2014 to be Incredible Year for Renewables in Africa
There’s been a lot of conversation surrounding renewable energy in Africa as of late. From the leadership summit in Washington earlier this month to the Climate Investment Funds investing of $300,000 each for 9 separate countries, Africa is getting quite a bit of attention in the sector as efforts are ramped up to increase energy accessibility through sustainable tech.
Turns out, it’s working.
Rising demand in Africa and falling costs for solar and wind are driving renewable energy projects across the continent. So much so that 2014 will see more renewable energy projects commissioned than 2000-2013 combined.
Roughly 1.8 GW of capacity will be added in 2014 according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).
Average investments for 2014 in countries are estimated at $5.9 billion and are estimated to jump to $7.7 billion by 2016.
“What is different now is the breadth of activity, with wind, solar and geothermal exciting interest in many different countries, and the potential for further growth,” Victoria Cuming, a BNEF analyst, said.
Geothermal, wind, and solar are expected to continue growing as oil and gas reliance falls. Not only is this better for the environment, it’s also currently more cost effective.
3.9 GW of renewable energy—mostly wind and solar projects—is supposed to be installed in Africa from 2014 to 2016. Two of leading countries are Kenya, which is expected to add 1.4 GW, and Ethiopia, which is expected to add 570 MW of geothermal and wind.
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.