11 December

The African Development Bank has pledged $50m to enable energy-access companies to deal with the impact of Covid-19. The bank’s board of directors approved the $20m concessional investment from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa to launch an off-grid recovery platform. The combined $50m investment will ease financial pressures for energy access firms, and support them during and beyond the pandemic.

The Power Grid Corporation of India has laid out performance guidelines decreasing its bank guarantee for power transmission projects. Currently, projects must pay 10% of the contract price, which would fall to 3% under the new system. The decision was taken to help entities implement their contracts and projects faster. The new rule is applicable to all of the corporation’s power transmission bids and contracts issued before the end of 2021.

Swiss utility company Axpo has reported that its pre-tax earnings in the financial year to September 2020 stood at $877m. This compares with $957m recorded in the year prior. The pandemic’s effect on electricity demand was counterbalanced byhigher hedged power prices and the positive results from energy trading. The company’s solar capacity rose to 373MW, up from 249MW in 2019. During the 2021 financial year, the company expects a further expansion of 250MW.

The average production at Cameroon’s Kribi thermal power plant fell 41% by the end of October, reaching 127.6MW in the January-October period. This is 59.07% of the plant’s nominal capacity of 216MW. A decline in gas supplies due to the Covid-19 pandemic and cash crunch issues adversely affected power output.

The Consumer Council of Missouri has sought an emergency order to continue the operations of utilities throughout the winter season, to suppress the spread of coronavirus. The council says a regular supply of power and water has proved to be a major factor in containing Covid-19. Coronavirus cases registered a 3% drop when people did not venture out of their homes to warming centres, thereby reducing physical contact.

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