Category Archives: News

Call for proposals: Green Mini-Grid Developers in Niger

In September 2018, a consortium of Partners for Innovation Niger, Marge and ECA started a new project on the support of Green Mini-Grid Developers in Niger. The first step is to identify developers interested to set-up green mini-grid projects in Niger. As of right now, the call for proposals is open.

Until 4 November, developers can show their interest and submit their plan at the Ministry of Energy’s Rural Electrification Agency (ANPER) in Niger. More information on the procedure can be found at their website (French).

The project

The large majority of rural areas in Niger lacks access to electricity, and extension of the national grid is often not feasible in the medium term. In such situations, setting up local mini-grids that are powered by means of solar PV is more and more often regarded as a viable way to electrify isolated villages. However, many local project developers with the interest and potential capacity to help tackle this problem, require support to realize their ambitions.

That is why 30 mini-grid developers will be identified, trained and supported in the realization of pilot projects. In addition, five feasibility studies will be carried out for prospective sites and relationships between banks / financial institutions and project developers will be build. The project is being carried out on behalf of the African Development Bank and the Ministry of Energy Niger.

More information

Do you want to know more about this project. Contact Stan van den Broek.

Feasibility study small wind turbines in Benin

In South Benin, small wind turbines have been highlighted as a type of technology with a very significant – but at the same time greatly underutilized and under-researched potential for renewable energy-based electrification. Partners for Innovation carried out a feasibility study and drew up an action plan for the manufacturing of components for small-scale wind turbines in Benin.

It is often unclear what the benefits of small wind power are when applied in a new context, as it is a technology for which the feasibility and desirability can be strongly dependent on local socio-economic circumstances. In this, a key determinant of success is the role that local manufacturing can play; not only to reduce the system costs per kWh, but also to turn wind power generation into a technology that is socially embedded and able to contribute to local employment. In the study, it is assessed how and to what extent locally manufactured small wind turbines (1-10 kW) can contribute to the electrification of South-Benin.

The study is prepared on behalf of CTCN, the Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN) and the Ministry of Energy/Directorate General of Energy of Benin.

Some results

The study shows that nearly 90 villages in Benin’s southernmost departments of (with over 200.000 inhabitants), can be supplied with electricity from small wind turbines. For this, a production capacity of 7,7 GWh per year will be required, which is equivalent to between 1000 and 5000 turbines in the range of 1,5 – 6 kW. Although the sector’s initial steps in the small wind domain will be strongly reliant on import, many of the required skillsets and materials can potentially be covered by one or more Beninese companies in the short-to-medium term (2020-2025). Small wind turbines are expected to be cheaper than diesel generators and comparably priced or slightly more expensive than solar PV.

Action plan

The development of a sector from the ground up requires concerted efforts in which not only industry, but also government, academia and civil society work together to generate momentum. The action plan therefore makes a distinction between four pillars: sector programming, targeted implementation, coalition building and knowledge development. Four time horizons are distinguished: very short-term (2018-2019), short-term (2020-2021), medium-term (2022-2025) and long-term (beyond 2025).

More information

Read the French report or English report or contact Peter Vissers and Stan van den Broek for more information

 

Products that Flow launched at InnovationExpo

On the 4th of October the book ‘Products that Flow’ by Siem Haffmans is launched at the InnovatieExpo in Rotterdam. The first copy has been handed over to the Dutch state secretary Stientje van Veldhoven.

PRODUCTS THAT FLOW is an unusual book about common things that surround us every day. Fast-moving consumer goods, such as food, packaging, disposables, fashion, cheap gifts and gadgets. How can we deal with this huge amount of products in a more sustainable way? Our main challenge is to slow down and make our products last longer. Than we have to organize the flow and design our products in such a way that they can be easily transported and recycled or to render it harmless.

This book offers a wide range of practical examples and points different ways to managing the flows that currently often are out of control. It is a field of concern that many share and for that reason is destined to turn into fertile soil for improvement.

The book is now available in the bookstore and at BIS Publishers.

Workshop: manufacturing small wind turbines in Benin

On Thursday July 19, the second validation workshop on the manufacturing of small wind turbines in Benin will take place. The final feasibility study and concrete action plan are presented and participants will discuss the results in working groups.

