The European Alliance on Agricultural knowledge for Development

South Africa International Renewable Energy Conference 2015 (SAIREC)

SAIREC 2015 South African International Renewable Energy Conference

4-7 October 2015. Cape Town, South Africa. 3600 delegates from 82 countries attended the South African International Renewable Energy Conference.

A study released by IRENA found there were opportunities to quadruple the share of renewables in energy consumption in Africa, from the current 5 percent to 22 percent by 2030.

Christine Lins Executive secretary of REN21The uptake of renewable energy innovations is surpassing expectations globally, and said this could be replicated in Africa. Africa has the capacity, the capability and political will to become a world leader in renewable energy technologies” Christine Lins, Executive secretary of REN21

The delegates declared that in order to make the global transition to renewable energy happen

rapidly, the following elements are crucial:

  • promoting transparent and effective procurement processes; advancing renewable energy globally; promoting skills transfer and development;
  • securing financial resources;
  • conducting research and development;
  • prioritising regulatory frameworks, localising supply chains and local investment;
  • emphasising integrated planning;
  • regionalising trade and energy resource development; conducting programmes for infrastructural development in Africa; embarking on clean energy corridor initiatives and focusing on the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI); regional cooperation and international cooperation.

SAIREC 2015 composed of parallel sessions, side events, a trade show and site visits. The full programme can be accessed here.

Extract of the program:

This is a regional initiative calling for accelerated development of renewable energy potential and cross-border trade of renewable power within the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) and Southern African Power Pool (SAPP). The ACEC initiative is built on the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and closely coordinates with other regional energy initiatives, such as:
  • Power Africa, a US-led initiative that seeks to add more than 30,000 MW of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity as well as increasing electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa. Power Africa brings together the combined expertise and resources of various US Government agencies, the WB Group, the African Development Bank, the Government of Sweden, and the private sector.
  • Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP), aims to accelerate the use of the vast renewables potential in Africa to meet future energy needs with a target of creating 3 additional capacity of 10 GW of hydro, 5 GW of wind, 500 MW of solar as well as tripling the capacity of other renewables.
  • Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries Program (SREP), funded by Climate Investment Funds works to scale-up the deployment of renewable energy solutions to improve energy access and economic opportunities to pilot and demonstrate the economic, social and environmental viability of low carbon development pathways.
In Africa, developments of wind and solar generation projects continue to be thwarted by entrenched national monopoly electricity companies who typically lack the expertise, or interest, in diversifying away from familiar generation sources such as coal and oil. If oil or diesel generators are part of the mix, the recent plunge in crude prices might be seen as a new reason for not exploring alternative sources.
  • South Africa retained its place in the top 10 countries in the world for renewable energy investments, though it saw only a modest 5% increase in renewable energy investment in 2014 to USD 5.5 billion.
  • The principal driver of renewables financing there is its tender programme, which began in 2011. In December 2014, the government announced the financial close of the third round of this programme, with wind accounting for slightly over half of the 1.46GW of winning capacity.
  • However, solar attracted the largest share in renewable energy investment, with 71% growth last year or USD 3.9 billion. This growth is compared with the USD 1.6 billion spent in the same year on wind.
Related:

5 October 2015. A REN21 and UNIDO side event showcased the achievements of regional cooperation in promoting market-based uptake of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies and services. The event outlined who the players are, what has been done, and the future potential of such collaborations.

The SADC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report was launched at this event. The report presents a comprehensive regional perspective on the renewable energy and energy efficiency market and industry developments in the SADC region. See a.o. TABLE 11: Selected actors in distributed renewable energy in the SADC region (page 46)

The AfDB has been particularly active in the renewable energy field, both through its own funding mechanisms and through various specialised funds such as the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) and the Climate Investment Funds, in particular the Clean Technology Fund (CTF). The AfDB together with the World Bank are strong players in the Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries Program (SREP), for which Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia have been selected as second phase pilot countries. (p.13)

For – solar, wind and biomass – feed-in tariffs (FITs) or a competitive tendering system are the most common option, and financing typically is driven by a combination of public and private sector actors. FIT programmes have been introduced in Namibia (for wind, solar and biomass projects less than 5 MW) and in Tanzania (for small hydro less than 10 MW), and they soon will be introduced in Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The experience of South Africa in deciding against a proposed FIT and moving instead to competitive tendering for utility-scale projects has provided a useful alternative, allowing other countries to compare the risks as well as potential rewards ofthese two approaches to renewable energy financing. (p.25)

In June 2014, 25 masons who were trained
in biodigester construction and maintenance.

Development of mini-grids is progressing rapidly in the SADC region, as utilities increasingly recognise their practicality in bringing modern energy services to rural and marginal urban populations. For many countries, mini-grids already exist in the form of small local grids supporting diesel generation, but the concept of hybrid or renewable energy-only mini-grids is now gaining traction throughout the region. (p. 45)

The Domestic Biogas Programme, launched by SNV in 2013, evolved into the Biogas Milk Chilling project in 2014. In line with this change, SNV trained 17 masons in biogas construction and maintenance in 2013 in partnership with Lusaka Vocational Training Centre. SNV works with the private sector to pilot a milk chiller that runs on biogas that will enable these dairy farmers to cool and store their milk they can supply to market. This economic incentive increases the production of marketable milk and increases incomes of small scale dairy farmers. For dairy farmers, who mostly live and farm in rural areas, the loss in earnings caused by the lack of energy is up to 50%.

An example of improved cookstoves in Malawi is the Hestian Rural Innovation project, which promotes both so-called rocket barns for the tobacco industry – a re-designed curing barn with a commercial-sized rocket stove replacing the traditional inefficient curing furnace – and an artisanal clay stove based on the ProBEC model for households. The project had distributed 105,000 improved cookstoves to rural Malawi households by the beginning of 2015. It also claims a 70% reduction in wood consumption for tobacco barns and an 80% reduction for cookstoves. (p. 34)


Related PAEPARD blogpost:

This global report identified following RENEWABLE ENERGY examples in the agricultural field: (page 106 of the full report)

Irrigation: Diesel pumping systems fueled with biofuel, micro-hydro, solar PV, wind

  • Income opportunity: Growing more / new kinds of crops
  • Improvements: Better yields on existing land compared with rain-fed agriculture
  • Additional benefits: Less time spent watering crops

Agro-processing: Biodiesel pumps, micro-hydro, microgrids, solar dryers

  • Income opportunity:Adding value by refining agricultural products
  • Improvements: Increased throughput and lower costs
  • Additional benefits: Less time spent manually grinding, pounding, drying, etc.
Mechanical energy: Biodiesel pumps, micro-hydro
  • Income opportunity:Enabling welding and metalwork
  • Improvements: Improved quality and speed of carpentry
  • Additional benefits: Time saved by mechanisation of repetitive designs
Cooking: Cleaner biomass cookstoves, biogas, solar cookers
  • Income opportunity:Sales and distribution of commercial modern fuels and stoves
  • Improvements: Cleaner and more cost-effective cooking
  • Additional benefits:Time saved in wood collection, cooking, and pot cleaning; improved health
Cooling/refrigeration: Larger-scale solar PV and wind, biodiesel, and micro- and picohydro stations; biodiesel engines
  • Income opportunity:New markets for refrigerated products, e.g., milk, cheese, yoghurt and curd; fresh instead of dried fish
  • Improvements: Less waste of agricultural and fishery products, more income creation, safe storage of medications
  • Additional benefits:Reduced time and energy spent keeping goods fresh; lives saved with medications
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