Africa LEDS Partnership

Low Emission Development Strategies in Africa

WEBINAR: Assessing Opportunities for Agricultural Productive Uses of Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Development of a New Geospatial Mapping Tool

WEBINAR: Assessing Opportunities for Agricultural Productive Uses of Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Development of a New Geospatial Mapping Tool 1334 751 aflp

On 25 March, the AfLP AMG-CoP in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) hosted a webinar on a new geospatial mapping tool. This webinar was the third in a  series of regional learning events focused on analysis of opportunities for agricultural productive uses of energy in minigrids. The first webinar focused on introducing the over all context of the project, and the second focused on techno-economic analysis of potential renewable energy microgrids. 

This webinar presented the methodology used to estimate the geospatial distribution of prospective agricultural PUE loads, and introduced a new mapping tool developed by NREL to visualize PUE demand across Africa in order assist developers, planners, policymakers and others in understanding where and what PUE opportunities may be of highest priority.

Project Background and Objectives

Use of advanced energy technologies for agricultural production has multiple benefits including: 1) Intensifying production and reducing land-use pressure on related deforestation and biodiversity loss; 2) Strengthening agricultural income and employment in rural areas and allowing for more production near the home, which has particular value to women; 3) Enabling production of high nutrition and high value crops which tend to require more processing and irrigation supported by distributed renewable power; 4) Improving access to reliable energy sources to support irrigation and other productive uses such as cold storage or transportation of food; 5) Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) and other air pollutant emissions and their resulting impacts on the community and environment; and 6) Beneficial use of food waste products for energy generation.

Within this context, the U.S. Department of State is supporting the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to implement the Clean and Advanced Technologies for Sustainable Landscapes (CTSL) Program in Africa and Southeast Asia. This program seeks to:

  • Increase access to advanced, clean, reliable, and affordable energy sources to improve agricultural productivity, food and water security, and enable resilience
  • Accelerate progress toward development and economic growth and stability goals
  • Increase in-country technical and analytical capacity to support transition to self-reliance

Over the last year this program has been providing technical assistance to three countries in Africa—Zambia, Kenya and Mozambique—to develop methodologies and approaches to assess opportunities for agricultural productive uses of energy to help improve viability of clean energy minigrids. The CTSL is now excited to partner with the Africa LEDS Partnership to odder regional peer learning on this project and the methodologies being developed to a broader network of interested country stakeholders.

View presentations here. You can also watch a recording of the webinar via this link.

WEBINAR: Techno-Economic Analysis of PUE Minigrids in Africa

WEBINAR: Techno-Economic Analysis of PUE Minigrids in Africa 1211 685 aflp

On 22 February, the AMG-CoP in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) hosted a webinar on Techno Economic Analysis of PUE Minigrids in Africa. This webinar was the second in a series of regional learning events focused on analysis of opportunities for agricultural productive uses of energy in minigrids. This first session, held on December 14, 2021, introduced the overall context and background of the project and outlined the overall approach and methodology to estimate annual electric load profiles for key agricultural applications. This second session focused on techno-economic analysis of potential RE microgrids with PUE loads and associated levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) using the REopt microgrid optimization tool.

Project Background and Objectives

Use of advanced energy technologies for agricultural production has multiple benefits including: 1) Intensifying production and reducing land-use pressure on related deforestation and biodiversity loss; 2) Strengthening agricultural income and employment in rural areas and allowing for more production near the home, which has particular value to women; 3) Enabling production of high nutrition and high value crops which tend to require more processing and irrigation supported by distributed renewable power; 4) Improving access to reliable energy sources to support irrigation and other productive uses such as cold storage or transportation of food; 5) Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) and other air pollutant emissions and their resulting impacts on the community and environment; and 6) Beneficial use of food waste products for energy generation.

