Tag Archives: African Development Bank

What are the Costs of Energy – Costs and Trade-offs for Renewable

The topic of renewable energy costs is a hotly contested topic that touches on many politically sensitive areas. Over the years what has become clear however is that it is not a simple answer as to what is the best alternative for energy product.

There are country specific strategies and policies effecting every source of energy production. It is obvious however that the trend of renewable energy production is on a massive rise and this is set to continue.

“Renewable energy is a key component for energy access in developing areas as it offers a long term sustainable and currency-neutral supply. In African and global markets, we are seeing increased interest in this work and we will continue working with development agencies and institutions as well as investors as a part of a commitment to be socially impactful in our investment strategy.”

Sidney Yankson , Partner, GCP

Global

The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that 2014 saw a record 95 GW of new wind and solar projects, and forecasts that it will account for 25% of power generation in 2018, a figure that’s up from 20 percent in 2011. Among other startling predictions were the following:

  • 72% of the over $10 trillion forecasted dollars spent on new power generation worldwide to 2040 will be invested in new wind and solar PV plants.
  • Solar is price comparable to coal in Germany, Australia, the U.S., Spain and Italy.
  • By 2040, the levelized cost is set to drop up over 60%, and as soon as 2021, it will be cheaper than coal in China, India, Mexico, the U.K. and Brazil.

In most countries, renewables must be supplemented by a basic supply of oil and gas. As gas becomes more plentiful and available, industry analysts posit that gas will be one of the flexible technologies needed to help meet peaks, and provide system stability of non-depletable energy sources.

What may contribute to this trend are the quickly declining installed costs for solar PV, as shown in the table below:

USA

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the University of Texas, from 2010 through 2013, US federal renewable energy subsidies increased by 54%, from $8.6 billion to $13.2 billion, despite the fact that total federal energy subsidies declined by 23%, from $38 billion to $29 billion. The sponsoring government’s agenda of energy independence and renewable promotion has been effective in creating long-term industry investments.

 

Germany

In Germany and in much of Europe, the government has long subsidized and promoted renewable energy. German renewable energy based electricity generation almost reached the 30% mark in 2016.

Africa

Africa is seeing a huge influx of solar and renewable projects due mainly to two related factors: need and economics. As foreign oil and gas supply costs are related to currency values, many countries face pricing issues. While the current oil prices are beneficial in that regard, the need for a sustainable infrastructure is present, so as economies in Eastern and Southern Africa rebound, many nations have subsidized the development of many projects through foreign and local investment to that end. Thus the levelized cost lower due to subsidies and low interest project debt.

Asia Pacific

In many countries, solar power is a lower cost alternative and is also heavily subsidized by the government in their purchase agreements. Thus, this region may have typically lower than average total costs. China and India lead the way with overall investment not only in the region but among many developed and BRIC nations in solar/renewable energy.

Subsidies, or Technology?

Logically speaking the cost of any energy project is directly related to not only the existing technology costs, but also macro policies and subsidies from governments. As both are changing the shift in new energy projects is making itself clear. Utility-scale batteries are now capable of competing with natural gas in terms of availability and flexibility to provide surplus generation for peak demand. When added to small micro grids, EIA estimates that by 2040 renewables will reach 74% penetration in Germany, 38% in the U.S., 55% in China and 49% in India.

As for subsidies, fossil-fuel consumption subsidies dropped in 2015 to $325 billion, from $500 billion This reflect both lower fossil-fuel prices as well as a subsidy reform process that has gathered momentum in several countries as they look at new strategies for long term infrastructure.

Investment Trade-Offs

Its clear that renewable energy will not completely replace fossil fuel as it alone can’t meet the baseload generation needs anytime soon. However, an optimal solution is to use a combined approach of both traditional and renewable, and most governments are shifting their subsidy policies accordingly.

CO2 Emissions are another major plus for solar, not only do solar production facilities produce relatively lower environmental maladies than coal and gas production, but with no emissions in the burning operations process, this can make a major impact.

New job creation from solar and renewable is projected to add net new jobs to the economy. Rising automation in extraction, overcapacity, industry consolidation, regional shifts, and the substitution of coal by natural gas in the power sector are resulting in minor job losses in regions. Globally, the renewable energy sector employed 9.8 million people in 2016 – a 1.1% increase over 2015. In 2016, jobs in renewables, excluding big hydro, increased 2.8% to  8.3 million. This is a replacement of labor force to some extent, as well as net new jobs in many countries.

