Month: April 2017

 

Can you power your house or business with a flower?

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Solar Smartflower: Will it take off?

 By Kristy Hoare on in New Solar Technology

Tulips. Daffodils. Roses. Daises: All flowers you can find in gardens around the world, but if any of you are looking for a unique breed of flower this season to impress your neighbors, then look no further than the solar Smartflower, the newest… possibly revolutionary product to the solar industry.

Austrian company, Sunflower, recently unveiled its newest solar energy system, inspired by actual sunflowers, that generates clean solar power and promotes emission-free mobility simultaneously. It has a dual axis tracking system that works to orient the panels directly at the sun at all times, just like sunflowers following the course of the sun throughout the day. This enables the system to harvest 40% more than standard roof mounted solar panels, a jaw-droppingly significant difference.  Depending on your location, the system is said to deliver on an average, approx. 4,000 kWh per year.

When the sun rises, the smartflower unfolds itself automatically.  It folds up into its secure position at night or when high wind speeds are detected.  And when the panels folds up, it self cleans along the way. The solar modular fan opens up to create 18 m2 worth of solar panels.

The smartflower POP-e model can charge your electric car and e-bike with a power supply of up to 22 kW.

Smartflower-EV-Charging

The smartflower POP+ has the added feature of batteries (up to 4.6kWh) for on grid or off-grid applications.

smartflower +pop with batteries

The units are ground mounted, portable, and can easily be removed from their stands and moved to a new home if needed. I spent an embarrassingly significant amount of time on YouTube watching videos of these solar flowers and trying to decide what color of the eight offered I’d choose to put in my garden. The systems are fascinating to watch function, plus there are many videos on how they’re installed, and how to move them around.

I’m wondering if Sunflower’s Smartflower system represents a new era of solar technology, where the ground mounted, sun-following system is the norm. It certainly seems amazingly efficient and much easier to move than a standard roof mounted unit, but as this device is brand new, we will have to wait and see if the Smartflower can compete with traditional solar panels and on what level.  In the meantime, I’ll be making room amongst my garden’s flowers for a potential unique newcomer.

– See more at: https://www.mysolarquotes.co.nz/blog/new-solar-technology/solar-smartflower-the-solar-industry-s-newest-revolutionary-product#sthash.X0jA0SfX.dpuf

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Why blackout occurred in four states – Electricity company

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Lantern

The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, on Wednesday called for calm over electricity blackout in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers states.

John Onyi, PHED’s Head, Corporate Communication, made the call in a statement issued in Port Harcourt.

He said that blackout in the four states was as a result of forceful shut down of the company’s offices and facilities by protesting workers.

“PHED wishes to inform her esteemed customers that blackout currently being experienced in most parts of her coverage area affected Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers and Rivers states.

“The blackout is as a result of organised labour`s action that barricaded and shut down PHED offices and Injection Substations.

“The shutdown has made it impossible for power to be wheeled out to all our customers and exposed our prepaid customers to difficulties in vending (payment).

“However, we are very hopeful that the contentious issues raised by the labour leaders would be resolved soonest,” Mr. Onyi said.

Mr. Onyi appealed to customers to bear with the company for the inconveniences the outage might have caused and assured that the company was fully committed to restoring electricity to the states.

NAN recalls that workers under the aegis of Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, SSAEAC, and National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, picketed PHED offices on Monday.

The protesting workers accused the company of anti-labour practices, such as victimisation and sack of workers; poor condition of service for workers and arbitrary increase of electricity bills, among others.

(NAN)

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FG, Power Investors’ controversy Deepens!

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The controversy between the federal government and the power investors over the obvious failure of both parties to meet the terms of the privatization agreement has deepened with the recent opposition of the distribution companies to the government’s plan to escrow their accounts.  Now is the time to invest more in solar energy Ejiofor Alike reports

The 11 electricity distribution companies in the country recently kicked against an alleged attempt by the federal government to escrow their accounts as part of the measures to resolve the liquidity challenges that have crippled power supply in recent months. The Discos, under the aegis of the Association of Nigeria Electricity Distributors (ANED), accused the federal government of failing to fulfil the terms of the privatization agreement, including the provision of N100 billion subsidy. They argued that any attempt to escrow the Discos’ account would be tantamount to nationalization or expropriation of the Discos.

Since power supply worsened in recent months, the Discos have embarked on a spirited campaign to absolve themselves of any blame for the apparent collapse of the power sector, which had prompted Africa’s richest man and president of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, to call on the federal government to cancel the power privatization. Dangote alleged that the private investors “went in without even understanding what they were doing.”

 Blame 

While the Discos blame the federal government and electricity consumers for the failure of the sector, the government has also accused the companies of frustrating its effort to activate their agreements in the Transitional Electricity Market (TEM), which should bind them to objective service delivery.

For instance, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, had challenged the Discos to also use the same campaign, which they have mounted in the form of advertorials, to tell Nigerians that they refused to submit their annual statement of accounts to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) as required by the power reform law.

While the Discos are insisting that there is a huge revenue shortfall threatening the power sector, the government is of the view that the fact that the Discos are hiding their books from the regulator is a strong indication that they are not telling the government and Nigerians the whole truth about their financial state.

According to the Discos, the sector has a revenue shortfall of close to N90 billion as a result of the federal government’s inability to meet its commitments in the performance agreement with the investors who acquired the assets during the power privatization.

ANED’s Executive Director in charge of Research and Advocacy, Mr. Sunday Oduntan, had once argued that the performance agreement had stipulated that there would be cost reflective tariffs from November 1, 2013. But he said this never happened, as “R2 customer class was politically frozen and collection losses removed in 2015” by the previous administration for winning 2015 elections.

Oduntan added, “Sculpting or under-recovery of cost will result in N164 billion revenue shortfall, for the period of 2016 through 2018. Delay in reflecting costs means a growing increase in deficits.”

Oduntan also alleged that the federal government committed that tariffs should reflect reality but argued that tariffs had not changed, despite the devaluation of naira from N197 to N305, while inflation has also increased from nine per cent projected in the performance agreement to 17.9 per cent.

According to him, the performance agreement was hinged on projected generation of between 5,000 megawatts and 7,500 megawatts between 2014 and 2016 but generation, according to the companies, averaged between 2,000mw and 3,000mw during this period due to pipeline vandalism and transmission constraints, which they claimed were outside their commitments.

The distribution companies had also revealed that the generation companies were owed in excess of N184 billion, contrary to the performance agreement, which guaranteed the credit worthiness support of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), also known as the Bulk Trader.

The investors also hinted that the government made a commitment to guarantee them increased access to gas supply, but said there had been no improvement in gas supply. 

They argued that the performance agreement also guaranteed them clean balance sheets to ensure that they have the ability to borrow funds to invest in power sector.

However, the reality, according to them, is that the sector is operating at a loss since two and a half years plus with no bank willing to lend money to them, as the banking sector is already exposed to oil, gas and power sectors by over N3 trillion.

Apart from the over 3,000MW lost to vandalism, the Discos noted that the MDAs were indebted to the sector to the tune of N100 billion.

 Counterclaim

 While the generation and distribution companies have blamed the worsening power supply on gas shortages and grid instability caused by weak transmission infrastructure, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) say the Discos are to blame for rejecting power allocated to them.

However, gas suppliers have argued that there is enough gas to generate power but that the generation companies cannot pay for gas.

On their part, the Gencos have argued that they are not able to pay for gas because they are being owed by NBET for the power the Gencos generated into the National Grid.

NBET, on its part, has claimed that it has insufficient fund to pay the Gencos because the Discos make under-payment for the power they buy and distribute to their customers.

The excuse by the distribution companies is that the tariffs paid by customers are not cost-reflective enough for them to recover the actual cost of power and remit to NBET. They also blame their revenue shortfall on MDA debts and failure of customers to even pay at all.

 Escrow Account Option

 To resolve the liquidity challenge in the power sector, the government recently unveiled a N701 billion intervention fund to be spread over a period of three years. But the Discos say the package could worsen the funding situation.

The government was also said to have threatened to escrow the accounts of the Discos to ensure that money realized from the power sector is paid to all the members of the value chain – gas suppliers, generation companies, distribution companies, Transmission Company of Nigeria, and the regulators.

