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Charging Electric Vehicles: Pay-per-kWh vs Pay-per-Hour

Introduction

The advent of electric vehicles (EVs) has brought about a significant shift in the automotive industry. As the number of EVs on the road increases, so does the demand for charging stations. However, a debate has emerged regarding the most equitable way to charge for this service: pay-per-kWh or pay-per-hour. This article will explore both options and argue in favor of the pay-per-kWh model.

Pay-per-Hour Model

The pay-per-hour model charges EV owners based on the amount of time their vehicle is connected to the charging station. This model is simple and easy to understand, as it mirrors the way we pay for parking. However, it has several drawbacks.

Firstly, the speed at which different EVs charge can vary significantly. Some vehicles may be able to fully charge in an hour, while others may take several hours to reach the same level. This means that owners of faster-charging vehicles end up paying more for the same amount of energy.

Secondly, this model does not incentivize efficient use of charging stations. Once a vehicle is fully charged, the owner has no financial incentive to move their vehicle and free up the charging spot for others.

Pay-per-kWh Model

The pay-per-kWh model, on the other hand, charges based on the amount of energy consumed. This model is akin to how we pay for gasoline or home electricity, making it intuitive for consumers.

This model is fairer as it ensures that drivers pay for the exact amount of energy they consume, regardless of how long it takes their vehicle to charge. It also encourages efficient use of charging stations, as drivers are likely to unplug their vehicles once they are fully charged to avoid additional costs.

Moreover, the pay-per-kWh model aligns with the goal of promoting energy conservation. By making drivers aware of their energy consumption, it encourages them to adopt energy-efficient driving habits.

The Future of EV Charging

While both models have their merits, the pay-per-kWh model is arguably the better option. It is fairer, promotes efficient use of charging infrastructure, and encourages energy conservation.

However, implementing this model is not without challenges. Regulators must ensure that pricing is transparent and that consumers are protected from price gouging. Additionally, charging station operators will need to invest in metering technology that can accurately measure energy consumption.

Despite these challenges, the pay-per-kWh model is the way forward. As the EV market continues to grow, it is crucial that we adopt a charging model that is fair, encourages efficiency, and promotes sustainability. The pay-per-kWh model ticks all these boxes, making it the clear choice for the future of EV charging.

In conclusion, while the pay-per-hour model may seem simpler, the pay-per-kWh model is a more equitable and sustainable solution. As we navigate the transition to electric vehicles, it is crucial that we make decisions that not only serve the needs of EV drivers today but also pave the way for a more sustainable future.

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Super Bowl 58: A Game-Changer for Renewable Energy

Quick Summary

  • Super Bowl LVIII
  • Allegiant Stadium 
  • Sustainability initiatives 

Article

Introduction

Super Bowl 58, one of the most-watched sports events worldwide, made history by becoming the first to be fully powered by renewable energy. This remarkable achievement took place at Allegiant Stadium, a state-of-the-art facility that has set a new standard for sustainability in sports.

The Power of Green Energy

The Allegiant Stadium, home to the Las Vegas Raiders, is a marvel of modern engineering and design. But what sets it apart is its commitment to sustainability. The stadium is powered entirely by renewable energy, a feat made possible by Nevada’s abundant solar resources.

The decision to go green was not just about reducing the stadium’s carbon footprint. It was also a strategic move to ensure reliable power supply during the game. By harnessing the power of the sun, Allegiant Stadium was able to avoid the risk of power outages that could disrupt the game.

The Impact on the Game

The use of renewable energy had a profound impact on Super Bowl 58. It demonstrated that large-scale events can be powered entirely by green energy without compromising on performance or reliability.

The success of Super Bowl 58 has sent a powerful message to the world: renewable energy is not just a viable option; it’s the future. And it’s a future that looks bright, as more and more stadiums around the world are following in the footsteps of Allegiant Stadium.

The Future of Sports and Renewable Energy

The success of Super Bowl 58 has set a precedent for future sporting events. It has shown that it’s possible to host a world-class event while also being environmentally responsible.

Looking ahead, there’s every reason to believe that renewable energy will play an increasingly important role in sports. As the cost of renewable energy continues to fall, and as the urgency of addressing climate change grows, more and more stadiums are likely to make the switch to green energy.

In fact, some sports organizations are already taking action. FIFA, for example, has committed to making the 2026 World Cup carbon-neutral. This includes measures to reduce energy consumption and increase the use of renewable energy. FIFA has pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2040 in line with the Paris Agreement. However, some critics say that these commitments are at odds with the decisions made regarding the World Cup. For example, in October 2023, FIFA faced criticism after over 70,000 air miles were flown by sides competing at the Women’s World Cup. 

Conclusion

Super Bowl 58 was more than just a game. It was a statement about the potential of renewable energy and a glimpse into the future of sports. As we look forward to future tournaments, there’s a sense of optimism and excitement. The marriage of sports and renewable energy is just beginning, and the best is yet to come.

The success of Super Bowl 58 has shown us that when it comes to renewable energy, we’re not just playing games. We’re changing the world.

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AFCON 2023: A Celebration of Football and Clean Energy in Africa

Introduction

The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 is more than just a football tournament. It is also a showcase of the achievements and potential of Africa in various fields, including clean energy. In this article, we will explore some of the ways that AFCON 2023 and clean energy are connected, highlighting the global partnerships and initiatives that support the green development of Africa.

What is Clean Energy?

Clean energy is energy that comes from renewable, zero emission sources that do not pollute the atmosphere when used, as well as energy saved by energy efficiency measures. Clean energy is essential for mitigating climate change, improving air quality, enhancing energy security, and creating economic opportunities.

Some of the common sources of clean energy are solar, wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal, and ocean energy. These sources are abundant, inexhaustible, and environmentally friendly. They can also provide decentralized, off-grid, and affordable energy solutions for rural and remote areas.

How is AFCON 2023 Powered by Clean Energy?

One of the highlights of AFCON 2023 is the newly built Ebimpe Stadium, located in the outskirts of Abidjan, the economic capital of Cote d’Ivoire. The stadium, which has a capacity of 60,000 spectators, is the largest and most modern in the country, and the first to be powered by solar energy. The stadium has a 1.5 MW solar power plant, which covers 30 percent of its energy needs and reduces its carbon footprint. The solar power plant was built by a Chinese company, Huawei, as part of its commitment to support the development of renewable energy in Africa.

Another example of the connection between AFCON 2023 and clean energy is the satellite TV project, which aims to provide access to digital television services to 10,000 villages in 25 African countries, including Cote d’Ivoire. The project, which is funded by the Chinese government and implemented by StarTimes, a Chinese media company, uses solar power to operate the TV sets and decoders in remote areas that lack electricity. The project not only enables millions of Africans to watch the AFCON matches, but also to enjoy other educational and entertainment programs.

stadium

What are the Benefits of Clean Energy for Africa?

