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Orange Energies has aimed to make energy more accessible, becoming a preferred partner for energy producers in regions where half the population lacks electricity. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Orange Energies opened its digital platform, Orange Smart Energies, to all energy producers, helping them secure their revenues and further support energy inclusion

This initiative aims to boost energy inclusion by providing easy, prepaid access to energy through solar kits and smart meters. The IoT platform tackles profitability challenges faced by African energy producers by reducing the risk of non-payment.

Originally developed by Orange and enhanced in 2021, Orange Smart Energies is now accessible to all energy producers in Africa and the Middle East. It guarantees customer payments via mobile money. The business model, based on a partnership between Orange and energy producers, allows Orange Energies to offer a digital service and distribution network that improves energy access in rural areas, reaching even the most remote locations. This universal platform uniquely supports both pay-as-you-go solar equipment and prepaid smart meters.

Since its launch in 2017, Orange Energies has aimed to make energy more accessible, becoming a preferred partner for energy producers in regions where half the population lacks electricity. It helps electricity companies enhance account receivable collections. Operating in 12 countries (DRC, Madagascar, Cameroon, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Jordan), Orange Energies serves over 300,000 households daily and continues to grow its customer base and regional presence across the continent.

Jérôme Hénique, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, commented, “Using digital technology to improve the energy inclusion of African people has been our ambition since day one. By opening up our Orange Smart Energies platform to all energy producers, we are taking a major step forward in our commitment to universal access to energy in Africa and the Middle East."

Nat-Sy Missamou, senior vice-president of Orange Energies for Africa and the Middle East added, "We are working with energy producers to help them sustain their business in African markets. Leveraging existing digital and financial inclusion solutions, our pay-as-you-go service is delivered through a distribution model tailored to African markets."

Global primary energy consumption overall was at a record absolute high in 2023. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

The Energy Institute (EI) and co-authors KPMG and Kearney have launched the annual edition of the Statistical Review of World Energy, presenting global energy data for 2023

“Energy is central to human progress,” said EI president Juliet Davenport. “It is also now central to our very survival. With global temperature increases averaging close to 1.5°C, 2023 was the warmest year since records began, and the increasingly severe impacts of climate change were felt across all continents.

“In this Year’s Statistical Review, we report on another year of highs in our energy hungry world. 2023 saw record consumption of fossil fuels and record emissions from energy, but also record generation of renewables, driven by increasingly competitive wind and solar energy.”

Key highlights of the report include:

Record global energy consumption

Global primary energy consumption overall was at a record absolute high, up 2% on the previous year to 620EJ. Global fossil fuel consumption reached a record high, up 1.5% to 505EJ (driven by coal up 1.6%, oil up 2% to above 100 million barrels for first time, while gas was flat). As a share of the overall mix they were at 81.5%, marginally down from 82% last year. Emissions from energy increased by 2%, exceeding 40 gigatonnes of CO2 for the first time.

Solar and wind drives renewable generation

Renewable generation, excluding hydro, was up 13% to a record global high of 4,748TWh. This growth was driven almost entirely by wind and solar and accounted for 74% of all net additional electricity generated. As a share of primary energy use, renewables (excluding hydro) were at 8%, or 15% including hydro.

Gas rebalancing in Europe

European gas demand fell by 7% following a fall of 13% the previous year. Russia’s share of EU gas imports fell to 15%, down from 45% in 2021, with LNG imports outflanking piped gas to Europe for a second year in a row.

Peaking fossil fuel dependence in advanced economies

In Europe fossil fuels fell to below 70% of primary energy for the first time since the industrial revolution, driven by demand reduction and renewable energy growth. US consumption of fossil fuels fell to 80% of total primary energy consumed.

Fossil fuel growth remains in developing countries

In India fossil fuel consumption was up 8%, accounting for almost all demand growth, and stood at 89% share of overall consumption. For the first time, more coal was used in India than Europe and North America combined. In Africa primary energy consumption fell in 2023 by 0.5%. Fossil fuels accounted for 90% of overall energy consumption, with renewables (excluding hydro) at only 6% of electricity. China’s full return post-Covid saw fossil fuel use increase to a new high, up 6%, but as a share of primary energy it has been in decline since 2011, down to 81.6% in 2023. China added 55% of all renewable generation additions in 2023, i.e. more than the rest of the world combined.

Diverse energy stories

Nick Wayth, EI chief executive, commented, “The progress of the transition is slow, but the big picture masks diverse energy stories playing out across different geographies. In advanced economies we observe signs of demand for fossil fuels peaking, contrasting with economies in the Global South for whom economic development and improvements in quality of life continue to drive fossil growth.”

