Batteries key to serve consumers better with higher-quality clean energy access

Marcus Wiemann, Executive Director, ARE

Promoting renewable energy & energy efficiency in the East African Region through a Regional Institutional Framework

Fred Ishugah, Sustainable Energy Expert, EACREEE

The provision of affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy is essential for the development of prosperous economies, as it advances and strengthens productive capacities that promote socio-economic development in an environmentally sound manner. However, all the East African Community (EAC) partner states face significant energy challenges. Large proportion of the population of the EAC region remains without access to modern energy services, and progress in expanding electricity access has lagged behind population growth. Although there has been some progress in scaling up access to modern energy in the EAC region, electricity access is still just about 30%, with over 90% of rural and low-income urban households depending on firewood or charcoal to cook their food.

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Cognisant of the critical need for clean energy, each EAC Partner State has developed its own sets of renewable energy and energy efficiency policies and instruments, with the view toward attracting investments. On the other hand, the East African Community (EAC) recognises that regional integration is central to rapid green economic growth of the region.  In view of this, the East Africa Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EACREEE) was established as an intergovernmental initiative of the EAC Partner States mandated to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in the region through policy advocacy, investment promotion and capacity building, as well as promoting research and development and technology transfer.

EACREEE’s interventions are targeted on potential significant contributions to the EAC regional development objectives, the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. While the specific programs and initiatives to address these goals may change over time, activities are guided by the key principles of social cohesion, environmental conservation and economic prosperity for the region through promotion of universal energy access, affordable energy services, reduced environmental impact and energy security. The Centre is also committed to promote an integrated and inclusive energy market as an engine for socio-economic development and improved livelihoods. We focus on systematic efforts to ensure availability of technical assistance at all levels as a key factor to activate market transformation.

EACREEE is establishing itself as a platform for the formation of joint solutions for sustainable development in RE&EE in the East African region. Through cross-border approaches and methodologies, the Centre complements and accelerates national efforts in strategic areas in addressing demand- and supply-side barriers for the uptake of sustainable energy markets in the EAC.

As a member of the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres (GN-SEC), which is coordinated by UNIDO in cooperation with various regional economic communities and organisations, EACREEE is keen to respond to the needs for increased cooperation and capacities to mitigate existing barriers to renewable energy and energy efficiency investment, markets and industries. The Centre will endeavour and seek partnerships with key institutions, like the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) and others in putting forward the sustainable energy agenda at both national, regional and global levels.


Battery storage will help provide mini-grid electricity to half a billion people by 2030

Our recent report, Mini Grids for Half a Billion People, indicates that mini-grids are the least cost way to provide electricity to 490 million people by 2030 in order to achieve the SDG7 objective, along with solar home systems and grid extensions for 730 million people. Almost 200,000 new mini-grids will be required over the next decade.

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About 80% of all planned mini-grids in developing countries will be powered by a combination of solar PV and batteries, with some backup diesel generation, according to an ESMAP database of more than 26,000 installed and planned mini-grids around the world.

This means that achieving universal access to electricity by 2030 will require about 160,000 new solar-plus-storage mini-grids connecting approximately 400 million people, with a battery storage requirement of approximately 80 GWh. More storage capacity will be required in Sub-Saharan Africa than in any other region.

Three changes in the energy storage market will help make this possible.

  • The cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen by 85% since 2010 and is projected to fall another 64% by 2030. Meanwhile, lithium-ion battery technology continues to improve. Batteries achieving 4,000 cycles with only a 10% loss of storage capacity will soon be market-ready. These batteries would need replacing only after 10-12 years – at least twice the lifespan of most batteries on the market today. Low-cost, high-quality lithium-ion batteries could drive down the cost of mini-grid electricity.
  • Decreasing battery costs also enable mini-grids to connect more income-generating machines and appliances to the network. ESMAP research shows that this can increase a mini-grid’s load factor from 20% to more than 40% and reduce the cost of mini-grid electricity by 25%. When combined with a portfolio approach to mini-grid development instead of individual projects, these changes in the energy storage market can bring the cost of electricity from solar hybrid mini-grids to USD 0.20/kWh by 2030.
  • The availability of and awareness about next-generation technologies is growing. There are new technologies on the market for developing countries to consider and technology-neutral procurements are being announced. The newly established Energy Storage Partnership supports work on this topic and raises awareness about the attributes of certain types of flow, zinc-air, and sodium-sulphur batteries, among others, and their appropriateness for mini-grids.


BlueSolution’s integrated solar energy production, storage & management approach to energy access

The development of high-performance mini-grids is one of the main challenges facing a continent with 5% population growth every year. Energy access for all is one of the greatest challenges that the African continent is currently addressing: thanks to the reduced costs of solar panels and batteries, a better understanding of the real needs of populations, and the commitment of local businesses, several projects – finally successful and long-term – are being rolled out across the continent.

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These projects offer a mix between very gradual main grid extensions, in line with the countries' resources, solar kits that are improving the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of inhabitants of small villages or remote houses, and mini-grids able to make a real contribution to the economic, social and cultural development of villages with anything between a few hundred and several tens of thousands of inhabitants.

Today, we have a reasonably good understanding of the success factors involved in deploying mini-grids that are both functional for communities and compatible with the financial models of private investment, thus making them effective in the long term.

The main idea is to support the development of local economic activities by supplying high-quality electricity at a reasonable price. This is achieved through dialogue with the communities – alone capable of creating new economic projects, which are often related to the agri-food sector (irrigation, processing, preservation, craftsmanship, etc.) and necessary to the village – and the adoption of high-performance technologies.

Within the Bolloré Group, BlueSolutions manufactures and markets solid-state lithium batteries that are especially suited to Africa, since they are not sensitive to external temperatures and require no cooling system. Backed by references in more than 15 African countries, BlueSolutions has developed an integrated approach with its local partners and offers solar energy production, storage and management with the development of production services and “pay-as-you-go” smart meters for accurate and fair billing.

The quality of these systems, which require no maintenance and are much more effective in the long term than old lead batteries, makes it possible to provide the right capacity from the start, and thus keep electricity costs to a minimum (as opposed to the use of generators), while also ensuring easier upscaling over time to meet local requirements.

The calls for tender we are seeing today demonstrate that African countries have understood the importance of the successful deployment of mini-grids in their territories and the necessity of supporting these projects with the proper regulations and financial support. This will attract private investors, while also ensuring competitive electricity prices for African populations.


Solar + Storage: Battery types for solar systems

Are battery energy storage systems (BESS) the best solution to microgrid resiliency? If you’re interested in coupling solar with batteries to power your commercial or industrial buildings, read more here.

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We hear about them everywhere: batteries have already revolutionised several industries: from smartphones to portable computers and car industry, they now shape the future of renewable energy industry. Batteries can now avoid high energy costs or enable you to cut the utility cord definitely.

Is Solar + Storage suitable for your site? For most industrial and commercial buildings equipped with a solar system and tied to a local power grid with consistent service with few, if any, power outages: a battery might not be necessary. Adding solar on the existing diesel generator(s) will be enough. However, not everyone has access to a reliable power grid. Also, for sites which have to remain off-the-grid or are totally isolated, the only solution is to rely on their own energy production system. Adding a Solar + Storage system to your existing diesel generator(s) will not only make you less dependent on the grid, but will also prevent from power outages if the BESS chosen has a UPS feature. Full reliance on diesel generators could be a risky bet, in a context of volatile fuel prices; Investing in a BESS can be the best solution. However, this requires that your installation is equipped with an Energy Management System (EMS), such as Elum Energy ePowercontrol MC.

An EMS is a set of digital tools to monitor, control and optimise the performance of the power grid. All this by ensuring its proper functioning. Your Solar + Storage (diesel) system equipped with an EMS will ensure that your system operates at the highest efficiency, saving even more on fuel costs by maximising solar penetration.

Integrating a battery energy storage system into a solar (+ diesel) system is not as easy as it seems. Some chemistries work better in certain environments and use cases. What types of batteries to choose?

