholders on board, we have sent correspondence to each Ministry of Energy in the EAC, along with an accompanying paper explaining the impact that this decision will have on the off-grid solar industry and the energy poor in each of the EAC’s 5 member countries. More information on the action taken can be found below. 

Elsewhere, you will find a note below on recommendations for companies importing off-grid solar lighting products to Ethiopia, following a decision by the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade that all imported shipments of off-grid solar lighting products be inspected at destination. This has led to lengthy delays for many importers. Please keep an eye out for further updates as the situation progresses. 

Planning for GOGLA and Solarplaza’s investor conference (Unlocking Solar Capital Africa) this November 1-2 in Nairobi, is intensifying. Be sure to check out the conference website for the latest program, speakers and content. Many thanks to RECP (Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme), FMO (Dutch development bank) and BMU (German Federal Environment Ministry) for their ongoing support. If you are interested in sponsoring, please do get in touch with the GOGLA team and we will be happy to talk you through the exciting opportunities available. Please also stay tuned for upcoming news on GOGLA side events on November 3rd in Nairobi. 

Finally, planning has begun in earnest for the 5th International Off-Grid Lighting Conference and Exhibition, to be held in late 2017 or early 2018. As a first step, we would like to consult you as to your favored location, through our location poll. Please do take the time to let us know what you think.

As usual in our newsletter, you will also find some of the biggest GOGLA member news, sector news and an update from our partners at Power for All.

I hope you enjoy and the very best until next time,

Koen Peters
GOGLA Executive Director

New GOGLA Members
A warm welcome to the latest GOGLA members;
GOGLA and partners take first step to address tariff exemption confusion in EAC
At the end of June 2016, the East African Community published a gazette which included a new interpretation of the regulation for the 'free of duty' import for appliances powered from solar. In the amended wording, electricity generation and appliances are fully separated. This means that, from now on, solar powered appliances are no longer eligible for tariff exemption in the EAC region. This affects five countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.

GOGLA has been working with partners from EAC member countries to highlight the fact that the new wording is contradictory (‘spare parts and accessories' have been removed from the list of exempt items). The omission will lead to confusion. And by discontinuing financial incentive policy, the sector will suffer enormously, with industry players across the board being negatively impacted.

GOGLA is taking a coordinated approach, bringing major stakeholders on board to lobby the EAC to reinstate the original wording of the tariff act. The first step of this process has been a co-signed letter and accompanying paper to the Ministries of Energy in all five EAC nations, stating the line of argument on behalf of EAC members, and the industry as a whole. 

These papers mark the beginning of an important advocacy process. Going forward, GOGLA’s policy working group will be the body where this issue is discussed and progressed further. 
Note on Ethiopian Ministry of Trade New Requirements on Imported Off-Grid Solar Lighting Products

The Ethiopian Ministry of Trade has brought in a new requirement for all imported shipments of off-grid solar lighting products to be tested at the Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise (inspection at destination). This requirement has led to serious delays in importing of products and importers are incurring significant fees for demurrage and testing. The private sector, government agencies and relevant donor organisations are in discussion to try to address this issue. It is recommended that companies considering importing products to Ethiopia check the situation with regards to testing of imports before they dispatch shipments. Further updates will be provided as the situation develops.
Unlocking Solar Capital Africa, 1-2 November, Nairobi

GOGLA and Solarplaza are glad to announce our upcoming event entirely focused on connecting solar project development and finance & investment across the entire African solar sector (On-grid Solar, micro-grids, off-grid lighting and household electrification). 

Through further support from our strategic partner, RECP (Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme) and our supporting partners, FMO (Dutch development bank) and BMU (German Federal Environment Ministry), this 2-day event is a must for investors and solar businesses alike.

This event follows the success of Making Solar Bankable and 6 previous events in Africa. Please visit the website to see the program set-up; the first confirmed speakers; the sponsors & partners as well as the latest content.

Looking forward to seeing you in Nairobi this November. 
Ahead of Unlocking Solar Capital Africa this November 1-2, GOGLA will be speaking to a number of investors in the off-grid energy space. In these conversations, we learn about their experiences to date, advice and considerations for those seeking investment, and hear why taking part in an investor conference such as Unlocking Solar Capital Africa, is so important. We also learn why GOGLA membership is so important for off-grid investors. First up we speak with Lauren Cochran of Blue Haven Initiative and Kat Harrison of Acumen. 
Take Part in 5th IOGLC Location Poll
As we look ahead to the 5th edition of the International Off-Grid Lighting Conference and Exhibition (IOGLC), to be held in late 2017 or early 2018, we would like to consult you, as a member of the off-grid solar sector, on the location of the next conference.
Your opinion is very valuable to both GOGLA and Lighting Global, the co-organizers of IOGLC.
Please complete the survey here.
GOGLA Member News
NOTS roots for solar to boost access to energy in rural areas
Business Times’ Steven Muvunyi caught up with Hart Bartman, the chief entrepreneur of NOTS Impact Enterprises, one of the companies that signed a deal with the Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL) to supply off grid electricity to boost access to electricity across the country.
Read more
How This Entrepreneur Is Turning a Profit in Developing Countries
No matter the sector, business opportunities are now ripe in the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) -- the largest and poorest worldwide population. The only question is who will harvest them. D.light co-founder Sam Goldman intends for it to shine on 100 million people by the start of the next decade.
Read more
Azuri Technologies uses artificial intelligence for solar home systems in Africa
While solar home systems are typically adversely affected by cloudy daytime conditions, which creates unreliable power after sunset, the AI-powered power management system developed by Azuri automatically learns a customer's typical power usage pattern and adjusts the light brightness to meet their expected demands.
Read more
Conditions are right for off-grid electrification of Africa – Michael Gera, EAV
Mini-grids, mobile payments and smart meters are all helping to create an off-grid model of electricity provision in Africa, helped by bottom-up funding and low-cost solar power, according to Michael Gera, managing partner and co-founder of specialist venture capitalist firm Energy Access Ventures (EAV). 
EAV has received a EUR 10 million commitment from the European Investment Bank and recently made its first investment in a company called Off:Grid:Electric, based in Tanzania.

