Events for June 2024

Exploring models for public-private collaboration in clean energy access

Exploring models for public-private collaboration in clean energy access 2560 1707 aflp

Exploring models for public-private collaboration in clean energy access

On the 8th September 2023, the African Climate Action Partnership (AfCAP) together with Camco, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Growing Government Engagement in Energy Access (GGEEA) and African Association for Rural Electrification (CLUB-ER) hosted an official side session entitled “Exploring models for public-private collaboration in clean energy access” during Africa Climate Week. This session explored the key enabling mechanisms that facilitate mini-grid deployment as well as focusing on the challenges and successes experienced by both the private and public sector in aligning priorities and actions.

Steven Payma (RREA Liberia) kicking off the official AfCAP side session at Africa Climate Week 2023

The first part of the session focused on how the public sector is working towards increasing energy access in Africa , the acceleration of the deployment of mini-grids and the current challenges and opportunities that African countries face when it comes to electrifying rural areas using Kenya and Liberia as examples.  The panel discussion kicked off with Steven Payma from the Rural and Renewable Energy Agency in Liberia (RREA). Payma explained that REA in Liberia has attracted their private sector to invest into the public by enabling policy and regulation environment partnerships in the public-private sector for clean energy access in Liberia.  Payma, indicated that Liberia’s National Electrification Strategy targets are set to achieve universal access to energy by 2030. So far, 30% of Liberia’s population in urban areas have access to electricity and only 8% of rural areas have access to electricity.  Payma explained that Liberia has both solicited and unsolicited projects running with the involvement of the private sector.  He noted that it is key to involve the private sector to attract investment in order to increase energy access and create an enabling policy and regulatory environment. A key message coming out from his discussion was that the national energy utility needs to be unbundled and the sector needs to open up to independent power producers. Such public-private collaborations would support clean , universal energy access.

Eng. Maxwell Ngala (REREC, Kenya)  during the AfCAP official side session at Africa Climate Week 2023

The second speaker was Eng. Maxwell Ngala from the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation of Kenya  (REREC). Ngala was tasked with explaining the current challenges to electrifying rural areas in Kenya and what the opportunities are for mini-grids in aiding the achievement of this target.  Ngala explained that REREC has a pilot project running in the area of Kenya, called Wajiha. This project has rolled-out 35 mini-grids through mission projects. Ngala indicated that the main challenges faced are technical, institutional and financial. When it comes to planning and the deployment of mini-grids, it’s important to understand the available technologies and to determine which are the most suitable for the context to meet the needs of the local community, Ngala explained.

Ieva Indriunaite (Camco) speaking during AfCAP’s official side session at Africa Climate Week 2023

The discussion shifted towards the private sector. This portion of the panel discussion focused on exploring options for improved collaboration, specifically on how the private sector can act as an implementing partner in realising governments’ NDC targets.  Ieva Indriunaite from Camco kicked off this part of discussion by explaining the challenges Camco experienced in funding viable mini-grid projects.

Indriunaite explained that when it comes to the gaps in energy access and viability for climate finance the key challenge is limited access to funding which makes scaling a challenge for the continent. Indriunaite expressed that inorder to enable the large-scale deployment of mini-grids, it requires blended finance. Attracting private sector funding requires regulatory frameworks that are clear, transparent and implemented in a timely manner to de-risk financing.  A key message from Indriunaite, is that governments should view mini-grid developers as partners, not as competitors. The private sector can mobilise solutions quickly and these solutions can be integrated into national grids and taken over by the public sector at a later stage.

The next speaker was Aaron Leopold from EnerGrow. Leopold shared some of his experiences of what enables effective collaboration with the public sector. He was in agreement with Indriunaite’s statement to not only involve the private sector in the later stages of the national plan for mini-grid deployment. Leopold explained there is a need for collaboration between the public and private sector at the start of the design process.  He indicated that Energrow works to accelerate electrification by looking at the demand side. The organisation looks at how to improve energy demand in rural communities so that mini-grid companies can improve their tariff. A key takeaway message from Leopold was that there is a need to find creative ways to collaborate in the public-private partnerships to support mini-grids, for example, micro-financing and engaging with consumers to understand what they need in their localised contexts.

Aaron Leopold (EnerGrow)  during the AfCAP official side session at Africa Climate Week 2023

Our last speaker for the panel discussion was Suleiman Babamanu from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). Babamanu shared his insights on how the RMI aimed to support the transformation of energy systems in Africa and what steps they are taking to enable greater private sector investment. He noted that it is possible to enable greater private sector investment by linking energy access to economic development which remains a challenge for Nigeria. Babamanu explained that RMI does collaboration through understanding the context of the country. For example,  Nigeria works on 2 main pillars; 1) Scaling and distributing energy resources, and 2) Deploying efficient demands for productive use. Babamanu indicated that the African Mini-grid Programme (AMP) aims to ensure that government and private developers are working together to create an enabling environment to ensure the transformation of energy systems and greater private sector investment through applying cost reduction techniques and innovative businesses.

Suleiman Babmanu (RMI) ending off the AfCAP official side session at Africa Climate Week 2023

In closing,  the panellists had an opportunity to give their final reflections on how we can align the priorities of the public and private sector when it comes to energy access. Ngala shared his thoughts and expressed that it is important for the private and public sectors not to work in silos. Indriunaite explained that the private sector lacks accessibility to planning and national planning documents. She felt that it should not be seen as a competition between the private and public sector as both sectors have a common goal of providing energy access to all.  Ngala, agreed with Indriunaite on the lack of access to information and data and stated that local data needs to be generated and accessible to both public and private users to enable planning for mini-grids in Africa.

AfCAP aims to continue engagements around creating enabling environments for mini-grid deployment through the Africa Mini-Grid Community of Practice (AMG-CoP) and the Growing Government Engagement in Energy Access (GGEEA) project. If you would like more information on these activities please contact us on info@africanclimateactionpartnership.org

This activity was co-funded by AfCAP and GGEEA. GGEEA is funded with UK aid from the UK government via the Transforming Energy Access programme.

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.

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.

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

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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