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Is The Way We Get Electricity About To Change Forever?

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Published in Innovation
Monday, 29 June 2015 00:00

The renewable-energy boom is here. Trillions of dollars will be invested over the next 25 years, driving some of the most profound changes yet in how humans get their electricity. That’s according to a new forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance that plots out global power markets to 2040.

Here are six massive shifts coming soon to power markets near you:

 1. Solar Prices Keep Crashing

The price of solar power will continue to fall, until it becomes the cheapest form of power in a rapidly expanding number of national markets. By 2026, utility-scale solar will be competitive for the majority of the world, according to BNEF. The lifetime cost of a photovoltaic solar-power plant will drop by almost half over the next 25 years, even as the prices of fossil fuels creep higher.

Solar power will eventually get so cheap that it will outcompete new fossil-fuel plants and even start to supplant some existing coal and gas plants, potentially stranding billions in fossil-fuel infrastructure. The industrial age was built on coal. The next 25 years will be the end of its dominance.

2. Solar Billions Become Solar Trillions

With solar power so cheap, investments will surge. Expect $3.7 trillion in solar investments between now and 2040, according to BNEF. Solar alone will account for more than a third of new power capacity worldwide. Here’s how that looks on a chart, with solar appropriately dressed in yellow and fossil fuels in pernicious gray:


3. The Revolution Will Be Decentralized

The biggest solar revolution will take place on rooftops. High electricity prices and cheap residential battery storage will make small-scale rooftop solar ever more attractive, driving a 17-fold increase in installations. By 2040, rooftop solar will be cheaper than electricity from the grid in every major economy, and almost 13 percent of electricity worldwide will be generated from small-scale solar systems.

$2.2 Trillion Goes to Rooftops by 2040

4. Global Demand Slows

Yes, the world is inundated with mobile phones, flat screen TVs, and air conditioners. But growth in demand for electricity is slowing. The reason: efficiency. To cram huge amounts of processing power into pocket-sized gadgets, engineers have had to focus on how to keep those gadgets from overheating. That’s meant huge advances in energy efficiency. Switching to an LED light bulb, for example, can reduce electricity consumption by more than 80 percent.

So even as people rise from poverty to middle class faster than ever, BNEF predictthat global electricity consumption will remain relatively flat. In the next 25 years, global demand will grow about 1.8 percent a year, compared with 3 percent a year from 1990 to 2012. In wealthy OECD countries, power demand will actually decline.

This watercolor chart compares economic growth to energy efficiency. Each color represents a country or region. As economies get richer, growth requires less power.

The Beauty of Efficiency

5. Natural Gas Burns Briefly

Natural gas won’t become the oft-idealized “bridge fuel” that transitions the world from coal to renewable energy, according to BNEF. The U.S. fracking boom will help bring global prices down some, but few countries outside the U.S. will replace coal plants with natural gas. Instead, developing countries will often opt for some combination of coal, gas, and renewables.

Even in the fracking-rich U.S., wind power will be cheaper than building new gas plants by 2023, and utility-scale solar will be cheaper than gas by 2036.

Fossil fuels aren’t going to suddenly disappear. They’ll retain a 44 percent share of total electricity generation in 2040 (down from two thirds today), much of which will come from legacy plants that are cheaper to run than shut down. Developing countries will be responsible for 99 percent of new coal plants and 86 percent of new gas-fired plants between now and 2040, according to BNEF. Coal is clearly on its way out, but in developing countries that need to add capacity quickly, coal-power additions will be roughly equivalent to utility-scale solar.

6. The Climate Is Still Screwed

The shift to renewables is happening shockingly fast, but not fast enough to prevent perilous levels of global warming.

About $8 trillion, or two thirds of the world’s spending on new power capacity over the next 25 years, will go toward renewables. Still, without additional policy action by governments, global carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector will continue to rise until 2029 and will remain 13 percent higher than today’s pollution levels in 2040.

That’s not enough to prevent the surface of the Earth from heating more than 2 degrees Celsius, according to BNEF. That’s considered the point-of-no-return for some worst consequences of climate change.


Source: EstateTimes

Kogi Begins Construction of First Golf Course

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Published in Innovation
Friday, 26 June 2015 00:00

The construction of the first ever golf course in a university campus in West Africa will begin next week at the Kogi State University, Anyangba.

This development was revealed in an interview with the Kogi State Golf Association (KSGA) Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Adejo Bako, on Tuesday from Kaduna. He promised that the 9 holes course would be concluded in a record time.

According to the chairman, "Arrangement has been concluded with the university authority to commence the construction of a 9 holes golf course. When completed, it will be the first in West Africa.

"By next week to be specific, work will commence in earnest. Men and materials have been moved to site," he said.
The chairman, however, commended the efforts of the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Hassan S. Isah, for ensuring that a sport's history would be made in Kogi State through golf.

