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Energy Sector News
Ashden Awards 2014: Call for Entries
Applications for next year’s Ashden Awards are now open. If you are leading the way in promoting sustainable energy and increasing access to energy in developing countries, then find out more about participating here.
The awards are presented to sustainable energy entrepreneurs in the UK and developing world. Entry to the Ashden Awards is free and the closing date is 5 November 2013.
Ashden provides winners with a wide-ranging package of support, including business advice, introductions to investors, media materials and help with communications.
Thailand Implements Photovoltaic Support Program and Increases Renewable Energy Targets
Thailand has reopened the support of solar power installations in the country. The policy packages consist of feed-in tariff rates for rooftop and community-based ground-mounted solar systems. Thailand’s Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) published the implementing guidelines for the rooftop program last week. During the next two weeks, interested parties can apply for the installation of projects. If granted, systems must be installed with a very tight deadline by the end of the year.
While the implementing guidelines for the community-based approach are still being developed, principal information on how the program is supposed to operate is available.
Global Geothermal Development Advances
A new press release from Renewable Energy World cites that the global geothermal market is expected to reach 12,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity by the end of 2013. This growth is being led by progress in developing areas including Africa and Latin America. In 2012 415 MW of geothermal went online, while in 2013 more than 700 MW have already been commissioned.
New Energy Publications
Cleaner Cooking in the Markets of Maputo
SNV Netherlands Development Organization and CleanStar have formulated a concept that could leverage multi-stakeholder support for the development of an improved cooking solutions market in Mozambique. The report on ‘Cleaner Cooking in the Markets of Maputo’ presents results of the experience of informal cooked food vendors that are using ethanol as an alternative to traditional charcoal.
An Approach to Designing Energy Delivery Models that Work for People Living in Poverty
This report published by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), outlines an approach that can be used in designing sustainable energy services for people who are living in poverty. It provides guidelines for participatory analysis to identify the potential actors in the energy supply chain by using innovative visualization tools to build a delivery model that has a greater chance of being social, financially and environmentally sustainable. The report outlines that it is crucial to understand the context for intervention which includes:
- The local socio-cultural context
- The enabling environment
- The supporting services that will influence its viability
- Understanding in depth what the demands are for an energy service, and value it can deliver with respect to broader needs and wants of the end-users.
- Read the report
Impacts of Electrification on Small and Micro-Enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa
The new study "Productive Use of Energy – PRODUSE: Measuring Impacts of Electrification on Small and Micro-Enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa" examines the link between electrification and productive uses of energy. It has been published jointly by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP).
The study pursues two main objectives: (a) gaining insights on the interaction between electrification and productive electricity usage by examining the impact of electrification on micro-enterprises, and (b) improving the available toolkit for the impact evaluation of electrification programs.
The study confirms that differences between firms that get connected to electricity and those that do not get connected are substantial. While service firms tend to get connected to the grid, take-up rates in the manufacturing sector of rural areas were low in the countries that have been studied.
South African Biomass Energy: Little Heeded But Much Needed
Having relied on large-scale coal and a centralized grid, South Africa is now in need of more energy, according to a new paper from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
The largest renewable energy source is biomass, mostly in the form of wood fuel for cooking and heating. The paper states that attempts to develop South Africa’s biomass energy potential have failed – not due to overwhelming technological challenges, but due to local market conditions and stand-offs in agreeing purchase agreements with the public energy provider Eskom.
It concludes that in order to secure access to energy for all South African citizens, more coherent incentives for domestic biomass energy market development are needed, both for more efficient wood pellet stoves and also for biomass electricity.
It is Time for Gas: Why this is the Ideal Moment to Introduce Gas to the Low-income Families of the City of Maputo
This brief article describes market facts that support the idea that gas should be an available solution for low income families in Maputo, Mozambique.
Written by Federico Vignati, (SNV Netherlands Development Organization Mozambique), João Munguambe, (Economic Development Maputo City) and Mario Batsana, (Fundo de Energia (FUNAE), the findings of this paper have been used by the Maputo Municipality as a reference to support private sector engagement in this niche market.
Lighting Africa Market Trend Report 2012
Africa is set to become the world’s largest market for clean off-grid lamps, with up to 140 million people having access to better lighting by 2015. This is one of the main findings of a new market research report released by the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP)-supported Lighting Africa program in August. The market for quality off-grid lighting products in Africa has seen a 300 percent growth in sales in the past three years. However, 600 million people in the region still rely on expensive, ineffective, and sometimes dangerous lighting sources such as kerosene.
The market for quality off-grid lighting products has matured more rapidly than Lighting Africa predicted three years ago. The report projects that cumulative sales could grow to 28 million solar lanterns in Africa by 2015, double the 2010 estimate.
Making Energy Access Meaningful
The paper ‘Making Energy Access Meaningful’ published in the journal Issues in Science and Technology begins by presenting the stark facts that “the poorest three-quarters of the global population still only use about ten percent of global energy.” It highlights that the world’s poor need more than a token supply of electricity, as “the concept of “energy access” is often defined in terms that are unacceptably modest”. The authors write that current discussions on energy and poverty tend to assume that the 2 to 3 billion people that lack access to energy services will only actually demand these in small amounts over the next decades. They say that such assumptions lead to “projections of future energy consumption that are not only potentially far too low, but therefore imply, even if unintentionally, that those billions will remain deeply impoverished”. Instead the authors recommend that the goal should be to provide the power necessary to boost productivity and raise the standard of living.
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