The benefits of clean energy for Africa are manifold. First, clean energy can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change, which poses a serious threat to the continent’s development and security. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Africa’s energy-related CO2 emissions could increase by 75% by 2030 under current policies, unless more action is taken to promote clean energy.

Second, clean energy can improve air quality and public health, especially in urban areas where air pollution is a major cause of premature deaths and diseases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 600,000 Africans die each year from exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution. Clean energy can reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and traditional biomass, which are the main sources of air pollution in Africa.

Third, clean energy can enhance energy security and access, especially for the 600 million Africans who still lack access to electricity. Clean energy can provide reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy services for households, businesses, and communities, and reduce the dependence on imported fuels and power grids. Clean energy can also create jobs and income opportunities for local people, especially women and youth, who can participate in the installation, operation, and maintenance of clean energy systems.

What are the Challenges and Opportunities for Clean Energy in Africa?

Despite the benefits and potential of clean energy, Africa still faces many challenges and barriers to achieve a clean energy transition. Some of these challenges include:

  • Lack of adequate financing and investment for clean energy projects and infrastructure
  • Lack of supportive policies and regulations to create a conducive environment for clean energy development and deployment.
  • Lack of technical and institutional capacity and skills to plan, implement, and manage clean energy projects and systems.
  • Lack of awareness and information among the public and stakeholders about the benefits and opportunities of clean energy

However, these challenges also present opportunities for Africa to leverage the support and cooperation of the international community, especially in the context of the global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Some of these opportunities include:

  • Accessing various sources of funding and financing from multilateral and bilateral donors, development banks, private sector, and civil society organizations
  • Adopting and implementing best practices and standards for clean energy policies and regulations, such as feed-in tariffs, net metering, renewable energy certificates, and carbon pricing
  • Building and strengthening the human and institutional capacity and skills for clean energy through education, training, and knowledge sharing
  • Raising and disseminating the awareness and information about clean energy among the public and stakeholders through campaigns, media, and events

How is AFCON 2023 Promoting Clean Energy in Africa?

AFCON 2023 is not only a platform for showcasing the achievements and potential of Africa in clean energy, but also a catalyst for promoting and advancing the clean energy agenda in the continent. AFCON 2023 is doing this by:

  • Demonstrating the feasibility and benefits of clean energy solutions, such as the solar-powered stadium and the satellite TV project, and inspiring other countries and regions to adopt and replicate them.
  • Engaging and mobilizing the public and stakeholders, especially the youth and the football fans, to support and participate in the clean energy transition, and to adopt more sustainable lifestyles and behaviours.
  • Creating and strengthening the partnerships and networks among the African countries and regions, as well as with the international community, to share the experiences, challenges, and opportunities of clean energy, and to foster more collaboration and cooperation.

Conclusion

AFCON 2023 and clean energy are connected in many ways, and together they represent the bright future of Africa and its people. AFCON 2023 is not only a celebration of football, but also a celebration of clean energy, which can bring many benefits and opportunities for the continent. AFCON 2023 is also an opportunity for Africa to showcase its achievements and potential in clean energy, and to promote and advance the clean energy agenda in the continent and the world.

Author

Brian Kolek is an Economist and Business Development Manager at Renewables in Africa.

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AGRIVOLTAICS

Summary

  • Functionality
  • Example Agrivoltaics in large scale
  • Why you should consider Agrivoltaics
  • Conclusion

Introduction

The thought that solar panels can only be mounted on the roof top of houses or buildings is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Today, solar panels are proving to be of more use even in the Agricultural sector. It’s no longer just a question of cheaper or affordable energy but also directly helping to put food on the table. It is like hitting two birds with one stone. In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – Food Security; we need to employ creativity that boots efficiencies and crop yield in the most sustainable ways.

Agrivoltaics functionality

Solar panels and crops simply coexist on the same piece of land while sharing the natural sunlight.  In the world of today where global warming is a major issue due to industrialization and human activities (burning of fossil fuels and deforestation) most of which do not favor flourishing of the natural environment. As a result, temperature rise in some cases has led to drop in crop yield. Crops require just the right amount of sunlight.

This is where solar panels come in. The panels are mounted off the ground above the crops. They provide shade for the crops thereby limiting the rate of transpiration or water loss. Crop yield as a result increases in most cases due to the shade mitigating some of the stress on plants caused by high temperatures and UV rays from the sun. Farm animals (e.g., sheep and goats) also benefit from the shade provide by the PV system.

Even as the panels help plants through shade provision, they themselves are harvesting energy from the sun that is stored in lithium batteries that can be used in the firm or sold to the grid. Farms that run electric equipment such as tractors also use the energy stored for charging or even pumping water from wells or a river far off to the farm.

 Agrivoltaics in Practice

Lovers of wine may be amazed by Agrivoltaics too. In France, Sun‘Agri set up PV power plant in Piolenc. Piolenc is a wine growing area where the French have set up over 1000m2 of vines. The result of the experiment was a reduction of water demand by 12 to 34%. The vine yield in terms of aroma is also greatly improved together with grape acidity, red pigmentation and anthocyanins. The latter had increased by at least 9-14% and 13% respectively.

In the Netherlands, agrivoltiacs projects focus on potatoes, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries etc. During the night, farmers use plastic coverings to keep the berries away from the cold which will be a thing of the past thanks to agrivoltaics. During the night, the panels retain heat beneath them even better. Plastics are mostly non-biodegradable as such, not desirable in farms.

Why you should consider Agrivoltaics

  • Increased revenue Stream

Farmers no longer need to rely on sale of crop or animal produce only to earn from their farms. Those with vast land can harvest a lot of energy which can be sold to the national grid. The farmer can as result get monthly or annual stable income that is reliable. Mostly, only the upfront installation costs are significant which the farmer earns several streams of cash flows back as return on investment. Furthermore, given the increasing energy rates from the national grid, the farmer is assured of relatively competitive prices.

  • Better yield

As mentioned earlier, the shade provided by the PV system is spaced strategically to only allow adequate or desired amount or light to reach crops. Thus, a reduction in plant drought stress as the panels provide a stable temperature below them with higher temperatures experienced during the night and cooler ones during the day.

  • Energy costs reduction

The land owner may decide to also tap into the power usage even as some is sold to the grid or the nearby town or neighbors. The famer can use the clean energy for water pumps to supply water to the farm, till the land, provide security lighting during the night, process farm produce, store farm produce for example through freezers or driers etc.

  • Food security and water conservation

Instead of just depending or waiting for planting seasons since planting times especially in Africa is largely dependent and determined by the rains, farmers who have access to water sources such as rivers or wells can supply water to crops. An electric pump is employed drawing power from the PV system. Therefore, even during the dry seasons, crops are grown. Less water is also used due to a reduction of the rates of transpiration. Less water is lost by plants in the farm and also in the soil. The extension of growing seasons as a result boosts food security aiding in realization of vision 2030.

  • Allow for nutrient and land recharge of land that is degraded

Land that has been used for farming in every consecutive season requires time to replenish its nutrients for better crop yield. This land can be left untilled for several seasons as the PV system is put in place to harvest the energy from the sun.

Summary

As much as we may argue that agrivoltaics research continues, its benefits are clear to farmers who have implemented it. Farmers not only realize more crop yield due to reduced crop stress caused by daytime increased heat but also better quality as seen berries in the Netherlands.

Struggling farms as a result of climate change and commodity prices can also leverage agrivoltaics to boost crop yield, add additional income stream and reduce their energy costs. Seemingly, the PV system is not here just to sought out the issue of energy sufficiency, reliability and sustainability but also to assist us attain food security.

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Electric Vehicles: What is the future? 

Quick Summary

EV Sales

What’s pushing the EV Marketing

Oil and Electricity demand

EVs in Developing Nations

Article

What are the odds of you driving an Electric vehicle by 2030 or ten years later? Do not worry because
the odds are getting better for you every year. BloombergNEF (BNEF) estimates that in 2025,2030 and
2040, electric vehicles EVs will hit 10%, 28% and 58% of worldwide passenger vehicle sales respectively.
The BMEF report currently puts electric vehicles global sales at 3%.
Do you know what Kodak, Xerox or Blockbuster have in common? Innovation absence. The incumbent
organization must always invest in innovation in order to maintain being at the top. Otherwise, they will
tend to fall. This is what is currently happening in the automotive industry.
After companies like Tesla made electric vehicles a common feature on the roads of developed
countries, other manufacturers have joined the race. Currently, the Tesla Model 3 heads the pack at top
position with over 365,000 units sold in 2020 yet was first launched in July 2017.
EV Sales
Currently there are over 500 electric vehicles model globally. As battery prices fall with an increase in
energy density improvement coupled with mushrooming of more charging stations, sales will continue
to rise for electric vehicles. In India, Electric vehicle sales are up 20% with listed electric vehicle
companies like TATA, Ashok Leyland, Ather Energy and Mahindra focusing on production. Over the
years, India has been a strategic market for most manufactures not just in the automotive industry. This
can be attributed to the population of over a billion providing vast markets.

Tesla has as a result registered a company in the country. According to India’s transport minister, Nitin
Gadkari, the giant electric vehicle company will start off with sales and thereafter may seek assembly
and manufacturing.
What’s pushing the EV market?
If you sat in an Advanced Macroeconomics class, you probably have heard of arguments that technology
is endogenous. Technological advancements occur as a result of intentional investment decisions. These
decisions are made by profit maximizing agents.
This is the case in the EV market. Batteries keep getting better every year. This is not by default but by
serious labor and financial investments. Battery average density keeps on rising at 4%-5% annually
while charging speeds are on the rise. For example, the Tesla supercharger 3 network can add about 75
miles of charge in just 5 minutes of charge for the Model 3.
Apart from technology, policy makers are also lobbying for significant reduction of emissions in the
automotive market. Another major concern for them are city policies, fuel economy regulations and
quota systems. Several countries have put in place mechanisms to encourage adoption of electric
vehicles through policy makers. Subsidies for example have encouraged purchase of battery electric
vehicles.
In 2016, countries like Norway, Korea, China, United States, France, UK and Japan offered national
subsidies of USD 20,000, 16,550, 10,000, 8,750, 7,100, 6,200, and 5,500 for battery electric vehicles per
vehicle respectively. With this effort, about 13 countries have announced their plans to eliminate the
sale of internal combustion vehicles (ICV). This has as a result led to rising policy pressure on
manufacturers. This is enough to educate manufacturers on the future of ICV’S.
Another contributor is the falling lithium-ion battery prices. From 2010 – 2019, lithium-ion battery packs
prices dropped 87%. This has been attributed to discoveries of new manufacturing techniques,
chemistries and introduction of simplified pack designs.
What it means for Energy and Electricity demand
Oil and Electricity Demand

Covid- 19 safety rules hit the passenger vehicles hard and the effects passed on to oil demand. 1 million
barrels of oil per day is already being replaced by EV’s around the world. What still gives hope to the
overall road transport oil demand for this decade is growth in heavy commercial vehicles. We have
however seen the likes of Elon Musk unveiling solutions for this such as the class 8 semi-truck. The truck
will come with 300-mile or 500-mile range. Tesla has also launched an eighteen-wheeler for cargo.
Multibillion-dollar organizations such as Amazon has also opted for electric vehicles for deliveries. This
clearly gives a clear picture of where things are headed. BNEF projects that by 2040, 17.6 million barrels
of oil demand will be displaced by EV’s per day.

By 2040, the overall consumption of electricity by EV’s across all segments will add just 5.2% to global
electricity demand. This EV’s will consume a total of 1,964TWh.
Why Electric Vehicles?
A global advantage of buying an electric vehicle is the absence of carbon emissions. They help reduce
global warming in the long run and as a result an investment to our future generations. EV’s also require
low maintenance compared to gasoline cars. There is no need to send your EV to the service station as
often as you would an ICE.
Savings is one of the most important selling points. EV’s can be charged for significantly very low prices
compared to ICE’s. Some countries also offer incentives for going green. On safety, EV’s have been
deemed safer to use due to their low center of gravity making them more stable. EV’s are even less
likely to burn or experience explosions given the absence of flammable fuel.
EV’s are revolutionizing driving by making it easier. They come without the clutch mechanism since EV’s
do not suffer from the problem of stalling. You basically operate the vehicle using acceleration pedal,
the steering wheel together with the brake pedal. In ICE’s the breaking process wastes kinetic energy
while in EV’s, regenerative breaking charges the battery.
As much as there are some disadvantages of using electric vehicles such as the issue of recharge points,
steep initial investment and driving range the advantages outweigh them. Most of the challenges are
being faced out by technological advancements and time. An example is the problem of driving range.

Improved battery technology has now seen EV’s with up to 412-mile range up from 100-mile range. It is
therefore possible in future to have 1000mile range EV’s given this trend.
EV’s in Developing Nations
The Kenyan government has set a goal of having 5% of all registered vehicles being EV’s by 2025.
Government strategies have been formulated in order to have new public buildings have charging
stations. Kenya has severally experienced fuel challenges for example the increase of public transport
costs by Ksh.15. This was as a result of increased fuel costs as a result of increased VAT.
Private transport companies such as Eco-rent have however invested in EV’s in the Kenya. The company
launched a digital application similar to uber called NopeaRide. The organization uses purely EV’s and
has also set up charging points for their vehicles. Other countries in Africa worth mentioning include
South Africa where out of more than ten million cars, a thousand are EV’s and Nigeria where the
Hyundai-Kona, a locally assembled EV is being set up.
Conclusion
Technology advancements are exponential and endogenous. It is on this basis that the EV markets
future is promising. The overwhelming support and interests from governments and other relevant
institutions have also seen EV’s market grow. Technological advancements will render the initial costs
for EV’s to be cheaper and as a result more affordable.
Moreover, having Solar Power your home together with an EV is significantly economical as witnessed
by a Tesla customer who installed the Solar roof and owns a Model Y. She was able to feed extra power
to the grid making savings of up to $415.50 and revenues of $92.12 from selling back to grid.
This therefore shows us the need to also adopt solar power for running homes from which could also
power the EV’s making it even more economical. It would then be possible to make savings in this harsh
covid-19 economic times.