There are multiple models of batteries capable of storing solar energy; each comes with its advantages and disadvantages. There are four types of battery mainly used for solar energy storage applications. Below is a summary of the most trusted technologies currently on the market: 

  1. Lithium-ion (LMO, NMC, NCA, LFP)
  2. Lead acid (Flooded, VRLA) 
  3. Nickel based (NiCd) 
  4. Flow (RFB, HFB) 

To get more insight on each technology, read more here.


Lithium battery & new monitoring for Sunny Island 5048 available

SMA Sunbelt, Asantys Systems and Tesvolt have entered into strategic partnership to re-power batteries. More than 11 years ago, the SI5048 was presented to customers. It was the first mass-market SMA battery inverter that had both functions combined: intelligent energy management and integrated battery management. With the Sunny Island inverter, self-sufficient power supplies can be built in a particularly simple manner.

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The island grid is powered by locally available renewable energies sources. As the network manager, the Sunny Island inverter also stores the energy into batteries and is built into a micro-grid. This way, it can intercept generation and load peaks at any time while ensuring a continuous energy supply. The reliability and efficiency of batteries are key for the system to function.

So far, batteries have long been considered the riskiest component in island systems. This is mainly due to inaccurate battery management. The precise state of health of batteries is difficult to measure. Accurate detection of the state of charge is a prerequisite for correct operation, and crucial for the battery lifetime. The special battery management of the 5048 allows a precise charge state determination by combining several measurement methods. Thanks to the battery management developed by SMA, a longer battery lifetime can be achieved - even though a lead acid battery will ultimately reach the end of its lifetime one day. Today, thousands of island systems worldwide are still running stably and efficiently with the SI5048. To ensure that this remains the case in the future and taking into account the change of battery technologies towards lithium, SMA has developed a solution together with its partners Tesvolt and Asantys Systems to make existing systems fit for the future by using lithium technology combined with sophisticated monitoring for off-grid systems.

For this purpose, the proven components of the SMA Sunny Island 5048 and the TS48 lithium system from Tesvolt have now been combined into a common communication level, which can be easily monitored by an external tool from Asantys. For this future setup, it is possible to visualise what is happening across the system, collect data on system performance and risk and control the existing system, as well as the new battery components from anywhere in the world.

Asantys has been operating as a system integrator worldwide for more than 10 years and brought thousands of systems into the field, making it ideal for integrating the new battery technology into an existing SI5048 systems from SMA.

  • The advantages of the package are obvious:
  • Higher system efficiency
  • Individual battery cell monitoring from Tesvolt
  • Implementation of future technologies based on proven components
  • Remote diagnostics and control of existing systems integrating a new battery type
  • Delivered from a single source by a strong partner with more than 10 years’ experience in off-grid

If you have such a system and are interested in upgrading, the technology for this is now available.

Contact: Keyword: Repower5048

Plug-and-Play in the Philippines: XANT demonstrates optimised deployability in the Batanes region

Wind turbines are not plug and play: they interface with the local electrical grid; their foundations interact with the subsoil and obviously are exposed to local ambient conditions. 

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These interfaces can be straightforward (stable voltage conditions because interconnected to a large central grid, soil with plenty of load-bearing capacity) or cumbersome (weak grids fed by older diesel genset, swampy soils...). Engineers love to design the right solution for every challenge, but this takes time and money. 

Together with its partners, XANT has developed solutions that enable deployment of XANT turbines with no need for site-specific engineering nor customisation (except for your logo on the nacelle and the blades in your favourite colour!) This keeps the cost of your project down: you are not only saving engineering hours but thanks to economies of scale, XANT can offer these solutions at a lower cost. 

Concrete-less foundations

Concrete-less foundations are foundations that are gravity-based: ballast is added to a basket-like structure at the tower base to take the loads. A pre-engineered construction, the concrete-less foundations are shipped in standard 20 feet containers and assembled on-site. Minimal subsoil preparation is needed, eliminating the need for heavy equipment. In addition, after the project lifetime the foundation can be completely removed and recycled.

Integrated storage for plug and play

Wind is not intermittent (the wind does not unexpectedly stop blowing) but it is variable: turbulence will cause the wind speed to vary continuously around an average value. With singular turbines there is no spatial distribution, resulting in a smoothened power output. Island power grids powered by diesel gensets pose a real integration challenge when trying to achieve a significant fraction of renewable energy. The intermittency of solar (due to clouds) or power gradients caused by wind speed stochastics, are not easy to handle by the often antiquated genset controllers.