Benins energy sector

The Government of Benin is looking for ways to provide its population with the energy needed for socio-economic development. Small wind turbines, as a renewable energy technology, have the potential to play a key role in this. Partners for Innovation conducted a feasibility study and proposed an action plan for the development of this sector in Benin.

Workshop program

The workshop starts with presentations and discussions about the status of Benin’s energy sector and joint implementation of the country’s energy policy. Then, the workshop zooms in on small wind turbines to discuss the results of the feasibility study and action plan. In working groups, the participants will make recommendations on social, economic and political issues pertaining to the role of small wind turbines in the electrification of Benin.

The first workshop took place on 30 November and 1 December 2017, with more than 40 stakeholders taking part. They discussed the role that small wind turbines can play in the energy supply of Benin. Based on their feedback, the current strategy and action plan has been set up. Read more about this workshop here.

Want to learn more?

Get in contact with Peter Vissers or Stan van den Broek.

Ingeborg Gort-Duurkoop partner at Partners for Innovation

As of 1 April, Ingeborg Gort-Duurkoop has become a partner at Partners for Innovation.

Ingeborg has been working at Partners for Innovation since October 2011 as a consultant for sustainable innovation. With over 12 years of practical experience as a design manager and consultant, Ingeborg trains and supports companies and especially chains in the field of integrated sustainable product development, circular design strategies and business models. Focus within her work is on closing the plastics cycle.

As a partner, Ingeborg will continue her work in this area with great enthusiasm.

FinAgri 2018 – Fair on financing agriculture (3th edition)

The network AgriProFocus Niger, in collaboration with its partners, organizes the third edition of the fair on financing agriculture. The FinAgri 2018 will take place on 12 and 13 April in Niamey, Niger. Partners for Innovation hosts the AgriProFocus network in Niger.

FinAgri aims to improve the financing of promising agricultural networks by establishing relations between financing institutions and actors in the agricultural sector.

Specifically, this means:

  • Share information and experiences on FISAN.
  • Exchange knowledge of the experiences and opportunities of financing value chains by banks and MFIs.
  • Exchange knowledge of the main agro/sylvo/pastoral networks of Niger including on the NGOs, OPS and other actors supporting the agricultural sector.
  • Exchange on links in the agricultural value chain and understand their financing needs.
  • Link promoters of promising value chains with banks and microfinance institutions.
  • Commit to working together and create a regular dynamics of information exchange on the financing of value chains.

More information

Read more on the website of AgriProFocus or contact Rakiatou Gazibo.

Renewable energy in Zambia: looking for Dutch companies

RVO and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs have commissioned a market study into the opportunities for Dutch renewable energy companies in Zambia. Expected publication/presentation date for this study is early April, with a view to a possible trade mission to Zambia and Zimbabwe later in the year. We would like to get in touch with Dutch renewable energy companies that are interested to further expand their activities to the Zambian market. These companies will be invited to an informative networking meeting on doing business in Zambia, and their input will be used to determine the contents of the trade mission.

So, is your company working in the field of sustainable energy and potentially interested in doing business in Zambia?

Please fill out your contact details in this form or click here to send an e-mail. We will then contact you as soon as possible.

Why Zambia?

Zambia is a politically stable country, endowed with a wide range of renewable energy resources and rated very highly in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of doing business’-monitor. At the same time, both the population’s access to electricity and electricity tarrifs are low, while blackouts frequently leave businesses and higher-income residential areas to secure their back-up energy requirements with expensive diesel gensets. However, electricity prices have recently increased with 75%, economic growth is strong and stable, and in coming years Zambia will receive a lot of support and funding from international programs focussed on renewables.

Trade mission Vietnam

Minister Kaag (Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) is leading a trade mission in Vietnam and Malaysia this week together with Hans de Boer (chairman VNO-NCW) and about 45 companies. The economic mission is focused on urban growth and societal challenges. Partners for Innovation and CREM conducted a scoping study of the opportunities for circular economy in Vietnam, of which the results are presented during the trade mission.