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Load Shedding in Kenya: A Looming Crisis or a Wake-Up Call?

Monologue

It is now the third time that Kenya has been plunged into darkness as witnessed on the 10th of December, 20:00hrs EAT. The previous case happened in August and now the Energy CS, David Chirchir has hinted on a possible rationing/load shedding as maintenance and building of new distribution channels are to take effect. Kenya, a country that has been seen to be in the forefront of spearheading ESG and adoption of renewables seems to be falling back on it’s mandate or this just a case of poor governance?

Article

Load Shedding in Kenya: A Looming Crisis or a Wake-Up Call?

Kenya is facing the possibility of scheduled power outages, known as load shedding, in the near future. This is due to the lack of adequate power transmission lines to distribute the electricity generated from various sources. Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir has revealed that the government is contemplating this measure to prevent overloading the grid and causing nationwide blackouts, as happened on Sunday, December 10, 2023

Load shedding is a strategy to balance the available power with the demand, ensuring a more stable and reliable electricity supply for everyone. It involves cutting off power to certain areas or sectors for a specified period of time, usually on a rotational basis. While this may sound like a reasonable solution to avoid a complete collapse of the power system, it comes with significant economic, social and environmental costs.

The Economic Impact of Load Shedding

Load shedding has a negative impact on the productivity and profitability of various sectors of the economy, especially the manufacturing, mining, agriculture and service industries. These sectors rely heavily on electricity to operate machinery, equipment, computers and other devices. When power is interrupted, they have to halt their operations, incur losses, delay deliveries, reduce output and quality, and sometimes lay off workers. According to a study by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, load shedding costs the country about 0.4% of its GDP annually

Load shedding also affects the competitiveness of Kenyan businesses in the regional and global markets. Kenya is already lagging behind its neighbours in terms of electricity access and affordability. According to the World Bank, only 75% of Kenyans have access to electricity, compared to 89% in Uganda, 97% in Rwanda and 100% in Ethiopia Moreover, Kenyan manufacturers pay an average of Sh16 per kilowatt-hour, which is higher than the regional average of Sh12 Load shedding will further increase the cost of doing business and erode the confidence of investors and consumers.

The Social Impact of Load Shedding

Load shedding also has a detrimental effect on the quality of life and well-being of Kenyans. It disrupts the normal functioning of households, schools, hospitals, public services and other essential facilities. It affects the provision of health care, education, water, sanitation, security and communication. It exposes people to health and safety risks, such as food spoilage, water contamination, fire hazards, crime and violence. It also limits the opportunities for leisure, entertainment, socialization and personal development.

Curtesy of BBC
Curtesy of BBC: A pupil using a candle to study

Load shedding also exacerbates the existing inequalities and vulnerabilities in the society. It affects the poor and marginalized groups more than the rich and privileged ones. It widens the gap between the urban and rural areas, where access to electricity is already unequal. It also increases the gender disparities, as women and girls bear the brunt of the domestic chores and responsibilities that require electricity, such as cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing. It also limits their access to education, information, employment and empowerment.

The Environmental Impact of Load Shedding

Load shedding also has an adverse impact on the environment and the climate. It encourages the use of alternative sources of energy, such as diesel generators, kerosene lamps, charcoal stoves and firewood. These sources are not only expensive and inefficient, but also emit harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases that contribute to air pollution, respiratory diseases, deforestation, desertification and global warming. They also deplete the natural resources and biodiversity that are vital for the ecological balance and sustainability.

Load shedding also undermines the efforts to transition to a green and low-carbon economy. Kenya has made significant strides in developing and harnessing renewable energy sources, such as geothermal, hydro, wind and solar. These sources are clean, cheap, abundant and renewable. They have the potential to meet the growing demand for electricity and reduce the dependence on fossil fuels and imports. However, load shedding reduces the incentives and returns for investing in renewable energy projects and infrastructure. It also creates uncertainty and instability in the power sector and the energy market.

The Way Forward for Kenya

Load shedding is not inevitable or irreversible. It can be avoided or minimized by taking proactive and preventive measures to address the underlying causes and challenges of the power sector. Some of these measures include:

  • Expanding and upgrading the power transmission and distribution network to increase its capacity, efficiency and reliability. This will reduce the losses, leakages and bottlenecks that hamper the flow of electricity from the generation to the consumption points.
  • Enhancing the maintenance and management of the existing power plants and equipment to improve their performance, availability and lifespan. This will reduce the breakdowns, faults and outages that affect the power supply and quality.
  • Accelerating the completion and commissioning of the ongoing and planned power projects, especially the coal-fired plants of Medupi and Kusile, which are expected to add 9,564 MW of capacity to the grid. This will increase the power generation and diversification and reduce the supply-demand gap.
  • Promoting the development and integration of renewable energy sources, such as geothermal, hydro, wind and solar, into the national grid. This will reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and imports and increase the affordability and sustainability of electricity.
  • Implementing the reforms and recommendations of the Presidential Taskforce on Independent Power Producers, which was chaired by John Ngumi. This will improve the governance, regulation and oversight of the power sector and address the issues of corruption, mismanagement and sabotage that have plagued Eskom and other stakeholders.
  • Encouraging the participation and involvement of the private sector, the civil society and the consumers in the power sector. This will enhance the competition, innovation and accountability in the sector and foster a culture of transparency, responsibility and efficiency.

The Lessons from South Africa

Kenya can learn from the experience and example of South Africa, which has been grappling with load shedding for more than a decade. South Africa is one of the most electrified countries in Africa, but also one of the most affected by power cuts. The country has suffered from load shedding for 232 days as of September 2023, which is about 1.5 times more than what was experienced in 2022

The main causes of load shedding in South Africa are similar to those in Kenya: ageing infrastructure, poor maintenance, corruption, mismanagement and sabotage. The consequences are also similar: economic losses, social disruptions, environmental damages and political instability. The solutions are also similar: expanding and upgrading the power network, enhancing the maintenance and management of the power plants, accelerating the completion and commissioning of the power projects, promoting the development and integration of renewable energy sources, implementing the reforms and recommendations of the power sector, and encouraging the participation and involvement of the stakeholders.

However, South Africa also offers some unique insights and lessons for Kenya. One of them is the importance of diversifying the power sector and reducing the monopoly and dominance of Eskom, the state-owned utility that generates, transmits and distributes electricity in the country. Eskom has been accused of being inefficient, corrupt, politicized and unaccountable. It has also been resistant to change and reform, especially in terms of embracing renewable energy and allowing independent power producers to enter the market.

