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Startup|Energy has been supporting African startups in the field of decentralised renewable energies since 2019. A new programme is now targeting a often neglected group of people: innovators from universities.
Around 700 million people living in developing countries, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, lack access to electricity, while several billion have either no power or only intermittent access from unstable, unreliable electricity grids.
©Solar Energy Foundation Ethiopia
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare electrification initiatives have seen robust growth, with a notable focus on smaller and rural health centres and a shift towards larger, more comprehensive power solutions.
Photovoltaics system at Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania, in Morogoro. Photo by Christine Lamanna/CIFOR-ICRAF
Solar power is emblematic of the transition to greener energy generation, and offers especially critical on- and off-grid options for the planet’s rural communities – 73 percent of which still lack reliable electricity.
Figure 1: Air Quality Index map showing Air Quality across West Africa (Live map accessed on 05/02/2024  at 16:00).
It is very evident that the current climate in most parts of Ghana is does not permit installed solar panels to generate optimum electricity due to excessive dust and other molecular particles seen in the sky.
More and more households in South Africa are opting to install their own solar power. Wildside57/Getty Images
Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned power utility, struggles to generate and supply a stable flow of electricity to meet demand. In 2023, there were times when households and businesses had no power for up to 11 hours a day. Eskom has warned that load shedding will be worse in 2024.
Nearly 775 million people around the globe are estimated to have no access to electricity. In 2022, that number rose for the first time since the International Energy Agency (IEA) began tracking it. Most of the increase occurred in African states, where about 600 million people currently lack access.


Dr. Harald Schützeichel

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