• 2 hours Senior Interior Dept. Official Says Florida Still On Trump’s Draft Drilling Plan
  • 4 hours Schlumberger Optimistic In 2018 For Oilfield Services Businesses
  • 6 hours Only 1/3 Of Oil Patch Jobs To Return To Canada After Downturn Ends
  • 9 hours Statoil, YPF Finalize Joint Vaca Muerta Development Deal
  • 10 hours TransCanada Boasts Long-Term Commitments For Keystone XL
  • 12 hours Nigeria Files Suit Against JP Morgan Over Oil Field Sale
  • 19 hours Chinese Oil Ships Found Violating UN Sanctions On North Korea
  • 24 hours Oil Slick From Iranian Tanker Explosion Is Now The Size Of Paris
  • 1 day Nigeria Approves Petroleum Industry Bill After 17 Long Years
  • 1 day Venezuelan Output Drops To 28-Year Low In 2017
  • 1 day OPEC Revises Up Non-OPEC Production Estimates For 2018
  • 1 day Iraq Ready To Sign Deal With BP For Kirkuk Fields
  • 1 day Kinder Morgan Delays Trans Mountain Launch Again
  • 2 days Shell Inks Another Solar Deal
  • 2 days API Reports Seventh Large Crude Draw In Seven Weeks
  • 2 days Maduro’s Advisors Recommend Selling Petro At Steep 60% Discount
  • 2 days EIA: Shale Oil Output To Rise By 1.8 Million Bpd Through Q1 2019
  • 2 days IEA: Don’t Expect Much Oil From Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Before 2030
  • 2 days Minister Says Norway Must Prepare For Arctic Oil Race With Russia
  • 2 days Eight Years Late—UK Hinkley Point C To Be In Service By 2025
  • 2 days Sunk Iranian Oil Tanker Leave Behind Two Slicks
  • 3 days Saudi Arabia Shuns UBS, BofA As Aramco IPO Coordinators
  • 3 days WCS-WTI Spread Narrows As Exports-By-Rail Pick Up
  • 3 days Norway Grants Record 75 New Offshore Exploration Leases
  • 3 days China’s Growing Appetite For Renewables
  • 3 days Chevron To Resume Drilling In Kurdistan
  • 3 days India Boosts Oil, Gas Resource Estimate Ahead Of Bidding Round
  • 3 days India’s Reliance Boosts Export Refinery Capacity By 30%
  • 4 days Nigeria Among Worst Performers In Electricity Supply
  • 4 days ELN Attacks Another Colombian Pipeline As Ceasefire Ceases
  • 4 days Shell Buys 43.8% Stake In Silicon Ranch Solar
  • 4 days Saudis To Award Nuclear Power Contracts In December
  • 4 days Shell Approves Its First North Sea Oil Project In Six Years
  • 4 days China Unlikely To Maintain Record Oil Product Exports
  • 4 days Australia Solar Power Additions Hit Record In 2017
  • 4 days Morocco Prepares $4.6B Gas Project Tender
  • 5 days Iranian Oil Tanker Sinks After Second Explosion
  • 7 days Russia To Discuss Possible Exit From OPEC Deal
  • 7 days Iranian Oil Tanker Drifts Into Japanese Waters As Fires Rage On
  • 7 days IEA: $65-70 Oil Could Cause Surge In U.S. Shale Production
Alt Text

The Solar Tech That Is Making Cleaner Oil

As oil’s supermajors face increasing…

Alt Text

How China Is Killing India’s Solar Industry

In India’s race to boost…

U.S. Commerce Secretary Brings Delegation To Africa In Search Of Energy Contract

U.S. Commerce Secretary Brings Delegation To Africa In Search Of Energy Contract

On June 30, 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a “Power Africa” initiative to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa, intended to assist the population of sub-Saharan Africa, more than two-thirds of who lack electricity. That rate rises to more than 85 percent of people living in rural areas.

According to a White House press release, “Power Africa will build on Africa’s enormous power potential, including new discoveries of vast reserves of oil and gas, and the potential to develop clean geothermal, hydro, wind and solar energy.  It will help countries develop newly-discovered resources responsibly, build out power generation and transmission, and expand the reach of mini-grid and off-grid solutions.”

The Power Africa initiative builds on Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) on Sub-Saharan Africa, “New U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa,” announced on June 14, 2012.