Another lesson is the need to balance the social and environmental objectives of the power sector with the economic and financial realities. South Africa has been struggling to keep the electricity tariffs affordable and accessible for the poor and vulnerable segments of the society, while also ensuring the viability and sustainability of Eskom and other power providers. The government has been subsidizing Eskom and bailing it out of its debts, but this has also increased the fiscal burden and the public debt.

A third lesson is the role of innovation and adaptation in coping with load shedding and mitigating its impacts. South Africans have developed various strategies and technologies to deal with the power cuts, such as installing solar panels, batteries, inverters, generators and smart meters, using energy-efficient appliances and devices, switching to gas or biogas for cooking and heating, and adopting flexible working hours and arrangements.

Conclusion

Load shedding is a serious and complex problem that affects Kenya and other African countries. It has negative and far-reaching implications for the economy, the society and the environment. It also poses a threat to the development and stability of the country. However, load shedding is not insurmountable or inevitable. It can be prevented or minimized by taking appropriate and timely measures to address the challenges and opportunities of the power sector. Kenya can also learn from the experience and example of South Africa, which has been facing load shedding for a long time. By doing so, Kenya can ensure a reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity supply for its people and its future.

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Empowering Africa’s Youth: A Conversation on Skills for Tomorrow and Green Energy Careers with Makena Ireri, Director at the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet.

Quick Summary

On the back of #YES! – Youth Energy Day organized by EnergyNet Ltd, Oluoch Were was lucky enough to talk to Makena Ireri, Director, Demand, Jobs, and Livelihoods at Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet

We talked about:

  • Empowering Africa’s Youth
  • Skills for Tomorrow
  • Green Energy as a Viable Career Path
  • Africa’s Renewable Energy Progress
  • More

Do check the full interview on YouTube.

INTERVIEW

OW: Welcome Makena. Could you kindly introduce yourself?

MI: Yeah, sure. I’m Makena Ireri. I’m a director at GEAPP for a function called Demand Jobs and Livelihoods.

OW: Perfect. In a nutshell, what does your role entail?

MI: Yeah, I mean, it’s three seemingly unrelated words, but I think if you’re in the energy sector, they start to make sense. And what my function does is think about what happens after you supply the electricity. So you have a connection, a pole, electrons coming out of it. But in order for those electrons, that electricity to be useful, to impact people’s lives, to change the kind of incomes that they can have or to give jobs, you need to do something extra. So that’s what my team does. We focus on what needs to happen after electricity has been delivered to convert it into a meaningful impact for people. And that impact can be in terms of jobs, in terms of increasing their livelihoods, but also generally, for example, climate resilience and other ways that electricity is useful for development.

OW: That’s interesting because there are a lot of discussions currently going on globally with regard to energy and its impact on the end user is. As you’ve mentioned, it may be in the form of employment to the youth, or in the form of access to the end user, either in an off-grid rural area or even in an urban setup. So Makena, in terms of empowering Africa’s youth, what’s your take in terms of strategies or initiatives whereby when we are looking at helping empower Africa’s youth within the energy sector?

MI: I guess when you talk about empower, I think about giving people the choices and opportunities to make their lives better. So, that’s how I think about empowering, and I think about the youth in the energy sector right now in Africa, there’s a couple of things that are necessary and that people are working on. So the first one is skills development and training. Unfortunately, not always our education system is up to par with the changes that are happening around the world. Digitization, all this kind of new, I guess, technology that’s coming in. We need to keep our youth current and up to date. And so I think strategies around skilling or re-skilling and vocational training are really helpful, and there are a couple of organizations doing this in the energy space. Secondly, I think giving youth a chance to show what they can do. I think that is really empowering and that is supporting their innovations and ideas, because as we know, a lot of youths in Africa are very entrepreneurial, they have great ideas, and they can help solve some of the problems that are affecting the energy space. But we need to also give them the space, the resources, and the funding to be able to convert those ideas into action. And again, for example at GEAPP, in India, we’ve run the Entice program, which helps to bring youths to solve some of the problems that are, I guess, affecting the energy space, and that program is something that we’re really looking at as potentially transferable to Africa. So initiatives like those are really helpful. And then finally, work placement. I think having your first job is exciting. There are many entry-level jobs in the energy sector, and once you’re re-skilled or skilled or even straight out of university, in some cases, there are a lot of jobs. But the problem is matching the person to the job and vice versa. And so, for example, at GEAPP, we’re working with Shortlist to match young women in jobs into the energy sector, and that’s working out really well because we are seeing these women stay in these jobs for more than six months. We track them for up to six months and we’re seeing the positive life impacts that that has. Just getting that first meaningful professional job. So I think these are some of the ways we can really empower young people.

OW: Amazing! Talking of empowering Africa’s youth, you’ve also mentioned the skills that they need for them to be able to venture into the energy space in a way that will enable them to have an impact as individuals. You’ve also talked about mentorship in empowering the youth to pursue their careers in energy. What challenges do you think young individuals commonly face?

MI: I think one of the challenges is access to information. Yes, we’re living in a digital era and everyone feels like information is just in the palm of their hands. But I can think that if you’re a young person who’s not living in a capital city, let’s say, who doesn’t have access to a smartphone or the Internet, how are you going to know about the kind of skills that you need or any programs that are available to you? So I think empowering youth with access to information is important. I think that’s a real challenge, especially the more rural you go. I think the other challenge is funding. You know, access to resources to be able to do the things you need to do to grow in your career or to even start. So sometimes in other countries, we see things like grants being given for young people to travel and participate in activities, in conferences, for example, in Energy Net. And that really opens up people’s perspective. But that financial challenge even to make that journey can be a problem. Here we are also trying to solve some of these problems with some of our initiatives. In terms of youths growing in their career, I think another challenge is flexibility. We’ve kind of a little bit told young people that, you know, you go to school to be an engineer, when you leave work, you look for an engineering job. But that’s not the reality of how the world works nowadays. Things are very interdisciplinary. So we need to also empower youths to feel like they have options. You don’t have to stick to a specific career path. A lot of your skills are transferable. It’s just that maybe someone needs to show you how they’re transferable to the energy sector. So I think that’s something we also need to unpack and kind of support you to realize that there’s more out there than the thing you went to school for.

OW: Sure! This one actually takes me to what you’ve just mentioned in terms of gaining skills and being competent. Here I’m talking about skills for tomorrow. What are these essential skills and competencies needed for the future in the energy industry in Africa with regard to the youth?

MI: I think the future of energy in Africa is going to be very digital. So anything you can do to upscale yourself in understanding the new digital tools, AI, the Internet of Things, being able to program, I think that’s going to be really helpful. The other thing is, and I think I said this maybe too much, is to be flexible, to be able to learn how to learn. It seems like, you know, a bit of an odd thing. But the thing is that it’s always changing and it’s changing really quickly. We’ve seen the energy sector in Africa change dramatically in even 10 years. So you need to know how to learn and how to keep up with the changes. And that’s self-motivation, being able to find the information you need to move to the next step, being able to connect with people and build your networks. I think those things are really, really important. So I’d say technically, the more digital you go, the better. But on the soft skills, you need to network and you need to learn how to learn.

