As Africa Climate Summit promotes solar, off-grid power ramps up below the Sahara – Yahoo Canada Finance

NAIROBI (AP) — A walk through the busy business district of Mombasa Road in Nairobi, or even a rural community in Kisii County, Kenya, highlights something that's getting attention at the African Climate Summit in Nairobi this week — solar power that is not connected to the grid.
With or without the encouragement of government policy, families and businesses are choosing off-grid solar in the face of an unreliable grid. According to the World Bank, the number of so-called minigrids, meaning solar systems that support a cluster of homes or businesses, has grown from 500 in Africa in 2000 to 3,000 today.
In Kenya, the price of electricity has risen due to higher fuel costs, driving some to form their own local grids.
It's not just individual homes in Kenya: Solar energy’s reliability and lower cost, despite initial high installation capital, has attracted steel manufacturers and cooking oil factories, who form some of the biggest clients for one Nairobi-based company.
CP Solar’s managing director, Rashmi Shah, said his company has installed 25 megawatts of solar systems in the past six years. “It is a very clean source of energy,” he said and clients are able to recover their initial costs through savings within the first four years.
“We are not polluting the air at all; we are not raising the temperatures; we are not affecting the climate of the Earth. So that is why more and more emphasis is coming to cleaner energy,” he told The Associated Press.
Over half a billion people in sub-Saharan Africa don't have reliable access to electricity. Power outages are common. Renewable energy is more reliable but its promise for the region still remains largely unmet. The African nations below the Sahara have 60% of the world’s solar potential.
“The nearly year-round sunshine in Africa makes us unique,” Kenyan President William Ruto told a ministerial session at the climate summit on Monday.
In Nigeria, as in Kenya, things are changing. Most households have depended on gasoline generators for power, but recently the government removed a gasoline subsidy, prompting increased interest in solar power, according to dealers. Only about half of Nigerians are connected to the grid, and even for them, power cuts are common.
The Nigerian government has not announced incentives to promote solar energy, such as reducing import taxes on solar equipment as demanded by dealers.
But where the government has been unhelpful, the private sector has taken the lead in promoting it by offering households and small businesses the option of paying for their solar installations over time.
“The problem was affordability, but now customers can pay installments over a period of 18 months,” said Tunde Oladipupo, an agent for Sun King, a solar power company. Oladipupo, who is based in Oyo, southwestern Nigeria, said his company also serves energy-hungry small businesses like those that use freezers or pump water from boreholes.
After addressing the issue of high upfront costs, the model has proved to be a solution for the social problems drawn out by Nigeria’s energy crisis in poorly served and low-income households. For Monsurat Qadri, the challenge was helping her young daughter with homework in the evenings when there was no light. Grid electricity was unavailable and the other option, a generator, had become too expensive.
But now, “I’m done with worrying about lighting,” Qadri said. She has installed a small solar system that powers five bulbs and a fan, and paying the installments every month is easy for her.
In Nigeria, unlike Kenya, the use of solar power for industry is rare. “Not a single one as far as I know,” Mohammed Ettu, who runs Makhade Power Solutions in Lagos, said of big industrial productions in Nigeria that use solar power.
In the third powerhouse economy of sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa, the government announced a new policy in 2021 that allows mining companies and large industrial operations to generate up to 100 megawatts of their own electricity, up from just one megawatt, reducing their reliance on the national grid and promoting renewable energy sources. As a result, several companies, including Sibanye Stillwater, Anglo American Platinum, and Gold Fields, have announced plans to generate significant amounts of renewable power in the short term.
Another example of this shift is the Ford vehicle assembly plant in Silverton, Pretoria, which currently sources over 35% of its electricity from solar power.
South Africa is also taking steps to reduce its dependence on coal-fired power. The Komati power station in Mpumalanga was decommissioned in 2022 and will be converted to clean generation with more than 150 megawatts of solar, 70 megawatts of wind, and 150 megawatts of storage batteries.
Amid the ongoing electricity crisis this year, the South African government offered tax incentives for households and businesses that purchase renewable energy sources and for households that install solar panels on their rooftops.
Businesses installing renewable energy can reduce their taxable income by 125% of the cost of the investment. Households that install rooftop solar will be able to claim a rebate of 25% of the cost of the panels, up to a maximum of R15,000 (US $779).
Back in Kenya, despite CP Solar's focus on industries, it is also doing some home installations. One is at the home of its director, Shah. It has enabled him to be completely off the grid, saving him from a recent national blackout where others relying on Kenya Power and Lighting Company, including the country’s main airport, were in the dark for hours.
“I was happy at home watching Supersport on that day. I think there was a football match coming,” Shah said.
