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Greg Barker leads low carbon trade delegation to East Africa

  Minister of State Greg Barker will lead a delegation of UK business leaders to East Africa from Monday 1 October - 5 October. The trade …

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Minister of State Greg Barker will lead a delegation of UK business leaders to East Africa from Monday 1 October - 5 October.

The trade delegation will meet key senior public and private sector figures to discuss opportunities on renewable energy and investment.

The delegation will attend business to business events, meeting potential local partners as well as influential members of key international financing institutions. In addition, there will be a series of expert briefings on the business and political climate, outlining the challenges and opportunities of doing business in East Africa. The visit will also be an opportunity to enhance, showcase and share UK strengths and expertise within this sector.

Minister of State Greg Barker said:

“The ultimate aim of this trip is to promote the UK as the partner of choice and open doors to more trade and investment opportunities for the UK’s low carbon goods and financial services industries.

“East Africa, has huge potential for new renewable energy projects, including wind, solar and geothermal making the region a potentially lucrative destination for international investment.  I am very excited to be leading this low carbon trade delegation that will both advance UK climate change objectives and highlight new investment opportunities.

 ”It will also provide opportunities for a number of key UK players in the renewable energy market to be part of this effort, combining both investors and developers in a dialogue with the region’s most senior policy and decision makers, both political and commercial”.

George Percy of Cluff Geothermal Ltd said:

‘We are delighted to see the UK Government putting their support behind low carbon technologies such as geothermal energy, which has great potential to provide cheap and clean power to the countries of East Africa.  It also offers a large export market and the Trade Mission will be an excellent opportunity to promote British business in what is a fast growing sector globally.  Greg Barker has been a strong supporter of geothermal technology and he has recognised that UK engineering and business expertise means we are well placed to tap into this rapidly expanding market.  He wants to help make sure that they do so, in a region where the UK has strong historical and business links.

Julian Richardson of Parhelion said:

“Parhelion is delighted to be joining Minister Barker on this clean energy trade mission to East Africa. London is the global leader in insurance services and using insurance market capital to support the development of clean energy policy and deployment of renewable energy technology in this region has many mutual benefits. It is good to see UK government continuing to support the clean energy, climate and development agenda and at the same time working to support private sector business.” 

Mark Simpson, Managing Director of UK carbon project development specialists co2balance said:

“We are excited about the opportunity to support  the up-coming trade mission to East Africa on 1 October with the Rt Hon Greg Barker MP. We hope that by our early stage involvement in these low carbon projects, we can help both the UK businesses and the host country communities, maximise the benefits available to them , both financially and in clean energy development, funding and resources from the support of the global carbon market.  The support of DECC is essential in securing the proper level of engagement and acceptance in the host countries.”

Charlie Miller, Investment and Partnerships Manager, SolarAid said: 

‘This trade mission is a great opportunity to showcase the leading role British businesses and NGOs are playing in eradicating the kerosene lamp from Africa, through building a market for microsolar lights. These lights free up between 10 and 25% of household income as a result of reduced kerosene use - money which is reinvested in health, education, small businesses and recreation. Widespread adoption over the next decade is going to have a profound impact on economic growth across the continent, whilst reducing carbon emissions’.

David Watson of Temporis Capital said:

“Temporis Capital is excited by the opportunities for renewable energy in Africa, in particular as the cost of energy from these technologies drops below traditional sources.  Their distributed nature also has the potential for large transformational effects”

Alan Thomson Director of Arup said: 

“Arup is extremely excited about the great potential we see across East Africa. This region combines a wealth of natural resources with rapid economic growth and great people who have real energy and optimism for the future. So this is a perfect platform for us to work together with our partners in the region and fast forward to new technological frontiers, steering past some of the development challenges society has faced in other parts of the world.”

Tom Rippon of Parsons Brinckerhoff, said:

“At Parsons Brinckerhoff we consider this to be a crucial time in the development of the East African power sector.  We believe that the deployment of low-carbon technologies today will have long-lasting and profound benefits for these nations.  We have a long history of providing consultancy services in the region, and are keen to work with government officials, national ministries, and in-country experts to deliver a low-carbon future for Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.”

Sally Hancox MBE, Director of Gentoo Green, part of the Gentoo Group said: 

“Gentoo is a profit-for-purpose organisation with a vested interest in sustainability. Our mission is to re-invest any profits or surpluses we make back into the communities in which we work. Therefore, I’m particularly interested, from a trade and business perspective, to see what insights I can gain into the potential of solar Photovoltaics (PV) in the context of the lives of African people. 

“I’d like to take any learnings back to Gentoo and apply our triple-bottom-line business principles to this. Success for me would mean being able to convert this into some products or services that we could produce or co-ordinate at Gentoo, and re-invest them to improve something we call the ‘Art of Living’, for the people and the communities in the areas that we visit.”

Kenya is highly dependent on hydro and thermal electricity power production with only 28.9% of the national population connected to the national power grid. Kenya was the first African country to drill geothermal power. The estimated geothermal capacity is between 7000MWe -10000MWe concentrated in the Rift Valley. As of December 2011 only 198MW was generated for electricity. As part of ‘Kenya Vision 2030’ the government has shown support for green energy with the aim of moving Kenya into a middle-income economy. The sites explored by Geothermal Development Company (GDC) that are commercially viable have been tendered i.e. Menengai (400MW) and Bogoria-Silali (800MW) while other sites are being explored, creating potential opportunities for PPP initiatives. Kenya also houses Africa’s largest wind farm, the Lake Turkana Wind Project with a capacity of 300MW. This project is scheduled to be fully operational by 2014.

Ethiopia has an aggregate potential to generate 60,000 MW of power of which 45,000 MW are from hydro electricity, above 10,000 MW are from wind and 5,000 are from geothermal sources. So far it has harnessed only 2,140 MW of this estimated potential. Out of the total electricity production, 98% is generated from hydropower while only 7MW is generated from geothermal power. The current 5 year development plan (the Growth and Transformation Plan) envisage increasing the current power generation capacity to 10,000 MW by 2015.

Tanzania has a potential of 650 MW of geothermal with a possibility of more large scale power generation, with temperatures of up to 255 degrees Celsius (dry steam). So far 50 sites have been identified as suitable for development. There have also been recent developments in wind power projects in Tanzania. Several sites have been investigated with two potential locations (Makambako and Singida), with average wind speeds of 8m/s. The Tanzanian government is keen to improve energy security by diversifying the energy mix and is looking to find ways at how to develop the diversification.

Participating Companies and Company Representatives

  • Aldwych International - Mark Gammons, Baptiste Berges, Christian Wright 
  • ARUP - Alan Thomson
  • Climate Care - Thomas Owino, Thomas Morton
  • Climate Change Capital - Alfred Evans
  • Cluff Geothermal - George Day, Kevin Mallin, Michael Feliks 
  • CO2 Balance - Stephen Hewson, Paul Keir, Mark Simpson
  • EGS Energy - Guy Macpherson Grant
  • Entrust - Steve Adeyemo-Phillips, Kieren Tarpey
  • Gentoo Green - Sally Hancox MBE, Michelle Meldrum
  • OST Energy - Oliver Soper
  • Parhelion Underwriting - Julian Richardson
  • Parsons Brinkerhoff - Tim Rippon, Richard Wearmouth
  • Solar Aid - Charlie Miller
  • Sunnymoney - John Keane
  • Southern Solar - Howard Johns
  • Spark Ventures - Andrew Carruthers, Steve Beck 
  • Temporis Capital, LLP - David Watson


Published 28 September 2012