The XANT wind turbines with integrated Energy Storage Unit will smoothen the power output of the turbines, avoiding an expensive and complex upgrade of the controllers or the grid infrastructure.

XANT is excited to demonstrate our true plug-and-play solution, for both mechanical and electrical interfaces of the wind turbines in the windiest region of the Philippines.

Acknowledgement: this project is made possible thanks to the support of the FinExpo support program of the Belgian government.

Planning, implementation & monitoring: Solar energy solutions for rural development

Still today, most rural regions around the world are isolated from national electricity grids. Electricity, however, is an essential basis for every-day life and socio-economic development by enabling access to water, lighting and the use of electrical appliances. Sahay Solar Engineering aims to spread off-grid solar energy solutions on the African continent, focusing on East Africa and specifically Ethiopia as a starting point. By facilitating sustainable access to electricity, we support social and economic activities and thus help to create a basis for further local development.

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Sahay Solar Engineering usually implements projects in cooperation with reliable local partners, such as international or local NGOs, local authorities or universities. Safety and quality standards are guaranteed by the exclusive use of high-quality technology "made in Germany/EU", skilled local technicians, as well as close cooperation with our partners in Germany, Switzerland and Ethiopia. In addition, Sahay Solar Engineering has extensive experience in project implementation and management due to more than 50 successfully implemented solar projects in the Eastern African region. Our projects include solar power supply of rural schools, health centers or other rural service centres, as well as the installation of solar water pumping systems for drinking water supply of villages and for irrigation purposes.

Throughout the project life cycle, we accompany and advise our customers starting with consulting, to logistics and importing, up to the successful project implementation. However, numerous technical projects fail after their completion, mostly due to limited maintenance. Sahay Solar Engineering therefore offers a remote monitoring and maintenance system that enables cloud-based gathering of actual technical data, different analyses of this data by our experts or project owners and the set-up of individual alarm functions. The available data allows for reliable and early identification of technical problems, hence enabling the responsible staff to solve them efficiently while travelling to remote areas only “on-demand”. In addition, the data can be used to optimise existing technical systems and utilise their full, actual potential.

We at Sahay Solar Engineering are firmly convinced that off-grid solar energy plays a substantial role in empowering people worldwide to develop their own potentials. So far, the geographical focus of our work has been on Ethiopia and bordering Eastern African countries. But as a new and ambitious Member of ARE, we are currently expanding our reach and are therefore looking for new partners to develop and expand further solar markets on the African continent together.



  • AidEx Brussels Conference: Solar Pavilion (Brussels, 13-14 Nov 2019)

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    Meet buyers of solar products from the aid and development sector

    Working with ARE, this year’s AidEx will include a Pavilion for buyers of Solar and Off-Grid Energy Equipment to meet suppliers.

    Now in its 9th year, AidEx is established as the leading platform for the international aid and development community to come together and improve the efficiency of aid.

    AidEx is a two-day event, which encompasses a conference, exhibition, meeting areas, awards and workshops. Its fundamental aim is to engage the sector at every level and provide a forum for aid & development professionals to meet, source, supply and learn. AidEx was created to help the international aid and development community engage the private sector in a neutral setting, drive innovation and support the ever-growing need for emergency aid and development programmes.

    Solar products are at the heart of the exhibition and we hope you will consider having an exhibition stand in this Solar Pavilion. 

    For bookings placed through ARE, there is also a 10% discount.

    Contact: Ling Ng

  • 10th Microgrid Global Innovation Forum (London, 9-11 Sep 2019)

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    The 10th edition of the Forum, focused on technological advances, case studies and applications of micro-/mini-grids in emerging and developed countries. ARE presented on “Private Sector Mini-Grid Business Models: Best Practices from South-East Asia.”

    More than 75 participants, including around 15 ARE Members took part in the event, where ARE shared a booth with ARE Member Windkinetic.