The high cost of electricity in the country, ranging from 20 to 30 Kenyan shillings per kilowatt-hour (US $0.14 to US $0.20) has also encouraged the shift, Shah said.
The abundance of sunlight in Kenya — and Africa — favors solar energy generation, something Shah described as a “very fortunate” opportunity to have “free power.”
___
Adebayo reported from Abuja, Nigeria. Magome reported from Johannesburg, South Africa.
___
Associated Press climate and environmental coverage receives support from several private foundations. See more about AP’s climate initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
Taiwo Adebayo, Evelyne Musambi And Mogomotsi Magome, The Associated Press
Eighteen people were killed and 13 were injured during Wednesday night's mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are doting parents to Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet. See what they've said about expanding their young family and welcoming a third baby.
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel confirmed they had split in March 2011, but they didn't comment on their private relationship until after they got engaged in Montana in December.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A U.S. judge on Friday asked former President Donald Trump whether he wants to appear on television when he stands trial in federal court on charges of attempting to overturn his 2020 election defeat. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington asked Trump’s lawyers to give their opinion by Nov. 10 on media requests to broadcast the trial, which is scheduled to begin in March 2024. Prosecutors have said in court filings that they oppose the effort but have not explained why.
Zachariah Andrews was discovered by maintenance worker investigating foul smell
His Majesty King Charles and his wife Queen Camilla are yet to move into Buckingham Palace but the monarch has already switched up the sentimental photographs on display inside
The Just In YouTube channel purported to show an image of a video call between the actors, in which Smith was quoted as telling Carrey, "Stop it!"
The British news personality checked Jesse Watters over his remarks about gun control during an appearance on “The Five.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – "Trump Too Small" – a phrase mocking former President Donald Trump that a California lawyer intended to slap on T-shirts – instead has become the center of another U.S. Supreme Court battle exploring the intersection of trademark law and free speech rights. The justices are set to hear arguments on Wednesday in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's appeal of a lower court's decision that reversed the agency's denial of attorney Steve Elster's 2018 trademark application for "Trump Too Small." At issue is whether the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment free speech protections for criticism of public figures outweigh the agency's concerns over Trump's rights, as the lower court found.
Amanda Sabga/Reuters, William B. Plowman/GettyDonald Trump took to Truth Social on Thursday afternoon to unleash his frustration at New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman over her coverage of his New York business fraud trial in which he has already been fined (twice) for violating a gag order and deemed liable for fraud. In her report published early Thursday morning, Haberman wrote that Trump “tossed his head and scowled” as Michael Cohen, his former personal lawyer, took the witness stand an
Special counsel Jack Smith's team is accusing former President Donald Trump of threatening Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, after an ABC News report on Tuesday detailed some of what Meadows allegedly told investigators about Trump and the 2020 presidential election, including that he repeatedly told Trump in the weeks following the election that allegations of significant voting fraud coming to them were baseless. The ABC News report said that, according to sources, Meadows was granted a form of immunity under which the information he provided to the grand jury in March — before Trump was indicted in Washington — can't be used against him in a federal prosecution.
The special counsel’s new court filing wants a federal gag order reinstated with time behind bars if Trump violates it.
Between shoplifting, return scams and even acts of violence, crime is on the rise at grocery stores. But now, criminals are targeting not just supermarkets, but unsuspecting shoppers who are simply…
The company keeps bleeding cash on the project after meeting President Trump's demands and agreeing to a fixed price, leaving it liable for overruns.
The conservative attorney put a terrifying Donald Trump spin on the biblical principles following the election of Mike Johnson as House speaker.
WASHINGTON — A Canadian-led effort to formally condemn Hamas for the "deliberate cruelty" of its deadly Oct. 7 attacks on Israel went down to defeat Friday as the United Nations instead endorsed a call for a humanitarian pause in hostilities. On the second day of an emergency session of the UN General Assembly, delegates debated the language of a draft resolution calling for a "truce" to allow aid to enter the Gaza Strip and trapped civilians to escape. But the resolution, introduced by the UN's
The footage shows a black bear wandering through a kitchen in an Aspen hotel before pushing over the security guard.
The last time a parliamentary session was ended by a male sovereign was in 1951.
Osbourne turned 39 on Friday after celebrating at Craig's restaurant in Los Angeles on Thursday night
The perfect red-carpet look for spooky season.

source


Posted

in

by

Tags:

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *