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Issue 135 - 28 March 2008

CDM credit flow still slow in Africa

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Long project lead-ins and an increasingly cumbersome registration and assessment system have severely limited the volume of carbon emission reduction credits generated by African companies,

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South Africa’s national utility Eskom has selected 18 companies with renewable energy projects with a combined 1.8GW capacity for land leases at the utility’s power stations in Mpumalanga. The project is part of efforts by its Just Energy Transition Office to mitigate the impact of closing coal power plants, with knock-on impacts on coal transport and mining.

South Africa
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A presidential taskforce report which recommended that PPAs be redrawn has been greeted with resignation by stakeholders who have been ground down by years of dithering. Industry players are now left hoping the government will adopt a realistic outlook in renegotiations, writes Dan Marks

Kenya
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Controversy continues to dog financing from China, the world’s largest bilateral lender by a distance. Its debt provision has transformed the African funding landscape over the past two decades: according to African Energy Live Data, $38bn of Chinese investment was committed to power projects across the continent between 2014 and 2019 alone.

Botswana | DR Congo | Uganda | Guinea | Zambia | Equatorial Guinea | Congo Brazzaville
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Much of the news flow ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November has been about which global leaders will turn up and what carbon reduction commitments they will make. Many in Africa are more concerned the least-developed continent will be forced to adopt ill-fitting policy straightjackets and forced to choose between rival superpower-led development models, most notably China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative (BRI) and the US-led Clean Green Initiative (CGI) and Build Back Better for the World (B3W) programmes.

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We all agree: the future is necessarily based on renewable energy and storage solutions, as economies, corporations and communities work to tackle the climate crisis by achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Africa understands the need for this better than most, as vulnerable populations in regions like the Sahel suffer the consequences of global warming on their daily lives and resource distribution.

Issue 292 - 15 January 2015

South Africa: New CSP projects approved

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The Department of Energy has announced the selection of the 100MW Redstone solar thermal project and 100MW Kathu Solar Park as preferred bidders for its third concentrated solar power (CSP) independent power producer (IPP) bid round. Earlier, two preferred bidders from previous rounds – 100MW Xina Solar One, owned by Spain’s Abengoa, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the Government Employees’ Pension Fund (GEPF) and Kaxu Community Trust, and 100MW Karoshoek Solar One, owned by Emvelo, IDC, ACS Cobra Energia, GEPF, Investec and the Karoshoek Community Trust – signed power purchase agreements, implementation agreements and direct agreements that will allow them to reach financial close.

South Africa
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Private equity firm Bamboo Capital Partners and impact investor Persistent Energy Capital announced on 6 November a strategic partnership to invest in companies active in the off-grid energy sector in Africa. Under the partnership, Bamboo Capital will invest in Persistent Energy through its $53m Oasis Fund.

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US power developer ContourGlobal aims to complete pre-commissioning of the 25MW first phase of its Lake Kivu methane plant by end-March, then tow the barge out into the lake for the commissioning phase. The innovative project aims to produce 100MW of power from methane dissolved in the lake’s waters, while also averting the risk of a potentially deadly release of methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. With the 28MW Nyabarongo hydro plant inaugurated by President Paul Kagame on 5 March and the 15MW Gishoma peat plant due on stream in H2, Rwanda’s installed capacity should reach almost 200MW by year-end.

DR Congo | Rwanda
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Bosch Projects has given South Africa’s Barloworld Power a contract to supply equipment for a 4MW biogas-to-power project in Bronkhorspruit, 78km north-east of Boksburg. The clean electricity produced by the project will be used for an automotive plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria. The Bronkhorspruit Biogas Power Plant Pty Ltd is an independent power producer formed by Bio2Watt, which has a contract to purchase waste from the Beefcor cattle farm. About 40,000 t/yr of cattle manure and a further 20,000 t/yr of mixed organic waste will be fed into two anaerobic digesters that will produce the biogas feedstock for a combined heat and power application using Caterpillar internal combustion gas generator sets.

South Africa
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The final investment decision on TotalEnergies’ Lake Albert development – combining the  Tilenga-Kingfisher upstream oil project in Uganda and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (Eacop) taking oil for export from Tanzania comes as a major boost for East Africa’s energy ambitions and ends a long wait for the host governments eager to capture substantial new revenue inflows

Uganda | Tanzania
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Abdelhamid Al-Dabaiba’s government has granted permission for the construction of two highly ambitious power generation projects. Cork-based AG Energy, with links to the former Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, is in line to build what could be Libya’s first private sector solar PV plant. Qatar-based Urbacon Trading and Construction (UCC) has been authorised to build a large gas-fired plant in Zliten. Neither company has built power plants in Libya until now, but UCC has teamed up with Germany’s Siemens Energy, Tripoli-based Acesco Consulting Engineering and Services and Philadelphia-based Hill International, who bring substantial experience in major construction projects in the country, while AG has been promoting projects in Libya and the wider region for a decade.

Libya
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The $8.5bn framework agreement signed during COP26 to support South Africa in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions – one of the conference’s headline achievements (AE 449/1) – is unlikely to include funding for gas projects, African Energy has been told. The terms of the deal will be heavily influenced by the commitment of a powerful group of countries to immediately halt fossil fuel-related financing. The agreement – which G7 governments intend to use as a model for deals with other countries – is highly dependent on concessional funding, the provision of which is in question.

South Africa
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The Mwadingusha hydropower plant on the Lufira River has begun supplying power to the national grid after the completion of rehabilitation work on the first of six turbine generators at the plant. Electricity from the 11MW unit will support development and exploration work at Kamoa, which is considered to be the world’s largest undeveloped high-grade copper deposit, Ivanhoe Mines announced on 13 September. Modernisation of Mwadingusha’s five other units is under way, it said. Once completed it is expected to restore Mwadingusha to its original installed capacity of about 71MW, the mining group added, without disclosing the scheduled completion date.

DR Congo
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President Tshisekedi’s successes in outflanking his powerful predecessor Joseph Kabila gives hope that a more inclusive economic recovery is possible. But while investors look again at opportunities around the vast country, and the president has high hopes for mega solar schemes and Grand Inga, DRC remains problematic, write Jon Marks and François Misser.

DR Congo