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FMO And EIB Improve Solid Waste Management Processes In Morocco

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disposal by KARL-SEBASTIAN SCHULTE via flickr

The Dutch development bank , FMO, and the European Investment Bank (EIB) today signed, at the margins of COP22 in Marrakesh, to close on a disposal facility for Banque Marocaine due Commerce Extérieur (BMCE) – a universal bank in Morocco.

BMCE has established a reputation as a leader in Morocco and is known for its pioneering initiatives in the field of sustainable finance. Through its 75% shareholding in Bank of Africa Group, BMCE has a banking network in 18 countries in Sub Saharan Africa.

The facility is dedicated to support BMCE’s initiatives towards improvement of solid waste management practices and standards, one of the major environmental challenges in Morocco.

Management of municipal solid waste is lacking proper infrastructure and suitable funding in areas outside of major cities. In response to these challenges, the Moroccan government developed the National Solid Waste Program (PNDM), which aims to upgrade the management of municipal solid waste. With the proposed facility for BMCE, FMO and EIB will support the PNDM objectives and targets, which include, among others, ensuring household waste collection rates of 100% by 2030 and rehabilitating or closing all existing disposal sites by 2020.

The facility consists of:

• A term loan facility of EUR 20 million to fund the pre-identified solid waste management projects. The loan facility is provided in partnership between FMO and EIB, with both institutions providing a EUR 10 million loan.

• A comprehensive Technical Assistance package that include both sectoral studies on waste management as well as expert studies for the pre-identified projects. The package also facilitates a mission of BMCE, its waste management clients and Moroccan regulators to The Netherlands to get introduced to best international waste management practices. The Technical Assistance program will be provided by FMO.

As part of the proposed facility, BMCE has identified a number of projects which will be carried out by specialist companies in the management of solid waste for the creation of disposal and treatment facilities in several Moroccan cities. The new waste management facilities enable, among others, increased recycling and energy generation from landfill gas, and will have positive impacts on environment and climate.

Mickael Koehler, Director General of the European Commission’s Neighbourhood Policy Directorate said:

“This investment from the EIB is very much in line with the priorities of the European Union in Morocco as concerns the development of a market economy favouring investment and enterprise both at the national and international level. The European Commission is also ready to launch its Green Growth and Competitiveness Programme worth more than one billion Dirhams (EUR 105 million) to underpin economic reform and projects to support the competitiveness of micro-small and medium sized enterprises in Morocco and green growth in the country.”

Jurgen Rigterink, CEO of FMO said:

“FMO is very proud to be a partner in this facility as it signifies the first Green Finance transaction that FMO provides to a bank in Africa. Given the pioneering role of Morocco in the area of Sustainable Finance initiatives and the leading role of BMCE Bank of Africa, we are optimistic about the positive demonstration effect of the transaction for Africa. We look forward to maintain our close cooperation with BMCE to support similar initiatives in the Bank of Africa group. The constructive and efficient cooperation with the EIB in this transaction is another highlight that bodes well for closer successful cooperation between our institutions in the future”.

Brahim Benjelloun – Touimi, Group Managing Director of BMCE Bank of Africa and Chairman of Bank of Africa said:

“BMCE Bank of Africa’s innovative green facility in partnership with FMO – global Sustainable Finance leader, and EIB represents our continued engagement to support Sustainable and Inclusive Finance in Morocco over the last 15 years. This green facility is aligned with Morocco’s National Sustainable Development Strategy and contributes towards the financing of a circular economy in Morocco, with a vision of developing similar partnerships in the African continent through Bank of Africa. We hope that this green loan facility will further herald a new way for businesses to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.”

Marion Hoenicke (Head of SME Lending, European Investment Bank) said:

“I am delighted that the European Investment bank as a leading international climate action financier is supporting this green financial line. This is a strong signal in support of our strategic climate action in the Mediterranean partner countries. Morocco – a country on the cutting edge of climate investment – is one of the EIB’s key partners: since 2011, 28% of the EIB’s investments in Morocco have been dedicated to climate action, representing climate investment of around EUR 500m against total financing of EUR 1.7bn. Our objective is to finance sound, concrete and scalable projects to develop a sustainable green economy while mobilizing private investment via specific and innovative financial tools.”

Energy

Are the UK Governments Plans for the Energy Sector Smart?

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The revolution in the energy sector marches on, wind turbines and solar panels are harnessing more renewable energy than ever before – so where is it all leading?

The UK government have recently announced plans to modernise the way we produce, store and use electricity. And, if realised, the plans could be just the thing to bring the energy sector in line with 21st century technology and ideologies.

Central to the plans is an initiative that will see smart meters installed in homes and businesses the length and breadth of the country – and their aim? To create an environment where electricity can be managed more efficiently.

The news has prompted some speculation about how energy suppliers will react and many are predicting a price war. This could benefit consumers of electricity and investors, many of whom may be looking to make a profit by trading energy company shares online using platforms such as Oanda – but the potential for good news doesn’t end there.

