Search results

General

Sector

Regions

Sort options

43 results found for your search

Free

Biomass producer Buchanan Renewables (BR) has been sold to an investor group, after a project to recycle old rubber trees and rejuvenate Liberia’s once world-leading rubber industry proved more challenging than expected. Stockholm-based Vattenfall and Swedish government-owned private equity company Swedfund backed the project to convert old rubber trees from the former Firestone plantation to woodchip. The woodchips were intended to fuel a 36MW biomass power plant in Monrovia, as well as being sold for export. But the scheme ran into difficulties and the Swedish backers pulled out last year.

Liberia
Free

Is it worth devoting time to understanding the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) given that hard-nosed business people so often dismiss the motherhood-and-apple pie aspirations of big global initiatives? The 17 SDGs unveiled by the United Nations last September to replace the partially achieved Millennium Development Goals so far lack detail; the dedicated website (www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment) provides minimal information. However, the non-binding targets should gain substance as national government plans and expert recommendations appear in coming weeks. And the SDGs are emerging as a baseline for harmonising global action, as governments and international institutions work to implement the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21)’s Paris agreement.

Free

President Cyril Ramaphosa has won plaudits for his public determination to clean up South African governance, as underlined by his suspension of African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule. This clean-up has been supported by governance-focused civil society and media, and independent-minded members of the judiciary, but as African Energy’s South Africa power report pointed out, public confidence remains dangerously low after the ‘state capture’ years – and this negative environment is impacting across the economy.

South Africa
Free

It is more than a whisper: international institutions and private equity (PE) investors are again exploring major hydroelectric power (HEP) deals, after years during which environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns made big dams a problematic issue for development finance institutions (DFI) and other potential investors.

Mozambique | DR Congo | Malawi | Nigeria | Togo
Free

US President Barack Obama was expected to make headline-grabbing announcements on the Tanzanian phase of his first extended trip to Africa, which started on 26 June. Of more long-term consequence is the great debate that rumbles on over how Tanzania should use its offshore reserves, now estimated at 150tcf of natural gas. International oil companies (IOCs), other potential investors and their advisers are expressing great frustration at the slow pace of decision-making, while Tanzanian policymakers say more time is needed to make momentous decisions for the economy and society.

Tanzania
Free

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s in-tray would terrify almost any political leader. He will watch the US election results with special interest after President Donald Trump signalled his frustration over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam by observing that Egypt would “end up blowing up the dam and… they have to do something”. Trump blamed Ethiopia for failed negotiations chaired by the United States earlier this year.

Ethiopia | Eritrea
Free

Politics runs through even the most technical questions in a Republic of South Africa (RSA) ruled for nearly three decades by the African National Congress (ANC). Power struggles and influence-broking within the party have a direct impact on the implementation of policy. Along with data and project updates, African Energy’s new 160-page South Africa Power Report 2021/22 highlights the need for President Cyril Ramaphosa to implement reforms to the electricity supply industry (ESI) and other key sectors, in the face of opposition from deeply-rooted ideological and factional rivals.

South Africa
Free

Senegal is a relatively small economy with a reputation for competent, if sometimes flawed, governance of its limited resources. The prospect of an administration with a taste for joined-up government tapping recently identified offshore gas resources, and attracting investment in its abundant solar and wind resources, suggests that President Macky Sall’s Plan Sénégal Emergent strategy to achieve emerging market status by 2035 is not overblown.

Senegal
Free

The incomplete and low-key bulletin announcing the selection of 17 new power plants for South Africa’s renewable energy independent power producer procurement (REIPPP) programme on 29 October demonstrated not only the government’s shifting energy focus, but also conflicts underlying the process itself. Recently appointed minister Dikobe Ben Martins comes with a reputation for implementation, and there is no doubt that the energy sector needs it. With delays at all three of Eskom’s new power plants – which are shut down for a safety inspection following the deaths of six contract workers at Ingula pumped storage plant – and nuclear, gas and cogeneration plans that are behind schedule, Martins’ efforts are likely to be directed away from the REIPPP in the short term.

South Africa
Free

The impact of coronavirus on construction and project completions was underlined by figures for Q1 2020 produced by African Energy Live Data and presented at a 6 July Africa Investment Exchange (AIX) webinar on Africa power negotiations. This showed that only 240MW of net installed capacity was added in Q1 2020 (as a total of 438MW was installed but several big rental contracts ended). If this performance continued across the year, there would be a historic low in the installation of new generation capacity.

Free

Efforts to mitigate climate change, while electricity supply industries, transport networks and other big consumers of energy are put on a more sustainable, less carbon-intense footing, will rise sharply up the global agenda in 2021, ahead of the next big round of climate talks to be held on 1-12 November in Glasgow. This is likely to involve a rush into green bonds, new project financing and other instruments that could significantly increase the pace of Africa’s shift into a more sustainable energy future.

Free

The global energy transition is having profound impacts on natural resource producers, from the oil majors who are morphing into energy providers, to mining companies whose priorities are shifting as electric vehicles (EVs), battery storage and other new technologies take hold, and African governments and non-state actors who might profit from these changes but could also find themselves embroiled in new resource wars.

Free

The rules governing a new mechanism for the international trading of carbon emission reduction credits is due to be agreed at the Bonn Climate Change Conference, which runs from 6-16 June in Germany. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) – which has so far proved of limited value to Africa – is set to be replaced by Article 6 of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference’s Paris Agreement, which is intended to offer governments and project owners the potential to tap into a  new source of finance.

Free

While renewables projects in North Africa have been making progress – led by Moroccan solar development agency Masen’s 125MW first concentrated solar power phase of the 500MW Ouarzazate scheme – the most highly publicised, ambitious scheme of all, the Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii), is struggling to convince sceptics it can revolutionise patterns of electricity generation south of the Mediterranean and of supply within the European Union area.

Morocco
Free

If any reality check is needed to counter overly optimistic Africa Rising narratives, or as a reminder of how far the continent’s more troubled regions remain from meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, then crisis in the Lake Chad Basin provides it. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari spoke too soon when he promised Boko Haram would be defeated by end-2015. Under new leadership, the Nigerian military has raised its performance, tackling corruption that undermined its efforts, while battling the jihadist challenge in the north-east.