The KSGA Chairman, who is barely a year old in office, assured that his tenure would do everything possible to bring golf closer to the people of Kogi State, adding that the course would be ready for use by September, 2015.

Concluding, Bako enjoined corporate organisations, government parastatals and well meaning sons and daughters of Kogi to making the dream of developing golf in the state a reality.


Source: Daily Independent

Foreign investment in Africa has taken a hit after serious political and economic tension, but business leaders are optimistic about the continent’s long-term potential.

Analysts at Ernst & Young surveyed 500 business leaders in 30 countries to take a pulse on how investors view the African market for their latest Africa Attractiveness Survey. And while recent years have shown a great deal of optimism, perceptions took a dip in 2014.

“In the past year, Africa has experienced stronger headwinds than in recent times,” Ajen Sita, Chief Executive Officer at EY Africa said in a statement. “At the same time though, economic growth across the continent remains resilient.”

Thanks to rising urbanization and a booming middle class prepared to spend money, many of the strongest investment flows went into sectors such as real estate and construction, along with consumer-based businesses such as financial services and retail. And many respondents were “excited about prospects in the relatively under-exploited agricultural sector.”

There are 22 economies on the continent expected to grow by at least 5 percent this year, beating the global average of just 3 percent, but there are still many complications.

For instance, low oil prices have had a major impact on oil-producing countries such as Angola and Nigeria, while the price of commodities — a mainstay for many African economies — has been particularly volatile.

Africa was once the second most attractive investment destination worldwide, but this year it slipped behind North America, Asia and Oceania.

“This year’s survey reveals that investor perceptions of Africa reached their lowest level since 2011,” the report says. In the 2014 version, 60 percent of respondents said that Africa had improved, while that rate was just 53 percent most recently.

“There was also a slight drop in confidence about the continent’s future investment attractiveness,” it says, noting that some of the main reasons were perceptions of political risk factors such as instability or corruption.

“Greenfield” foreign direct investment (FDI) projects fell 3.1 percent worldwide but dropped 8.4 percent in Africa. Nonetheless, while there were less FDI projects this year, the value of each project increased dramatically.

Capital investment into Africa increased 136 percent last year to hit $128 billion, and thanks to a series of “mega deals,” the average investment increased from $67.8 million per project in 2013 to $174.5 million — the highest rate in five years.

“We do not know whether this is sustainable, but it is certainly cause for celebration,” the report reads.


Source: EstateTimes

Shettima Tasks Aides On Communities Re-Construction

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Published in Innovation
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 00:00

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State yesterday charged the newly appointed Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and his aides to come up with a formula on re-construction of communities destroyed by insurgents.

He spoke shortly after the swearing-in of Alhaji Usman Jidda Shuwa as Secretary to the State Government (SSG); Alhaji Modu Alhaji Musa, Chief of Staff; Alhaji Isa Umar Gusau, Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy and Barrister Hassan Musa Dlakwa.

Shettima urged them to work hard to move the state forward, adding, "Your appointments and subsequent swearing-in was based on your integrity, transparency and wealth of experience in governance and public service in moving the state forward and to overcome the challenges of insecurity to both lives and property which we have been facing for the past six years here in Borno. The office of the SSG is the clearing house for all government transactions, before they are implemented for the betterment of our people affected by this insurgency. All of you here today (yesterday) for this swearing-in ceremony, should, as a matter of policy and urgency, come up with ideas on how we can collectively rebuild and rehabilitate all the destroyed towns and villages.
"We must accord priority to agriculture, health, job creation, infrastructural facilities and housing sectors", he said.

The governor also urged people of the state to co-operate with the new SSG in discharging his duties that could improve their living conditions.


Source: DailyTrust

ABU Plans New Master Plan

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Published in Innovation
Monday, 08 June 2015 00:00

An updated master plan is being developed for the main campus of the Ahmadu Bello University in Samaru, Zaria to ease congestion.

The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Ibrahim Garba made this known in Zaria while receiving the leadership of the ABU Alumni association in his office.

To this end, he said, many faculties and other establishments within the old premises would be moved to the new phase II to decongest the campus.

He said the proposed business school as well department of accounting, business and economy would be moved to the phase 2.

The Vice Chancellor also said more access ways to the institution's Senate building would be opened.

Responding, the president of the association, Princess Henrietta Indo Ogan, pledged the association's readiness to support the institution's developmental plan.


Source: Daily Trust


The Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development announced its consideration for incorporating the internationally acclaimed prototype floating structure ‘Makoko Floating School’ in a regeneration plan for Makoko Waterfront community. Makoko Floating School is designed by NLE Works– an architecture, design and urbanism practice focused on developing cities and communities.