Within this context, the U.S. Department of State is supporting the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to implement the Clean and Advanced Technologies for Sustainable Landscapes (CTSL) Program in Africa and Southeast Asia. This program seeks to:

  • Increase access to advanced, clean, reliable, and affordable energy sources to improve agricultural productivity, food and water security, and enable resilience
  • Accelerate progress toward development and economic growth and stability goals
  • Increase in-country technical and analytical capacity to support transition to self-reliance

For the last size months this program has been providing technical assistance to three countries in Africa—Zambia, Kenya and Mozambique—to develop methodologies and approaches to assess opportunities for agricultural productive uses of energy to help improve viability of clean energy minigrids. The CTSL is now excited to partner with the Africa LEDS Partnership to odder regional peer learning on this project and the methodologies being developed to a broader network of interested country stakeholders.

View the recording of the webinar via this link.

AfLP Officially Launches Livestock Community of Practice

AfLP Officially Launches Livestock Community of Practice 1500 500 aflp

In March 2022, The Africa LEDS Partnership (AfLP) officially launched a new Community of Practice on Livestock (Livestock CoP). The event was attended by a range of stakeholders across the African continent. During the event the AfLP, and the Livestock CoP core group members provided an overview of the Livestock CoP’s goals. The event was also an opportunity for participants to express their needs and desires and identify opportunities to work with the CoP. 

During the event, AfLP Co-chair, Dr George Wamukoya (African Group of Negiotators Experts Support/AGNES) encouraged participants to participate actively and key areas that Africa should focus on. Wamukoya expressed his desire to see the Livestock building African expertise and delivering region-specific interventions to support the livestock sectors of countries across the continent. 

A key issue raised during the event was the need for Africa’s response to climate change to be informed by the continent’s context. A key element which is particularly important for policy development within the livestock sector is the consideration for mitigation and adaptation co-benefits. This is important to reduce the climate vulnerability while ensuring the sector can improve food production to meet growing demands. However, it was also noted that there is a need for on-the-ground intervention to support paradigm shifts in the livestock sector in support of more sustainable livestock practices. 

Going forward, it was suggested that the Livestock CoP focus on key priority areas to deliver real impact. Having strong links to the ground (through support of local NGOs and the private sector) and strong links to the policy level (through government entities) were seen as important to ensuring this happens. Stakeholders also suggested forming sub-regional CoPs which feed into a broader continent-wide CoP. This will help ensure the activities speak to regional needs while feeding into the broader goals of the CoP. 

Next Steps for Livestock CoP:

Following the launch event, the secretariat and core group are in the process of developing a long-term workplan for the CoP. The core group will be meeting in July to workshop key activities and co-develop a proposal for funding support from key partners, New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC). 

A key priority for the Livestock CoP in the coming months will be setting up regional forums, aimed to bring together stakeholders on the regional level to identify priorities and opportunities for implementation. 

If you would like to join the AfLP Livestock CoP you can do so by completing the form below.

Photo of an energy storage system

Opportunities Abound for the Government of Malawi to Attract Investment in RE+Storage Projects

Opportunities Abound for the Government of Malawi to Attract Investment in RE+Storage Projects 1024 512 KM

This blog post was written by Dr David Jacobs and Toby Couture, who supported the LEDS GP with this technical assistance.

View the full report here.

The market for grid-scale battery storage technologies is booming worldwide with the growing awareness of the many benefits and services that batteries can provide.

Many government and utility officials around the world continue to think of battery storage simply as a form of storage that can be “filled up” and “drawn down” as needed in order to adjust to changing patterns of power demand. However, as experience with battery storage systems grows in markets ranging from California and South Australia to India and China, a more multi-faceted view of the role of grid-scale battery storage is emerging.

Battery storage systems can help make the outputs of solar and wind powerplants more predictable and reliable, whilst also providing a wide range of services to the grid, including frequency response, voltage control, and primary and secondary reserve (see figure below).

Figure: Overview of the functions of battery storage (Source: Adapted from IRENA 2020. “Electricity Storage Valuation Framework: Assessing system value and ensuring project viability”, International Renewable Energy Agency, Abu Dhabi.)

Moreover, battery storage can help reduce curtailment, providing benefits both to renewable energy (RE) producers, as well as to utilities (IRENA, 2019).

