Thursday, October 29, 2015

New Conference: Solar Technologies & Hybrid Mini Grids to improve energy access

In an effort to create a more comprehensive, higher impact conference, OTTI (1) has merged the following three very successful conferences into one:

  • PV-Hybrids and Mini-Grids (7 editions)
  • Small PV Applications  (4 editions)
  • Solar Energy Technology in Development Cooperation  (one edition)

The event will be held in Bad Hersfeld (Frankfurt, Germany) from September 21st to 23rd, 2016 and is sponsored through funds of the Austrian Development Cooperation and with the support of GIZ (2).

The international character of this conference and exhibition will bring together academia, practitioners, industry and development institutions with the aim of sharing experiences and the latest technology developments, learning from each other and networking.

The objectives of the event are:
  • To consolidate the knowledge around solutions that have proven to work and their enabling factors.
  • To present different models of financing, business models and technologies that enable the fast uptake of such solutions.
  • To provide new roads for research and innovation.

For further information, please refer to

Looking forward to meeting you there!

(1) OTTI is a non profit organisation founded in 1977. Its purpose is to stimulate industrial economy by providing state-of-the-art information, initiating processes, developing visions, and also by training managerial personnel. For further information -->

(2) German Development Cooperation Agency -->

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

UGE SET - Microgrid Optimization Software

The US based company UGE ( developed UGE SET, a proprietary system design software, built to optimize microgrid energy systems to provide you the lowest cost of energy. 
UGE SET (the Site Evaluation Tool) uses time-step analysis to simulate the electrical load, weather resources, energy generation and ssociated costs in one-hour increments for the entirety of the project lifetime, allowing the user to confidently design microgrid systems.
As stated in the white paper recently launched by the company (1), "UGE SET allows for much more detailed modeling of the performance of the system, leading to much greater confidence in the ability of the system to meet the project’s requirements and predict the ongoing costs".
The software returns a series of graphs and metrics that describe the configuration and performance of the optimal system (or alternatively any of the modeled systems) for technical review and saves all of the information to a PDF file.
When compared to the current industry standard software, both HOMER (2) and UGE SET seems to be similar in terms of allowing modeling of the same resources and types of equipment, and ranking systems by the levelized cost of energy (LCOE).  However, UGE SET developers state that there are several key differences between Homer and their software that make much easier to accurately model microgrid systems. Some of them would be:
  • Much more detailed breakdown of CAPEX and operating, expenses, making it much easier to accurately calculate system cost.
  • Use of cost escalators in order to account for  the rising costs of fuel, electricity and the value of currency.
  • Ability to specify the resource dispatch order accurately simulating the system performance and associated expenses.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

4th Off-Grid Experts Workshop

The Alliance for Rural Electrification (*) kindly invites all members and friends to a two information packed days on Off-Grid power with solar, wind and hydropower. The workshop will be held in Memmingen (Germany) on September 25 and 26 this year.
  • Off-Grid energy supply with PV, wind and micro hydro power
  • Solutions for rural electrification and health care
  • Industrial applications
  • Solar water pumping
  • Applications for the leisure market 
The highlights:
  • Off-Grid Forum with more than 30 lectures of trade experts
  • Special Guest-Speaker Christian Felber: "Economy for the Common Good"
  • Off-Grid Exhibition to see product news of more than 35 exhibiting companies
  • Tech-Day (24 Sep) and Hands-on-Off-Grid sessions: Technical product and installation trainings
  • System Sizing: Technical support with system sizing
  • Energy Experts Café: Answers to your questions on project handling and more
  • Speakers' Corner: Insights on exotic subjects
  • ARE Board as part of the jury for the Off-grid Experts Awards 
For further information, you can check on:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Innovative Finance for Access to Energy

This workshop, to be held on September 21st in Milano (Italy), has the aim of sharing the progress made, and identifying future solutions in financing investments for access to modern energy via off-grid solutions and access to clean cooking facilities. The World Access to Modern Energy initiative (1) (WAME) and the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (2) (AEEP) have joined forces to set up this forum.
As previously informed on this site, the International Energy Agency has estimated that, in order to provide universal access to modern energy, US$750 billion of cumulative investment is necessary in the period from 2010 to 2030. This is additionally with respect to the amount already foreseen by the most optimistic policy scenario.
While the majority of investments in energy access are geared toward extension of national electricity grids, the majority of those who currently do not have access to energy will more feasibly be reached through off-grid solutions and access to clean cooking facilities. As such, the workshop will focus on leveraging investment opportunities to access to electricity through off grid energy access technologies.
Off-grid solutions, which provide electricity to rural areas that are not (or expected to be in the foreseeable future) serviced by the national electrical grid require numerous investments and financing mechanisms of a small-to-medium size. The same applies to clean cooking solutions. As such, this off-grid population presents a significant opportunity for business for local administrations or nonprofit organizations to engage with these communities, as well as a significant market opportunity for for-profit companies. But specific financial resources are needed.
For further information, please refer to:
(1) WAME&EXPO2015 is a non-profit association which has been founded by eight of the main European energy companies and EXPO2015, whose theme is Feed the Planet, Energy for Life, to bring to the attention of the public the important social issue of Access to Energy. Its mission is to raise awareness of the problem through information collected on its web site,, as well as through workshops and events during the EXPO semester.
(2) The Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) is the main long-term framework for structured dialogue and co-operation between Africa and the EU on energy issues of mutual strategic importance, and with a focus on rural energy access and poverty alleviation. The AEEP engages the private sector, civil society and academia to push on-the-ground action towards sustainable and efficient energy access in Africa, with particular focus on rural access. The AEEP has also initiated the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) which supports market development for meso-scale energy projects in Africa.

