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.