OW: Yes, because we are actually living in a digital world whereby on a daily basis, we’ve got emerging technologies, and I believe as we move forward, this will also help reshape the skills that are needed within the sector. And on the same note, how can educational or higher institutions of learning also plug into this, you know, this idea of digitalization apart from just an individual whereby I may at the end of the day, spare one or two hours for me to be able to basically learn a new skill. What about institutions?

MI: Yeah, I think they have a great role to play because that’s how most people can access any kind of learning through an institution. I think institutions in Kenya need to find ways to partner with institutions who are at the cutting edge of some of the skills that we want our own youth to have, right? So, for example, I know a lot of Western universities are starting to think about setting campuses in different parts of Africa, in different countries. But I guess we don’t need them to come to us. We can also make that connection. We have something to trade here, which is our knowledge and our content of our own continent, and then they bring their digital skills and together there’s this interesting match to be made there. So I think looking for opportunities to partner could bring really great skills into institutions that can be transferred to students and not just with other educational institutions, but also with private sector companies because they know what they want and they are looking forward and projecting into the future about what kind of skills they’ll need. So partnering with them, for example, to run fellowships, internships, and placements. I think you have much bigger bargaining powers, and institutions going to arrange something with a big company to always give opportunities to X number of students every six months, than for each individual to come, every individual by themselves. So I think they should look into these kinds of partnerships that bring extra skills and extra opportunities for students.

OW: Looking at green energy as a viable career path, what exactly do you think in terms of the green energy space evolving? Because, you know, it’s mentioned that over the last couple of years, especially looking at the African perspective, it’s an area that has really evolved. In terms of careers for the youths, what do you think in terms of growth and in terms of creating that space for these youths to be able to be absorbed?

MI: Yes, you’re right. The space has grown, and I mentioned before. When we talk about green energy, sometimes we put ourselves in a box, and I just want to expand that thinking there a little bit. So we think about it as renewables that go into the grid. We also think about it as off-grid energy, right? Think solar power in rural settings where they don’t have access to the grid, and all that is, I mean, it’s a huge sector and it has huge potential. If you read some of the latest estimates from the IEA, they’re talking about millions of jobs in Africa alone in the next seven years to 2030 when they project to 2030. So as a place you want to look for a job as a young person, I think there’s enormous potential. Now, what specific career paths? Of course, there’s the technical career paths. I think those are obvious and people talk about them a lot around engineering, technicians, right? All the way from technicians who install solar, but even the products that are using the electricity, right? Talk about irrigation or processing, all this kind of machinery. So there’s already that. I think another space that would be really interesting is entrepreneurship. I think the energy sector is going to need service providers for all sorts of things. As the sector grows,  I guess, how do you call it? Not sort of bifurcates. It specializes, right? So over time, they are going to need people who do very, very specific things, right? And those people can be entrepreneurs who come up with solutions. So let’s say a lot of energy, new energy is provided in a place like in a rural area like Turkana. Who then delivers, for example, the appliances that are going to be used there? We’re not going to expect an international company to come, we can solve that problem ourselves. Somebody can set up a business to deliver appliances to Turkana. So I think there’s many opportunities to drive your own business as a young person and a lot of funding against that. We’ve already talked about digitization, which I think is super interesting. But I think there’s also careers that are associated with energy, right? If you’re a lawyer, there’s a lot of contracts to be negotiated, signed agreements, all these things. You know, we were talking before about power purchase agreements. You can skew your practice to the energy sector. If you, in many careers, you can find transferable skills. So I think it has enormous potential. I think you don’t have to be technical to get involved. And I think people should really think about entrepreneurship and building the businesses that are going to service the energy sector in the future.

OW: And I actually like the angle or the perspective that you’re taking, whereby it’s not only a path whereby I’m looking at who should I follow in terms of building my career path, in terms of maybe gaining employment or getting employment. But I can as well build my own path in terms of being an entrepreneur. And you’ve also mentioned something quite interesting whereby I may as well come up with something, it might be totally maybe somewhere in rural area. I may as well come up with something which at the end of the day may have an impact to my, you know, to my society or my community. And this comes in when I’m thinking as an entrepreneur. It’s not only a matter of me building my career by expecting someone to employ me, but there are also opportunities whereby I can as well create my own path and come up with something. Looking at the same area in terms of advice, what advice would you give to a young professional who’s just venturing into the sector or someone who’s considering venturing into the green energy space? And they also have, as you mentioned, the traditional background in this field. What advice would you give such a person?

MI: Yeah, I mean, I think first of all, you have to decide the track you want to take. I mean, we’ve talked about self-employment and then we’re talking about employment here. So you decide which one, and for each of those two tracks, there are different paths you can follow. So if you want to go and become an entrepreneur, I think one of the things is you have to have an idea. You have to have something, right? Something that is worth someone investing a little bit of money to turn it into a real thing, a prototype, let’s say. And there institutions like the Kenya Climate Innovation Center, there are a lot of research and development grants that are available that people can search for. I think my search would start with connections in LinkedIn because people always put a lot of funds or whatever is available, like innovation or hackathon-type challenges that you can start with. So if you’re an entrepreneur, I’d say look for those. Look for that first seed money that is basically free money in the form of a grant of some sort to turn your idea into something. And that’s kind of like the seed that then grows you to the various steps. If you’re looking to come in as a professional, you’re looking for employment, I think there are always the traditional ways of looking for employment. I’m going to recruit as a specialist in the energy sector, like I mentioned, Shortlist, you know, making connections and networking. But I think there’s also maybe something practical there about not pigeonholing yourself. So you don’t have to always start with a job that sounds like a… Because sometimes I meet people and they’re like, oh, but I only want an associate role. But I’ve seen people grow from like even a six-month fellowship to a real career in the sector. So I think be open, be open to that first entry point. It can look almost anyhow because what matters is when you’re in, what you do and how you grow and now you’re in the network. So I think be open to that and be flexible.

OW: OK, cool. Thank you for that, Makena. Now, on a wider perspective, it’s actually being said that Africa is the next big thing when it comes to renewables when it comes to energy as a whole. Could you provide an overview of the current state of renewable energy adoption and development in Africa? Just a rough overview. What’s your take on it?

