Mini-grids can get power to the people with government support that is simple, equitable and results-focused. As global energy systems evolve to be smarter, cleaner, and more consumer-centric, sub-Saharan Africa has a unique opportunity to build the power grid of the future, while also connecting more than 600 million people to electricity for the first time. Achieving these objectives, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), will depend largely on renewable, reliable, and modular community-based power plants and distribution systems called mini-grids. It will also require commitment from both the private sector and the public sector. The private sector will need to bring innovation, efficiency, relentless emphasis on customer service, and private capital.
In February, Kenyans awoke to news that has become an annual ritual: Authorities were considering temporarily shutting down hydropower dams, the country’s largest source of electricity. The reason was the one given each dry season for the last four years – too long without rain had left too little water in reservoirs to turn the turbines and generate power. Kenya Power Ltd., the national electricity utility, has so far always managed to avoid a full shutdown, instead turning off just a few turbines at a time. But to make up the gap it has turned to more expensive – and polluting – diesel generators to keep the country plugged in.
(By Luther-Jones Natasha/Daily Monitor, 26 March 2018)
- Regional attention . Discussing solutions. Recently at the East Africa Energy and Infrastructure Summit that took place in Kampala, PPAs, and potential off-grid solutions, took centre stage, attracting delegates from international equity investors and debt providers, leading international utility and regulatory companies, as well as a variety of African organisations from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia.