South Sudan to embrace renewables


The government of South Sudan and the South Sudan Electricity Corporation (SSEC) utility have launched a call for consultants to help define the nation’s renewable energy development program.

The utility said consultants must have relevant professional experience, especially in development of private sector, grid-connected solar projects and associated battery storage. The winning bidder will be tasked with defining the tender mechanism for the procurement of clean energy generation capacity.

“Eligibility criteria, establishment of the short-list and the selection procedure shall be in accordance with the African Development Bank’s procurement policy framework for bank group funded operations (October 2015),” stated the SSEC in the consultancy tender document. The deadline for expressions is next Tuesday.

Diesel dominates

The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa, a multi-donor trust fund administered by the African Development Bank, has been asked by the government of South Sudan to provide $990,000 for the renewable energy program.

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The eight-year-old nation is facing an energy crisis with record low levels of access to electricity and high power prices. The SSEC has installed power generation capacity of only 30 MW, most of which is not operational, with most electricity produced by diesel generators.

A report by the United States Institute of Peace last year stated solar energy could help decouple economic growth in the country from the geopolitics of oil and gas. The report’s authors said PV has the best potential for immediate improvement due to its relative longevity, attractive prices, off-grid possibilities, scalability and ease of installation and the country’s high solar irradiation.

U.S. start-up Energy Peace Partners is implementing a program to help humanitarian missions in South Sudan transition from diesel dependence to solar. The Peace Renewable Energy Credit scheme is intended to help free humanitarian and peace operations from local fuel supply chains which are often tied up in the ongoing conflict.

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