    Contact: Jens Jaeger

  • OFF-GRID Experts Workshop (Augsburg, 19-21 Sep 2019)

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    The workshop was an important international off-grid expert event in Germany that attracted over 400 participants. The workshop featured special guest Bärbel Höhn who gave an update on the "Green People's Energy for Africa: Decentralised renewable energies can help overcome poverty, create jobs and added values, strengthen local entrepreneurs and economies in rural areas."

    ARE was among 60 exhibitors and it was a good chance to catch up with the 10 ARE Members present and meet prospective Members.

    Contact: Ling Ng

  • 7th MEDENER International Conference on Energy Transition in the Euro-Mediterranean Region (Rhodes, 26 Sep 2019)

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    The 7th MEDENER International Conference was organised in the framework of the project “Mitigation Enabling Energy Transition in the Mediterranean Region” (meetMED), funded by the European Commission and jointly implemented by MEDENER and the Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE).

    Building on the partnership with DG ENER and MEDENER, ARE presented Member case studies and lessons learnt at the session on "Technology solutions for power generation, storage, mini- and off-grid." The gathering revealed an interesting market for ARE Members as EU islands are looking to become greener since they are often not interconnected and therefore require island solutions. [Conclusions]

    Contact: David Lecoque

  • How to Sell Mini-Grids to Rural Populations (Webinar, 30 Sep 2019)

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    The ARE webinar, co-organised with Member Whitten & Roy Partnership, attracted nearly 30 professionals. ARE Executive Director Marcus Wiemann highlighted ARE’s services for Members and expertise in the sector. He reiterated the importance and potential of mini-grids in achieving SDG7 goals.

    WRP explained the nuances of sales techniques, customer engagement and retention, salesperson behaviour, and presented their DQ Selling® and R=A+C+E concepts. WRP also threw light on how to transform the selling practices for mini-grids. [Recording]

    Contact: Deepak Mohapatra

  • 6th Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (Tokyo, 9-10 Oct 2019)

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    More than 1,000 participants took part in the 6th Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF), which discussed the 21st century’s greatest environmental challenges, as well innovations that can help solve the challenges. Thanks to the support from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, and to grow the profile of ARE in Asia, Jens Jaeger presented on “Enabling the decentralised renewable energy transition in emerging countries with clean energy mini-grids” in the session Grid Integration of Renewables, a topic which has now been included in the post-meeting ICEF Steering Committee statements [ICEF 2019 Statement]

    Contact: Jens Jaeger

  • KIREC: Enabling Public-Private Partnerships to Increase Energy Access Investments (Seoul, 22 Oct 2019)

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    The International Renewable Energy Conference (IREC) is a high-level political conference series hosted by REN21 and a national government every two years. This time the event was organised in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 22-25 October 2019.

    At the event, ARE launched its new publication on ‘Private Sector Driven Business Models for Clean Energy Mini-Grids: Lessons learnt from South and South-East-Asia’.

    ARE and Mini-Grid Partnership also organised a side-event on “Public-Private Partnerships for Mini-Grids” on 22 October 2019 and Jens Jaeger took part in a panel discussion in the main conference on “financing for small-scale renewables” on 25 Oct 2019. [KIREC Declaration]

    Contact: Jens Jaeger

  • ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum (Accra, 22-24 Oct 2019)

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    The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) convened its third annual ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum (ESEF) on 22-24 October, held at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra, Ghana.

    With over 300 experts from energy and related sectors in attendance, as well as featured 12 exhibitors including ARE Members AMMP, GFM and New Sun Road, this year’s event showcased the progress made by the region while highlighting the remaining challenges faced by all stakeholders when it comes to meeting the regional targets in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

    Since its inception in 2017, ESEF has brought together West Africa’s to officials, policymakers, industry leaders and other individuals committed to moving forward the region’s sustainable energy agenda. Geared toward facilitating business deals and promoting renewed investment in the area, ESEF aims to impact sustainable change and empower regional leaders from inception through execution and toward long term results; in this sense, ESEF2019 was no different.

