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Sunna Design Wins A €40 Million Contract to Deploy Solar Street Lighting in Rural Togo

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Renewable Energy - Investors King

 Sunna Design, leader in connected solar lighting solutions, has signed a 40 million euro contract with the Government of Togo for the supply and installation over 24 months, and then maintenance over 12 years, of 50,000 intelligent street lamps. This contract, funded by the General Directorate of the French Treasury, is part of the larger project CIZO (“switch on the light” in mina language), which aims at electrifying 500,000 rural households, about 1.5 million inhabitants in 1,000 villages.

A pillar of Togo’s NDP (National Development Plan) deployed by the Togolese presidency, CIZO aims to speed up the modernization of the country, including ensuring universal access to electricity by 2030.

Connected lighting, a key step for rural development

Public lighting grids have an impact on rural communities’ life conditions and strengthening of the economy, by facilitating passenger and goods transport, pedestrian traffic, night work, as well as drastically reducing road accident rates and insecurity.

Solar street lights are autonomous and resilient energy sources, and the only relevant technical-economic solution to bring appropriate public lighting and connection services to off-grid areas. In Togo – where only 8% of the 8.3 million residents are connected to the grid – access to energy is a key factor for economical development. The challenge is also to promote geographical balance, in response to an unbridled urbanization phenomenon in Sub-Saharan Africa, through a planned deployment of sustainable, decentralized and smart infrastructures.

Mila Aziable, Minister Delegate to the President for Energy and Mines, says: “This partnership is the result of a shared ambition and is right in line with the Head of State’s will to achieve accessibility for all in terms of energy. We want to give a new dynamic to rural areas, make them more attractive through our contribution in all priority sectors and those of the local economy, while betting on innovative technologies adapted to our context, our time and our environment. This partnership clearly projects our country in a new dynamic, in the direction of a universal access to energy.”

Franck Riester, Minister Delegate attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, in charge of Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness: “We are proud to support Sunna Design’s sustainable public lighting project in Togo, for the benefit of more than 1.5 million inhabitants in rural areas. Under the initiative of the President of the Republic, we made Africa a priority of our international action. Central to our strategy is the will to accompany the development of infrastructures and technologies in a sustainable city. In these fields, our SMEs such as Sunna Design have an internationally recognized expertise. It is together, with our African partners, with the support of the private sector, that we must accompany the continent’s economic development.”

“The trust granted by the Togo Government – a visionary, pioneer and highly demanding partner in the fields of electrification and digitization in rural environment – acknowledges the solidity of Sunna Design’s know-how, as well as our capacity to innovate and accompany our clients over time” says Ignace de Prest, Sunna Design CEO. “That also represents a new step in our company’s transformation, now an essential partner for both urban and rural applications. The impact of the project on populations strengthens the teams’ commitment and our company’s project.” 

A sustainable technological solution with a 12-year guarantee

Consisting of 50,000 connected street lights, Sunna Design’s project notably plans for:

  • Solar lighting roll out in priority areas, identified and investigated beforehand via an unprecedented census study of rural infrastructures, ensuring a measurable economic and social impact of each lighting point on people
  • The use of iSSL+ solutions, all-in-one connected street lights with batteries designed to resist high temperatures, produced by Sunna Design at its “Factory of the Future” labeled industrial site, in the Bordeaux region
  • Operation and maintenance services during 12 years, including participation and strengthening of an ecosystem of local operators, promoting local employment
  • Provision of a transparent platform for monitoring implementation and detailed performance of the solar solutions, accessible to public authorities, private and financial partners

The Togolese Agency for Rural Electrification and Renewable Energies (AT2ER), promoter of the project, was able to validate Sunna Design’s technical lead, robust equipment and track record in Sub-Saharan Africa rural areas, and finalize a unique project including performance and guarantee commitments over time.

Solar lighting related (connected) services

Sunna Design’s know-how extends beyond lighting: its solutions can integrate an ecosystem of IoT applications (connected objects), powered by the clean energy provided by Sunna Design’s intelligent solar batteries.

Autonomous and connected, these applications answer several needs in terms of connectivity, telecommunications and safety. They represent a development focus of the digital economy, another pillar of Togo’s NDP.

This innovative application has already been successfully implemented and tested by Sunna Design in Togo, in the frame of a pilot project operational since 2020, financed by the FASEP fund of the General Directorate of the Treasury. This project will allow the continuation of these experiments in some targeted areas, as well as skill improvement on the “WiFi Grid”, to offer Internet access to villages through the solar street lamps.

“This project will combine decentralized energy and broadband connectivity to provide both public lighting and Internet access to the populations. Thus, it complements our vision towards accelerating the convergence between energy and digital technology, which we will initiate by deploying optical fiber on the electric network” says Cina Lawson, Togolese Minister of Digital Economy and Technological Innovation.

A turnkey project with financing at the heart of Sunna Design’s strategy

This exemplary contract is at the core of Sunna Design’s strategy, aiming at bringing answers to its customers’ long-term issues, in the form of services. Three years after being the first company to offer Solar Lighting as a Service (SLaaS) in the United States, Sunna Design replicates the offer in Africa, and works to replicate it again. This project, carried out in Togo and financed by a direct loan from the General Directorate of the Treasury, proves that the company now has the most advanced range of technical solutions on the market, as well as the most comprehensive portfolio of services (installation, maintenance, operations, financing). This contract also marks the achievement, on a large-scale project, of the vision of solar lighting as a lever of economic and social development in rural environments, inspired by Thomas Samuel, Sunna Design’s founder, who also developed the project.

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Energy

Renewables Can Provide Nearly 60 Per Cent of Nigeria’s Energy Demand by 2050

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Renewable Energy - Investors King

Nearly 60 per cent of Nigeria’s energy demand in 2050 can be met with renewable energy sources, saving 40 per cent in natural gas and 65 per cent in oil needs at the same time, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

With a growing population and a range of socioeconomic challenges, Nigeria requires sustainable energy sources to meet the growing needs for all the sectors of its economy and achieve universal access to modern energy services.

Renewable Energy Roadmap for Nigeria, developed in collaboration with the Energy Commission of Nigeria, demonstrates how renewable energy technologies are key to achieving a sustainable energy mix and meeting the country’s growing needs.

“By using its abundant, untapped renewables”, IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera said, “Nigeria can provide sustainable energy for all its citizens in a cost-effective manner. Nigeria has a unique opportunity to develop a sustainable energy system based on renewables that support socioeconomic recovery and development, while addressing climate challenges and accomplishing energy security.”

Dr. Adeleke Olorunimbe Mamora, Nigeria’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation added: “The highly distributed institutional structure of the energy sector in Nigeria means that coordination of policies will be essential to unlocking integrated energy transition planning and ensuring its success. A cross cutting agency or body tasked with doing so would be helpful in building consensus and developing a coherent plan which in turn would allow for the scaling up of renewable energy to meet the needs across the Nigerian energy sector.”

The share of primary energy requirements met with renewable energy can reach 47 per cent by 2030 and 57 per cent by 2050, according to IRENA’s report. Electrification will play a significant role in achieving higher renewable energy shares with electricity in final energy use nearly doubling by 2050.

Investment in renewables will be more cost-effective than the conventional pathway. IRENA’s Energy Transition Scenario has lower investment costs than planned policies, 1.22 trillion USD compared to 1.24 trillion USD respectively. This corresponds to 35 billion USD versus 36 billion USD per year respectively.

Advancing the energy transition requires a shift and scaling-up of investments in the short-term to avoid locked in fossil fuel  infrastructure investments with long lifetimes such as natural gas pipelines. In 2050, significantly less use of natural gas and oil compared to planned policies has profound implications for infrastructure investment in fossil fuels, increasing the risk of stranded assets.