A flurry of recent auction results of solar+storage systems shows that the economics of combining renewable energy projects with storage (RE+storage) are now attractive in a growing number of countries around the world.

Recent auction results for RE+storage projects show unsubsidized prices for solar+storage in particular between USD 4-8 cents/kWh, as seen in India’s recent auction for “round the clock” power supply (see Table below) (Gupta, 2021).

Jurisdiction (Year of entry-into-service)Project DetailsPrice ($/kWh)Contract length
India “Round-the-clock” auction (2021-22)400MW firm capacity, including solar, wind, and storageUSD $0.04/kWh25 years
Australia (2017; expanded in 2020)Hornsdale Power Reserve: 315MW of wind power with 130MW/129MWh of battery storageUSD $0.055 – 0.066/kWh10 years
Florida (late 2021)Manatee Energy Storage Center: 409MW of solar PV + 900MWh of battery storageN/A (utility-owned)N/A (utility-owned)
Chile (2021 – 2023)Engie Chile:1500MW of renewables with storage in time-differentiated blocks with solar+storage:USD $0.024/kWh40-year concession agreement
Portugal (2021-2022)483MW of solar PV + storageUSD $0.04/kWh15 years
Israel (2022)168MW of solar PV + storageUSD $0.058/kWh23 years

As the economics continue to improve, some jurisdictions with high and growing shares of variable RE, such as Hawaii, have even announced that all future procurements of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy will be combined with storage (Colthorpe, 2021). While this may not be feasible or necessary for jurisdictions like Malawi, it underscores the scale of the transformation that has taken place in the costs of RE+storage in recent years.

A recent analysis, prepared for the Government of Malawi as part of the support provided by the LEDS GP, provides an overview of the main uses for which the Government of Malawi can procure battery storage systems. The analysis focuses on five main functions, or use cases:

  1. Replacing firm, fossil fuel-based generation capacity
  2. Delivering power during peak hours
  3. Reducing the curtailment of variable renewable energy (VRE) resources
  4. Providing ancillary services
  5. Deferring transmission and/or distribution grid investments

This analysis also highlights some of the key lessons in auction design from which countries like Malawi can draw in order to design and implement their own RE+storage auctions.

While auctions designed for battery storage share several features with regular RE auctions, there are certain aspects that need to be taken into consideration, including establishing clarity over what exactly is being auctioned, what level of availability the RE+storage installations need to provide, and whether any locational or other restrictions apply.

This brief report is intended to help governments like Malawi procure RE+storage projects in the coming years to help meet their overall energy access and climate-related objectives. This way, even relatively small countries with limited grid interconnections with their neighbouring countries can move towards high shares of renewables, thus paving the way for faster and more secure decarbonization of the electricity system in the coming decades.

RESOURCES

WEBINAR: Assessing Agricultural Productive Uses of Energy for African Minigrids: Clean and Advanced Technologies for Sustainable Landscapes Regional Learning

WEBINAR: Assessing Agricultural Productive Uses of Energy for African Minigrids: Clean and Advanced Technologies for Sustainable Landscapes Regional Learning 2762 1324 KM

On 14 December, the AMG-CoP in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) hosted a webinar on Assessing Agricultural Productive Uses of Energy for African Minigrids. This was first in a series of regional learning events focused on analysis of opportunities for agricultural productive uses of energy in mini-grids. The objective of this first session was to introduce the overall context and background of the project, outline the overall approach and methodology, and share some of the initial analysis methodologies that have been developed, including geospatial analysis approaches and estimation of monthly and annual electric load profiles for key agricultural applications.

Project Background and Objectives

Use of advanced energy technologies for agricultural production has multiple benefits including: 1) Intensifying production and reducing land-use pressure on related deforestation and biodiversity loss; 2) Strengthening agricultural income and employment in rural areas and allowing for more production near the home, which has particular value to women; 3) Enabling production of high nutrition and high value crops which tend to require more processing and irrigation supported by distributed renewable power; 4) Improving access to reliable energy sources to support irrigation and other productive uses such as cold storage or transportation of food; 5) Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) and other air pollutant emissions and their resulting impacts on the community and environment; and 6) Beneficial use of food waste products for energy generation. 

