A new report, published by GVEP International, highlights the impact of small and medium-sized enterprises in delivering energy access in sub-Saharan Africa without increasing carbon emissions. Poor communities in off-grid areas are gaining access to energy at an accelerating rate, through distributed, renewable energy technologies which do not pose a threat to our climate.
“Almost 12 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are enjoying improved access to energy due to the growth of the 3,000 businesses we support. Collectively these businesses are contributing to the eradication of energy poverty and to the development of a low-carbon economy,” says Ben Good, GVEP’s CEO.
Poverty cannot be eradicated and sustainable development cannot be delivered without investments to support the expansion of energy access in off-grid areas, where most of the world’s poor live, claims the report.
As of today, such investments only target large government-led infrastructure projects. Achieving universal access to electricity requires a combination of grid-based and off-grid solutions.
In fact, nearly 60% of the additional generation required to achieve universal electricity access needs to come from off-grid solutions – both stand-alone and mini-grids. This is the domain of small and medium-sized enterprises operating in remote locations close to consumers. Access for off-grid areas can be achieved through affordable, renewable energy solutions.
The Annual Review provides many examples of the different ways GVEP is working with entrepreneurs to help them realise their visions of profitable growth whilst expanding access to energy from renewable sources such as solar.
“Their growth is testament to the effectiveness of our model”, says Ben Good. “Our, strategy going forward continues to be focussed on providing those enterprises with business and technical advice, and helping them to access capital.”
“In the medium term, our goal is to have a cumulative impact of 20 million people with better access to energy by 2020. That is a huge number of people to have in their lives more light, less smoke and better livelihoods.”
Source: GVEP International