Monday, 19 December 2016

What Harm Would It Possibly Cause If Under The NPP Ghana Planned And Built A 10,000 MW Wind Energy Farm Off Its Shores?

When our country's new leaders settle into their positions after the president-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is sworn into office on 7th January, 2017, we will all pray that their New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration succeeds in taking our country forward, towards a more prosperous future.

Luckily, there is a general consensus amongst most Ghanaians that the power sector will play a key role, in bringing about prosperity in Ghana.

Since businesses and other electricity users in Ghana require sufficient, reliable and affordable electricity, one hopes that the new NPP administration will collaborate with the private-sector to set up a renewable energy task-force - as it is the renewables sector that will provide affordable power  for all categories of electricity users  in the country.

Surely, that renewable energy task-force could be asked to plan an ambitious offshore wind farm project - the biggest in the world - to produce 10,000 MW of renewable energy? What harm could that possibly cause, one wonders?

If the NPP is to keep its promise to ensure affordable electricity, realistically, would the safest and surest  way to do so as quickly as practicable, not be to take advantage of the technological advances in the renewables sector - such as energy storage technologies - to make it possible for electricity users to have off-grid energy independence, using renewable  energy micro-grids, across Ghana?

Today, to show our new leaders how Nigeria has gone about putting together a consortium to build a new 100MW solar power plant, this blog is posting an APO press release. Our hope in so doing is that it will  inspire the next NPP administration.

Perhaps the question we must all ponder over is: As a people, what harm could possibly befall us if we dared to think the unthinkable and put Ghana on the world map - by planning and building the world's biggest offshore wind energy farm off our country's shores: especially if that will provide truly affordable electricity nationwide? Food for thought.

Please read on:

"Investors join Scatec Solar to develop the 100 MW Nova Scotia Solar Project in Nigeria

With an estimated investment of USD 150 million, a production of 200,000 MWh of electricity per year and 120,000 tons of CO2 emissions avoided annually, the Nova Scotia solar plant will help Nigeria rapidly increase its generation capacity

ABUJA, Nigeria, December 19, 2016/ -- Scatec Solar (www.ScatecSolar.com) has signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Africa50, an African Infrastructure Fund sponsored by the African Development Bank and more than 20 African States and Norfund (the Norwegian Investment Fund for Development Countries), securing investment into the 100 MW (DC) Nova Scotia Power plant located in Dutse in the Northern Nigerian state of Jigawa.

The project has the potential to significantly contribute to the plan of the authorities of the State of Jigawa to attract USD 2 billion of investments into Jigawa and implement Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s plans to provide jobs and economic opportunities especially for the nation’s youth.

The signing ceremony of the JDA was held in the presence of Børge Brende, the visiting Norwegian Foreign Minister, His Excellency, Barrister Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, as well as officials from the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading among others.

“New local power generation capacity is a key element to attract sizeable investment into the State and region, especially into new industries such as light manufacturing and agricultural processing” said His Excellency the Deputy Governor.

“The formation of this consortium is a strong symbol of the Norwegian and Nigerian commitment to invest in clean energy in Nigeria. With the Government of Norway taking a direct investment role through Norfund, significant regional and Nigerian ownership through Africa50, and the track-record of Scatec Solar, this offers one of the most solid partnerships for solar PV projects globally,” said Executive Vice President Terje Pilskog who signed the JDA on behalf of Scatec Solar.

“I am pleased that Africa50 is already making its first investment, which fits in squarely with our priority to light up and power Africa,” said Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Chairman of Africa50’s Board of Directors.

Africa50 has been created by African governments, including Nigeria, the African Development Bank and institutional investors to mobilize private sector for funding infrastructure projects in Africa.

Alain Ebobisse, Africa50’s CEO noted: “Access to reliable energy is one of the most critical needs in Africa, including in Nigeria, where it is a government priority. I look forward to deepening the relationship with the authorities of Nigeria, one of our key shareholder countries, and to supporting more projects in this and other infrastructure sectors.”

Apart from the three equity investors, the American Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Islamic Development Bank and the African Development Bank are expected to be senior debt providers for the project.

International Finance institutions say the key to successful investment is the Nigerian state’s issue of project documents that provides necessary investor confidence and the formulation of a clear roadmap to sustainability in the energy sector.

With an estimated investment of USD 150 million, a production of 200,000 MWh of electricity per year and 120,000 tons of CO2 emissions avoided annually, the Nova Scotia solar plant will help Nigeria rapidly increase its generation capacity, provide economic opportunities, fight desertification caused by climate change, and contribute to fulfilling Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitments to develop renewable energy as part of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

In July, the Nova Scotia project signed a 20-year PPA with Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET). Located on 200 hectares of land, the project has strong fundamentals with high solar resources and direct access to the transmission grid through a simple connection route.

The consortium will continue to work with CDIL, a Canadian renewable energy development company focused on Africa, and BPS, a Nigerian strategic consulting, to move the project from “pipeline” and achieve financial close in 2017 and commercial operations in 2018.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest and the world’s 26th biggest economy. With Nigeria’s per capita electricity consumption at 155 kwh, one of the lowest in the world, there is a huge need to increase power production in order to expand and diversify the Nigerian economy.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Scatec Solar.

Media Contact:
Mr. Mikkel Tørud, CFO       
Tel: +4797699144       
Mikkel.Torud@ScatecSolar.com

Ms. Julie Hamre, Media       
Tel: +4792020854       
Julie.Hamre@ScatecSolar.com

About Scatec Solar:

Scatec Solar (www.ScatecSolar.com) is an integrated independent solar power producer, delivering affordable, rapidly deployable and sustainable source of clean energy worldwide. A long term player, Scatec Solar develops, builds, owns, operates and maintains solar power plants, and already has an installation track record of close to 600 MW.

The company is producing electricity from 426 MW of solar power plants in the Czech Republic, South Africa, Rwanda, Honduras, Jordan and the United States.

With an established global presence, the company is growing briskly with a project backlog and pipeline of close to 1.6 GW under development in the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Scatec Solar is headquartered in Oslo, Norway and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol 'SSO'.

SOURCE
Scatec Solar"

End of culled press release from APO.
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