    This year’s forum was co-organised by the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), the 130 Member, off-grid industry association delivering innovative clean energy solutions throughout Africa and GET.invest, a European programme that mobilises renewable energy investments investments with the support of the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria. [Press Release] [Presentations]

    “Pursuant to the MoU signed with ECREEE at the fifth ARE Energy Access Investment Forum in Abidjan this year and our strong collaboration with GET.invest, we are pleased to kickstart our cooperation by partnering with ECREEE and GET.invest to co-organise ESEF,”  says Marcus Wiemann, Executive Director of ARE. “Supporting ESEF is part of ARE’s strategy to increasingly work on a regional and national level across sub-Saharan Africa and showcase private sector leadership in the off-grid space.”

    This year, ESEF also featured GET.invest business-to-business matchmaking sessions. There, participants had the opportunity to connect to potential business partners, investors and relevant experts to advance projects during face-to-face interactions in more than 100 on-site meetings.

    Jan Cloin, GET.invest Deputy Team Leader: “We hear a lot of talk about there being a lack of financing for de-central energy. Rather, we believe there is a lack of bankable propositions, including in the West African Region. At ESEF, business developers and financiers took the opportunity of our GET.invest B2B sessions to come together in more than 120 matchmaking meetings. We are confident the results will contribute to more partnerships and therefore better solutions that will in turn lead to further market development of renewable energy.”

    Contact: David Lecoque

    Our consultation on ‘Consumer Protection Principles for Clean Energy Mini-Grids’, attracted significant interest and attention from around 30 off-grid renewable energy sector attendees, including mini-grid developers and public officials. In addition, we are happy to see that 3 ARE Members (Ensol, Sunkofa Energy and WindKinetic) have already endorsed the proposed principles - sign in for ARE's Call for Action too! As a next step, ARE will consult with partners in order to provide funding for capacity building to the companies signed in.

    Contact: Marcus Wiemann

  • Sustainable Energy Investments in Africa, Plenary Session (Johannesburg, 12 Nov 2019)

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    As part of the African Investment Forum (11-13 Nov 2019), the 2nd Plenary Meeting of the High Level Platform for Sustainable Energy Investments in Africa will take place on 12 Nov at 13:30, where concrete recommendations on how to boost investments in sustainable energy for growth and jobs, and thus drive Africa’s further development, will be discussed.

    Given the importance of the topic, during the last year, ARE contributed to the report on Sustainable Energy Investments in Africa, which will help tailor the work between the African Union Commission and the European Union. The report will highlight the role of mini-grids and stand-alone systems for clean rural energy access and triple bottom line benefits for local business’ profit, local people and the planet from productive use of renewables. As presented by Executive Director Marcus Wiemann at Windaba in Cape Town earlier this month, ARE believes that successful business to business partnerships and unlocking private sector support is dependent on economic growth that focuses on creating business cycles around energy access by coupling with other sectors for productive use (e.g. agriculture, services) and integrating local skills such as assembling and manufacturing.

    Contact: Marcus Wiemann

  • [Invite] Intersolar India: 3rd ARE Micro-Grid Workshop (Bangalore, 27-29 Nov 2019)

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    ARE invites all interested stakeholders to the third edition of its yearly Micro-Grid Workshop at Intersolar India on 28 November 2019 at 10.30 - 14.00.

    The free workshop, sponsored by Studer Innotec, is open to experts and interested stakeholders from all renewable energy sectors, including the public and private sector, financiers, NGOs and civil society. It is expected that around > 75 participants will attend.

    Since its establishment, Intersolar has become the most important industry platform for manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and partners in the global solar industry.

    In addition to the Micro-Grid Workshop, ARE will be present via a Micro-Grid Pavilion in the Intersolar India exhibition. ARE is offering one more company the chance to showcase itself together with ARE, Smart Power India and Victron Energy in the pavilion and hence also support the workshop. 

    Contact: Jens Jaeger

  • [Invite] 6th Energy Access Investment Forum (Lusaka, 18-19 Mar 2020)

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    ARE is excited to announce that the 6th ARE Energy Access Investment Forum (EAIF) will take place in Lusaka, Zambia on 18-19 March 2020.

    EAIF is a well-established political exchange and business event aimed at assisting the private and public sector to get up to speed on the latest developments in the off-grid sector and do business. The Forum will once again be a combination of conference, side-events, ARE Awards B2B matchmaking, exhibition and networking dinner! For early bird tickets, please register before 31 Dec 2019!

