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The project will make use of drones and AI technology. (Image source: Aeroterra & Eldera Matadata Presisi)

Banyan Investment Banking & Hedge Fund and Quantum Metal Group have selected Aeroterra & Eldera Matada Presisi as the technology partner to assess the value of Kenya’s carbon credit assets

Once Aeroterra & Eldera Matadata Presisi receives regulatory approval it will make use of drones and artificial intelligence to accurately measure the country’s carbon deposits in real time. The drones are capable of seeding soils, a critical component in the rejuvenation of Kenya’s lands. The pilot project will then be scaled to the wider region as part of the consortium’s Investment Bank Humanitarian Contribution Campaigning Programme.

A typical carbon data project, like the consortium will carry out, involves the collection, analysis, and management of data related to carbon emissions and carbon sequestration. This aims to:

• Track and quantify carbon emissions from various sources;
• Measure the amount of carbon being absorbed by natural processes;
• Analyse the collected data to understand patters, trends and impacts of carbon emissions and sequestration;
• Provide insights that can help in developing strategies for carbon management and reduction;
• Ensure that data collection methods comply with international standards and verify the accuracy of the data.

The data from the initiative will be supplied to Verra, a US-based organisation that oversees standards in the Verified Carbon Standard VCS Programme, for approval.

Projects such as this are considered crucial for designing strategies to fight climate change by informing governments and organisations so that they are able to undertake informed actions to reduce carbon footprints and enhance sustainability efforts.

The consortium carrying out the project will commit US$650,000 towards it that will be financed through Letscoin, a digital complementary currency that was recently launched by Banyan Investment Banking & Hedge Fund.

The ACED team has brought on around 470MW of private wind and solar projects to financial close in the last 24 months. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

African Infrastructure Investment Manager (AIIM) has achieved financial close on two wind farms in South Africa to supply renewable energy for Rio Tinto’s Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) operations and alongside Sibanye Stillwater via wheeling agreements

The projects in question are the 140MW Khangela and 140MW Umsinde Emoyeni wind farms which have been led and developed by ACED, the renewable energy project development platform of ACED. Alongside the AIIM-managed IDEAS Fund, Reatile Renewables has also invested in the projects.

“We are immensely proud to have achieved financial close and construction commencement on another two private renewables projects in partnership with some of South Africa’s key mining houses,” remarked James Cumming, general manager of ACED. “Not only will the projects provide Rio’s Richards Bay Minerals and Sibanye Stillwater with clean energy for their operations, but they will also create jobs and development funding streams to support and grow local communities living adjacent to the projects.”

The deal entails the sale of power to the mining houses through 20-year Power Purchase Agreements. Khangela and Umsinde Emoyeni Wind Farms are situated near Murraysburg in the Western Cape, with a small portion of the proposed development site falling into the Northern Cape.

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, is the sole mandated lead arranger for both projects, and operations and maintenance services for the projects once built will be provided by AIIM’s in-house operator, EIMS.

Alleviating load shedding

“The addition of increased power generation capacity to the national grid will contribute to offsetting the power deficit currently being experienced in the country,” added Cumming.

“AIIM continues to be committed to and successfully executing its mandate of investing in renewable energy projects that can deliver sustainable investment returns over the long-term to our predominantly South African pension fund investor base,” commented Sechaba Selemela, investment principal at AIIM. “Our in-house development platforms provide us with a differentiated and steady flow of large-scale investment opportunities, which are unmatched in this market.”

Simphiwe Mehlomakulu, executive chairman of Reatile Group, contributed, “We are delighted to have reached financial close on both projects and support big businesses such that they continue to create employment and opportunities in the South African communities in which we operate. We continue to bring tangible solutions to alleviating load shedding by bringing sustainable generation capacity to the grid in South Africa.”

