Ethiopian Energy^Power Business Portal

he World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and French Development Agency are among some of the multilateral donor agencies that have raised $1.57 billion for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to expand Nigeria's electricity grid to 20,000 megawatts (MW) within the next four years, THISDAY learnt Tuesday in Abuja. The funds according to the Managing Director of the TCN, Mr. Usman Mohammed, were raised for the company to implement its Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP). 

Mohammed said the TREP was initiated and approved by the federal government for the TCN to steadily grow, stabilise and modernise Nigeria's transmission network so it can take more electricity from generation companies (Gencos) to distribution networks. He disclosed this when the TCN hosted a workshop with stakeholders in the electricity industry to review its plan to procure and install brand new supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and electricity management system (EMS) for the national grid.

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(AfDB/News and Events, 29/05/2018

The African Development Bank, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Africa50 investment fund signed a letter of intent to collaborate on the Desert to Power programme on the sidelines of the Bank’s Annual Meetings, Busan, Korea. The Desert to Power programme, initiated by the Bank, aims to develop 10,000 MW of solar energy across the Sahel region. It is intended to provide solar generated electricity to 250 million people, including 90 million through off grid solutions, thereby enabling the development of agriculture and other economic activities. The three institutions agreed that they will share ideas and resources about opportunities to make solar power available throughout the Sahel region, transforming African deserts into new sources of renewable energy.

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(Engie Africa, 3 April  2018)

Global utility company ENGIE and off-grid energy leader Fenix International have closed their acquisition agreement today. Fenix is the first Solar Home System “SHS” company to join a major worldwide energy com-pany and has already delivered clean, safe and affordable energy and financial services to over one million people. ENGIE and Fenix have ambitious targets to reach millions of households across Africa and this partnership will accelerate and expand Fenix’s ability to scale off-grid energy and financial services. Fenix will gain access to ENGIE’s supply chain, expertise, long-term capital investments and talent across the energy value chain.

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Over the past five years, Africa has seen an explosion in growth of residential solar and mini-grid companies, driven by lower cost solar and batteries, ubiquitous mobile money platforms and innovative financing mechanisms. These companies have found ways to deliver power to millions of African consumers for the first time and have started to show how countries within Africa can be leaders of the future global energy system, a system that will be distributed, smart, and renewables-based.

Despite these promising efforts from the private sector, however, companies working to get power to more than 600 million people without access to power still face massive policy and financing headwinds. While public sector grid extension projects are heavily subsidised by large-scale donor and government programmes, residential solar and mini-grid firms are largely left without such concessional financial support. Instead, private firms focused on energy access are directed to find ‘commercially viable models’ for rural electrification, even though their public sector counterparts are heavily subsidised, and rural electrification has never been achieved without concessional financial support on any continent in the history of the world. The historical precedent of supporting rural energy access is an important one, as it helps to avoid the morally and politically untenable situation where the rural poor pay the highest price for power.

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