Monday, September 7, 2015


The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the CTI Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI-PFAN), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the German Technical Cooperation (GIZ) are jointly organizing the ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Policy and Investment High Level Forum from 14th to 18th September 2015 in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. The event is supported by the Spanish Agency for international Development Cooperation (AECID), the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC), the European Union (EU), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
The Forum will feature:
  • Investment opportunities arising from the Sustainable Energy Country Action Plans (National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs), National Energy Efficiency Action Plans (NEEAPs), and Sustainable Energy For All (SE4ALL) Action Agendas) of the ECOWAS Member States
  • Multi-Stakeholder dialogue on ways to mobilize funds for the implementation of Sustainable Energy Country Action Plans
  • Showcasing of ongoing Auctions/Call For Proposals and Feed-in-Tariffs (FiTs) Opportunities
  • Showcasing of public and private sector financing instruments for project implementation
  • Investment pitch presentations from Finalists of the West African Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF) II Business Plan Competition and Award Ceremony
  • Launch of the ECOWAS SE4ALL Network
  • Introduction of the African Clean Energy Corridor in ECOWAS
  • Launch of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Project and Financial Navigator in West Africa
The Forum will bring together top-level policy and decision makers, project promoters, investors and international partners to meet, discuss and explore relevant inter-linkages between enabling environment and project development and identify concrete investment opportunities. It will facilitate match-making for investment ready projects as well as feature the state-of-the-art in the Sustainable Energy Country Action Plans development process in the West African region. Furthermore, the Forum will provide a veritable platform for stakeholder dialogues on the required next steps to mitigate existing barriers to sustainable energy investments in the ECOWAS region.
For further information, please refer to:

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Microgrid Global Innovation Forum 2015

Total identified microgrid capacity has grown from 4,393 megawatts (MW) in the second quarter of 2014 to more than 12,000 MW today, according to Navigant Research (1) The drivers behind this growth range from the need for greater grid reliability and resiliency, to the need for integrating more renewable energy into the grid, including: distributed solar, wind, biogas, etc. These trends, as well as the need to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and improve the economics of off-grid energy systems, are are compelling utilities, municipal governments, rural and island communities, and other stakeholders to look at microgrids and virtual power plants (VPPs) as key strategies for meeting the world's future energy needs.

The Microgrid Global Innovation Forum 2015, September 16-17, in Barcelona (Spain) will bring together thought leaders, energy executives, and project managers from around the world for focused networking and information sharing concerning the design, implementation and operation of hybrid energy, renewables-centric microgrid systems. The emphasis is on maximizing the effective use of sustainable and distributed energy resources, refining the positive business model for a range of microgrid deployments, and sharing real-world system case studies in both grid-tied and off-grid/remote/island environments.

This industry-open, technology-neutral event is a unique opportunity to interact closely with fellow practitioners and researchers who are pushing the envelope of sustainable energy microgrids for the future network.
The event will focus on:
  • Microgrid feasibility, design, and implementation
  • Refining the business case for off-grid, remote, and island microgrids
  • Solar + storage advances
  • Utilization of energy storage for microgrid scenarios
  • Advanced battery, fuel cell, and flow battery technologies
  • Microgrid power control, management, and integration
  • Integrating distributed renewable energy resources into the grid
  • Effective project evaluation, implementation, and management
  • Regulatory and public policy advances
  • Standards and interoperability issues
  • Market drivers and opportunities world wide   

For further information, please refer to:

Looking forward to meeting you in Barcelona!
(1) Microgrid Deployment Tracker 2Q2015, Navigant Research

Friday, November 14, 2014

Exploiting Opportunities in Renewable Energy & Rural Electrification in Kenya

As part of the programme for political dialogue created by The Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) and EU Energy Initiative -Partnership Dialogue Facility (EUEI-PDF), a structured dialogue will take place next November 28th in Nairobi (Kenya) to discuss priority areas of Kenya's energy strategy in the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) context

Apart from the AEEP and the EUEI-PDF, the event will be held in conjunction with the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum of Kenya, and with Practical Action and Alliance for Rural Electrification as representatives of the civil society and the private sector respectively.

The event aims to boost renewable energy and rural electrification in the region by:

  • Increasing and attracting private sector, civil society and donor investments and operations;
  • Enhancing engagement in policy-making and implementation towards universal energy access;
  • Strengthening mutual understanding, as well as partnerships between civil society, private sector and the government.

For further information on the event and how to register, please visit: