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Live Data help


This page will help you get the most out of Live Data and introduce you to the definitions we used sort, filter, and sum  source material.

In additon to a guide on how to use the Search function, Project pages, Organisation pages and Data Tool, you will also find below a list of Definitions of the terms used in Live Data and a Glossary.

Searching the database

Generate lists of projects or organisations using the filters on the left-hand side.

Fill out your search criteria, then click search at the bottom of the page. A keyword search is also included which searches background text as well as project or organisation names.

Power tab

This tab contains filters which enable you to produce lists of projects, which can be sorted by project name (A-Z or Z-A) or capacity (high to low or low to high)

  • The search results list tiles contain a summary of the project data as well as links to pages where detailed information can be found. You can automatically locate the project on the projects map by clicking on the eye icon and can see more information by clicking on the arrow beneath the eye.
Projects map
  • The map displays the location of the projects with pins coloured according to the status of the project and matching the headings of the data table.
  • The data table  sums the installed capacity of the projects generated by your search, telling you the number of projects in the list, divided according to whether the projects are operating, in construction, or planned.
  • Clicking on the project pin brings up a tile which, alongside summary data, will indicate if the location is not exact. 
  • Project locations are based on satellite imaging and official documents such as environmental impact assessments. Pins have been individually placed in the centre of planned sites with the aim of illustrating the broad location of the project. Where a location is not exact a message will be displayed. In these cases the pin has been placed to illustrate the general area in which the project is located.
  • The base map can be changed by clicking on the small icon beneath the data table in the top right of the page (there is a choice of satelitte map, street map, regions map). From here you can also choose whether or not to display transmisison lines.
Organsations tab

Here you can generate lists of companies and individuals active in the financing or ownership of projects according to the search criteria specified.

This is not intended as a company directory but as a way of searching and filtering organisations which hold or have previously held equity stakes in projects or are offtakers.

  • Clicking on the name of the organisation will take you to a page with more information on these companies or individuals and the projects they are involved with.
  • The map displays projects in which the entities in the list are involved and the data table will provide vital statistics on these projects.
Project pages

These pages contain the detailed information about projects. Beneath a map showing the location of the project and basic fields, you can view articles covering project developments or analysis of key sector events which will impact on it.

  • The background box explains the context of the project and gives further details about development, contracts, and technical details not covered elsewhere.
  • The financial summary box contains fields relating to the cost, procurement and key financial landmarks such as the signing of power purchase agreements and financial close.
  • Offtakers are included in the table beneath this, but only when an agreement has been signed between the project sponsors and the offtaker (except in the case of captive power).
  • Equity holders are shown in the equity holders table. You can travel up the chain of ownership by clicking the + symbol or click on the name of the company to find out more about it. A table containing information on historic equity sales will also be present in some cases.
  • The financing table shows the institutions involved with the financing of the project. Hovering over any asterisks next to the finance type will show a popup with a comment providing more information about that particular transaction.
  • The contractors box displays basic information on contacts: construction, advisory and engineering

Live Data displays the installed capacity, rather than available capacity. This is because in the African context it is not possible to obtain figures for available capacity across the board. However, where this information is available, it is contained in the electricity production table or, in the case of available capacity or design estimates, indicated in the background.

Organisation pages

These pages present information on the organisation's current and past portfolios of projects. Information is currently limited to projects in which the organisation currently or has previously held an equity stake, where it has been involved with financing, or where it is an offtaker.

Funds under management are also included and the fund portfolio can be viewed on the fund page. Projects where it was an advisor or contractor are not included.

Data Tool

This page allows users to generate and download tables with country level statistics. These statistics are generated by the information in Live Data in case of electricity generation, by SE4All in the case of electricity vital statistics, and by the International Monetary Fund and African Development Bank in the case of economy and demographics. The sources are indicated in the table.

Live Data is not responsible for the data presented by the electricity vital statistics or economy and demographic variables, which are produced by external organisations and included for the purposes of comparison and analysis.

Our data

Electricity generation variables are not estimates and are not based on modelling. The data is instead based on the sum of projects scheduled to come online in the future. As a result, they do not take into account government targets or planned future procurement rounds and are subject to change.

Instead they represent the sum of the current pipeline based on what is already announced and where projects have achieved some milestones indicating that the announced timeline is still achievable.

For detailed power stacks based on expert analysis of government policy, the project pipeline, and a discerning analysis of milestones achieved to date, please contact our African Energy Consultancy team: consult@africa-energy.com.

Sources and methodology

Live Data does not rely on a single source but instead uses the tried and tested techniques developed by African Energy newsletter, which has been providing accurate insight into the African power sector since 1998.

The Live Data team uses primary materials such as annual reports, licence and permitting documents, and most importantly contact with project stakeholders to put together project profiles and verify the information they contain.

By trying to strike a balance between providing as much depth of information as possible and providing comprehensive coverage of the project environment on the continent, at the same time as ensuring that the information is accurate and up-to-date, there are inevitably on occasion errors. However, the Live Data team works extremely hard to make sure that this is only the case on rare occasions.