But the Discos opposed the move, saying that it would also send very wrong signals to investors that Nigeria is not fully open for private sector investment but is still partial to the old habits of nationalization, which prevents the injection of cheap and needed capital that is critical to the rehabilitation and improvement of electricity infrastructure.

Oduntan said, “You cannot have a supposedly private sector-owned and managed business in which the government now seizes control of its revenues. It is a contradiction in terms and practice. The same principle applies to any consideration of regulations or government action that intrudes into corporate responsibilities of procurement, financial management or personnel management.

“To date, the government has not met the privatization transaction foundational requirements of providing N100 billion in subsidy to the sector. Indeed, any attempt at escrowing our accounts runs counter to the objectives of the National Electricity Power Policy, 2001 (NEPP) and the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 (2005), of a private sector-owned and managed electricity sector.”

 Government Response

 However, Fashola has accused the Discos of becoming a stumbling block to the smooth regulation of the power sector by NERC, saying there are instances where the Discos have by their actions impinged on NERC’s regulatory responsibilities. He had also alleged that the Discos were largely responsible for the delay in the settlement of debts owed them by the MDAs.

The minister specifically noted that the Discos had, irrespective of their excuses, failed to tell Nigerians that for three years, they did not submit their audited financial reports to NERC. He alleged that when NERC wanted to activate their contractual obligations as contained in the TEM, the Discos dragged the regulatory agency to court and frustrated its efforts.

“Advert should also have told the Nigerian public how many Discos have gone to court to frustrate the attempt by NERC to hold them to their contracts so that they can pay the Gencos who have been sacrificing, the gas producers who have not received payment and who have continued to act patriotic,” Fashola had said.

He added, “It is important to remind all of us that the privatization exercise that transferred the distribution companies was not held as a contract with an association. It was between Nigeria and the distribution company. So, while I respect the right of an association, the constitution guarantees the freedom of association, the federal government will not pay over N100 billion to anyone under the aegis of an association. That is not how to solve it.”

Fashola insisted that the government will treat the debt on individual company basis upon government’s honest verification of the claims and not with their association, adding that his request for them to submit records of their claims has been largely rebuffed by the Discos.

“We won’t pay estimate. The figure must remain clear in naira and kobo terms. And we will do our work. I think that the advert that the Discos issued should also have conveyed information to the Nigerian public about how many of them have supplied details of their audited accounts for the last three years. And we have been asking them to provide it.”

 

Capacity Issue

 Indeed, since the power assets were handed over to the new investors on November 1, 2013, some of the Discos have demonstrated lack of capacity to run these assets. Rather than explore other funding options, some of these companies have resorted to extorting consumers through exorbitant estimated billings, concealment of their books from NERC, blackmailing government, and flouting market rules.

On several instances of breaches of the market rules, NERC has responded with appropriate sanctions against erring Discos.

But despite NERC’s sanctions, some of the Discos have continued to flout the market rules by extorting customers through exorbitant estimated bills. Ironically, while some Discos have embarked on massive rollout of free prepaid meters to their customers, others, which operate under the same market conditions, have suspended the provision of prepaid meters, citing high cost of forex difficulties.

Observers say, though the government shares part of the blame, there is indeed, a lack of sincerity on the part of most Discos, who have resorted to blackmailing the government and consumers.

 

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Why Solar Energy?

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Solar energy has become a set that is really worth it. Over the years, using the sun for energy has been said to be more cost-effective and safe for our environments. There are many reasons to use this solar energy.

Solar Power installation Completed & Commissioned in Portharcourt.

 

 

It is the free energy from the sun, you can use sunlight and convert it into energy for your home. It is cost-effective and can be used to power your home and business 24/7 without any additional bills. You do not have to bother yourself with the cost of buying fossil fuel to incur additional cost on monthly power consumption.

These systems do not produce carbon dioxide. It is renewable, while other sources of energy such as oil and gas, are limited and generous to the environment.  Whenever there is sunlight, it can generate electricity you need to power your home and business.

By having your panels fixed to your roof, you will reduce utility costs by over 80. It has been discovered that the cost of running on your generator for 6hours is the cost of running on solar power for 24hours.