Policies for the accelerated deployment of renewables are needed to unlock the report’s benefits. Policy coordination is essential to unlocking successful integrated energy transition planning in Nigeria.

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NERC Ascribes DisCos Losses to Energy Theft, Refusal to Pay Bills by Customers

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Electricity

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has revealed that the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) in the country lose N4.79 out of every N10 worth of energy sold.

The NERC, has however attributed the losses suffered by the 11 electricity distribution companies to ineffective distribution networks, energy theft, poor revenue collection and refusal of customers to pay their bills promptly.

Investors King gathered that the Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) loss of the DisCos amounted to 47.88 percent in Q1 of 2022.

The data from NERC further explained that the distribution companies recorded 22.62 percent technical and commercial losses and 32.64 percent collection loss.

“Conversely, DisCos that underperform relative to their allowed ATC&C losses (i.e., a higher ATC&C loss than allowed), will be unable to earn the expected returns on its set tariffs and could risk long-term financial challenges. 

“The ATC & C loss was largely driven by Benin (56.75%), Kano (53.89%), Kaduna (74.86%), Enugu (54.19%), and Jos (67.92%) DisCos,” NERC said.

The Commission directed the distribution companies to embark on emergency remedial actions to enhance their ATC&C losses by increasing revenue means.

It noted that if the situation persists, the companies will incur much debts which will affect their equity and hinder them from meeting the target.

“Failure to resolve this will not only prevent the DisCos from being able to meet their upstream obligations, but it will also saddle them with too much debt and erode their equity,” NERC stated.

The Electricity Regulatory body stated that on market remittance, the bills of both Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) and the Market Operator (MO) to DisCos was N205.63 billion in the first quarter of 2022.

The breakdown of the invoices earmarks N164.86 billion as generation cost and N40.77 billion as cost for transmission and administrative services. The DisCos collectively paid a total sum of N135.69 billion from the estimated bill left with  N69.94 billion outstanding balance, placing its remittance performance at 65.99 percent.

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Demand For Solar Energy Globally Rising Fast, Sales May Exceed $220bn in 2023– Report

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Nigeria solar panels multiple

Sales of solar energy globally might reach $220bn this year as its demand has greatly risen by 25–30 percent, says Bloomberg Intelligence (BI) new report.

Investors King understands that solar energy is the fastest-growing segment of the energy sector in 2023 which may extend to subsequent years with bigger sales.

According to Bloomberg Intelligence, in its Global Solar Energy 2023 Outlook, the demand for solar energy in 2022 rose about 40 percent with industry revenues at 50 percent.

“The double digit growth is fuelled by favourable economics: a new solar system’s levelised cost of electricity is about $40 a megawatt hour, roughly in line with a new wind plant and over 50% cheaper vs a new coal one.

“We expect 2023 revenue to increase the quickest at inverter manufacturers and equipment suppliers. Sales at Enphase are expected to be up 35 percent in 2023 and 29 percent at SolarEdge,” the report stated.

BI further predicted that the cost of installing solar power is likely to become less expensive compared to nuclear power in subsequent years as manufacturing improves. 

The International Energy Agency (IEA), also declared that solar energy will surpass coal power by 2027, saying the energy crisis and war in Ukraine will direct attention to renewables.

The IEA pointed out that renewable energy will top sources of electricity generation globally in 2025 and twice as much renewable capacity will be derived from 2022 to 2027. 

BI Senior Analyst for Clean Energy, Rob Barnett, said the fast growth line of solar energy sales amongst popular energy firms will not drop as measures to improve its growth are fixed.

Barnett said, “The growth of solar follows a record 2022, during which global solar capacity additions expanded about 47 percent”.

“Best-in-class peers such as Enphase or First Solar could see their sales growth exceed 30% in 2023, and amid such fast line growth, we believe profitability metrics are poised to improve based on an easing of input costs and supply chain constraints.”

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