“Financial close of the Umsinde Emoyeni wind farm marks another critical step in our journey to carbon neutrality by 2040,” stated Sibanye-Stillwater CEO, Neal Froneman. “The renewable energy secured through our four PPAs will enable a stepped reduction in our carbon footprint, aiming to contribute not only to mitigate the effects of climate change, but also enhancing the sustainability and shared value creation of our SA operations through favourable pricing relative to current supply. We continue to develop and execute energy solutions that contribute to the delivery of our strategy.”

Nearly 2,500 delegates will be attending the conference in Barcelona. (Image source: aef)

More than 33 African ministers and 100 high-level public sector officials are expected to attend Africa Energy Forum (aef) running from 25-28 June at the Fira de Montjuïc in Barcelona, Spain

The 26th edition of aef will be held under the theme ‘Energy Systems of the Future – Balancing Africa’s Needs with Global Goals’ and will place Africa’s energy landscape at centre stage.

With Spain’s commitment of US$2.3bn in funding to South Africa and its recently announced support for green hydrogen projects in Mauritania, the country joins France, Germany, Italy, the EU and the UK as European nations step up their commitment to clean energy development in the African continent.

But is the private sector really ready for these opportunities? While renewable energy capacity on the continent has almost doubled across the last ten years, most commentators agree that this is not enough. Indeed, as indicated by Climate Analytics research, Africa requires US$100bn a year in climate finance to meet the COP28 renewable energy goals. This is five times more than current investment levels, indicating a substantial gap that must be addressed.

“The private sector has already demonstrated its willingness to commit billions to projects, but projects still aren’t moving fast enough,” said EnergyNet’s Simon Gosling. “It’s the industrialised nations that will be most affected if Africa cannot significantly increase its electrification rates and unlock the investment landscape that is inhibiting proven private sector players.

“World food security, access to minerals, textiles, and industrial growth are critical to future economic growth, health, and sustainability. With Africa forecast to be home to a quarter of the world’s population under 25 years by 2050, red tape must be reduced, and projects must start happening at scale and pace.”

Correcting the narrative in Barcelona

In Spain, there are high hopes that the solution to such a daunting challenge will be found as investors from nearly 90 countries are expected to be in attendance at the conference.

Public and private sector stakeholders will spend almost a full half-day together, behind closed doors, discussing the challenges both sides are facing. All attending ministers and vice presidents, as well as heads of utilities (national and municipal), regulatory bodies, DFIs, and private investors, will be in the room.

The new Corporate Leadership Roundtable will also give private sector developers and investors a platform to debate the opportunities and challenges they face in moving projects forward, sparking vital discussions before they meet with Ministers and utilities to establish an improved path for Africa’s energy sector.

This format will create the most high-level sessions ever held at the aef, where business leaders can spend exclusive, quality time with public sector counterparts.

Key topics on the agenda across the four days include the potential of hydrogen on the continent; grid management; energy storage and distribution; the future roles of gas and mining; advancing renewable energy projects, distributed power, and commercial and industrial (C&I) projects to accelerate universal access; navigating power markets; and Africa’s broader energy transition.

Discover African Review’s preview of the event in the latest issue of the magazine available here

Smart technology such as IoT can enable households to manage their electricity consumption more effectively. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

According to technology company Versofy SOLAR, consumers need to look beyond solar when planning their alternate energy approach, recognising that smart technology and the Internet of Thing (IoT), in the home, is where the future of solar is headed

Ross Mains-Sheard, co-founder and CEO of Versofy SOLAR, expressed that consumers need to become comfortable with IoT and the critical role it plays in managing the energy generated by solar panels.

He commented, “The use of IoT technology can assist in increasing overall household efficiencies, optimising the consumption of resources as well as eliminating waste and making the running of a home as cost effective as possible. Versofy’s aim is to bring these improvements into people’s homes to benefit the environment as well as household budgets.”

Managing power usage in the home through smart technology is only part of the trend that has seen IoT increasingly drive and control home appliances and devices remotely, Mains-Sheard continued. “Using this technology to manage our solar systems is just one step in the process to equip our homes to manage the planet’s, and our own resources better.”

The Versofy HOME app uses IoT technology and is putting control of the generation, storage and consumption of solar power into the hands of its customers. “For us, it is not about selling panels, rather it is about building a community of solar-empowered consumers that are able to benefit from all that solar technology has to offer,” Mains-Sheard explained.

Maximising energy efficiency

Going beyond a simple solar installation, he says that Versofy’s systems manage electricity consumption in the home, taking advantage of daylight hours and diverting power usage for optimum performance. The smart system, together with IoT devices, will shift electricity loads when batteries are reaching capacity. Once a battery is full, any power generated by panels is redundant and effectively wasted and so incorporating this kind of technology into the home maximises the utility and cost effectiveness of the system.

“Versofy’s HOME app is the foundation on which other technologies will be integrated in the future, including managing water and related devices such as heat pumps, pool pumps and geysers,” surmised Mains-Sheard. “We are not just a solar company, rather we are a technology focused, alternate energy company committed to growing a local community of solar-powered consumers.”

According to Mains-Sheard, intelligent and connected living spaces using IoT are the future for environmentally and budget conscious homeowners. Monitoring and controlling heating and lighting systems, home security, smart entertainment and even environmental factors such as humidity and air quality, using technology via a centralised app, helps people better manage their consumption of the world’s natural resources and to run a home as efficiently and cost effectively as possible, and this starts with a fully integrated solar system.

Vertiv DynaFlex BESS provide utility-scale energy for long duration support. (Image source: Vertiv)

The Vertiv DynaFlex BESS, a battery energy storage system designed to enable energy independence and bolster sustainability efforts at mission critical facilities, provides flexibility in the use of utility power and is a critical step in the deployment of a dynamic power architecture

The system allows organisations to fully leverage the capabilities of hybrid power systems that include solar, wind, hydrogen fuel cells, and other forms of alternative energy.

The lithium-ion batteries in the Vertiv DynaFlex BESS provide utility-scale energy for long duration support, allowing seamless and repeated transitions between energy sources. When paired with the optional Vertiv DynaFlex EMS (Energy Management System), the Vertiv DynaFlex BESS enables advanced energy management strategies, such as demand management and sharing or selling energy back to the grid that can result in a reduction of utility energy consumption and costs and potentially generate revenue for the parties involved.

“Sustainability has become a core tenet of many organisations’ growth plans, but concerns about operational resilience and growing stress on the grid have limited efforts to adopt alternative energy sources,” said Peter Panfil, vice president, global power, Vertiv. “The Vertiv DynaFlex BESS opens the full energy management toolbox. It allows organisations to leverage the strengths of these new energy generation assets and relegates the traditional utility provider to a complementary role in a more dynamic, efficient, and reliable mix of energy sources.”

Supporting mission critical environments

“Mission-critical facilities across the globe must find reliable sources of energy that can handle significant events or fuel access restrictions, and even more so within Africa, where many countries are experiencing serious grid constraints,” remarked Wojtek Piorko, managing director, Africa at Vertiv. “The African Legal Support Facility, in partnership with the Commercial Law Development Program and Power Africa, notes the implementation of BESS solutions in their ‘Understanding Energy Storage’ handbook as an alternative to traditional power solutions, saying that ’energy storage is a powerful tool that can change the pathways to power that sector decision-makers can pursue’. It also refers to BESS as potentially being used as a mitigation measure to unlock grid capacity.”

The Vertiv DynaFlex BESS is designed specifically for mission-critical environments, such as commercial industrial facilities, high-value manufacturing plants, data centres, and more. The system’s power conversion system (PCS) is designed to support 2 millisecond output, virtually eliminating any delays while shifting the load between hybrid power sources.

Vertiv was recently named as ‘Intelligent Power Partner of the Year’ for 2024 at the inaugural Intelligent ICT Awards that took place in Johannesburg, South Africa. Based on the judging panel's five criteria - sustainability, innovation, scalability, costs benefits and future proofing – the Vertiv DynaFlex BESS solution was named as the clear winner of this category.

Click here for more information on the Vertiv DynaFlex BESS

A Vertiv infographic showcasing its energy solutions

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