Within this context, the U.S. Department of State is supporting the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to implement the Clean and Advanced Technologies for Sustainable Landscapes (CTSL) Program in Africa and Southeast Asia. This program seeks to:

  • Increase access to advanced, clean, reliable, and affordable energy sources to improve agricultural productivity, food and water security, and enable resilience
  • Accelerate progress toward development and economic growth and stability goals
  • Increase in-country technical and analytical capacity to support transition to self-reliance

For the last six months this program has been providing technical assistance to three countries in Africa—Zambia, Kenya and Mozambique—to develop methodologies and approaches to assess opportunities for agricultural productive uses of energy to help improve viability of clean energy minigrids. The CTSL is now excited to partner with the Africa LEDS Partnership to odder regional peer learning on this project and the methodologies being developed to a broader network of interested country stakeholders. 

View presentations here. You can also watch a recording of the webinar via this link.

Co-creating a Soil Organic Carbon community of practice for Africa

Co-creating a Soil Organic Carbon community of practice for Africa 804 536 KM

Co-creating a Soil Organic Carbon community of practice for Africa

Healthy and fertile soils are crucial for agricultural productivity, which is the backbone of Africa’s economy. Healthy soils may also be the climate solution beneath our feet. Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) refers to the soil organic content of soils. SOC plays an important role in soil fertility, water retention and the ability of soils to absorb greenhouse gases (GHG). However, land-use change and land degradation within Africa is severely impacting the organic content of soils, leading to less productive soils and lands and the limited ability of soils to absorb and retain GHG. In order to harness the potential for SOC to promote development and support climate action, the Africa LEDS Partnership is facilitating the creation of a new Community of Practice (CoP) for SOC in Africa.

The global landscape for SOC ambitions

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) outline mitigation and adaptation targets and form the basis for countries’ climate action ambitions. Since the second round of submission of NDCs before the COP26 negotiations, it is clear that there is a growing ambition for countries to focus on mitigation targets and adaptation-mitigation co-benefits through SOC commitments. Outside of SOC there are also a number of countries reporting activities in their NDCs that also contribute to improving SOC (e.g. Agroforestry or wetland protection).

However, despite the growing inclusion of SOC in NDCs there are still various barriers to including SOC targets. Particularly with regards to the availability of accurate data to link practice to SOC stocks which creates challenges for monitoring, reporting and validation (MRV). National level priorities also tend to focus on agricultural production and food security rather than SOC and sequestration. In order for practices to effectively improve SOC, they need to be practical for farmers and incentivized.

Despite these challenges, NDCs can provide a springboard to drive SOC-related projects within countries when aligned with national agricultural policy. Another opportunity is to align NDCs with Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) targets. SOC is one of the key metrics to measure targets for LDN, so many countries who set these targets have some set targets for increasing SOC. Therefore, aligning NDCs and LDC targets and supporting these ambitions through actions which feed into both these targets provides a great opportunity to support SOC.

Reflecting on the country perspective – Cameroon

Cameroon’s economy is dependent on Agriculture, however despite over 70% of the economy reliant on agriculture very little attention has been placed on SOC. Christian Teghe from the University of Bamenda has been working to improve the data availability of SOC in Cameroon, providing estimates for SOC in Cameroon from which to base increasing ambitions.

Teghe’s work includes studies of soil and water protection, where he has worked with women farmers to explore the benefits of conservation tillage and cover cropping in reducing soil erosion and improve SOC.

Teghe’s work has also examined how different land-use types affect SOC, showing a decline as land-use shifts from forestry to monocropping. This has allowed further research using satellite imagery to examine how SOC stock has changed in Cameroon, as well as research to examine what practices support improvements in SOC stock. Working with extension officers and smallholder farmers to improve awareness of the benefits of SOC and training them on techniques to boost yields and SOC such as Push-pull technology, Teghe’s work has been able to demonstrate on the ground solutions while providing valuable knowledge to upscale improvements in SOC conservation in Cameroon.