The PPD says Africa could be “the world’s next major economic success story” and in a measure of its importance, it represents the first time that promoting U.S. trade and investment has been a cornerstone of a PPD on sub-Saharan Africa.

Providing increased electricity to six million Africans will not come cheap; according to the International Energy Agency, sub-Saharan Africa will require more than $300 billion in investment to achieve universal electricity access by 2030.

But the business potential in renewable energy in Africa is immense, given that Africa is home to seven of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world, as other countries besides the U.S. enter the African energy market.

In an example of rising foreign investment in Africa’s renewable energy markets, on May 15, a consortium led by British company Globeleq officially launched two solar power plants in the Northern Cape. The De Aar and Droogfontein facilities represent a combined investment of $290 million.

Related Article: The Age of Solar has Arrived

Speaking at the inauguration of the two sites, South African Deputy Science and Technology Minister Michael Masutha said, "The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is focusing on setting up the necessary systems to support the sustainable solar energy industry. This is done through supporting research, development and innovation in the energy sector, informing and influencing energy policy decisions, and supporting human capital development."

The De Aar and Droogfontein solar photovoltaic plants, each containing more than 165,000 photovoltaic panels,    were constructed under the government's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPP).

The South African Department of Energy notes about its REIPPP program, “South Africa has a high level of Renewable Energy potential and presently has in place a target of 10,000 Gigawatt hours of Renewable Energy. The minister has determined that 3,725 megawatts to be generated from Renewable Energy sources is required to ensure the continued uninterrupted supply of electricity. This 3,725 MW is broadly in accordance with the capacity allocated to Renewable Energy generation in IRP 2010-2030. This IPP Procurement Program has been designed so as to contribute towards the target of 3,725 megawatts and towards socio-economic and environmentally sustainable growth, and to start and stimulate the renewable industry in South Africa.”

Droogfontein Solar Power General Manager Mark Pickering said, "We are proud to be one of the first private power producers established in terms of government's Integrated Resource Plan, which encourages a diverse range of supply technologies to meet the country's future electricity needs, reduce its carbon emissions and make a positive impact on local communities. Education and training are vital if we are to unlock the potential of this new industry and best utilize South Africa's abundant solar resources. To this end, Droogfontein Solar Power will be devoting the bulk of its social economic development budget to support education."

South Africa’s development of solar power represents a significant governmental shift away from its traditional power generating fuels. According to the U.S. government’s Energy Information Agency, in 2012, 72 percent of South Africa's total primary energy consumption came from coal, with oil accounting for 22 percent, followed by natural gas (3 percent), nuclear (3 percent), and renewables (less than 1 percent, primarily from hydropower). 

Related Article: Germany Hits Historic High, Gets 74 Percent Of Energy From Renewables

South Africa's energy sector is critical to its economy, the second largest in Africa, only recently overtaken by Nigeria. South Africa has the world's ninth-largest amount of recoverable coal reserves and holds 95 percent of Africa's total coal reserves.

The De Aar and Droogfontein solar photovoltaic plants represent only a portion of the REIPPP plans for solar power in South Africa, which is now soliciting bids for the eventual construction of solar facilities with a total output of 1,450 megawatts.

Washington is not overlooking South Africa; the U.S. department of Commerce in its “Renewable Energy Top Markets for U.S. Exports 2014-2015” report noted, “South Africa is typically the first African market most American exporters consider when developing an export strategy. Its energy demand growth and economic vitality make it an attractive destination, as well as a base for future projects in other African markets.”

Farther afield, Washington sees great opportunity in Africa’s hunger for electricity. On May 17, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker headed to West Africa with a delegation of 20 American companies on a five day Energy Business Development Mission, visiting Ghana and Nigeria in an effort to promote U.S. exports to Africa by helping American firms launch or increase their business in the West Africa’s energy sector.

Among the companies accompanying Pritzker are executives from General Electric, Hightowers Petroleum Co., Intermarine LLC, MacLean Power Systems, PW Power Systems, SolarReserve, Symbion Power LLC and Unified Electrics LLC.

Given Africa’s power potential, expect to see many similar trade missions in the near future, all seeking a slice of that $300 billion pie.

By John Daly of Oilprice.com




Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • Philip Branton on May 21 2014 said:
    .......and the Djibouti President gets 60 Million ..?

    Uh.....me thinks that President Carter knew this before he took the oath of office..!!

    Boko Haram have been shouting for at least a DECADE and they are not stupid..!!

    Tonto luvs "equator" pipelines going East, West, and South....

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News