Read more
UK International Development Minister, Nick Hurd, visits BBOXX
UK International Development Minister, Nick Hurd, visited a solar venture in Chiswick, UK, to see first-hand how the energy start-up facilitates energy access in Africa.
Read more
Off Grid Electric secures $18m in funding
$10 million come from Helios Investment Partners and $8 million in debt financing from a lending group led by responsAbility.
Read more 
M-KOPA: Solar-powered televisions brighten homes in rural Kenya
Television reaches less than a third of Kenya’s adult population on a daily basis, with the rest lacking power or a TV set, according to 2015 data from the Kenya Audience Research Foundation cited by M-KOPA.
Read more
Sector News
Job creation and energy savings through a transition to modern off-grid lighting
A recent article by Evan Mills (University of California) finds that off-grid solar can lead to the creation of up to 2 million jobs. The number of new jobs already created by the off-grid solar sector has matched that of jobs associated with fuel-based lighting.
Read more
Africa's off-grid PV growth to surge if financing is adapted
The growth of distributed solar in Sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate in the coming years if new financing models are adapted to build on regulatory progress in the utility-scale sector, leading industry figures said at the PV Insider South Africa 2016 conference.
Read more
New is not always better: The case for investing in proven solutions
For more than 300 million people in India, sunset brings all economic and social activity to a near standstill. Likewise, more than 600 million people across sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity. However, amid this lack of electricity there is a significant market opportunity: The energy market is estimated to be worth $2.2 billion in India and paraffin lamp market is valued at $1 billion in Africa.
Read more
PAYG solar in Asia: opportunities and experiences from MWC Shanghai 2016
CEOs of leading mobile operators and key mobile industry players convened at the GSMA Mobile World Congress Shanghai, to discuss trends and opportunities in Asian markets. The role of PAYG solar in Asia was among the topics discussed.
Read more
Recording - Off-grid Renewables: Energy Access and Market Opportunity (Webinar)
Recording - Off-grid Renewables: Energy Access and Market Opportunity (Webinar)
The Clean Energy Solutions Center, in partnership with the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), hosted this webinar on off-grid renewables. The webinar began with an overview of REN21’s newly released Renewables 2016 Global Status Report and then looked at off-grid renewables and their role in increasing energy access. The explosive growth of the sector and the market opportunities that the off-grid sector offers were also discussed.

Read more 
Meet Africa's off-grid entrepreneurs
Solar power, mobile money, even drones - Africa's entrepreneurs don't lack creative ways to circumvent patchy infrastructure. But without proper investment even the best bootstrapping can only go so far.
Read more 
Investors' neglect of small-scale renewables threatens universal energy access
From east Africa to India, finance for off-grid clean energy projects offers a wealth of benefits beyond tackling climate change. Article in the Guardian reporting on a recent working paper published by the International Institute for Environment and Development.
Read more 
IRENA: The age of solar has arrived
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) celebrates the “age of solar”, highlighting the potential of the off-grid solar market
Read more
New Indian tax law likely to increase costs of solar products
According to a Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) forecast the new law would increase the tariff for grid-connected solar PV by 12-16% and off-grid solar by 16-20%.
Read more
Power for All Update
This month heralds the launch of the new Resources area of the Power for All website, with new fact sheets, images and more available.

Power for All’s national campaigns are in full swing, with a media workshop in Zimbabwe, bringing together editors and producers from the country’s leading media houses. The well-received event provided knowledge on decentralized renewable technologies, business models and impact.

In Sierra Leone, the Energy Revolution has officially been launched, with a commitment from the Government to adopt policies (under the Energy Africa compact) which will grow the sector, targeting 50,000 solar lights to be sold in 2016 and a further 200,000 to be sold in 2017. Power for All ran a workshop for government officials, focused on the actions needed to streamline the importation of solar products, a key part of the country’s plans to catalyse the decentralized solar market and increase access to energy services.

This month the campaign is promoting the power of cross sector and cross industry partnerships on energy access – with an infographic now available illustrating some examples.
Upcoming Events
Unlocking Solar Capital Africa (1-2 November, Nairobi, Kenya)
GOGLA and Solarplaza are glad to announce our upcoming event entirely focused on connecting solar project development and finance & investment across the entire African solar sector, including off-grid lighting and household electrification.
GOGLA members can receive a 15% discount on registration by using the promotion code USCGOGLA-10 during registration. Be sure to avail of this offer.
India Energy Access Summit (10-12 August)
Financing & Implementing Energy Projects in Africa 2016 (Berlin, 25-26 August)
International Conference on Solar Technologies & Hybrid Mini Grids to improve energy access (Bad Hersfeld, Germany, 21-23 September)
3rd International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition (Nairobi, 30 September - 1 October)
GIIN Investor Forum (Amsterdam, 7-8 December)
Copyright © GOGLA 2016
All rights reserved.

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