The announcement was made in a press briefing on April 20, 2015, where the ministry also stated its plans to undertake a study of the development tagged “Houses on Water”.

Makoko floating was completed in March of 2013 to serve as a school and a community centre , whilst being scalable and adaptable for other uses, such as residential, commercial, recreational, and other critical infrastructure. The State Government had shown resistance to the project initially, given the unplanned nature of the community.

Since its completion in 2013, several government delegates from various ministries have carried out due diligence assessments of the structure and have reported positively on its performance. The global recognition of the project has further raised its awareness as a potential resolution for developing the waterfront community. The State Government has since taken steps to engage with the ommunity and other stakeholders in developing a conceptual plan and proposal presented to the State Executive Council (EXCO) for consideration and approval.

An estimated 100,000 people resides in Makoko in housing units built on stilts. Yet the community has almost no roads, no land and no formal infrastructure to support its day-to-day activities. In many ways, Makoko optimizes the imminent challenges and opportunities posed by urbanization and climate change in African Waterfront cities.

The Makoko Floating School is a floating structure that adapts to the tidal changes and varying water levels, making it invulnerable to flooding and storm surges. It is designed to use renewable energy, to recycle organic waste and to harvest rain water. The project was initiated, designed and built by NLE in collaboration with the Makoko Waterfront Community as a catalyst for Lagos Water Communities Project and part of the African Water Cities Project (2011) by NLE. It received support from the UNDP/Federal Ministry of Environment Africa Adaptation program, a research  grant from Heinrich Boelle Foundation as well as several other technical collaborators.

NLE’s principal, Kunle Adeyemi added “This is a rare and significant moment in history, where innovation is finally matched with with an equally open-minded reconsideration of established policies. We deeply appreciate this forward thinking step by Lagos State Government”. I believe this move is an important signal for mobilizing local and global interests critical for addressing the challenges and opportunities posed  by rapid urbanization and climate change in developing African waterfront cities and communities. We welcome partnership and collaborations from all over the world.”

NLE aims to couple local knowledge with global knowledge and expertise in water management and construction, to develop improved cultures of architecture and urbanism for water settlements, both across Africa and globally.


NLE is an Architecture, Design and Urbanism practice focused on developing cities and communities. Founded in 2010 by Nigerian-born Architect, Kunle Adeyemi, it currently runs its operations from Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Lagos, Nigeria.

NLE is currently starting construction on three projects in Nigeria including, the head office for Credit Direct Limited, a Microfinance Bank that provides small unsecured loans to low to middle income earners. Another is the award-winning Chicoco Radio Station in Port Harcourt – a floating media platform being built with and for residents of Port Harcourt’s waterfront community in Nigeria.

In Tanzania, NLE has designed Black Rhino Academy, a primary and secondary boarding school located on a hill in Karatu, next to the Ngorongoro conservation area and the Serengeti national park. Using a planning principle vested in the region for millennia, the school is conceived to create a safe yet open environment protected from, yet within the wildlife.

Finally and most recently, NLE has been commissioned by the Chicago Architectural Biennial to design a prestigious Lakefront Kiosk to be located at the Millennium Park and then moved to Montrose Beach. The project will be completed this October 2015.

See NLE website and profile for more information on these and other projects. And stay in touch with NLE through FacebookTwitter and Instagram to share exciting experiences on projects and much more.




Eko Atlantic Unveils First Phase Development Plan

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Published in Innovation
Wednesday, 08 April 2015 00:00


Eko Atlantic is a revolutionary project within Africa’s real estate sector. It has been hailed as one of the most “inspiring and ambitious” infrastructure projects in Africa by the Clinton Global Initiative. The $6 billion valued mega-city will provide an array of luxurious business, retail, hotels, residential, and school districts, attracting a comparison to the skyscraper district of Manhattan in New York City. February 21, 2013, saw one of Nigeria’s most promising ground breaking events when the Eko Atlantic mega-city was given the green light to kick-off construction. Two years on, it is now preparing to house its second building, a luxurious 26-storey skyscraper.

The first, a 15-floor Afren Plc Towers which will be the company’s new headquarters, is already in its 8th floor of construction.

The city, expected to sit on a reclaimed 5 million square metres of land in Victoria Island, Lagos, is tipped to reshape Africa’s real estate and construction industries by laying the foundation for future landmark projects across the continent.


The developer and city planner of Eko Atlantic City, South Energyx Nigeria Limited, has unveiled the city's first-phase development plan, which entails a 26-storey building, named the Azuri Peninsula containing 120 luxury apartments.

The firm also disclosed that one of its subsidiaries, Eko Development Company Limited, would manage and oversee the building development including the Azuri Peninsula, which it said is cited on the Marina District in Eko Atlantic City.