 

SOURCES:

https://www.lazard.com/perspective/levelized-cost-of-energy-analysis-100/

http://www.ren21.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/GSR_2016_Full_Report.pdf

https://www.irena.org/DocumentDownloads/Publications/IRENA_RE_Jobs_Annual_Review_2017.pdf

http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/oil-and-gas/our-insights/lower-oil-prices-but-more-renewables-whats-going-on

2016 was the year solar panels finally became cheaper than fossil fuels. Just wait for 2017

https://www.irena.org/DocumentDownloads/Publications/IRENA_Solar_PV_Costs_Africa_2016.pdf

https://www.nrel.gov/analysis/tech_lcoe_re_cost_est.html

http://www.irena.org/DocumentDownloads/Publications/IRENA_Renewable_Energy_Statistics_2017.pdf

Ghana Capital Partners 28MW solar PV project awarded runners-up at 2nd West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF 2) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Sidney Yankson (right), founder of Ghana Capital Partners with Akinwumi Adesina (left), President of African Development Bank, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire     Sidney Yankson (left), founder of Ghana Capital Partners receiving his award from senior members of the African Development Bank, namely Mulu Ketsela, Ronald Meyer, Rafique J. Mahomed, Abidjan, Côte d'IvoireSidney Yankson, Ghana Captial Partners (right) at WAFCEF-2 with Albert Boateng (left) of CTI-PFAN, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire        Sidney Yankson, Ghana Capital Partners presenting to the judges and delegates at Africa Energy Week, African Development Bank, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

 

Finalists of WAFCEF-2, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Ghana Capital Partners (“GCP”)  was awarded the runners-up prize in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire on 17 September 2015, at the West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF-2).

Jointly organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) / Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and the Climate Technology Initiative – Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI P-FAN), the second West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF-2) business plan competition took place at AfDB Abidjan headquarters, September 17, 2015 as part of the ECOWAS Sustainable Energy & Investment High Level Forum.

The GCP project was the only project from Ghana to be included as a finalist. The other projects were from all over West Africa, including Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria.

Founder of GCP, Sidney Yankson said, “It was a great honour to represent Ghana at this event. Yesterday at the Energy Week Forum we heard Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank, the Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, the Prime Minister of Benin  and the Prime Minister of Democratic Republic of Congo all share their support and vision for renewable energy as a key part of Africa’s future. It was great to be a part of that.”

GCP’s ground mounted 28MW solar PV project will provide much needed electricity to Ghana and will produce enough power annually to power 200,000 homes. This will raise one million (1,000,000) people out of energy poverty. The project will also reduce green house gas (carbon offset) emissions by 18,900 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per annum for the 25 years of the plant.

Alex Deprez, regional director of USAID said that together with Power Africa, USAID was happy to support clean energy projects in the region.

For more information, see:

WAFCEF-2

Energy Week, Abidjan, 14-18 September 2015

About SEFA

SEFA is a USD 90 million multi-donor facility funded by the governments of Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States. It supports the sustainable energy agenda in Africa through: grants to facilitate the preparation of medium-scale renewable energy generation and energy efficiency projects; equity investments to bridge the financing gap for small- and medium-scale renewable energy generation projects; and support to the public sector to improve the enabling environment for private investments in sustainable energy. SEFA is hosted by the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department of the AfDB.

About ECREEE

ECREEE is a specialised agency of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which acts as an independent body, within the legal, administrative and financial framework of ECOWAS rules and regulations. The overall objective of ECREEE is to contribute to the sustainable economic, social and environmental development of West Africa by improving access to modern, reliable and affordable energy services, energy security and reduction of energy-related GHG emissions and climate change impacts on the energy system.

About CTI PFAN

CTI PFAN is a multilateral, public-private partnership initiated by CTI in cooperation with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Expert Group on Technology Transfer.

 

300MW wind farm in Kenya. African Development Bank provides loan

The African Development Bank (AfDB) approved €115 million in financing for a wind power project in Kenya’s Lake Turkana region. The project will add 300MW to power generation capacity.

The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project includes the construction and operation of a 300 MW wind farm with 365 turbines of 850KW capacity each. This zero-emission project will contribute in filling the energy gap in the country, enhancing energy diversification and saving 16,000,000 tons of CO2 emissions compared to a fossil fuel fired power plant. The project will be implemented by Lake Turkana Wind Power, a special purpose vehicle, created in September 2006. The group of investors includes Kemperman Paardekooper & Partners Africa, Aldwych International Ltd., the Investment Fund for Developing Countries of Denmark, Norfund, and Vestas Wind Systems AS.

Click here for further details.