Shaping the SOC-COP

Between October and December 2021, the AfLP (with support from the LEDS GP and UNIQUE) convened a core group of experts and interested stakeholders to co-explore raising ambitions of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) through a SOC-CoP. Over three workshops, participants co-created the purpose, scope and mission statement for the SOC CoP.

The SOC-CoP has been designed to address various purposes such as networking, knowledge creation and sharing and providing policy and technical support. These activities are intended to serve the greater objective or goal of facilitating action on the ground. To do this, the CoP aims to support evidence-based implementation through closing the gap between policy and regulation on the national level and best practice on the farm level.

In order to achieve this, an important objective of the CoP would be to increase awareness for the value of SOC. Through sharing knowledge and lessons on effective management practices, monitoring, reporting and validation and co-benefits (both mitigation- adaptation co-benefits as well as socio-economic co-benefits) the CoP aims to create key feedback loops. These feedback loops will ensure that examples of best practice and implementation on the farm level inform national level planning, policy and reporting which in turn leads to government providing relevant support to farmers. 

The SOC-CoP is open to membership from a range of different stakeholders with a particular emphasis on the important role that practitioners on the ground (e.g. extension service officers, farmers) play. Through a small core group of experts providing strategic guidance, and a wider group of members participating in peer learning the SOC-CoP aims to build a large network of expertise focused on SOC in Africa.

Join our SOC-COP

The AfLP is seeking to grow our membership of the SOC-CoP for Africa. If you are an expert, practitioner or policy-maker working on this issue within Africa and would like to be kept in the loop, send us an email [africasecretariat@ledsgp.org] or join the group on the Green Forum to join exciting discussions and get to know everyone else. Sign up to the Green Forum here.

Clean Cooking Solutions: Access, Approaches and Barriers

Clean Cooking Solutions: Access, Approaches and Barriers 700 467 KM

The event, organised by the Africa LEDS Partnership, the GIZ Support Project for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement, and the EnDev/GCF project, brought together experts, practitioners, and policymakers to discuss emerging trends in clean cooking solutions and technologies. The presentation aimed to help participants gain a general insight into clean cooking and three different technologies: bioethanol, e-cooking and biomass-based cooking. The presenters also discussed the key barriers impeding the market and the uptake of clean cooking technologies.

The links to the discussions on the Padlet boards are available here: bioethanol, e-cooking and biomass-based cooking.

Moderator

Josh Ogada, SouthSouthNorth (Africa LEDS Partership)

Speakers

  • Verena Brinkmann, Clean Cooking Specialist, GIZ Energising Development (EnDev)
  • Sophie Odupoy, Head of Public Affairs, KOKO Networks
  • Sarah Thomas-Parensen, M&E Advisor, EnDev/GCF
  • David Jacobs, LEDS GP Expert and IET – International Energy Transition GmbH

Featured Image: MD Duran, Unsplash.com

New Policy Guidebook: Advancing Markets for Interconnected Renewable Energy Mini-Grids

New Policy Guidebook: Advancing Markets for Interconnected Renewable Energy Mini-Grids 820 616 KM

Renewable energy-based interconnected mini-grids (IMGs) are a technical solution that has the potential to directly contribute to achieving United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7: ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. IMGs can also play a key role in facilitating a “green recovery” during and after the global COVID-19 pandemic.

This guidebook, by authors Uni Lee, Alexander Ochs & Maria van Veldhuizen, summarises a broad range of policy and financial instruments that governments can implement to foster the development of the IMG market, driven by the private sector. They have been divided into five categories: broad strategy and target-setting, policy and regulation, administrative processes, financial instruments, and other supportive measures.

Institutions Involved:

  • SD Strategies
  • Africa LEDS Partnership
  • LEDS Global Partnership

To view and download the guidebook, click here.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Jadon Kelly, Unsplash

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