Rond-Point Benjamin Franklin34000 Montpellier

Day: May 7, 2019

2 posts

Africa’s electricity industry is encumbered with lots of challenges. They range from poor governance, lack of adequate planning, aging equipment, corruption and the dearth of adequate financing. Most of Africa’s electricity is provided through centralized fossil fuel generated plants when the world is fast moving towards distributed, decarbonized and digitized electric systems. Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy with a population of about 180 million has less than 10,000 mw of electricity. Moreover, Nigeria is adjudged to be one of the world’s leading off grid nations powered by generators at a cost of over $5billion dollars annually. So, how solar innovations are rising in Africa?

Access to electricity

The lack of electricity and adequate cooking fuel has a lot of negative impacts socially, economically and environmentally. Having access to electricity is more expensive in Africa than in other developed or developing parts of the world. Africans trek long distances to carry out simple tasks like charging their mobile phones. The use of alternatives like generating sets has its own challenges. Indeed, the high cost involved, the noise and negative environmental impact due to fumes from the generating sets. Matter of fact, lots of Africans have died from inhaling toxic smoke. All came from the generating sets while other have suffered from explosions.

Despite all the aforementioned, there seems to be a revolution that is gradually taking place across the continent from Cape to Cairo. Africa is experiencing a rapid transition to cleaner forms of energy. They work on renewable energy technologies like hydro, biomass, geothermal and wind. Despite the gains made using these technologies, the most promising seems to be the explosion of Solar technologies all across the continent.

The promise of solar innovations

Solar is the most promising of all renewable energy technologies. Indeed, there are many advantages it has over other GREEN technologies. There are two primary types of Solar technology for generating electricity comprising of:

  • Concentrated Solar Power (CSP)
  • Solar Photovoltaic (PV)

CSP uses mirrors to heat fluids whose steam is used to power turbines. Photovoltaics on the other hand convert sunlight directly into electricity. For a start, most of Africa is blessed with a lot of sunshine which is far more than that of other climes like Germay which is the world leader in solar technologies installed. Solar is an exponential technology which is experiencing massive growth as a result of falling technology costs, improvements in the technology and growing awareness. It is far cheaper, faster and safer to install solar technologies than other technologies like coal, natural gas, oil, wind etc.

Africa is experiencing an explosion in the number of off grid electricity generation in recent times. Off grid electricity refers to the generation of electricity that is not connected to the national grid. It is a cheaper and more effective way of reaching the millions of Africans that have no access to electricity on the continent. The rise of solar mini-grid technologies is not only providing electricity but transforming the lives of Africans across the continent. New businesses are being established and existing ones are experiencing a new lease of life as business owners stay longer and get more income from using solar. The advent of mini-grid is attracting a lot of funding from countries, international organizations and impact investors around the world.

Solar Home Systems

In addition to mini-grids, micro generation through the use of Solar Home Systems is experiencing a very rapid growth connecting millions of Africans with basic electricity across the continent. Led by companies such as Mkopa, Lumos, Asteven and several others, these solar enterprises provide solutions using innovative business models. They leverage on mobile technology to provide electricity on a pay as you go basis which unlocks the solar home system with payments made through mobile cash transfers. 

Despite the aforementioned progress, there is still a very long way to go to meet the electricity needs of the continent. The cost of GREEN technologies is still way above the income of most Africans and there is a need for subsidies to be granted. Though the technologies have improved drastically compared to what was available previously, there are still complains on the efficiency of some of the systems. Another criticism of the system is that they only provide basic electricity such as lamps for lighting, radio and phone charging. Another major disadvantage of the systems is the fact that few African governments have committed to deploying solar technologies. The issue of taxes and high tariffs is another major impediment to the growth of Solar in Nigeria.

Positive impact of solar technologies for Africa

Regardless of the challenges enumerated above, the Solar technologies are experiencing massive growth and should be encouraged. African countries like Morocco, South Africa and Kenya are taking the lead in supporting Solar technologies. Nigeria is also experiencing a massive uptake of both mini grids and solar home systems through the support of the Rural Electrification Agency.

Organizations like the African Development Bank are investing a lot of money in Solar and recently pledged to provide millions of funding for Solar. All On for instance in partnership with Shell is providing funding for the deployment of renewable energy in Nigeria. What is required for Solar to reach an inflection point of providing electricity in Africa is funding, technology and enabling government policies. Africa has what it takes to transform itself from a continent without adequate electricity to one with sufficient electricity. All stakeholders most come together to ensure the continent morphs from a dark continent to a GREEN continent powered by Solar technologies.