This was contained in a statement by the firm's media specialist, Ms. Ibiene Ogolo, stating that with architecture provided by the award winning global design firm Gensler, Azuri Peninsula "offers the optimum place to live, work, play and invest".

The statement said about 120 luxury apartments, 12 super-luxury simplexes and two superb villas as well as seven fine townhouse apartments, "make up the first phase, with a three-year completion programme".

"Azuri Peninsula offers a unique and luxurious urban lifestyle by the delightful Marina-front of the Marina District in the vibrant new Eko Atlantic City. "There will be a five-star Marina and yacht club with an attractive promenade, high-end shops, cafes and a wealth of amenities in a curated and sophisticated environment.

"The landmark scheme is also close to the business district in the new city, which is destined to be the new financial centre of Lagos. The developers behind the most luxurious residential destination of 2015 in Lagos, have carefully chosen a brand name that resonates," the statement said.

It said the name Azuri Peninsula, combines the African word "Zuri" meaning beautiful, while Azure suggests a radiant sea.

"The first phase of this Marina-front project showcases exceptionally crafted two and four-bedroom luxury apartments, six-bedroom simplexes and seven-bedroom villas which are arranged across Marina townhouse apartments and three outstanding residential towers.

"The podium towers are carefully positioned to maximise views of the marina and garden-piazzas. Located on the ground floor are retail spaces while ample underground car parking is to be found on the lower ground level.

"Gensler's exceptional panel of interior designers are creating spacious and elegant apartments with a selection of design palettes. Fulfilling the highest standards of contemporary living, all apartments will be fully-fitted with the finest materials, including state-of-the-art kitchens and luxurious bathrooms, district cooling air conditioning and broadband (which will also be provided throughout the city)," the company added.



Extract from


AUN to open ‘multi-functional, smart’ library in May

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Published in Innovation
Friday, 28 March 2014 09:59



THE American University of Nigeria (AUN), winner of one of three international awards given out by the American Library Association (ALA) last year for Innovative International Library Projects, says its new bricks-and-mortar “smart” library will open in May 2014.

It will serve as a model of how innovation and technology make learning affordable, sustainable, efficient, and more accessible.

At 210,000 e-books and e-journals, accessed using tablets, e-readers and other devices, and available to students and faculties 24/7 regardless of location, the institutions e-book collection is not only Africa’s largest, but also significantly larger than that held by most universities in America.

The school located in Yola, Adamawa State, is one of those leading the movement toward digital libraries around the world. And in selecting AUN for its Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects, the ALA pointed out AUN’s creation of a “digital library model for other libraries that is affordable, sustainable, and increases availability of resources for users.”

According to its Librarian, Amed Demirhan: “The new home for AUN library will advance the application of information technology to organisational structure, space and collection.”

Demirhan, who started the first digital library in the University of Kurdistan, Iraq, explained that AUN’s “smart library is basically like a smart phone. It’s multi-functional, efficient, has more services, and because it deals with e-resources, it doesn’t require as much space. Instead, we have space to add more services that were once taken up by hardcopy books, resulting in greater efficiency and effectiveness.”

President of the university, Dr. Margee Ensign said, “While the new library will not be the world’s biggest university library, it will be among the smartest. Here in Nigeria, we cannot just focus on traditional education. To make education accessible and less expensive, it has to be about technology.

“Nigeria is the fastest growing country in the world, with a population doubling every 30 to 35 years. With such fast rates of population growth, technology will be crucial in meeting the needs to educate and train Nigerian youths. Education is the key to helping people provide for themselves and their families. It’s the key to making Nigeria and the world a better place. We’re already seeing the results of our e-learning in our students and graduates. AUN’s new smart library will advance learning faster throughout our nation and the continent as a whole,” Ensign added.

AUN provides all of its students with laptops or tablets, campus-wide, wireless, and round-the-clock access and electricity.

Incorporating technology and innovation to the library’s structure, space and collection, AUN’s new library is designed to support their digital e-library, from the staff to the furniture.

The innovative new building will have less traditional seating, replacing stationary tables with more comfortable chairs to accommodate mobile users. Even the library staff structure has been transformed to complement the pivot to a smart digital library.

For example, the serial coordinator position has been removed as AUN subscribes to publications online whenever possible.

AUN is a recognised global pioneer in electronic education, championing e-learning as a model for higher education in the developing world that controls costs, while creating greater access to resources for the wider community.

AUN’s communities are already benefitting from the smart library, which has been actively collecting and encouraging the use of open access resources.

In 2012, the library trained 147 faculty and administrative staff from the Federal College of Education in Yola and 20 faculty members from Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola. The transition to a digital library furthers AUN’s stated community development mission by promoting open access resource use, institutional collaboration, and outreach throughout the region and nation. AUN believes that open access to resources is the best investment for expansion of global education and development.



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