Power developments in Africa
17 July 2014
Africa off-grid energy challenge
IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) says that the Green Village Electricity Project (GVEP) was a winner of the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge - an initiative launched by GE and the US Africa Development Agency (USADF).
Ifeanyi Orajaka, his company GVE Projects and his efforts to introduce solar-based power to rural parts of Nigeria were sponsored by IEEE PES, through its community solutions initiative.
GVEP sought to provide energy solutions to a remote settlement in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria via solar panels. The off-grid solar electricity supplies the energy needs of a small, remote settlement including providing electricity for a health centre and water borehole.
DRC: Inga supported by AfDB The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved US$68-million for the Inga Site Development and Electricity Access Support Project (PASEL). The project will further the development of the Inga hydropower plant located on the banks of the Congo River with a vast hydro-electric potential estimated at 44 000 MW - equivalent to half of the continent´s installed electricity capacity.
PASEL will finalise the preparation of the first phase of the Grand Inga Hydropower Project, called the Inga 3 Project, which will consist of developing a power-generating capacity of 4800 MW on the Inga site and building power transmission lines that will supply electricity to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and to the Republic of South Africa.
Electricity heat and water in Africa
Schneider Electric has inaugurated its Microsol project in Kenya, aiming to develop a single, modular standard technology for producing electricity, drinking water and heat simultaneously, primarily to benefit micro-industries located in rural areas of countries with high levels of sunshine, especially in Africa.
Microsol is based on the principle of cogeneration of electricity and heat, applying a new approach to a technology that is already widespread - solar thermodynamics.
The solution focuses its constraints on the design of thermal storage which only uses environmentally-friendly products. Its purpose is to simultaneously meet three basic needs regularly expressed by deprived people: reliable access to inexpensive electricity; Clean drinking water and clean heat.
Ethiopia approves three new solar projects
US companies Global Trade Development Consulting and its project development partner, Energy Ventures, won a contract from the Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy and the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation to build, operate, and transfer three 100 MW solar farms in eastern Ethiopia.
This project improves the quantity and quality of the national power supply through the enhancement of the generation capacity mix and the Ethiopian national grid system. The Integrated energy policy of Ethiopia envisages installed electricity generation capacity of more than 20 000 MW by 2020 with a substantial contribution coming from renewable energy.
African Union funds geothermal project
The Africa Union Commission will lend US$8,4-m to producer Africa Geother mal International, an independent power producer, to begin geothermal exploration at the Longonot steam fields in Kenya. This is the first phase of a $600-million power project which is expected to generate 140 MW of electricity in 2017.
Exploratory wells will be dug in 2014 with expectations of 70 MW of electricity production by 2016. The plant will then be scaled up to produce 140 MW by the following year. The project is expected to contribute significantly to Kenya's energy pool and help the environment and the economy by displacing relatively more expensive fossil fuel based power.
The African Development Bank will lend the Government of Liberia US$203-million for the Cote D'Ivoire-Liberia-Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLSG) Electricity Interconnection Project. The project seeks to electrify 28 localities in Liberia through the construction of four substations on the Nimba, Bassa to Montserrado line.
This is part of the West Africa Power Pool project, seeking to connect the national grids of Cote D'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea through the construction of a 1357 km double circuit 225 kV line, costing US$ 203-million for the Liberia component. Dr. Margaret Kilo, the Liberian country representative, says the project will help increase the energy access rate from 2% in 2012 to 6% in 2016. www.afdb.com
Mozambique grows capacity
Pascoal Bacela, national director of electricity at the Mozambique Energy Ministry says that Mozambique plans to double its electricity-generating capacity to 5000 MW by 2025 as demand increases in southern Africa.
The contribution from hydropower plants will decline to 60% from 80%, while gas will account for 25% and coal 15%, he says. Peak domestic demand of 800 MW is growing by 8% a year, according to official figures from the country's energy ministry. Mozambique exports electricity from its Cahora Bassa hydropower plant to South Africa.
Namibia seeks power imports A prolonged drought has reduced output from the Ruacana hydro power station in Namibia, causing Namibia's power utility, Nampower, to seek other sources of supply. It says it is looking into the southern African market for support. Eskom has cut off supplies to Namibia, citing an emergency situation at home.
Nampower says it wants to import 100 MW from Zambia, in addition to the 50 MW it is currently importing. It is al so negotiating for a 100 MW from Mozambique and 50 MW from Zimbabwe. Nampower is pinning its hopes for electricity self-sufficiency on a US$1,3-billion Kudu gas-fired plant, expected to generate 800 MW by 2018.