Events for March 2024

First Regional Workshop on Climate-Smart Soil in Nigeria

First Regional Workshop on Climate-Smart Soil in Nigeria 2560 866 Jamie

First Regional Workshop on Climate-Smart Soil in Nigeria

Soil plays a vital role in the Earth’s ecosystem and earth system functions that support the delivery of primary ecosystem services. Healthy soils are fundamental for food security, mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adaptation towards climate change. Excessive and improper land use leads to erosion, nutrient depletion, and other forms of degradation, which severely affects the productivity of the soils and the potential for mitigating climate change. The majority of the world’s soil resources are in only fair, poor or very poor conditions, with African soils being the most severely degraded.

Delegates discussing information needs for soil action during the First Regional Workshop on Climate Smart Soil in Abuja, Nigeria, 2023.
Opening remarks during the First Regional Workshop on Climate Smart Soil in Abuja, Nigeria 2023.

Improving soil health especially in agricultural lands will help address the problem of degradation. In the last 2 decades, droughts & floods have become regular and more frequent, creating significant challenges for the players in the agricultural value chain, especially the farmers, policy makers, extension workers and donors. Sustainable soil management (SSM) practices have been promoted as the approach for boosting healthy soils to address food security, mitigation, and adaptation challenges. These practices aim to, for example: i) improve the long-term soil fertility and ii) increase soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration. Most of the major players across the agricultural value chain have recognized SOC’s potential and are setting up SOC sequestration-based targets to reduce GHG emissions. However, only a few African countries have proposed specific mitigation programs, most of which are only at the concept stage.

Climate change is one of the most significant challenges facing humans. Warming trends and changes in precipitation patterns, with increase in the frequency of occurrences of extreme weather events such as droughts, floods and storms have increasingly severe impacts. Additionally, soil health can influence the impact of these climate changes on crops and agricultural yields. Smallholder farmers that depend on rain-fed agriculture are particularly vulnerable to these changes. Their future livelihoods in terms of food security, health, education, and standard of living in this changing temperature is a growing concern.

The biological, chemical and physical function of ‘soil health’ deteriorates with changing climate due to increasing turnover of soil organic matter, decreasing soil moisture content & soil water capacity, nutrient depletion, increased vulnerability to erosion and other degradation processes, harming soil structure. Climate change is linked to agriculture and especially to soil health as it controls soil vital processes and functions along with having an intrinsic effect on crop productivity which contributes towards food security and sustainability.

According to Nigeria’s updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) 2021, the AFOLU sector continues to be critical in the move to a low carbon and climate resilient economy. AFOLU is the second largest contributor to total Greenhouse Gas emissions, contributing 25% of national GHG in 2018, Agriculture contributing 62.6% of the 87MtCO2eq. NDC Climate Smart Agriculture plans aim to sustainably increase agricultural production, enhance food security and development using an integrated approach. Thus, there is an opportunity to integrate solutions for improved soil health to support both food security and climate targets in the country.

The African Climate Action Partnership (AfCAP) and the and the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC)  thus held the first regional workshop on climate smart soil in Abuja, Nigeria. The workshop brought together policymakers, scientists, and practitioners to explore the critical nexus between soil health, climate change, and food security. It aimed to promote soil health and address compounding challenges in Nigeria.

To find out more about the workshop, the outcomes and recommendations made during the event see the reports below.

Strengthening Malawi’s National Response to Climate Smart Livestock Workshop

Strengthening Malawi’s National Response to Climate Smart Livestock Workshop 2416 757 Jamie

Strengthening Malawi’s National Response to Climate Smart Livestock Workshop

From the 20th – 21st of November 2023, AfCAP hosted its first Technical Support Livestock Peer Exchange  Visit in Salima, Malawi. This workshop aimed to support Malawi in developing and improving its livestock Tier 2 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventories, raising awareness on GHG emissions within the livestock sector and, enhancing the incorporation of livestock GHG MRVs and mitigation options into the National Climate Policies and implementation plans.  Five experts,  from Kenya and Zimbabwe, attended this peer exchange visit offering their technical expertise and support. These experts shared their experiences on their country’s development of the Livestock Tier 2 GHG inventories and the faps identified during the process.  