AWPS Renewable Energy Ltd always installs a battery backup solar power systems, this increases your chances of not having to be on the standard grid always to reduce electricity bill. We design and synchronize our systems to stop your pre-paid meter from reading when running on solar power. This is where you save a lot of money monthly. Remember you do not have to bother thinking about ever rising cost of fuel and generator maintenance.

Solar energy is a viable energy source to us all in Nigeria.  The cost of energy has increased in Nigeria recent years. This has even made overhead of many homes and business to be more than their earnings. Nigerians are now aware of solar power energy as a huge potential to reduce electrical bill, save money and to access 24/7 electricity to run homes and businesses.

Contact us at AWPS Renewable Energy Ltd Nigeria’s #1 provider of premium quality solar power today to see how we can help      Our offerings;  http://atlanticwastepower.com/store/ we also offer customized solutions.

 

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Tap water from your borehole without a storage tank

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One more way we help you innovate.

In Nigeria the norm for water is to pump water from your well into a holding tank and gravity feed it into your house. The more complicated systems use multiple pumps /tanks and a pressure pump to get water into the house.

This creates it’s unique challenge and solution. The water inside your well is as clean as can be. You expend energy to remove it from the ground and store it in a tank and then use a pressure pump to send it into the house. The energy used can be as much as 3 kw. Each pump is between 1 and 1.5 hp. The other problem that you encounter is algae that grows inside your storage tanks. I am sure you remember washing your tanks every 3 to 6 months and the dirt that comes out of it plus the hassle and pain involved.

The reasons people use gravity to create pressure is because of the poor power situation in Nigeria. This is no longer a valid excuse.

A different approach to well water.

Using a smaller well pump (sumo) 1/8 to 1/4 hp, water is fed into a pressure tank. The water in the tank is put under pressure and when a faucet is opened the pressure from the diagram in the tank sends water to your faucet. When the water in the tank falls below a preset threshold the pressure switch in front of the pressure tank turns your well pump on. You only use water that you need. The tanks can hold as little as 20 gallons to over 200 gallons depending on your needs and design specs. Fresh water from the well delivered in real time 24/7.

How does it work?

The picture and the video  shows you how this simple and energy efficient system works.

One more way you can improve your daily living with solar power provided by Nigeria’s #1 provider of premium solar power.

Clean and tasty water straight from your well.

In Sussex County NJ where I live most of my neighbors have wells and the water that comes from their well is better than the water that comes from the municipality. They enjoy clean water with no need for surface tanks or expensive filtration systems. The pressure tank is the size of a cooking gas cylinder and provides them with clean water and good pressure that is better than what you get from your gravity tanks. You can take a shower and feel that water beat you, instead of the water lazily falling on you.

Our client will be doing this in Port Harcout next month and we will take pictures for you.

Happy to help.

Call me today at +19739981590 or +234 1 8881040 for more information

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Are you suffering in Darkness? ;more solar power installations are springing up daily!

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You may well have noticed that solar panels have appeared more and more on roof of many homes and businesses in Nigeria.  In fact, I see that several new solar panels are being installed and commissioned by AWPS Renewable Energy Ltd, Nigeria’s #1 provider of premium quality solar power.

Nigeria’s #1 provider of premium quality solar power in Portharcourt

 

So how can we explain this sudden increase in demand?  You may think this reflects the fact that people in Nigeria have more of an interest in the environment and seeking to reduce its consumption of coal, gas and oil to minimize overhead.  It is true that there is this growing desire to reduce the cost of running on fossil fuel.

Like so many things in life, it soon becomes apparent that the first explanation is rather simplistic. Surely, we can say that environmental issues do not attract a lot of coverage these days. In fact, a variety of topics being discussed on television and in newspapers.

What is clear is that there is more awareness of environmental issues and can also increase the levels of concern. In some cases, people can think about how much they can save first if they decide to go solar.

But many experts also suggest that people tend to act more quickly, if they have some kind of financial incentive to do so. In other words, we can see a financial gain as a motivator to decide, therefore the demand is increasing daily. With solar energy, you will save over 80% on fuel costs. Maintenance of solar power is also minimal.