MI: Yeah, I guess I’m not going to quote you any numbers off my head because they’re likely to be wrong, given how things move as well. I guess where are we in Africa in the state of renewable energy? Where we are is that we’re showing a lot of promise. Now, promise is not real activity on the ground, and those things are separated by funding. So there’s a huge funding gap. The amount of energy that is required for everyone on this continent to live, you know, a good life, right? You know, we call it the modern energy minimum to live a good modern life where you have access to sufficient energy for all your daily needs and maybe to even make some income. It’s high, you know, and there’s a lot of us and there’s not enough money. Our countries have borrowed to a point where there isn’t really much left in the debt ceiling, and so that’s that’s a little bit of a crisis. But that doesn’t mean that there is no potential. What we’re seeing is that other different kinds of money is starting to come into the sector. For example, money that’s focused more on climate resilience or climate adaptation. So it doesn’t have the label of energy, but we know energy is crucial. For example, for providing irrigation that helps us factor in the climate or helps us be resilient to climate. So these interesting kinds of new money coming into the sector that has a different label, but really could still support the energy sector. And that’s exciting. There’s money coming from different other sources than are traditional donor base. So that’s also exciting. I think the other thing we’re seeing in the energy sector is that the push to off-grid energy is real and growing. You know, the off-grid energy sector for the last 10 years has been steadily growing. And now it’s a real thing. Big companies are investing in off-grid energy, in mini-grids, in solar home systems, things that used to not be counted as real investments. Everybody used to want to go on the grid. So that’s exciting, and that’s showing that there’s a lot of promise beyond just like the traditional energy supply that we used to have. We’re facing a transmission and distribution problem. I think that’s clear when we see brownouts and when we see what’s happening in South Africa with the load shedding. So upgrading our transmission lines is critical. Again, there’s different kinds of funding that are coming out from that, especially from the EU, which is which is interesting, and what else? What else is like top of mind? I think these are really the things we have a big energy gap. A lot of people, maybe globally, maybe half a million, half a billion, sorry, people don’t have access to energy. And that’s, you know, given that we need to meet SDG 7 by 2030. It’s looking like it’s going to be difficult. Right now, when I look at the path we are on, no, not really. Unless we do something really dramatic in the next couple of years. I mean, it’s only seven years away. But I think what we can do is get us on a trajectory that at least gets us close. But the universal access by 2030 is looking really difficult. Yeah, it’s looking really difficult.

OW: OK, thank you very much. I’m happy you touched on the notable renewable energy innovations that we as Africa will be in a better position if we are able to adopt, especially when you touched on irrigation because at the end of the day, we also need to be in a position to feed ourselves and being able to adopt not only productive use of energy in terms of irrigation but also being able to have an impact in terms of having funds for the end users to be able to, you know, have access to such equipment on the renewable energy side of it, clean energy side of it. It’s quite important. Aside from that, I’m also happy that you were able to touch on the obstacles that we as a continent have been facing, and the main challenge has been on the funding, whereby I may not have the exact statistics, but in terms of the amount of money that is being pumped into Africa as a continent, if you compare it with the rest of the world, it’s barely 20 percent in terms of whatever share we are having. And we also need to be innovative enough, as you mentioned, we need to be able to position ourselves in a manner that we’ll be able to secure these funds, because at the end of the day, when we are looking at climate change mitigation, Africa is being seen as one of the key areas whereby some of these things need to be fully enforced. So I’m happy you talking about that, and aside from that, there are quite a number of key areas that you’ve been able to shed some light on, all the way from how do we empower Africa’s youth to be able to properly venture into the energy space, what set of skills would be important for them to be able to properly position themselves within the sector, and also green energy as a viable career path, because there are a number of individuals or even youths outside there, and they’ve always looked at the energy sector as something, you know, this is only meant for a particular set of people, but there are quite a number of key areas that, different people with different background may as well venture into within the energy space. Thank you very much for that. Aside from that, I’m glad you also talked on the viability of the green energy careers, whereby there’s future, there’s hope, there’s quite a number of things that people may as well get themselves involved in. And yeah, thank you very much for your time and for the insights that you’ve shared with us. Together with the Energy Net, we’d also like to thank them for, you know, making the Yes All The World Youth Energy Day a reality. I believe there are quite a number of significant things that we’ll be able to do together, not only as partners, but also as GEAPP. So thank you very much, Makena, and I really appreciate your time.

MI: Thanks.

OW: OK, welcome.

Do check the full interview on YouTube.

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Electrifying Showdown: Battery vs. Hydrogen Trucks in the Epic Quest for Dominance

QUICK SUMMARY

  • Current front-runner
  • Emerging contender
  • Verdict

Article

Introduction

The transportation industry is at a crossroads, with two major technologies vying for dominance: battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs). Both technologies offer the promise of zero-emission transportation, but each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Battery Electric Trucks: The Current Front-Runner

In 2022, nearly 66,000 electric buses and 60,000 medium- and heavy-duty trucks were sold worldwide, representing about 4.5% of all bus sales and 1.2% of truck sales globally. The majority of these vehicles were sold in China, which continues to dominate the production and sales of electric trucks and buses.

Battery electric trucks have several advantages. They are roughly 50% more efficient to operate than diesel trucks, making them at least 20% less expensive. Moreover, they produce zero tailpipe emissions, contributing to a significant reduction in carbon emissions3. However, they also face challenges such as limited driving range, longer refueling times, and the current lack of charging infrastructure, especially for long-haul routes.

Hydrogen Trucks: The Emerging Contender

Hydrogen trucks, on the other hand, are still in the early stages of market penetration. As of 2020, there were only 25,932 hydrogen-powered vehicles registered globally, with the majority being buses. However, the hydrogen truck market is projected to grow rapidly, with the global hydrogen trucks market size expected to surpass around USD 118.1 billion by 2032.

Hydrogen trucks offer significant environmental benefits, fuel efficiency, and noise reduction. They produce only water vapor as a byproduct, making them a clean energy solution. However, they also face challenges such as high initial costs, lack of a widespread refueling infrastructure, and safety concerns related to the storage and transportation of hydrogen.

The Verdict

While both battery and hydrogen trucks have their merits, the choice between the two technologies ultimately depends on the specific use case. Battery electric trucks are currently leading the race due to their higher efficiency and lower operating costs. However, hydrogen trucks hold promise for long-haul transportation due to their longer driving range and quicker refueling times.

The race between battery and hydrogen trucks is far from over. As technology advances and infrastructure develops, the balance could shift. For now, it’s clear that both technologies will play a crucial role in the transition to sustainable transportation.

In conclusion, the future of the trucking industry lies in the adoption of zero-emission technologies. Whether battery or hydrogen trucks will dominate the market remains to be seen. What is certain, however, is that the race is on, and the winner will be the environment.

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AI MARKETING TOOLS: WHAT WORKS IN THE RENEWABLE ENERGY SPACE?

MONOLOGUE

In the fast-paced world of marketing and sales, every day is a battle. A battle against time, against competition, and most importantly, against inefficiency and yet, we do not want renewable energy to loose. Without the right tools, the marketing and sales team often find themselves lost in a sea of data, struggling to identify potential leads and convert them into customers.

Imagine a day in the life of the sales and marketing team sifting through piles of data, trying to identify potential leads. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack – time-consuming and often frustrating.

Once they’ve identified potential leads, they need to reach out to them. But without an efficient way to manage and track their outreach efforts, they often find themselves juggling multiple tasks, struggling to keep track of who they’ve contacted, when, and what the response was. I know what you’re thinking, CRMs right!

And then there’s the challenge of personalization. In today’s competitive market, generic sales pitches especially in this niche “Renewable Energy” just doesn’t cut it. Customers expect personalized communication, tailored to their specific needs and interests. But without a tool to automate and streamline this process, personalization can be a daunting task. If we could only get ourselves a Chat GPT specifically customised for the job.