Photo: AfCAP Secretariat with experts and Malawi delegates

This workshop was crucial in supporting Malawi in increasing awareness within Malawi’s livestock sector on the importance of using advanced GHG emission inventory methods and thus empowering the sector to meaningfully engage and contribute to national climate actions. The workshop provided an opportunity to help Malawi’s livestock sector to identify a pathway for support to assist Malawi to expand use of advanced GHG inventory methods of Tier 2 beyond the cattle species. 

The first day of the peer exchange visit began with an overview of the global context of climate change and livestock which was followed by presentations on Malawi’s climate goals, livestock sector, Malawi and Kenya’s approach to the development of Tier 2 inventories. The second day kicked off with welcoming remarks from Malawi’s Director for Animal Health and Livestock Development (AHLD), Dr. Julius Chulu. Following the welcoming remarks, experts from Zimbabwe and Kenya presented their country experiences. The workshop concluded with afternoon breakout sessions on Malawi’s lessons learnt, challenges and opportunities in the development of its’ Tier 2 inventories. 

Photo: Expert Bernard Kimoro, State Department for Livestock Development (MOALD), Kenya, with Malawi delegates during a breakout session
Photo: Expert Grace Tambo, Department of Livestock Research, Zimbabwe, with Malawi delegates during a breakout session

The various stakeholders had expressed the usefulness of this workshop as it aided in building capacity of these stakeholders. The workshop raised awareness among the various stakeholders. Both Malawian stakeholders and experts from Zimbabwe and Kenya felt that learning had happened both ways during this workshop.  Overall, the workshop was an extremely useful opportunity to raise awareness and increase Malawi’s understanding around the issues related to GHG emissions in the livestock sector. 

Attached below is the outcome report developed from the Malawi workshop for further insights into what was discussed during the workshop.

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

Upcoming Webinar: Voluntary Carbon Markets Global Dialogue | Global Webinar

Upcoming Webinar: Voluntary Carbon Markets Global Dialogue | Global Webinar 600 377 KM

The Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCM) Global Dialogue is hosting two webinar sessions where they will present the findings on how to shape the voluntary carbon market from the perspective of the Global South. The findings have emerged from in-depth consultations with VCM stakeholders in Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and will now be presented to a global audience. The webinars aim to enrich the findings of the VCM Global Dialogue regional consultations.

During the webinar, the presentation of the findings will be followed by a panel discussion with stakeholders from the supply side. Webinar participants are invited to ask questions and provide comments during the session, and provide written feedback on the findings after the meeting.

To confirm your participation, please register for one or both sessions via the links below:

VCM Global Dialogue Global Webinar session 1 | Tuesday 28 September 2021 | 8:00 AM UTC | Register here
VCM Global Dialogue Global Webinar session 2 | Tuesday 28 September 2021 | 2:00 PM UTC | Register here

Workshop Series: Strengthening the case for Mini-grids in Africa

Workshop Series: Strengthening the case for Mini-grids in Africa 1024 576 aflp

The LEDS GP is pleased to invite you to join the Africa LEDS Partnership virtual Workshop Series on “Strengthening the case for Mini-grids in Africa: Connecting the dots across rural electrification, climate resilience and sustainable development”. 

This is part of a four session virtual workshop series to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing on African mini-grids. 

16 April | 15:30 – 16:30 SAST/ 16:30 – 17:30 EAST 
Session 1
: Introduction to the workshop and 2020 work programme (60 mins).

A private session for AMG-CoP members to catch up, introduce our general work programme (WP) for the year, discuss the current situation, our concept for the workshop, its shift to the virtual space and the planned programme. The AfLP used this opportunity to discuss and consult with members on the current Covid-19 pandemic, its impact on the AfLP work programme for 2020, as well as the emerging regional and country needs. 

16 April | 16:40 – 17:30 SAST/ 17:40 – 18:30 EAST 
Session 2: Making energy access through mini-grids affordable: The role of governments and international climate finance (60 mins).

This session explored the current mini-grid climate finance landscape in Africa and how tapping into available climate finance can strengthen both rural electrification and climate action. We looked at the financing landscape assessment that has been developed by the Finance Working Group, and heard from selected AMG-CoP members, as well as a Climate Fund representative.