This is certainly something that many people using solar energy or in the field of renewable energy seem to agree. Even customers have confirmed solar power systems to be more cost-effective.

Undoubtedly, this explains the presence of more and more solar panels in Nigeria.  People are encouraged to install, with the hope that they will save money over time.

If you had planned to install solar panels in the past, then it is quite possible you have been thinking about the high costs were involved. It may have been nice to think that could help you reduce what you currently spend to run a generator monthly. Solar improves the environment, its safe and noiseless.

This reflection has been modified by the realization that the installation of the solar panel should not be considered as an expense. Instead, you can consider an investment that will pay off over time.

This leads us to see that solar energy is not only an option for those who are concerned about the future of the planet. It is realistic for those who are tired of suffering in darkness, those who wish to have electricity 24/7 while reducing 80% on fuel costs. Incase you have not been told, “the cost of running a generator for 6hours is the cost of running on solar for 24hours”

 

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Nuarro Lodge: Sustainable and responsible tourism in Mozambique

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Nuarro Lodge Mozambique

Nuarro Lodge: Sustainable and responsible tourism in Mozambique

Behind the scenes, powering the Nuarro Lodge lighting shown above, is a newly upgraded Victron Energy hybrid-30kVA, 3-phase system with 38kWp of solar power. The Lodge though is but one part of the Nuarro project that Victron Energy and their partner companies are involved with.

Pristine, off-grid and remote

Nuarro Lodge, its associated chalets, activities and community based projects all form part of this award winning complex. Situated beneath the aqua blue skies of northern Mozambique, Nuarro is adjacent to unspoilt sands and the warm crystal clear coral reef waters of the Indian Ocean.

View

Nuarro is built from natural materials (by the local community) in an 800 hectare (8 sq km) environmentally sensitive concession area of the Baixo da Pinda peninsula. In the words of the company – working in and being considerate of such an area is all about friendly people, top-class activities and fantastic food, whilst showcasing a spectacular, pristine environment in the most responsible way possible.

Activities at Nuarro include:

  • Recreational diving
  • Dive courses
  • Snorkelling
  • Kayaking
  • Whale watching
  • Dhow sailing
  • Mountain biking
  • Bird watching
  • Massage
  • Beach picnics
  • Local village tours

Sunset

Even though it is off-grid and remote, Nuarro generates its own electricity and clean water using renewable energy which helps bring sustainable tourism to the area without compromising the basic needs and comforts of guests. This ensures the local people and community benefit also, by bringing work to the surrounding area.

Chalet

Engaging with the local community in this way ensures they benefit from the growth of responsible tourism at Nuarro. This is achieved directly through donations and indirectly through the creation of jobs for the local population. From each overnight stay, $5 is donated to the local community and $2 from each activity. Several projects have been funded from these donations including the building of a community centre and medical post – plus various projects in the field of medical care, hygiene and agriculture are also being developed. Apart from donations, Nuarro has a significant impact on the development of the local economy as it employs a total of 80 local people. Added to that are approximately 1,000 family members who are dependant on the income from these jobs.

School

Upgrading Nuarro Lodge’s energy systems

Building of the lodge started in 2007 and the owners of the lodge have over the years upgraded the renewable energy and water system to fit the needs of the guests, community and employees. The best choice for this being a hybrid-system for the reliable generation of electricity with the lowest carbon footprint, with hot water being supplied by solar geysers directly to the buildings.

During the recent upgrades Nuarro’s owners decided to install a new inverter and solar charge system. Reliability and remote monitoring have been missing for years and the decision was therefore made to invest in Victron Energy products for their known reliability in off-grid applications in harsh and remote environments.

Solar

Energy system configuration

The off-grid system consists of a three phase 30 kVA system with 38kWp solar power, 2,400 Ah battery bank with a 40kVA back-up generator. Three Victron 10kVA Quattros in a 3-phase configuration and nine DC-coupled 150/85 MPPT Victron Energy solar charge controllers are all installed in/on one cabinet, including two battery monitors and a Color Control GX.

Victron Energy System

The 38 kWp solar power is generating an average energy of 180 kWh per day, which is partly used by the lodge during the day and also stored in the battery bank for night use.

