Friday, 7 May

Dear <<First Name>>

Forgive me for banging the same drum, but in case you hadn’t noticed, fossil fuels have no place in a sustainable energy future. The short-term economic and social benefits that they bring will always be overshadowed by the longer-term damage that burning them causes.

Transition fuels would be all well and good if there was time for a transition - but there isn’t. I read this excellent article recently warning that the world is effectively playing Russian Roulette aiming for net zero by 2050. Its authors - among them a former chair of the IPCC - hammer home the point that we are pinning our hopes on future world-saving technologies that may or may not materialise as an excuse for continuing with business as usual today. Instead we should be investing now to stand any chance of preventing catastrophic climate change.

Ember’s recent Global Electricity Review 2021 found that in Africa, renewables supplied only a third of the continent’s electricity demand growth from 2014-2019. Why this is the case, when renewables are cheaper, cleaner and lower risk, blows my mind. Africa has the opportunity to build wealth and a clean future by avoiding the mistakes that other continents made, but African countries will need to embrace this opportunity if it is to happen.

Not only does the technology Africa needs for a clean energy future already exist in the form of renewables, it has a lot of renewable resources - wind, ocean, water and sun - which are effectively free. Why not use them?



Managing Director, Camco Clean Energy

REPP news
The number of people connected to electricity for the first time through REPP-supported projects rose by 10% in the first quarter this year, bringing the number of people connected to just over 641,000. This is a terrific achievement and the early signs suggest further significant increases over the current quarter!
Story of the week
The Cameroonian and Congolese governments have selected the China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC) to carry out initial studies for the 600MWp dam that was first announced more than a decade ago. The project has an estimated price tag of USD700 million and could potentially be delivered by 2025.

West Africa

Cameroon-Congo: China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC) wins contract for Chollet dam (Afrik21)
- The CGGC has been selected by the governments of Cameroon and Congo to conduct the environmental study and construction works for the 600MWp dam. 

Nigeria: First unit of 700MWp Zungeru dam expected to be operational by December (Afrik21)
- Authorities say the first turbine will start generating electricity by the end of the year, with three additional turbines expected by 2022.

Nigeria: Konexa signs USD100 million deal with Kano State Electricity Distribution Company (NIPC)
- This deal will enable the construction of a further 10MW of electricity, whilst strengthening the generation, storage and distribution capabilities of the region.

East Africa

Kenya: Olkaria I plant to gain additional 83MWe generation before end of 2021 (Afrik21)
- With the addition of this new unit, the geothermal power plant’s total generation capacity will increase to 273.3MWp.

Kenya: GOGLA study investigates solar policy problems (PV-Magazine)
- The case study highlights the negative impact that the re-imposition of VAT and import duties are having on solar lighting systems in Kenya.

Kenya: Kenya Power seeking lender to address cash deficit (ESI)
- The organisation’s debt has ballooned over the last 15-years due to capital-intensive projects, operational inefficiencies and mismanagement.

Uganda: Andritz Hydro to rehabilitate Kiira plant (Afrik21)
- The company has been contracted by Eskom Uganda to replace critical components of the 200MWp hydro plant’s generation infrastructure at a cost of USD1.4 million.

Uganda: Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BFGA) opens third call for proposals (Afrik21)
- Off-grid providers can receive funding for electrification project implementation. The BFGA has opened pre-qualification for its third call of proposals, which will award grants between  EUR1.3 and EUR4 million to the successful companies.

Southern Africa

Botswana: Report highlights the energy producing potential of Sub-Saharan Africa (PV-Magazine) / (Report)
- Carbon Tracker reveals that 60% of the world's technical solar potential is economically viable and that the majority of the world's super abundant solar and wind power nations are found in Africa.

Mozambique: Government mobilises USD280 million for Energy for All programme (ESI)
- This initiative aims to connect up to 400,000 households to the grid for the first time.

South Africa: 123MWp Golden Valley wind farm reaches commercial operations (Afrik21)
- After two years of work, the new IPP BioTherm Energy and Thebe Investment Corporation facility, located in the Eastern Cape, is on the grid.

Africa - general

General: IFC winds down Lighting Global support (Lighting Global)
- Attention will now be diverted to mobilising investment in the off-grid solar sector and expanding the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program.

General: Renewables supplied only a third of Africa’s electricity demand growth in 2020 (Africa Newsroom) / (Report)
- Report released by Ember shows that renewables growth has been resilient, but fossil fuels remain dominant.

Rest of World

General: Net zero goals are driving unprecedented demand for critical minerals (IEA) / (Report)
- A recent study conducted by the IEA shows that government action to ensure reliable, sustainable supplies of elements is vital for the energy transition.

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