Energy

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.

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.

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

Achieving SDG7 in Africa through Interconnected Mini-Grids

Achieving SDG7 in Africa through Interconnected Mini-Grids 2560 1708 KM

Achieving SDG7 in Africa through Interconnected Mini-Grids

How can grids in Africa and on other continents connect urban and remote areas, while providing enough energy for enterprises to flourish? Can this energy be clean, affordable and reliable, all at once? These questions were highlighted from different angles in a recent online discussion of the Africa LEDS Partnership and the LEDS GP Energy Working Group, supported by Berlin-based think tank SD Strategies. Click here to read more.

Recording available: Interconnected mini-grids: A key component of Africa’s energy future?

Recording available: Interconnected mini-grids: A key component of Africa’s energy future? 300 176 KM

DATE : Wednesday 14 April, 2021

TIME: 14:00 UTC, 15:00 WAT, 16:00 CET/SAST, 17:00 EAT

Can interconnected mini-grids (IMGs, also called “grid-connected” or “undergrid” mini grids) become an essential component for providing more affordable, reliable, and sustainable power in urban and semi-urban areas in Africa? This seminar brought together experts, practitioners, and policymakers to discuss the role that renewable-based IMGs can play in the continent’s future energy system. They explored current investment risks and barriers; analysed policy, regulatory, and finance instruments that can mitigate them; and showcased experiences from Nigeria, Uganda, and across Africa.

Watch the recording:

Host

Josh Ogada, SouthSouthNorth (SSN) & Africa LEDS Partnership

Speakers

Alexander Ochs, SD Strategies (SDS) & LEDS GP Energy Working Group
Interconnected Mini Grids: A key component of Africa’s energy future? – Download Alexanders presentation HERE.

Divyam Nagpal, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
Policies and regulations for interconnected mini-grids – Download Divyam’s presentation HERE.

Joan Chahenza, Africa Minigrid Developers Association (AMDA)
An in-depth look at barriers and enablers of integrated mini-grids in Africa – Download Joan’s presentation HERE.

Anita Otubu, Renewable Energy Agency (REA), Nigeria
Nigeria’s IMG program. Insights and future ambition – Download Anita’s presentation HERE.

Riccardo Ridolfi, Equatorial Power
Uganda Utilities 2.0 project

Download the seminar Q&As HERE

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