Facilitator
Josh Ogada (SouthSouthNorth ) 

Speakers 
Alexia Kelly (Electric Capital) 
Alexander Obiechina (ACOB Lighting) 
Geoff Sinclair (CAMCO Clean Energy)
Alexander Ochs (SD Strategies)

Watch the recording below:

Download the presentations: Introductory Presentation (Josh Ogada); Alexia Kelly Presentation; Geoff Sinclair Presentation.

30 April | 15:30 – 17:00 SAST/ 16:30 – 18:00 EAST
Session 3: Exploring the rural electrification – climate resilience – sustainable development nexus (90 mins).

This session assessed the role of mini-grids in the current NDCs of Sub-Saharan African governments and discussed how a stronger focus on mini-grid-based rural electrification can increase climate ambition while delivering multiple sustainable development co-benefits. The session also delved into the co-benefits of mini-grid-based rural electrification, we heard from NREL about the landscape assessment of mini-grids in NDCs, in addition to perspectives from the ground on the integration of electrification, sustainable development and climate action at project level.

Host
Josh Ogada (SouthSouthNorth ) 

Speakers 
Alexander Ochs (SD Strategies) 
Franz Kottulinsky (Rift Valley)
Ieva Indriunaite (SD Strategies)
Dr Victor Osu (Rural Electrification Agency Nigeria)

Watch the recording below:

The Q&A list can be downloaded here.

Download the presentations: Josh and Alex’s combined slides; Franz Kottulinsky presentation; Ieva Indriunaite presentation

7 May | 15:30 – 17:00 SAST/ 16:30 – 18:00 EAST
Session 4: Exploring the rural electrification – climate resilience – sustainable development nexus (90 mins).

A private session for the AMG-CoP members to discuss their key take-aways from the virtual workshop and share experiences from their countries on how integrated rural electrification-climate-sustainable development planning can be put into practice. The session will conclude with a joint discussion on the next milestones for the CoP and a member survey of key topics of interest for their respective countries and regions.

This is a private session for AMG-CoP members only 

Facilitator
Josh Ogada (SouthSouthNorth ) 

Speakers 
Ieva Indriunaite (SD Strategies) 
Alexia Kelly (Electric Capital) 
Alexander Ochs (SD Strategies) 
Tim Reber (NREL) 
Additional Speakers and contributors TBC 

AMG-CoP members: You will receive a separate invite for the closed Sessions. However please do register for the open sessions using the links provided above

About: 
The African Mini-Grid Community of Practice (AMG-CoP) – a collaborative network of 16 African country governments – has identified mini-grids as a central element of developing a decarbonised, climate-resilient energy services sector for the nearly 600 million people across Africa who lack access to affordable, safe and clean energy. Mini-grids answer the call for solutions that deliver climate change mitigation and resilience, while also advancing economic and social development benefits. In 2020, governments around the world are required to submit their revised Nationally Determined Contribution strategies for reducing global carbon emissions. This creates a unique opportunity to strengthen the rural electrification – climate resilience – sustainable development nexus. 

Starting 16 April 2020, the AMG-CoP will convene a virtual 4-session workshop for its members and the broader community of energy access practitioners. This unique event will bring together (in the virtual space) African government leaders, climate finance experts, financial institutions and investors, as well as mini-grid developers and operators. The virtual workshop will assess the role of mini-grids in the current NDCs of Sub-Saharan African governments, discuss how a stronger focus on mini-grid-based rural electrification can increase climate ambition while delivering multiple sustainable development co-benefits, and identify the role of governments and international climate finance in this regard. 

This workshop will explore questions such as: 
• How can the sustainable development objectives of electrification, economic development and climate change mitigation and resilience be more effectively integrated? 
• How can energy access in Africa be advanced through climate finance? 
• How can public-private partnerships deliver enhanced electrification and other key community benefits, while also contributing to a stronger bottom line (economic performance) and more attractive investment environment for the private sector? 


The workshop will be co-convened by the Africa LEDS Partnership (AfLP) as well as the Finance Working Group and the Energy Working Group of the Low Emissions Development Strategies Global Partnership (LEDS GP) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). 

Photo credit: bbc.com

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