Microgrids bring first-time electricity access to 80,000 people in West Africa
Developed in response to the 2014 Ebola crisis, 32 solar microgrids will provide first-time access to electricity to 80,000 people in West Africa.
The Movamba project — which will add 1.3 megawatts of renewable energy capacity — aims to increase system capacity and improve resilience by connecting directly to hospitals and clinics in rural Sierra Leone. As part of the agreement with the government, developer Energicity must also provide the minimum daily amount of power required by community health centers free of charge.
A $1.25 million loan from the UK government-funded Renewable Energy Performance Platform will support the completion and operation of the project. The loan is REPP’s first investment in a majority women-led company.
“With the support of REPP’s USD 1.25 million loan, the project is not only providing a source of reliable power to the districts’ under-pressure health clinics, but once completed will have connected almost 80,000 local people and small businesses to electricity for the first time,” said Nicole Poindexter, CEO and Founder of Energicity Corporation. “These people include Kadiatu Maseray, who with affordable and reliable electricity has increased the profits of her cold drinks business by 300% and the Conakry Dee Junior School, which has seen a 25% increase in attendance and a 235% increase in students passing since being connected to its local mini-grid.”
International financing for clean energy and climate change resiliency will be a focus of the United Nations COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland next month. Developed countries committed in 2009 to provide $100 billion annually in climate finance to developing countries by 2020.
A report released in September by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found that developed countries mobilized $79.6 billion in 2019. Research from the World Resources Institute determined that most developed countries are not contributing their fair share toward meeting the $100 billion goals.
“Three major economies — the United States, Australia, and Canada — provided less than half their share of the financial effort in 2018, based on objective indicators such as the size of their economies and their greenhouse gas emissions,” WRI authors wrote. “Other nations that provided less than half of their fair share were Greece, Iceland, New Zealand, and Portugal. In total, more than a dozen developed countries were falling short of their responsibilities.