PAMACC in Berlin - Germany: Experts at a panel discussion on off-grid systems at the 2018 Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD) have identified off-grid systems as the way out Africa’s rural electrification challenges.
This is coming on the heels of the report that about 40% of new connections required to achieve universal energy access will come from off-grid solutions with 35% being mini-grid solutions and 5% as standalone systems
The panel, which comprised Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for infrastructure, energy, ICT and tourism at the African Union Commission agreed that off-grid power generation can take place in Africa in various forms starting from the simplest systems consisting of a PV-panel and a battery to high installed power isolated grids.
“With off-grid systems, Africa stands a better chance of leapfrogging other regions of the world in Energiewende (Energy Transition),” Dr Abou-Zeid said.
Other panellists which included Seleshi Bekele Awulachew, Ethiopian water, irrigation and electricity minister, and Mamisoa Rakotoarimanana, executive secretary of the Rural Electrification Agency in Madagascar, Thomas Duveau, Molly Webb, and Eckard Wolf, however cautioned that for off-grid systems to succeed in Africa, it is essential to have a good regulatory framework that can anticipate and accommodate various implementation structures including business operation models that encourage private sector investment.
It is important, panellists say, for Africa to deploy innovative methods in addressing the persistent challenges in the region’s energy sector.
Acknowledging Africa’s lack of strong institutional capacity as a major drawback of the region’s aspirations for clean energy transition, the energy commissioner declared AU’s readiness to provide member states “with policy solutions including regulations and standards towards an affordable, faster and more beneficial transition across all sectors of our economies.”
“We are committed to a cleaner, more secure and sustainable energy supply. Realizing this would require joint effort with all our partners in coordinating initiatives and sharing best practices to realise decisive and effective steps towards energy transition,” Dr Abou-Zeid added
Peter Altmeier, German energy minister at the dialogue said “It is possible to create prosperity, peace and security through Energiewende.” “Energy transition can provide more opportunities to this end for Africa and other regions of the world.
African non-state actors were not left out of the global energy meet as they underlined the need for the Berlin dialogue to recognise and apply the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) in their quest to liberate Africa from energy poverty.
The CBDR principle recognises historical differences in the contribution of developed and developing states to global environmental problems as well as differences in their respective economic and technical capacity to tackle these problems.
Augustine B Njamnshi, Coordinator, of the African Coalition for Sustainable Energy and Access (ACSEA) called on the German government and other developed countries “to draw parallel between those who have the luxury and option of transitioning from fossil-based energy to clean energy and those who do not have access to any form of energy at all and are in urgent need of energy.”
“For Energiewende to succeed in Africa, developed countries must recognise their historic responsibility and prioritise Africa’s needs through innovative financing and technology,” Njamshi added.
PAMACC in Berlin, GERMANY: Global leaders from across the spheres of energy, foreign policy, trade, development and business have been announced as members of the newly formed Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation.
The Commission was launched in January during the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and its work is supported by the governments of Germany, Norway and the United Arab Emirates.
Leading the Commission as Chair is the former President of Iceland, Olafur Grimsson. Members of the Commission include prominent government and business leaders from the United States, Saudi Arabia, China, Germany, Brazil and Russia and other countries.
The line-up was announced on the second day of the annual Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD), hosted by the German Federal Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Economy and Energy.
The Commission will meet for the first time during the BETD to establish a roadmap towards the development of an authoritative report to be released during IRENA’s next Assembly taking place in Abu Dhabi, in January.
“This Commission represents a truly formidable body of global leaders who will bring rigour, critical thinking, and a broad range of perspectives to the table as we analyse the potential effects of a renewables-based energy system on national and global politics,” said Commission Chair Olafur Grimsson.
“As a result, this Commission’s work will be a robust assessment of the evolving geopolitics of energy as we move towards the post-carbon era.”
The Commissioners will bring professional perspectives from nations across the world and will reflect insights from traditional energy exporters, and net energy importers alike.
Countries at various stages of renewable energy exploration and development are also represented in the Commission’s membership. The Commission will be supported by an expert panel of renowned academics.
“The shift to renewable energy is proving to be one of the most positively transformational trends of our age. Renewables offer a cost-effective pathway to poverty reduction, increased energy access and economic growth whilst reducing energy-related emissions,” said Adnan Z. Amin.
