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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After years of unconverted pipelines, stale financing and cost barriers, utility-scale solar PV in Africa has started to spring up across the continent. The worldwide decline in equipment prices has of course been a pivotal influence, but Sub-Saharan Africa also now hosts a number of support schemes backed by development banks that are driving significant project sizes in a number of countries. Some have suggested that initiatives such as the World Bank’s Scaling Solar programme favour big international players and can only achieve low prices through a generous debt scheme. Thus, one question is what kind of long-term solar industry will be left in the wake of such programmes and for whom? It’s also clear that Africa will have to move even faster than other markets in terms of matching the upgrade of transmission networks to the addition of renewables, since most countries have very small total power capacities and weak grids.

Two years ago, PV Tech Power wrote about ‘flickers of progress’ in West Africa specifically, but project sizes were limited to 20MW at most and despite some momen­tum, the pace was still regarded as slower than expected. Fast-forward to Q4 2017 and the market kicked off in a convinc­ing way across many parts of Africa, with project completions, major tenders and long-term support polices being regularly announced all the way up to the spring of 2018. This period saw a deluge of headlines from the African continent.

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