Week in Africa: Renewable Energy Facility for Solar Equipment Purchase Launched in Nigeria; National Railways of Zimbabwe To Go Green with Solar System; and More

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Renewable Energy Facility for Solar Equipment Purchase Launched in Nigeria

In a joint partnership, the Nigerian impact investment company All On, Odyssey Energy Solutions, and the newly-launched Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) have set up a global aggregated procurement program, called Demand Aggregation for Renewable Technology (DART) for renewable energy companies. The All On-managed DART program supported by a $10 million fund will ensure reliable, affordable, and high-quality solar products reach the marginalized communities in Nigeria. The solar companies already approved by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) for the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) will get this fund for debt funding to purchase lower-cost solar equipment through the DART. The objective of the DART program is to accelerate the growth of the renewable energy market, empowering people and businesses in Nigeria. The program looks for combining demand pooling and aggregated purchasing of solar-powered equipment, access to affordable finance, and coordinated logistics processes to unlock economies of scale for solar-related companies and achieve cost savings for the customers. The program launched in Nigeria will be followed by pilot programs in four additional nations in Africa.

National Railways of Zimbabwe To Go Green with Solar System

The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has started installing solar panels on its commuter trains in order to improve lighting in the coaches, ensuring the safety of passengers. The effort is made to address the passengers’ complaints of several cases of vandalism by the criminals who take the advantage of the poor lighting in the trains. The installation work of solar panels has been started on the Bulawayo commuter train, with other commuter trains in Gweru and Harare are planned to be rolled out with the same. The installation of the solar panels is expected to allow crews to have power throughout the year without fear of breakdowns. According to NRZ Acting Spokesperson Martin Banda, the solar panels will boost efficiency to the railway services and ensure the safety of the commuters. “We are working on putting solar panels on top of the trains so that we use solar energy. So far, we have installed the panels on four coaches in Bulawayo and we are working on the modalities because the process requires a lot of foreign currency”, he mentioned.

Sonatrach to Build a 10 MW Solar Plant for its Oil Sites in Algeria

The National Company for research, production, transport, processing, and marketing of hydrocarbons (Sonatrach) has planned to build a solar photovoltaic plant in the Hassi Berkine basin (Ouargla Province), Algeria. The proposed project will be launched in 2022 and supply its oil sites in the region. The Central Director of New Resources of Sonatrach Group, Youcef Khanfar has mentioned this 10MWp solar project on the sidelines of the tenth edition of the International Energy and Hydrocarbons Exhibition (NAPEC 2021). The planning and construction work of the plant will begin soon with the help of Sonatrach’s own funds. According to Khanfar, Sonatrach is preparing its subsidiary companies to produce solar photovoltaic power stations and Algeria has all the assets to get into this niche. “We have large spaces and solar radiation in Algeria can reach 3,000 hours per year. Also, desert sand is full of selenium, a component that goes into the composition of photovoltaic solar cells”, he commented.

Chariot and Total Eren Signs Agreement on Development of Wind and Solar Projects for Mines

The Chariot Energy Group has signed binding key terms of a long-term joint development partnership with the French renewable energy producer Total Eren. The agreements signed will set out the relationship between the partners for the joint ventures on wind and solar projects for mining clients in Africa. The companies have got in this partnership for three years that will be effective from 1st January 2022, with the option to extend for a further two years. The deal enables Chariot to have the right to invest between 15% to 49% into co-developed projects. The Acting CEO of Chariot, Adonis Pouroulis said at the event that the partnership is looking forward to providing reliable, sustainable, and more competitive energy for the operational mines in Africa. With Chariot’s deep understanding and high-level commercial networks, the company looks forward to progress projects on the mining market in Africa which is largely untapped.

Malawi’s Salima Solar Power Plant Starts Operation

Malawi’s first utility-scale PV plant, the Kanzimbe solar power station also known as Salima solar power plant is now connected to the national grid. The 60MW project is located in the Salima district of Malawi spreading over an area of 170 hectares and capable of producing 154 GWh of electricity per year. The solar photovoltaic power plant is the result of a public-private partnership (PPP) project originally developed by JCM Power Corporation, Matswani Capital, and InfraCo Africa, a part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG). The Dutch development bank, FMO, subsequently invested in the construction. JCM Matswani Solar Corp Ltd, the Malawi Special Purpose Vehicle is 75% owner of the project whereas Infraco Africa Ltd owns the remaining 25%. The companies will operate and maintain the plant under the terms of a 20-year PPA signed with the national utility of Malawi, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Limited (ESCOM). The plant is guaranteed by the Africa Trade Insurance Agency, a financial institution established by seven Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) countries with the World Bank’s technical and financial support in providing insurance against political and commercial risks.

JinkoSolar Launches Energy Storage Systems in Botswana

China-based global solar module manufacturer, JinkoSolar officially launched its energy storage systems (ESS) product offering in Gaborone, Botswana. The event was hosted in collaboration with Apex Solar, a solar solution provider based in Botswana and an official distributor of JinkoSolar in the country. Local customers, government representatives, and media attended the event that emphasized energy storage systems solutions and solar photovoltaic panels. JinkoSolar noted this event as a great opportunity for them to provide clean energy solutions in the African market, as Africa’s electricity demand is expected to double by 2030. The solar PV industry in sub-Saharan Africa currently includes large-scale ground-mounted solar farms, commercial and industrial installations, mini-grids, and solar home systems. Now, the emergence of ESS in the market will accelerate the developments in the renewable energy sector.

SAPVIA and Messe Frankfurt to Organize Biggest Solar and Energy Storage Event in Africa

The launch of the first-ever Solar Power Africa Trade Show and Conference to be held in February 2022 has confirmed South Africa’s position in driving the continent’s transition to clean energy. Dedicated solely to solar power and energy storage, the three-day event is organized by Messe Frankfurt, the leading trade fair and event organizer, in partnership with the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA). The event is going to be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). The trade show is expected to attract over 100 exhibitors and the attendees will benefit from direct access to expert insights and solutions to a range of energy-related challenges, as well as key trends and developments in the renewable energy sector. Messe Frankfurt South Africa Group Exhibitions Director Joshua Low said “Solar power is one of the fastest-growing energy sectors globally and, across Africa, we are seeing increasing uptake as governments and industry transition to renewable energy sources.”

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