On behalf of RVO and the Dutch Embassy in Vietnam, Partners for Innovation and CREM carried out a scoping study on circular economy in Vietnam. The study focuses on the state of play of circular economy in Vietnam and social-economic and environmental challenges and circular solutions. Besides that, the report provides opportunities for Dutch – Vietnamese cooperation on CE.

Read more about the study in the presentation of the results.

Manufacturing small wind turbines in Benin: is it feasible?

On November 30th and December 1st, over 40 stakeholders gathered in Cotonou to discuss the role small wind turbines can play in the electrification of Benin. Partners for Innovation presented its feasibility study and outlined an action plan for sector development.

The government of Benin is looking for ways to provide its population with the energy needed for socio-economic development. Especially in rural areas, electricity provides a clear pathway to expanded and sustainable energy access. Renewable energy technologies can play a key role in this. Small wind turbines are part of this renewable energy technology.

In a feasibility study, Partners for Innovation found that potentially more than 30.000, currently unelectrified, households can gain access to electricity generated by turbines in the range of 1 – 10 kW. In addition, we found that within a 5-7 year horizon, more than half of the economic value of the turbines can be created through local assembly, manufacturing and construction taking place in Benin itself. In the manufacturing and construction sector alone this would create 50 to 150 jobs annually.

These results, together with an outline for a small wind sector development roadmap, were presented to over 40 local stakeholders on November 30th and December 1st in the Beninese capital of Cotonou. The participants included ministry representatives, private sector representations, academia and a variety of NGO’s (including NGOs focused on youth and female empowerment). Through this session and the incorporation of feedback from the participants, it will become possible to formulate a clear and thought-through strategy.

Want to learn more?

 

Recycled plastics in electronics: from individual pilots to industry collaboration

Ten companies in the electronics sectors, together with the two trade associations Digital Europe and CECED, gathered in September for a two days’ workshop.  Goal of this workshop was to formulate concrete projects to use more recycled plastics in electronic appliances. All parties agree that the market for recycled plastics will get a boost when electronics producers increase the use of these plastics in their products. Industry collaboration can help speed up this development. The workshop in Brussels boosted this cooperation. 

“We already have projects on recycled plastics. We started back in 2010 by introducing more and more recycled plastics” Eelco Smit, sustainability manager of Philips explains. “Now we want to take this to the next level. We are too small to make a big change ourselves: we can only make a change if we get critical mass.”The collaborative workshop, bringing together several electronics producers, electronic collectors, virgin producers and recyclers, gives companies the opportunity to learn from each other and work together to achieve industry wide collaboration. [1]

Different material properties

Why are recycled plastics not reused for new electronics yet? Often this is related to the material properties of the recycled material. These are not the same as the properties of virgin material. This means electronic producers need to test all recycled materials for all different product groups – a time consuming process. In addition, the designers working for brand owners do not always know how to design with recycled materials. And even if they do have this knowledge, high quality recycled materials are not always available in large quantities. The bigger electronics brands such as BSH (Bosch Siemens) and Philips prefer to work with large suppliers. Recyclers, on the other hand, face the challenge to produce a high quality and high value material at a competitive price. This involves large investments in machines needed to separate the different plastics from each other. The recyclers deal with a mixed materials supply stream, as many product types (e.g. washing machines together with tumble dryers, dishwashers, cookers, etc) are collected together.

What’s next?

During the workshop participants shared their knowledge, evaluated their supply chains and created new ideas how to make this more circular. Subsequently, they worked together on solutions for the current challenges. This resulted in five project proposals. A group of workshop participants agreed to work on an educational tool “Design for Recycling” in order for designers to get more in-depth knowledge on working with different recycled materials. Another group worked on a project proposal related to standardization of recycled plastics, whereas another group focused on improving the collection and recycling of filled PP(polypropylene) from washing machines. The participants will be invited again to follow up on the progress in the projects. One thing is clear: all parties are highly motivated to close the plastics loop. As Gisela Lehner from Borealis stated: “Plastics is too valuable to throw away, we want to be part of the second life of plastics.” To be continued…

More information? contact Marjolein van Gelder or Ingeborg Gort.

[1] Present at the workshop were CECED, Digital Europe, Ricoh, Technicolor, Philips, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, Eco-systèmes, Recupel, Coolrec, MBA Polymers, Urban Mining Corp and  Borealis.