Gulf Power: Energising Kenya
Gulf Power is a special purpose vehicle for the construction and operations of an 80 MW medium speed diesel power plant in Kenya. Gulf Power entered Kenya’s energy market with its $112 million, 80MW, Medium Speed heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) power plant which became operational in December 2014.
This commissioning was in the wake of many challenges and opportunities: in what is quickly becoming a crowded sector, Norman Wanyiri and his team have optimized the business for consistent performance well into the future.
Gulf Power received high profile funding to construct its plant from both the International Finance Corporation (IFC) as well as the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) which together contributed about $75 million.
This is a solid indication that the plant is part of the country’s short and long term Least Cost Power Development Plan and is thus worthy of international funding on this scale.
Wanyiri noted that financial endorsement from the IFC and OFID also brought with it the requirement to adhere to the highest global standards in management practices, as well as environmental and social initiatives which in turn ensured that the plant was built in line with global technological and engineering standards.
The HFO power plant at Athi River near the capital Nairobi is a state of arts project and is the first of its kind, Wanyiri said: “Up until now, Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in Kenya have been dominated by foreign investors. Gulf Power is the first IPP to be fully owned by indigenous local Investors.”
Aside from infrastructure challenges, it is interesting to note that the HFO plant faces competition from other players at this stage.
[Related: EDF in Africa]
For instance, Wanyiri noted that there had already been several major renewable energy commitments across the country, including the construction and commissioning of……click here to read the rest of this article on EnergyDigital.com
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.