Small off-grid firms increase access to power in Sub-Saharan Africa

*Solar panels.

*Solar panels.

25 December 2015, Kigali – Small-and-medium power firms have increased access to energy in sub-Saharan Africa, and significantly reduced carbon emissions and threats to climate.

According to a new report by Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP) International, this has helped provide a safer and healthier environment to over 12 million people.

According to Ben Good, the GVEP chief executive, at least 11.7 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are enjoying improved access to renewable energy technologies which do not pose a threat to the climate.

The GVEP 2015 Annual Review indicates that off-grid service providers have significantly contributed toward access to affordable energy and the development of a low-carbon economy.

This has helped save at least 8.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide so far, while $59 million (about Rwf44 billion) has been leveraged to support the development of a wide range of energy businesses.

The report notes that it is important for sub-Sahara governments and stakeholders to increase investments to support the expansion of energy access in off-grid areas to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development.

It indicates that achieving universal access to electricity will require a combination of grid-based and off-grid solutions, noting that 60 per cent of the power required to achieve universal electricity access would come from off-grid solutions.

GVEP is a London-based NGO that works with local energy firms in developing countries to increase access to affordable and sustainable energy solutions.

The organisation has operations in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal, and the Caribbeans.
*Jean d’Amour Mugabo – The New Times

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