MPPT 150-85

During overcast days and high night loads the generator automatically starts based on the SOC (State of Charge) setting in the BMV battery monitors. The Color Control GX is connected via long range Wi-Fi to the Wi-Fi satellite router which connects to the internet for remote monitoring and management.

DC Control
The entire lodge can run from solar including the borehole pump, water treatment plant, the diving compressor, the cold and freezer rooms, fridges and other restaurant and bar equipment. During the night the load is minimised by using timers switching off non-essentials to minimise the use of energy from the battery bank during the night.

Battery Bank

Copied from the Victron Blog

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Are solar power systems worth it?

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As our lives become increasingly dependent on electricity to keep our needs, it seems that we must be careful how we get a profitable renewable.  While other forms of “green energy” are only practical on a commercial level, solar panels are easy to install-power for residential consumers and businesses.  Sunshine is a natural source of clean energy that is abundant and free worldwide so there is little reason not to enjoy.

Nigeria’s #1 provider of premium quality solar power on site

Simply switching to solar panels for 50 percent of its electricity, emissions overall average consumers will be reduced when calculated weekly or monthly, helping to conserve energy for future generations in a clean and safe environment, while saving thousands of Naira for homes and businesses in the long term.

While this may seem like an expensive investment installation of solar energy systems, the average life of the solar system is more than 25 years, during which you are less dependent on a grid. In fact, if installed optimally in the right conditions, the solar panels can create the surplus electricity you will ever need.

At the first change solar panels, many consumers decide to buy 1.5-3kw system, which accounts for about 25-40 percent of its current energy consumption. While this may not seem like much, the amount of electricity generated even a panel can lead to annual savings in electricity bills. In a few years, solar power has completely paid for itself and has 20 years to reduce energy costs for consumers.

A common concern about solar energy is that the cloudy regions receive good sun and force the end user to use only electricity from the grid of the utility company. Although there is a reduction in the amount of electricity produced during cloudy days, the panels installed optimally will collect enough energy to be a worthwhile investment.

If the solar system is not able to gather enough electricity to power your home, the houses are without electricity. As a precaution, all solar panels will be able to store excess electricity to use  because they are able to draw from the battery bank connected to ensure that a home is never without electricity.

Although the use of solar energy appears to be an expensive investment, it’s a great way to save money, even for residential users. The long-term savings from the solar panel to move not only help to maintain a healthy environment for future generations, but also economically benefit  you , the end user.

AWPS Renewable Energy Ltd is Nigeria’s #1 provider of premium solar power. Click on our link to select a solution http://atlanticwastepower.com/store/, we also offer customized solutions

 

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Unsubsidized wind and solar now the cheapest source for new electric power

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Between 2015 and 2021, China is expected to install 40% of all worldwide wind energy and 36% 
of all solar

While investments in renewable energy slumped last year, a big drop in unsubsidized costs for new wind and solar power installations indicated that they remain popular energy alternatives.

Last year, the average “levelized cost” or total cost of generating power from solar worldwide dropped 17% percent, onshore wind costs dropped 18% and offshore wind turbine power costs fell 28%, according to a new report from the United Nations and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

renewable energy investmentsDepartment of Energy

“Well, after the dramatic cost reductions of the past few years, unsubsidized wind and solar can provide the lowest cost new electrical power in an increasing number of countries, even in the developing world — sometimes by a factor of two,” Michael Liebreich, chairman of the Advisory Board at BNEF, said in the report.

The average capital cost for solar power projects of new construction in 2016 was 13% lower than in 2015, while for onshore wind the drop was 11.5% and for offshore wind, 10%.

renewable energy investmentUN/BNEF

“It’s a whole new world: even though investment is down, annual installations are still up; instead of having to subsidize renewables, now authorities may have to subsidize natural gas plants to help them provide grid reliability,” Liebreich said.

Last year, more gigawatts of solar power were added (75GW) than of any other technology for the first time. Trailing behind solar, in order of net gigawatts installed, were wind, coal, gas, large hydroelectric, nuclear and biomass.