We greatly appreciate your input and if you spot a mistake, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can correct it by contacting support@africa-energy.com.

Definitions

Connection type:

  • On-grid means connected to the national grid or a substantial regional grid
  • Off-grid means connected to a small isolated grid, usually as the only power plant, or a power plant providing power for a third party which is not connected to any grid
  • Embedded means electricity sold to a third party which is also connected to a national or regional grid. Power is provided primarily for the third party but surplus power may be provided to the grid or power from the plant may be supplemented by power from the grid.

Ownership type:

  • State owned means that the power plant is owned by a government entity, usually a national utility but not always
  • Public-private partnership (PPP) means that a project is owned and managed by a partnership of public and private entities. It is not sufficient that one or more public institutions own a stake in the project, it must own a substantial or controlling stake or be responsible for the management of the plant.
  • Independent power producer (IPP) means projects where the controlling stake in a power project and the management of the plant is in private sector hands. This is a more expansive definition than commonly seen.
  • Build, own, operate, transfer (BOOT) this is where a project is built, owned, and operated by an independent developer but where ownership of the plant will be transferred to a state entity after a certain amount of time
  • Rental refers to a plant which is rented for a limited period and before being removed

Status:

  • Operating means plants that are producing electricity, even if this is substantially below maximum capacity
  • Construction means that building work is ongoing at the site
  • Planned means any project which has not yet begun construction. This includes projects which are at a very early stage of development, such as identified hydro sites, as well as projects which are much more advanced. The commercial operations date filter can be used to obtain intuitive views of the project pipeline.
  • Halted refers to projects on which development or construction work has been suspended but where there is an intention to resume if possible. This can also refer to power plants which have previously operated but which are out of action, if there is an intention to resume operations at some point.
  • Abandoned refers to projects which were planned or under construction but where work has ceased with no intention of being resumed by the present sponsors, whatever the circumstances.
  • Ceased operations refers to projects which have previously operated but which have now been shut down with no intention of resuming generation
  • No evidence of progress means projects where work has historically been carried out or the project has been promoted but where African Energy Live Data has been unable to find evidence that work is continuing

Fuels:

  • Battery means power plants which include battery technology as a distinct but incorporated element. This does not include concentrated solar power or pumped storage technology.
  • Biomass means technology using organic matter as a feedstock, including biogas technologies
  • Coal bed methane involves technologies using methane extracted from coal beds
  • Coal refers to technologies using coal as the ultimate source of energy
  • Cogeneration is where process heat used for industrial purposes is also used as a heat source to generate power. The source of the heat in this case can be any fuel, as long as the heat is produced primarily for industrial uses and is separate from the generator
  • Crude oil includes both light and heavy crude oil
  • Diesel means fuel oil number 2 in the fractional distillation refining process
  • Geothermal includes any plant using underground temperature differentials to produce power
  • Heavy fuel oil (HFO) refers to fuel oil number 6 in the fractional distillation refining process, also known as residual fuel oil
  • Hydro includes any technology based on the movement or weight of water from a river or reservoir, including pumped storage
  • Liquid gases include liquid petroleum gas (LPG, a mixture of propane and butane), propane and butane
  • Methane refers specifically to plants fuelled by methane which is not derived from coal beds or biogas production processes.
  • Natural gas means any plant fuelled by natural gas, whatever the source, including both LNG and pipeline gas
  • Nuclearrefers to technologies utilising the energy contained within the atomic structure of matter, including both fission and fusion
  • Ocean (incl wave, temp gradient, tidal etc) is any technology using the ocean as its source of energy
  • Other fuel oils includes fuel oils 1, 3 (distillate fuel oils), and 4 and 5 (blends of other fuel oils, usually 2 and 6), as well as kerosene, gasoline, naphtha, and gas oil
  • Peat means plants fuelled using peat
  • Shale oil is unconventional oil derived from oil shale rock
  • Solar refers to any technology producing electricity using energy from the sun
  • Thermal (unknown) refers to technologies based on fossil fuels but where African Energy Live Data has been unable to establish the exact fuel used
  • Wind refers to any technology producing electricity using energy from the wind

Glossary

For reasons of space and concision Live Data sometimes uses abbreviations for commonly used phrases. Some of the most used are shown below:

EoI – Expression of interest

RfP – Request for proposals

EPC – Engineering, procurement and construction

O&M – Operations and maintenance

PPA – Power purchase agreement

COD – Commercial operations date

MW – Megawatt

kV - Kilovolt

kWh – Kilowatt hour

IPP – Independent power producer

PPP – Public private partnership

JV – Joint venture

LPFO – Low pour fuel Oil

HFO – Heavy Fuel Oil

LPG – Liquid petroleum gas

LNG – Liquid natural Gas

ESIA – Environmental and social impact assessment

RAP – Resettlement Action Plan

LoC – Line of credit

BOO – Build, own, operate

BOOT – Build, own, operate, transfer

CHP – Combined heat and power

T&D – Transmission and distribution

HEP – Hydroelectric power plant