A study has attempted to provide detailed analysis of the beneficial impact off-grid renewables, led by solar, are having on people in the world’s least developed countries.
The microgrid utility has raised enough capital from Shell New Energies to deploy systems across sub-Saharan Africa.
Industry body Gogla and the World Bank’s Lighting Global program said the last six months set a record for off-grid solar deployment. Solar home systems and other small off-grid appliances are being used in ever larger numbers.
Crossboundary Energy Access (CBEA) was established in January with large investment contributions from Rockefeller and Shell Foundations. The funding facility, which said it would work to unlock $11 billion in funding for the electrification of 100 million people in Africa, has penciled its first transaction with PowerGen Renewable Energy.
A new report analyzing 10 solar markets throughout Africa claims that the continent’s PV market could expand from about 5 GW at present to up to 30 GW by the end of the next decade.
As RP Global starts work on 11 solar hybrid mini-grids on Lake Victoria that will supply electricity to 160,000 people, analyst Wood Mackenzie has released a report stating how increased capital flows in the sector may still fall short of securing universal electricity access by 2030. Nonetheless, off-grid solar is the cheapest and most viable solution for remote areas and attracts investment from fossil fuel majors and venture capital funds.
Crossboundary Energy Access – which claims to be the continent’s first mini-grid financing facility – wants to unlock $11 billion in private capital to bring energy to 100 million people in sub-Saharan Africa. Raising capital has been a struggle despite mini-grids being lauded as a solid solution for electrification.
Zola Electric has received financial backing worth $32.5 million from social investment firm Symbiotics and the Dutch development bank FMO. The lending facility will be used to grow Zola’s operations in Tanzania over the following five years.
During COP24, U.K. Energy Minister Claire Perry announced that her government will increase its efforts to help bring clean energy to Sub-Saharan Africa. A total of $126 million will be channeled via the REPP platform, which has already realized 18 projects with a considerable number of beneficiaries.
A report from the United States’ Rocky Mountain Institute finds more work is needed on the demand side for microgrids and other rural electrification projects in Africa. Such projects, says the report, often focus on building generation capacity, with little consideration for the ability of end users to make good use of energy.
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