Renewable energy accounted for 55% of new worldwide power last year, or a total of 138.5 gigawatts (GW). That compares with 127.5GW of new renewable energy in 2015; and renewable power installed in 2016 was done so at a cost 23% lower than 2015, the report showed.

renewable energy investmentUN/BNEF

Since 2010, the dollars committed per year to new renewable energy worldwide — excluding hydroelectric — have increased roughly five-fold, and have since oscillated between $234 billion and $312 billion, the report said.

“A major reason why installations increased, even though dollars invested fell, was a sharp reduction in capital costs for solar photovoltaics, onshore and offshore wind,” the report said.

At the same time, because of the drop in prices, last year, the overall investment in renewable energy plummeted 23% to $241.6 billion from the record established in 2015; it was the lowest total investment since 2013.

target greenville Solar powerTarget
Rooftop solar panels on a Target store in Greenville, S.C.

Investment in new renewables capacity was roughly double that in fossil fuel generation in 2016, for the fifth successive year. The proportion of global electricity coming from renewable sources rose from 10.3% in 2015 to 11.3% in 2016, and prevented the emission of an estimated 1.7 gigatons of CO2.

Smart energy hardware such as smart meters, energy storage sources and associated IoT technologies also saw record investments last year. Asset finance for smart meters and energy storage, plus equity raised for specialist companies in energy efficiency, storage and electric vehicles, totalled a record $41.6 billion last year. That was up 29%.

In the U.S., utilities and private energy companies are increasingly investing in smart grid technology, including microgrids.

microgrid master from schneiderDuke Energy/Schneider Electric
A rendition displaying what a microgrid would contain.

China now leads the world in renewable investments

China is now the world leader in domestic investments in renewable energy. In 2015, it invested $103 billion, a 17% increase in spending year over year — twice as much as the U.S. invested. The country is now actively pursuing a “global” strategy, which aims for a Pan-Asian development approach.

In 2016, China increased its foreign investments in renewable energy by 60% year over year to $32 billion, according to a January report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

renewable energy investmentUN/BNEF

China will install 36% of all global hydro electricity generation capacity from 2015-2021, according to the report. During the same period, it will install 40% of all worldwide wind energy and 36% of all solar, the IEEFA said.

“A change in leadership in the U.S. is likely to widen China’s global leadership in industries of the future, building China’s dominance in these sectors in terms of technology, investment, manufacturing and employment,”

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FG finally signs Indemnity Agreements for two solar plants!

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Solar power  energy is really breaking grounds as Federal Government signed two put and call option agreements (PCOAs) with two of the 14 large scale solar power firms that have indicated interests to build and generate up to 1125 megawatts (MW) of solar power for Nigeria’s national grid.

The government had through the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the 14 solar independent power plants (IPPs) in July 2016.

It was however supposed to sign the PCOAs with the firms a month after the initialing of the PPAs but could not because of long periods of negotiations on the Partial Risk Guarantees (PRG) for the projects with the World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB).

The PCOAs serve as indemnity for the project promoters to go ahead with their constructions and ultimately bring their power to the grid.
Also, the 14 solar projects are reportedly worth $2.5 billion, and domiciled more in the northern parts of the country where solar radiation is mostly high.

However, at a ceremony in Abuja, the NBET signed the first two PCOAs with Afrinergia which would be constructing a 50MW solar farm in Nasarawa State and CT Cosmos which has a 70MW solar power project in Plateau State.

The ceremony was superintended by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who reiterated the government’s commitment to diversify the country’s energy source, as well as create an enabling environment for investors to grow the sector.
Fashola said the PCOA signing was in furtherance of the plan to generate at least 30 per cent of Nigeria’s electricity from renewable energy sources.

He said government would go on to support others to conclude their PCOAs and deploy to site.

It was noted that the company could transmit the first ever solar power into Nigeria’s national grid in the next six months.
As said by our source “In a lay man’s term, the power sector has been privatized over the years and the government is not really acting in the production of power, but they have said they will guarantee the payment on behalf of Nigerians and what you have seen today is that they are guaranteeing that if we generate power, they will pay in case Nigerians don’t pay for power. So, the government is standing in the gap and saying, they will pay but go and produce power,” Source;Thisday

 

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