    The Forum offers the opportunity:

    • for companies to showcase their innovative off-grid solutions, products and services to investors and partners at our exhibition;
    • for key public sector players to present their upcoming funding and de-risking programmes and policy initiatives;
    • to find your business partners and advance your projects through the B2B matchmaking session;
    • to discuss major sector trends and topics in the off-grid energy markets in Africa, where 95% of the rural population have no access to modern energy services; and
    • to add your experience and proposals to the international dialogue for cooperation.

    ARE has designed exclusive Sponsorship Packages, enabling you to be visible in the market, speak at this leading event, host a side event and/or exhibit. RES4Africa, BlueSolutions, ElectriFI, Renewvia Energy, W&H Solar and Sterling & Wilson have already joined the ARE call!

    As a means to highlight the energy access results achieved by the most passionate and innovative stakeholders and stimulate the exchange of knowledge, ARE will shortly launch its CfP to invite potential applicants to submit their project proposals for the ARE Awards 2020!

    To intensify the exchange with players from inside and outside Africa, ARE will also hold its Annual General Meeting in conjunction with the Forum the day before.

  • ARE: Private Sector Driven Business Models for Clean Energy Mini-Grids: Lessons learnt from South & South-East-Asia

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    With this publication, ARE highlights lessons learnt from 11 private sector driven clean mini-grid projects across South and South-East Asia. The purpose is to assist developers with know-how for the development of future projects and to inform investors about what to expect when considering mini-grids in their investment portfolios in this specific region.

    The 11 case studies, that come from eight different countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines and Thailand), include both financial and technical data, and also span across technologies from solar PV hybrids to biomass and hydro projects.

    In total, the projects provide electricity to 5,715 households and have lowered GHG emissions by an estimated 3,257 tonnes CO2 per year. Moreover, via the productive use of renewable energy (PURE), nearly 1,000 jobs have been created in local communities.

    The publication demonstrates the potential of the private sector to be a frontrunner in achieving SDG 7, bringing technological and financial innovations to build investable portfolios of clean energy mini-grids, which can power the rural economy in emerging countries.

    The publication was supported by the Energy for All Partnership of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).

  • SEforALL: Energizing Finance Series 2019: Understanding the Landscape 2019 / Taking the Pulse 2019

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    Understanding the Landscape 2019 – focuses on 20 developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia with some of the world’s largest energy access deficits and that together are home to nearly 80 percent of those living without access—referred to as the high-impact countries (HICs).

    This year’s report presents a five-year trend of finance commitments to energy access to call attention to the urgent and substantial action needed to meet Sustainable Development Goal (SDG7) by 2030.


    Taking the Pulse 2019 – presents projected financing needs of enterprises and consumers in order to reach universal energy access by 2030 in three focus countries: Madagascar, the Philippines, and Uganda. The report shines a light on both the volume and type of capital—debt, equity, grants and affordability gap financing—and the policy actions required to accelerate SDG7 goals.



  • RES4Africa: Applying the Water-Energy-Food Nexus Approach to Catalyse Transformational Change in Africa

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    This document contains the premises, results and analysis of the impact evaluation of the Ikondo-Matembwe project, including the positive externalities on the socioeconomic system of Tanzania.

    The main aim of the study is to explore the potential economic contribution from the implementation of the pilot project and its scalability, in support of Africa’s path toward a sustainable economic growth characterised by a high level of climate mitigation and social inclusion.

    The project is a comprehensive and holistic set of activities aiming to bring access to un-polluting electricity from renewable resources, fresh and potable water and improve nutrition and food security of a target population.

    In order to analyse in some detail project feasibility and impact, a two level (microeconomic and macroeconomic) analysis has been carried out, which investigates the project economic effects as well as the externalities and the general benefits for the population and the investors involved.

    An important part of the document is the presentation of the WEF Nexus transformational approach: this implies a new concept for development projects, focusing on long-lasting changes in target countries that, thanks to the project replicability, may bring about a lasting and beneficial transformation in the socioeconomic structure of a country.

Please note that views expressed in the Co-Editorial, the In Focus section and the Special Feature of the newsletter, are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect ARE’s opinion.

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