“In a year where we have seen the contribution of renewables reaching a new record high, ever increasing global energy demand means the share coming from fossil fuels has remained virtually unchanged at just over 80% for yet another year,” remarked Simon Virley CB FEI, vice chair and head of energy and natural resources, KPMG in the UK. “With CO2 emissions also reaching record levels, it’s time to redouble our efforts on reducing carbon emissions and providing finance and capacity to build more low carbon energy sources in the global south where demand is growing at a rapid pace.”

Elsewhere, DNV has charted a pathway to a successful energy transition. Disscover the report here:

Hesham El Shamy, oil & gas sector lead at Aggreko AMEA. (Image source: Aggreko)

Hesham El Shamy, oil & gas sector lead at Aggreko AMEA, explores the feasibility of eliminating flared gas by 2030

140 billion cubic metres – that’s how much natural gas is flared annually, impacting human health, accelerating climate change, and releasing carbon dioxide, methane and black soot. The practice of flaring is a significant economic and environmental problem that the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 (NZE) aims to eradicate by 2030 by removing non-emergency flaring. It is an ambitious goal, but one that’s sorely needed as it can potentially prevent the release of around 365 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Achieving this result would also see a 95% reduction in flared gas volumes and take significant steps towards sustainability.

The challenge is to find equally sustainable and capable solutions that would allow the oil and gas industry to break its reliance on flaring. While companies have recognised the need to reduce flaring and are increasingly committing to curtail the practice, this is only a preliminary step. Finding a solution means finding a way through the energy trilemma characterised by a complex balance of energy security, environmental sustainability and energy equity.

The trilemma has to overcome three core challenges – the need for reliable and affordable energy; the urgency of mitigating climate change and reducing the impact on human health; and the equitable distribution of energy resources. Flaring prevents the accumulation of combustible gases while ensuring safe operations and processing, but it has a direct impact on the environment. It is also an inefficient use of valuable energy resources which goes directly against the goal of energy equity.


This is where flare-to-power can help oil and gas companies make the most out of a financially and environmentally challenging situation. Using flare-to-power solutions, companies can respond intelligently to the energy trilemma as they offer an innovative and sustainable route to capitalising on the latent energy that comes with flaring. Rather than treating the gas as a waste product, flare-to-power solutions harness it as a resource, using it to generate electricity and a source of clean energy.

Flare-to-power solutions deftly resolve the energy trilemma by providing energy security, environmental sustainability and energy equity. They also offer oil and gas companies the opportunity to optimise their total cost of energy which introduces economic efficiencies sorely needed by the sector right now. However, companies have legitimate concerns about the viability of the technology.

The first is the feasibility of using flaring as a source of energy – many oil operators lack the infrastructure needed to capture and use the gas they flare during operations which inhibits their investment into this solution based on cost and systems. The second challenge is reliability because flaring is a sporadic resource rather than a consistent one. Operators are concerned about relying on this as a source of power because flaring is intermittent and this could result in an inconsistent power supply.

So, how do companies tap into flaring as a source of power while addressing the very real concerns of reliability and infrastructure? The answer lies in taking a phased approach to flare-to-power using an energy service provider with the tools and technology capable of managing these challenges sustainably and intuitively. Aggreko works with companies throughout the multiple stages of a flare-to-power project, ensuring they benefit from a consistent energy resource while reducing the wasteful practice of flaring.

Using cutting-edge technology, Aggreko implements advanced measures such as real-time gas analysis and insights into gas composition every seven minutes to ensure consistent and verified gas quality supply, and by building solutions that align with environmental goals while ensuring extracted gas is used to its full potential. For example, when gas volume diminishes, Aggreko offers a phased reduction in the flare, ensuring a controlled transition, or when gas volumes are projected to increase, Aggreko provides a proactive scaling-up process.

Flared gas serves no productive purpose despite accounting for around 500 million tons of CO2 – enough to power sub-Saharan Africa – so it makes sense to repurpose this wasted energy, turning it into electricity supply for countries that need it the most. With Aggreko’s modular approach to flare-to-power, companies can scale up and down in response to power demand or gas availability and easily navigate the challenges associated with flared gas while staying ahead of the energy trilemma.

Elsewhere, Aggreko has outlined how ‘relentless evolutions’ have helped bridge the energy gap in the African mining sector in an interview with Africa Review.

According to DNV, wind and solar anticipated to generate 70% of the world's electricity by 2050. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

According to DNV, global electricity demand is set to double by 2050 as the world’s reliance on fossil fuels diminishes, requiring significant grid expansion to accommodate for an increased decarbonised energy system

These findings have been published in the company’s New Power Systems report which also pointed to the need for solutions to grid congestion and new business models to accommodate rising electricity demand and generation form wind and solar. The report concludes that grid expansion is affordable, thanks to growing efficiencies in grid technology and the increased electricity load, with DNV expecting global grid charged passed to consumers to remain stable or decline in the long term.