Written by Wajim Yakubu Nuhu

April was an important month as we have released the new version of our Business function. This new feature allow Deepbloo to display around 15 000 tenders and business opportunities coming from around 5000 public and private organizations in the energy sector as well as opportunities from other sectors when they include a scope of work related to the energy.

The key stats on Deepbloo for April are:

  • 26 711 energy  tenders published in the last 30 days and 6092 published in the last 7 days
  • More than 14 000  live energy tenders

Since january 2019, the total number of tenders (including expired tenders) related to the energy market published on Deepbloo is 38 446.

As example, the number of tenders including the following keywords in their description and/or title is a following:

  • Rural electrification / off-grid / mini-grid/etc: 370 business opportunities
  • Solar: 600 business opportunities
  • Electrical substation:switchgear: 1095 business opportunities
  • Protection relays and C&P Panels: more than 500 business opportunities
  • Cables: 1000 ’s of  LV/MV/HV cable opportunities
  • Energy storage: more than 1500 business opportunities

There are just a few insights, if you want to have stats on other equipment/services, just contact us.
In terms of number of opportunities in energy sector per region, the figures are

tenders worldwilde
  • Africa : 3183
  • America : 4954
  • Asia : 3373
  • Europe : 3984
  • India : 19676
  • Near & Middle East : 1406
  • Pacific : 55
  • Russia and CIS :2191

Note 1:  If number of tenders has drastically reduced due to election the past few months, India is still the region where we do have highest number of business opportunities with around 6000 live tenders making India the largest market for the energy sector on Deepbloo.

Note 2 :  A few interesting tenders on turnkey substations are out in the market in Ethiopia,  Nigeria… There are mainy 220 KV substations with complete scope and approaching right now the EPC’s usually working in the region wherever they are from India, NME or Europe is definitively the right thing to do.

Number of live tenders including following scope of work

Below are the number of LIVE tenders (not expired) which have a scope of work related to the categories (please note that a tender may appear in different categories if it includes various scopes of work):

tenders deepbloo

Construction/CW/Installation: all tenders with a scope of electrical installation work or  installation of equipment such as transformers. This category includes as well turnkey substations, construction of power plants, overhead lines construction….4577
Lighting –all lamps and lighting systems: 4211
Cables/Lines/Connectors include as well poles, connectors, busbar systems, cable accessories, overhead lines and connection devices: 1769
Control & Protection: this is a vast category including Control & protection panels, protection devices such as relays and the control automation system as well as other control systems and equipments: 1430
Turnkey SST: There are HV AIS Substations (440/ 330/220 KV) as well as MV switchgear: 1269. Only very few GIS Substation opportunities have been identified

Generation: includes generating sets , turbines… and equipment in co-generation, wind power, steam, solar energy, ect…: 947
Energy Storage: this includes batteries, accumulators charging devices, turbocharger, ect…: 589
Transformers: 445
Hydro/Thermal/Wind: 270
Cooling System: 242
Meters: voltmeters, energy meters, electricity meters, etc… 195
Panel/Board: 168
Solar – includes solar panels and installation and most of the time will propose as well offgrid opportunities (rural electrification, micro-grid): 160
Fire fighting system: 132
Circuit breakers: 123
Switches/capacitors/insulators/Surge arresters/critical power systems/instrument transformer/…: 330

Note: We classify energy tenders by categories using keywords. When some key words are identified in the title or description of a tender, we assume that such tender includes a scope of work related to a category in relation with such a keyword.

For example, if a tender includes the following words: “Batteries”, “Energy storage”, “accumulator”, “ Battery”, “Supercharger”, “turbocharger”, “charger”, storage devices”, “loaders”, “battery-powered”, “storage system”,etc… this tender will be considered as including a scope of work related to batteries.

Energy professionals community

Around 1 200 energy professionals have joined us since the 1st of January 2019 and bring the Deepbloo community to a global number of 1 900 energy professionals. Global stats on our community are:

  • A large part of  our community is working in sales & tendering and Business development as Sales Director / CEO / Owner as we intend to gather as many decision makers as possible
  • We do have quite a lot of members from major Group such as Larsen & Toubro / General Electric / Siemens / Schneider Electric / Engie  with decision-makers and sales directors from these companies currently on Deepbloo

The month of April has seen 265 new members joining the Deepbloo community mainly working in turnkey Substation and HV/MV Lines/ cables from Canada, India, France, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Dubaï…

These professionals are likely to be interested by turnkey substation tenders and business opportunity as well as by manufacturers able to provide the proper commodities and services.

Written by Alexandre Guillemot
Deepbloo platform energy sector