Decarbon Daily - Africa Cleantech, Ando, & Risilience
Inside this issue
Today, I am starting a global perspectives series that will highlight the projects, policies, and people that are deploying energy and cleantech solutions across the world. Joshua Olayori in Ifo, Nigeria covers the renewable and cleantech projects in Africa. Enjoy! ~Todd
Decarbonization Efforts in Africa: New Renewable Projects and Developments
Decarbonization is the process of decreasing 'carbon intensity', consequently reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emitted as a result of burning fossil fuels. It entails reducing CO2 output per unit of electricity generated. Decarbonization can be achieved by using renewable energy sources like biomass, solar power, and wind power. Decarbonizing Africa is a deliberate effort in line with the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change adopted by all nations of the world in 2015. Since then, all hands have been on deck in Africa to attain greater energy efficiency, meet emission targets, refine air quality, and slow the rate of global warming.
Though there is still a lot of ground to cover, some organizations and companies are at the forefront of decarbonizing Africa. One of such organizations is the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). IRENA's involvement with Africa on renewables started when the agency was formed almost a decade ago.
In July 2011, IRENA assembled an advisory forum in which African countries and development partners pointed out Africa's great prospects for renewable energy and touched on the emerging issues related to climate change mitigation and acclimatization. In a bid to maximize Africa's great potential and promote regional market integration, they formed Clean Energy Corridors, a major aspect of their engagement.
Creating Clean Energy Corridors
In Eastern, Southern, and West Africa, Clean Energy Corridors are helping African nations boost power generation from renewable sources and improve electricity trade across borders. The Corridors are mainly focused on setting up renewables-based electrical plants whose process as an individual entity would cause a noticeable change in the operation of a utility. They also employ a cross-border trade model, which gains from resource efficacy and economies of scale.
Furthermore, IRENA developed its Site Appraisal service to ensure seamless investments in renewable energy and informed financial decisions prioritized by African countries. The Site Appraisal is an economic pre-feasibility survey that serves as a model guiding the interchanges between governments and project developers. With benchmark tariffs in place, local governments and future project developers have detailed insights into the economic feasibility and investment required to develop sites. So far, the Site Appraisal service has been used to assess 92 solar photovoltaic and wind project sites in Cape Verde, Comoros, Eswatini, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan, Togo, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Altogether, these sum up to 2,262 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic and 1184 MW of wind projects.
Other decarbonization projects are undertaken by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP). This coalition creates ingenious, productive financing mechanisms to support markets for clean energy services in low- and middle-income nations for the benefit of vulnerable communities. Through carefully planned disbursement of public funds, they facilitate private investment to improve market readiness for clean energy services in these nations. REEEP thrives on a community of charitable donors who share their strong belief in boosting clean energy markets for green growth. The organization is financed by sovereign governments, multilateral groups, and international organizations.
Clean Energy Supports Water Systems
Water and wastewater systems constitute the major infrastructure that props up water and sanitation services in cities across South Africa. They generate substantial expenses and greenhouse gas emissions as they are among the biggest consumers of electricity in South Africa's municipalities. Clean energy technologies and projects bordering on energy efficiency can greatly increase efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas emissions in municipal water and wastewater infrastructure and do so at a low cost. But most times, the communities lack skilled hands and the financial capacity to plan, sponsor, and execute such projects. In view of this, REEEP executed the Climate Change, Clean Energy and Urban Water in Africa project; it was sponsored by the European Commission and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. The project aimed to empower South African municipalities to improve their water infrastructure with clean energy and energy efficiency solutions, lessen energy use, expenses and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and make service delivery better.
The technical team of Kheis Local Municipality, jointly with the project partners, mapped out strategic sites for clean energy projects. To enable remote monitoring of the operation of the various projects and for the remote detection of faults, energy meters were installed at fifteen sites. Also, ten new, energy-efficient pumps were installed to replace old ones. To forestall service interruptions in the case of pumps developing faults, they installed backup pumps for pumps vital to the water supply across the municipality.
Eni's Solar & Storage Projects in Tunisia
Eni is another company with renewable projects in Africa. The integrated energy company is commited to Africa's energy evolution and is evident in Eni's endeavours to attain total decarbonization of products and processes by 2050. With an average solar radiation potential of 1800-2600 kWh/m2/year, the southern part of Tunisia is a suitable area for solar power generation. Tunisia plans to generate 30% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030, and solar energy has a big role to play in this plan. Having been established in Tunisia in 1961, Eni is adequately prepared to assist the nation in realizing its goals. Eni has two Photovoltaic solar projects in Tunisia: Adam Photovoltaic Project and Tataouine Photovoltaic Project.
Located in the Tataouine Governorate in the southern part of Tunisia, the Adam photovoltaic plant was inaugurated in December 2019. The energy generated by this 5 MW facility is utilized for the Adam oilfield site, which is nearby. This setup lowers gas consumption and saves the equivalent of 6,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. The plant is deemed innovative as it involves integrating the subsisting gas turbine power generation system with a photovoltaic system and battery storage to cover power fluxes of the Photovoltaic system, lessen the gas turbine's 'burden' and prevent their abrupt load differences.
The Tataouine Photovoltaic Project is located in the south of Tunisia, another PV project by Eni. It is presently under commissioning and will provide energy to the local grid. The establishment will have a maximum installed capacity of 10 MW. It will supply the national electricity grid with more than 20 GWh of energy per annum via an agreement with the national company, Societé Tunisienne de l'Electricite et du Gaz (STEG). Ultimately, the outcome will be overall CO2 savings of about 260,000 tonnes in its anticipated 25 years of performance.
With more awareness of the importance of 'going green', many more players will join in the decarbonization efforts in Africa-- the potentials to be explored are abundant.
Inside this Issue
🌍 Leading Climate Change Risk Analysis Platform Risilience Raises £6m Series A Funding Round Led by IQ Capital to Scale Net Zero Transformation for Business
☀️ Ando Raises $6 Million Seed Round
💦 We Don't Have Water: South American Dam Faces Energy Crunch as River Ebbs
🎙 Energy Transition Now - Episode 11 with Kentaro Hosomi, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Articles in this issue