DNV report highlights

Notable points picked out by DNV from its New Power Systems report include:

• Electricity to constitute 37% of global final energy use by 2050, rising from 20% in 2023;
• A dramatic shift to renewables towards 2050 with wind and solar anticipated to generate half of the world’s electricity by 2040 and 70% by mid-century. By this date, 90% of electricity will be sourced from non-fossil sources;
• As variable renewable energy sources (VRES) expand, the need for short-term flexibility will double;
• Growing demand for new ancillary services such as synthetic inertia products and fast frequency response, and adapting market and regulatory frameworks to support these technologies is critical;
Advanced AI and automated activation of demand response to play a key supporting role in grid operations and market predictions;
• Lithium-ion battery technology is set to play a dominant role, offering three times more storage capacity than hydropower and pumped storage by 2050 as energy storage grows in influence. Innovative market designs and advanced tariff schemes to incentivise automated demand-response, vehicle-to-grid and behind-the-meter storage systems are required;
Power-to-hydrogen value chains will become a critical market element for renewable generation and need to be scaled through concerted investment efforts;
• Global grid capacity needs to grow 2.5 times its current size to enable the energy transition, with annual expenditure on grids more than doubling to US$970bn by 2050;
• Grid enhancing technologies offer potentially significant temporary relief with long-term solutions residing in accelerating the construction of new grid infrastructure and advanced controlling systems;
• Efficiencies in grid technology and increased electricity distribution will likely keep consumer grid charges stable or declining in most regions despite global grid expenditures rising from 15% to 25% of annual energy expenditure by 2050;
• Decline in renewable power costs suggests consumer prices are unlikely to rise. Electrifying end-use sectors will further enhance efficiencies and cost savings.
• In low-income regions, rapid GDP growth to offset a slight rise in household energy increases with the ‘green dividend’ offering an opportunity for governments to accelerate the energy transition and maximise the benefits of green electricity.

Systematic approach to the energy transition

“We believe in systems thinking, looking at the big picture, to consider how energy is generated, transmitted, consumed, and stored across all energy carriers,” remarked Ditlev Engel, CEO for Energy Systems at DNV. “There will be no transition without transmission. The new energy system will require data-driven solutions and policies that address all interconnections, from permitting to the integration of AI and cyber-resilience. Planning for a new wind farm must include a strategy for grid connection; similarly, GETs and new wire integrations require IT upgrades at most control centres.

“The pathway to a decarbonised power system is clear: renewables integration and grid expansion require significant investment, innovation, coordination, and commitment from all players, especially governments. As the world moves towards a greener future, addressing these challenges with a systemic and forward-thinking approach will be essential for a successful energy transition.”

The 100% hydrogen-ready engine is expected to be available for orders in 2025, and available for delivery from 2026. (Image source: Wärtsilä Energy)

Wärtsilä has officially launched the world’s first large-scale hydrogen-ready engine power plant, which can be converted to run 100% on hydrogen

The new plant, developed in line with the emerging need for flexible power generation solutions that could be key in the journey to net-zero, represents a step beyond existing technology which can only currently run on natural gas and 25 vol% hydrogen blends.

“We will not meet global climate goals or fully decarbonise our power systems without flexible, zero-carbon power generation, which can quickly ramp up and down to support intermittent wind and solar,” commented Anders Lindberg, president at Wärtsilä Energy. “We must be realistic that natural gas will play a part in our power systems for years to come."

Building net-zero foundations

“Our fuel flexible engines can use natural gas today to provide flexibility and balancing, enabling renewable power to thrive," Lindberg continued. "They can then be converted to run on hydrogen when it becomes readily available: future-proofing the journey to net zero. This is a major milestone for us as a company, and the energy transition more generally, as our hydrogen-ready engines will enable the 100% renewable power systems of tomorrow.”

The Wärtsilä 31 engine platform, which the hydrogen-ready power plant is based on, is the most efficient in the world. It synchronises with the grid within 30 seconds from start command, ensures energy security through fuel flexibility and offers exceptional load following capabilities and high part load efficiency. It has completed more than 1 million running hours, with more than 1,000MW installed capacity globally.

The hydrogen-ready engine power plant concept gas been certified by TÜV SÜD. The H2-Readiness certification consists of three stages with three corresponding certificates. Wärtsilä has now achieved the first stage with a Concept Certificate for the conceptual design of its engine power plant. The 100% hydrogen-ready engine is expected to be available for orders in 2025, and available for delivery from 2026.

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