03 Jul

Solar power strategy to fix Togo’s electricity problem might just work

In Togo, the electricity access rate is 28% , far below the West African average of 40%. Both rural and urban households struggle not only with access but with low voltage when it is available. It has to rely on Ghana, its neighbor to the west, to supply some of its power.

However, the Togolese government hopes an ambitious “electrification strategy” will bring millions of its citizens out of the dark. Its target is for electricity to reach 50% of Togo’s 7.5 million-population by 2020, 75% by 2025 and achieve universal access by 2030.

The crux of the strategy is for solar power to serve three million people in communities where the grid would not reach—even after it’s been extended to another 800,000 households.

To achieve this, the government would partner with private investors to build 300 mini solar plants across the country and distribute solar kits to 500,000 households.

The government has also scrapped the 30% tariff on solar kits. This is in keeping with the World Bank’s recommendations on how to extend electricity to millions of Africans and forms part of Togo’s own ambitions to make renewable energy 50% of the energy mix by 2030.

Despite successes at extending electricity to many, sub-Saharan Africa remains the region with the lowest household electrification rate in the world (at 42%) and 600 million people live without it.

Collectively, the region has even less installed capacity when compared with India and China. According to the World Bank, sub-Saharan Africa needs $50 billion of investment every year to get close to achieving universal access by 2030 as envisioned by the UN’s SDG Goal 7.

There’s long been an expectation and hope that renewable energy—solar power in particular—will play a vital role in filling the huge deficit in Africa’s power generation capacity.

One challenge has been how to deliver a consumer proposition that would be affordable for some of the poorest people in developing countries, particularly in rural areas—though there are now more startups that specialize in delivering power at affordable prices.

To read the full article, click here.

 

22 Aug

Mozambique: Gas-Fired Power Station Plans to Triple Production

electricity generation

Maputo — The company Gigawatt-Mocambique plans to expand the electricity generation from its gas-fired power station at Ressano Garcia, on the border with South Africa from the current 120 to 350 megawatts.

Cited by the Maputo daily “Noticias”, the Gigawatt director of operations, Nazario Meguigy, said that an additional 60 megawatts of generating capacity will be added in 2018, with an investment of about 120 million US dollars.

The project to almost triple production, to 350 megawatts, will require a further 700 million dollars, and Meguigy, who was speaking during a visit to the power station by Deputy Labour Minister Osvaldo Petersburgo, said this sum is under negotiation with several financial institutions.

For his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Gigawatt-Mocambique, Bruno Morgado, said the company intends to transfer knowledge from foreign technical staff to their Mozambican colleagues, so that Mozambicans can guarantee the company’s production.

“When the company began its operations, we drew up a plan to reduce the number of foreign workers”, said Morgado. “We are in the second year of the plan and we think that within the next three years the company’s operations will be 100 per cent managed by Mozambicans”.

He added that, whenever necessary, specialists will be hired to support the Mozambican workers in such sensitive questions as the maintenance of equipment. Currently the Ressano Garcia power station employs 112 workers, of whom 102 are Mozambican.

“We have no doubt that, within the next three years, the company will be run by Mozambican workers”, he stressed.

source allAfrica