Thursday, October 20, 2011

Renewables for E.Africa: Better than unreliable hydro

This article has a strong message that hydrodependence is risky for

EU firm develops clean energy in Tanzania, Uganda

Monday, 17 October 2011 07:41

John Msangi

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA - In a bid to ensure substantial reductions
of greenhouse gas emissions in the East African Community region, the
European Union (EU) has awarded Camco International Ltd to undertake
the green energy development projects in Tanzania and Uganda.

According to the report from the EU, a sum of US$ 1.8 will see the two
projects take off.

The EU says the first contract, will see Camco develop a $1.0 million
solar photovoltaic clusters project in Tanzania in which small-scale
solar systems will be installed in 15,000 homes in Lake Victoria
region over the next three years.

Under the second contract, the United Kingdom-based firm, Camco
International Ltd will provide technical assistance to the Belgian
Development Agency to develop clean energy projects worth $800,000 in

The Minister for Energy and Minerals, William Ngeleja told the East
African Business Week that the solar photovoltaic clusters project
gears on the vision of the energy sector which aims at effectively
contributing to the growth of the national economy and thereby improve
the standard of living for the entire nation in a sustainable and
environmentally sound manner. "I assure the project developers that
the Government will give them all the support they need in a way to
implement the project which I believe will takes into account the need
for improving access of environmental friendly modern energy
services," said Minister Ngeleja.

He said that the energy policy in Tanzania recognizes the importance
of private sector participation in development of energy sector which
is the engine of industrial investment in the country.

He further said that, the project has come at a time when the
Government is struggling to ensure sustainable and reliable power.
"Projects like this, in the near future will untie the country from
relying on unpredictable power sources", he said.

Speaking with the East African Business Week in Dar es Salaam
Ambassador Tim Clarke, the Head of European Union Delegation to
Tanzania said that Tanzania and the rest of the EAC region have to
adopt solar power to light up their communities because it is
reliable, renewable energy and cheap to install and maintain.

He said that the Government should avoid over dependence on hydropower
due because in resent years, the world has been facing unpredictable,
unreliable climate change that can not sustain or ensure the
availability of rain to feed the power dams.

Ambassador Clarke stressed : "The EAC region has to change its mindset
of reliance on hydropower source because, as is the present case in
Tanzania, prolonged drought has gravely affected electricity
generation, and plunged the country into loses to business, industrial
production, disrupted social activities and inconveniences to the

The Camco President, Yariv Cohen, said his firm has been developing
'green energy development projects' in Africa for the past 20 years
and for the past years there has been a clear change in energy sector
in different countries.

"We have been witnessing speed of green energy market development,
supported by international bodies, African governments, and local
communities on the ground and in the near future it will lead to
substantial reductions of greenhouse gas emissions," said Cohen.
"We will also collaborate with manufacturers, project developers and
technology providers by using the existing proven technology to
develop clean energy projects in Uganda in a way to ensure successful
clean energy that will lead to substantial reductions of greenhouse
gas emissions," said Cohen.

He said that Camco have been developing clean energy projects under
both the Kyoto Protocol and the unregulated voluntary carbon offset

Camco have been working with companies throughout the world to create
advanced projects that deliver clean energy, largely from waste

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