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MAIL AND GUARDIAN AFRICA: Kenya announces 1-Gigawatt solar energy deal, will cost a record $2.2 billion

KENYA’S Energy Ministry and Canadian solar energy firm SkyPower Global are on course to sign an agreement Sunday that paves the way for the Toronto-based company to develop 1-gigawatt of solar power in East Africa’s biggest economy.

The developments will take place over five years in a deal that SkyPower values at $2.2 billion, the company said Friday in a statement.

Kenya currently gets about two-thirds of its electricity from renewable sources, chiefly hydropower and geothermal wells that account for 38% and 25% of supplies respectively, according to Bloomberg News Energy Finance data. It has no solar developments of that scale to date.

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THE TELEGRAPH: Here we go – The triple bill we pay for solar power

There was a revealing moment on Tuesday’s Today program when the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Amber Rudd, was petulantly interviewed about her proposed cuts to the nearly £1 billion-a-year subsidy given to our solar energy industry.

Her action follows a recent government report which showed that the cost of “environmental levies” has been exploding out of control, and is now projected within five years to have almost trebled to £9.1 billion a year.

Putting the case for the industry, Justin Webb began by claiming that, on July 3, no less than “16 per cent of electricity demand in the UK was met by solar power”. Which sounded impressive.
What he didn’t explain, however, was that this 16 per cent was for only a short time in the afternoon when demand was low; and that spikes like this create big problems for the grid, which has to shut off power from other sources to accommodate that briefly coming from solar.

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THE GUARDIAN: I support solar energy because of my Tea Party beliefs — not despite them

I am a lifelong conservative and, also, a strong advocate for solar energy. As I travel the country advocating for solar using a free-market message, I am seeing an awakening among conservatives in this area. There are many areas that conservatives and progressives strongly disagree on, but both are united in a desire to pass on a legacy of true energy independence to future generations of Americans. The right to solar energy is an American issue – not a partisan one.

America was founded on the principles of liberty and freedom, but unfortunately in many states there are regulatory barriers erected by the government that prohibits the freedom of choice for utility customers – especially when it comes to switching to solar.

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BLOOMBERG: Kingdon Shorts Oil, Goes Long Solar Energy as Firm Gains 13%

Kingdon Capital Management turned bearish on crude oil and increased investment in solar companies, as the hedge fund firm gained 13.4 percent in the first half of the year.

Mark Kingdon’s $2.6 billion firm sold some oil company shares in June, added short positions and placed bets that would profit if crude prices fell after OPEC and U.S. producers unexpectedly increased production, according to a July 20 letter sent to investors.

“With the U.S. rig count on the rise and the potential for Iranian volumes to come back on line, the time at which the oil market comes into balance has been pushed out,” the firm said.

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Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has 8+ years of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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