As I mentioned in my previous article, the goal is to ensure rapid sustainable growth of the industry. We can only expedite growth through profit realisation brought about by high turnover reflected from sales. Which begs the question, how do we generate leads? And not just leads, viable leads. Here is a secret and thank me later.

This works for us. Click here: LINK

QUICK SUMMARY

  • Market dynamics
  • Rewards sharing
  • Constructing belief
  • Alliances & Cooperation

Leads Generation: LINK

Article

Promotion in the Field of Renewable Energy

There is tremendous opportunity in the constantly expanding renewable energy market. Increased environmental consciousness is driving a rise in the demand for renewable energy sources. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for the renewable energy industry’s marketing.

Mordern marketing concept and tools for important lead generation in digital networks.

The Market and Its Dynamics

Learning the market is the first step in promoting green energy. This includes finding potential customers, analysing their requirements and preferences, and establishing a marketing strategy that addresses their demands. Homeowners, businesses, and even entire neighbourhoods are all viable markets for renewable energy.

Sharing the Rewards

Marketing in the renewable energy sector relies heavily on getting the word out about renewable energy’s many advantages. In addition to helping the planet, renewable energy can also help you save money and become less dependent on fossil fuels.

Constructing Belief

In the renewable energy industry, trust is essential. To accomplish this, honest and complete data about the efficacy and advantages of renewable energy systems must be made available. Offering guarantees or warranties is another trust-building measure.

Marketing renewable energy relies heavily on the use of technology. Marketing campaigns can benefit substantially from the use of technology, particularly the use of digital platforms to reach new customers and data analytics to evaluate market trends.

Alliances and Cooperation

One successful advertising tactic is to join forces with complementary businesses and institutions. This can help get the word out and expose it to more people.

Conclusion

The marketing of renewable energy products and services has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Marketers may help increase the use of renewable energy by being aware of the market, spreading the word about its benefits, gaining credibility, employing cutting-edge tools, and collaborating with like-minded businesses.

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OPERATIONS AND MANAGEMENT OF RENEWABLE ENERGY PLANTS

Monologue

Even as we push for adoption of renewables everyday, we need to ensure that they have longevity and are highly efficient. We would not want to see cases of renewable energy power plants being decommissioned or inefficiencies causing loadshedding, as it is the case in South Africa. If we remain complaisant on matter O&M for green plants, then all our efforts in pushing for adoption of clean energy goes down the drain. We need them to stand the test of time.

This matter of O&M begs the question, “is it possible to out source O&M?” Of-course you can locate reputable companies who would gladly do so on your behalf. The goal is to spearhead adoption of renewables for a more sustainable future hence we would gladly point you to the right direction if you need assistance.

QUICK SUMMARY

  • Role of O&M
  • Stakeholders

Introduction

Clean energy plants play a key role in fostering a sustainable and environmentally conscious future. The use of solar, wind, hydro, and other sustainable energy sources by these facilities is of paramount importance in mitigating our carbon emissions and addressing the issue of climate change. However, in the midst of the drive towards the implementation of renewable energy sources, the significance of effective Operations and Management (O&M) tends to be overlooked. This article aims to examine the diverse importance of operations and maintenance (O&M) in guaranteeing the durability and effectiveness of clean energy plants. Additionally, it emphasises the need for plant owners and operators to act and allocate resources towards O&M services.

The Hidden Pillar of Sustainability: Operations and Management in Clean Energy Plants

Clean energy facilities encompass more than a mere assemblage of solar panels, wind turbines, or hydropower generators. These initiatives embody a significant financial commitment towards addressing the issue of climate change. The long-term viability of these initiatives depends on the implementation of effective operations and maintenance practises.

  1. Optimizing Performance: Efficient O&M is the backbone of consistent, peak performance. Regular maintenance, monitoring, and fine-tuning ensure that these plants operate at their full potential. It prevents downtime, maximizes energy production, and ultimately accelerates the transition to clean energy.
  2. Cost Savings: Every energy plant has operational costs, but efficient O&M practices can significantly reduce these expenses over the long run. Proactive equipment checks, early fault detection, and timely repairs prevent costly breakdowns and extend the lifespan of valuable assets.
  3. Safety and Environmental Compliance: Effective O&M practices are paramount for safe and compliant operations. This not only protects the environment but also avoids expensive fines, legal troubles, and reputational damage.
  4. Prolonged Asset Lifespan: By extending the lifespan of equipment and infrastructure, O&M practices safeguard the substantial investments made in clean energy plants. This, in turn, provides a higher return on investment over time, making the shift to clean energy more economically attractive.
  5. Innovation and Upgrades: O&M teams are at the forefront of adopting innovative technologies and improvements. They can implement more efficient equipment, integrate energy storage solutions, and optimize plant layouts, further enhancing performance and sustainability.

The Hidden Pillar of Sustainability: Operations and Management in Clean Energy Plants

Now that we understand the pivotal role of O&M in clean energy plants, it’s essential for various stakeholders to step up and act.

1. Clean Energy Plant Owners and Operators: If you own or operate a clean energy facility, it is imperative to prioritize efficient O&M practices. Regularly invest in maintenance and monitoring to maximize your plant’s performance, reduce operational costs, and protect your investment. Collaborate with expert O&M service providers to ensure top-tier management of your assets.

2. Clean Energy Investors: Investors in clean energy projects should not merely be passive financiers. Encourage and support efficient O&M practices in the projects you fund. Your involvement can help ensure that these plants remain sustainable, both environmentally and financially.

3. O&M Service Providers: O&M providers, this is your time to shine. Reach out to clean energy plant owners and operators and make them aware of the vital role you play in their success. Offer customized solutions that focus on maximizing performance, sustainability, and return on investment. Prove that your services are the key to their clean energy plant’s longevity.

4. Governments and Policy Makers: Advocate for policies and incentives that promote efficient O&M in the clean energy sector. Recognize that the long-term sustainability of clean energy projects depends on proper management. By providing support, you will enhance the transition to a more sustainable future.

Conclusion

As the global community increasingly embraces the implementation of sustainable energy sources, it is imperative to acknowledge that the process does not culminate upon the completion of installation. The achievement of sustainable energy production is contingent upon the implementation of effective Operations and Management practises. By allocating resources towards operations and maintenance (O&M), we not only guarantee the realisation of a more environmentally friendly and sustainable global landscape, but also safeguard the ongoing success of clean energy facilities, thereby maximising the advantages of renewable energy sources.

It is imperative to initiate a comprehensive and collaborative effort, wherein all relevant parties, including plant owners, operators, investors, service providers, and policymakers, acknowledge the crucial significance of operations and maintenance (O&M) practises in our endeavour to foster environmental sustainability. The endeavour to combat climate change and ensure the long-term viability of our future hinges upon this critical factor. Collectively, let us advance and enact tangible change.

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