“As we move towards a more decarbonised, decentralised and digitalised energy system, and scale-up renewables in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, countries will need to better understand the nature of the evolving geopolitical landscape, so as to ensure prosperity and peace,” he added.
Deputy Director-General for Energy and Climate Policy and Export Control at the German Federal Foreign office, Peter Fischer described the commission as a development capable of accelerating the global energy transition.
Energiewende (Energy transition), according to Fischer, "will affect global politics as energy can be used as a means of power and coercion in international relations. This reinforces the need to build capacity and strengthen global systems through a framework such as this commission," says Fischer.
Some of the members of the commission include Khalid M. Al-Sulaiman, former Vice President for Renewable Energy at King Abdullah City for Atomic & Renewable Energy, Saudi Arabia, Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA, Anatoly Chubais, former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, and Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Others include Joschka Fischer, former Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister of Germany, Pascal Lamy, former Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Carlos Lopes, former Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Bill Richardson, Former US Secretary of Energy, Maria van der Hoeven, former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, and Peter Fsicher, the Deputy Director-General for Energy and Climate Policy and Export Control at the German Federal Foreign office.
PAMACC in Berlin, GERMANY: Delegates from 95 countries comprising energy experts, government leaders, entrepreneurs and civil society have underlined the importance of deploying innovative solutions and technologies to fast-track the global energy transition.
This came out strongly as the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue kicked off today in the German capital. In an opening address at the 4th edition of the dialogue popularly dubbed Energiewende (energy transition in German).
Heiko Maas, German Foreign Minister reiterated the German determination to achieve the sustainable development goals through continuous and sustained transition to renewable energies which according to him, “are plentiful and almost everywhere.”
“We regard energy policy as a platform for cooperation, dialogue and international exchange. and the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue is an ideal example of this,” he said. “The rigourous implementation of the “Energiewende” remains a major priority for us,” he added.
Heiko Maas however warned that failure to implement the Paris Agreement and the 2030 agenda for sustainable development will leave the world in a very precarious situation with greater threats to stability and peace.
To the German Economic Affairs and Energy minister, Peter Altmaier, the 4th Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue is enough proof that that “Energiewende” has become a global phenomenon.
Energiewende, Altmaier said, “gives us the opportunity to produce more energy without polluting the environment as wind and solar power are more than ever before, cheaply available.”
According to the energy minister, “many countries in the world are radically transforming their energy supply but to achieve this fully, they have to overcome challenges similar to those being faced in Germany.”
“We therefore look forward to engaging in discussions with our guests and partners on innovative business models and technologically advanced solution which will accelerate the global energy transition and make it more economically and socially attractive for all us,” Altmaier added.
In a similar vein, the EU Vice President in charge of the commission on energy union, Maros Sefcovic affirmed that “Energiewende” is no longer a German concept as it has been successfully exported across Europe.” Sefcovic said that the fact that the top 10 jobs of today never existed 10 years ago underscores the need for evolving strategies that will create more access to energy, provide jobs and accelerate global energy transition.
Also in an address to the delegates, Lucia Bakulumpagi-Wamala, CEO of the start-up Bakulu Power in Uganda, highlighted the important role women can play in upscaling energy transition.
“If we want more women in the sector, we need to show them the opportunities they can leverage on to fast track the energy transition,” Lucia added.
Hosted by the government of Germany, the two-day Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue is at the core of the Berlin Energy Week holding from 16th to 20th April 2018 and incorporating the Start-Up Energy Transition Initiative Tech Festival, EventHorizon, Global Summit on Blockchain Technology in the energy sector, and the Urban Energy Forum.
This year’s dialogue, with the theme “towards a global Energiewende,” brings together ministers and high-ranking delegations from 40 countries and around 2,000 delegates from 95 countries.
The delegates are expected to develop strategies for the intelligent transformation of the global energy system, the transport sector and the heating supply.
NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Research scientists, government and nongovernmental organisations’ representatives, entrepreneurs and pastoralists from Kenya, Senegal and Burkina Faso met in Nairobi on 12, November 2018 to share knowledge and experiences so as to strengthen the resilience of livestock systems in the future.
“The livestock sector in Africa, especially the extensive livestock, has for a long time been mystified on its contribution to crucial sectors such as the economy,” said Kamau Kuria, the Chief Executive Officer for Kenya Markets Trust (KMT).