Introducing New Technology

The plan, titled Smart Systems and Flexibility is being rolled out in the hope that it will have a positive impact in three core areas.

  • To offer consumers greater control by making smart meters available for all homes and businesses by 2020. Energy users will be able to monitor, control and record the amount of energy they use.
  • Incentivise energy suppliers to change the manner in which they buy electricity, to offer more smart tariffs and more off-peak periods for energy consumption.
  • Introduce new standards for electrical appliances – it is hoped that the new wave of appliances will recognise when electricity is at its cheapest and at its most expensive and respond accordingly.

How the Plans Will Affect Solar Energy

Around 7 million houses in the UK have solar panels and the government say that their plan will benefit them as they will be able to store electricity on batteries. The stored energy can then be used by the household and excess energy can be exported to the national grid – in this instance lower tariffs or even payment for the excess energy will bring down annual costs significantly.

The rate of return on energy exported to the national grid is currently between 6% and 10%, but there are many variables to take into account, such as, the cost of battery storage and light levels. Still, those with state-of-the-art solar electricity systems could end up with an annual profit after selling their excess energy.

The Internet of Things

Much of what the plans set out to achieve are linked to the now ubiquitous “internet of things” – where, for example, appliances and heating systems are connected to the internet in order to make them function more smartly.

Companies like Hive have already made great inroads into this type of technology, but the road that the government plans are heading down, will, potentially, go much further -blockchain technology looms and has already proved to be a game changer in the world of currency.

Blockchain Technology

It has already been suggested that the peer to peer selling of energy and exporting it to the national grid may eventually be done using blockchain technology.

“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”

Don and Alex Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution (2016)

The upshot of the government’s plans for the revolution of the energy sector, is that technology will play an indelible role in making it more efficient, more flexible and ultimately more sustainable.

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Energy

4 Case Studies on the Benefits of Solar Energy

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Demand for solar energy is growing at a surprising rate. New figures from SolarPower Europe show that solar energy production has risen 50% since the summer of 2016.

However, many people are still skeptical of the benefits of solar energy.Does it actually make a significant reduction in our carbon footprint? Is it actually cost-effective for the company over the long-run?

A number of case studies have been conducted, which indicate solar energy can be enormously beneficial. Here are some of the most compelling studies on the subject.

1.     Boulder Nissan

When you think of companies that leverage solar power, car dealerships probably aren’t the first ones that come to mind. However, Boulder Nissan is highly committed to promoting green energy. They worked with Independent Power Systems to setup a number of solar cells. Here were the results:

  • Boulder Nissan has reduced coal generated electricity by 65%.
  • They are on track to run on 100% renewable energy within the next 13 years.
  • Boulder Nissan reduced CO2 emissions by 416,000 lbs. within the first year after installing their solar panels.

This is one of the most impressive solar energy case studies a small business has published in recent years. It shows that even small companies in rural communities can make a major difference by adapting solar energy.

2.     Valley Electric Association

In 2015, the Valley Electric Association (VEA) created an 80-acre solar garden. Before retiring from the legislature, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid praised the new project as a way to make the state more energy dependent and reduce our carbon footprint.

“This facility will provide its customers with the opportunity to purchase 100 percent of their electricity from clean energy produced in Nevada,” Reid told reporters with the Pahrump Valley Times. “That’s a step forward for the Silver State, but it also proves that utilities can work with customers to provide clean renewable energy that they demand.”

The solar energy that VEA produced was drastically higher than anyone would have predicted. SolarWorld estimates that the solar garden created 32,680,000 kwh every year, which was enough to power nearly 4,000 homes.

This was a major undertaking for a purple state, which may inspire their peers throughout the Midwest to develop solar gardens of their own. It will reduce dependency on the electric grid, which is a problem for many remote states in the central part of the country.

3.     Las Vegas Casinos

A number of Las Vegas casinos have started investing in solar panels over the last couple of years. The Guardian reports that many of these casinos have cut costs considerably. Some of them are even selling the energy back to the grid.

“It’s no accident that we put the array on top of a conference center. This is good business for us,” Cindy Ortega, chief sustainability officer at MGM Resorts told Guardian reporters. “We are looking at leaving the power system, and one of the reasons for that is we can procure more renewable energy on the open market.”

There have been many benefits for casinos using solar energy. They are some of the most energy-intensive institutions in the world, so this has helped them become much more cost-effective. It also helps minimize disruptions to their customers learning online keno strategies in the event of any problems with the electric grid.

4.     Boston College

Boston College has been committed to many green initiatives over the years. A group of researchers experimented with solar cells on different parts of the campus to see where they could produce the most electricity. They discovered that the best locationwas at St. Clement’sHall. The solar cells there dramatically. It would also reduce CO2 emissions by 521,702 lbs. a year and be enough to save 10,869 trees.

Boston College is exploring new ways to expand their usage of solar cells. They may be able to invest in more effective solar panels that can generate far more solar energy.

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