The Regional Dialogue for Livestock Value Chain Transformation was organised by KMT in collaboration with International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) to support the resilience of extensive livestock production systems in semi-arid areas south of the Sahara, particularly in the Sahelian regions and in the Horn of Africa.
The dialogue was based on latest research findings from different studies in Kenya and Senegal under the Pathways to Resilience In Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE) project, which indicated that private sector actors along livestock value chains are diverse, ranging from private individuals to entrepreneurs to small-medium enterprises and larger actors.
“Studies have been done and evidences have been gathered from several arenas on the livestock value chain. It is now time to focus and relate that to actions that can show transformative results,” said Kuria.
Abdikarim Daud of KMT observed that in the meat value chain, there is disconnect between pastoralists who are the producers, with the meat industry. “There is need for the meat industry to drive the production,” he said, observing that the industry so far depends on brokers.
“Brokers can only choose the best animal, without telling the producers what the market demand is. But if the industry was to deal with the producers, then it will be possible for the producers to know what to do so as to satisfy the market demand,” said Daud.
Dr Stephen Moiko, one of the PRISE researchers concurred with Daud, saying that pastoralists usually produce for the market, but they do not understand the market. “Pastoralists do not sell the best. Instead they sell weaker animals to get money to solve immediate social needs,” he told the delegates.
Dr James Gakuo, an entrepreneur who buys severely emaciated animals to fatten them through an intensive feeding programme said that most pastoralists keep to their animals to a point of death especially during severe droughts. “We have now created a market for emaciated animals, and therefore pastoralists should not wait until their animals die,” he said.
He urged governments, NGOs and the private sector to invest in the fattening programmes for value addition as a way of helping pastoralists adapt to climate change.
“It is a pity when governments and NGOs decide to slaughter emaciated animals so as to give the meat to the poor as food aid,” said Gakuo. “Here is a scenario where drought is already killing animals, and the government and NGOs are also killing more animals. Are we not going to decimate all the animals, which are the lifeline for the pastoralists?” he paused.
If the same animals that are killed by governments and NGOs were to be fattened through an intensive feeding programme, they would fetch more income for the pastoralists and provide high quality meat for the market according to Gakuo.
The entrepreneur uses oil cakes from sunflower, cotton and barley to make the animal feed rations. “If the government invested in fattening programmes, then people from non-arid regions can take the advantage and start growing raw material crops such as sunflowers and cotton as an alternative source of income,” he said.
Livestock insurance was also found to be another relevant tool that can help pastoralists adapt to climate change.
According to a 2012 policy brief by the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), a livestock revolution is taking place around the Horn of Africa - with US$1 billion trade in livestock and livestock products, plus associated economic activities – transport, marketing, financing and processing.
In Kenya, the livestock sub-sector contributes 14 percent to the Gross Domestic Product.
“Pastoralists need affordable insurance cover to cushion them from the effects of climate change,” said Hassan Bashir, the Group Chief Executive for Takaful Insurance of Africa (TIA).
In collaboration with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), TIA formed an innovative policy to cushion pastoralists and is now operational in eight counties in Kenya.
ILRI’s Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) project has been in partnership with TIA since 2013, when they introduced, for the first time in Africa, an Index-Based Livestock Takaful (IBLT) policy, which combines an Islamic-compliant financial instrument with innovative use of satellite imagery to determine forage availability.
“It is a perfect product whose payments are done through M-pesa, and the product is available in designated retail shops in the villages,” said Bashir.
Dr. Assane Beye, a research scientist from Senegal said that such a policy is a good innovation that should be introduced in West Africa.
Dr Mary Mbole-Kariuki from the African Union - Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) pointed out that Africa’s future is in the indigenous breeds.
“AU is in the process of setting up five gene banks for indigenous breed, from where governments and scientists can collect semen to ensure that our indigenous breeds remain afloat,” she said.
The delegates further talked about the importance of controlling pests and diseases, the need for pastoralists to work in organised groups, the different ways of rangeland degeneration and the need for governments to put research findings into action through policy implementation among other issues.
The Nairobi Dialogue was building on the first Regional Dialogue meeting held at the PCGC conference that discussed ‘Pastoralism in current global changes: stakes challenges and prospects’ held between 20 and 24th November 2017 in Dakar, Senegal.