SE4All Africa Hub to provide technical assistance to Green Mini-Grids developers
AA – The Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Africa Hub, hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), recently signed a service contract with a consortium of GVEP International and INENSUS GmbH to provide technical assistance to developers of Green Mini-Grids.
The SE4All Africa Hub is implementing a Green Mini-Grid Market Development Program (GMG MDP) to facilitate across Africa the creation of a Green Mini-Grid movement and enabling environment funded through the Bank’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA). To achieve universal access to modern energy by 2030, as prescribed by the SE4All objectives, Africa will require substantial investments into national power grids, off-grid solar home systems, and isolated mini-grids.
The GVEP/INENSUS consortium will provide business development services (BDS) to Green Mini-Grid developers, assisting them on a wide range of issues, from business planning, market development and grid design to project finance, grid operation and maintenance. The BDS helpdesk will be operational and open to requests for support from mini-grid developers by July this year.
GVEP International, based in London, is a non-profit organization that advises off-grid energy businesses, in order to reduce poverty through accelerated access to energy. INENSUS GmbH is a German consultancy firm for private sector driven mini-grid electrification. ENERSA S.A. and JUMEME Ltd., which was supported earlier through a SEFA project preparation grant, are INENSUS subsidiaries and mini-grid utility businesses supplying electricity from wind-solar-diesel/solar hybrid power systems with battery storage, demand side and load management to customers in rural villages of Senegal and Tanzania, respectively.
SE4All Africa Hub Coordinator at the AfDB, Daniel-Alexander Schroth, , stressed that “Mini-Grids are a key piece of the puzzle to solving Africa’s energy access challenge and a priority theme under the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa. We are therefore delighted that we could mobilize with GVEP/INENSUS an experienced team to provide support to mini-grid developers”.
For his part, CEO of GVEP, Ben Good, commented: “The technical assistance arrangements that GVEP/INENSUS are designing with the Bank, has the potential to add significantly to the pace of progress in the GMG sector in Africa. But this will only happen if it is centered on the needs of Developers; it is therefore our objective to set new standards of client service in the delivery of this technical assistance. «The first phase of the Green Mini-Grid Market Development Program was launched in late 2015. The Program operates alongside five “business lines”: (1) Market intelligence relative to GMG development at the African country level; (2) Business Development Services; (3) Policy and enabling environment development; (4) Access to financing for GMG project developers; and (5) Technical standardization and quality control of mini-grids (which will be operationalized in a second phase of the MDP).
The GMG MDP works in close collaboration with other partners including in the context of the SE4All High-Impact Opportunity on Clean Energy Mini-Grids, and it was also referenced in the G20 Action Plan on Energy Access in Sub-Saharan Africa adopted in October 2015. Africa has been at the forefront of the implementation of the SE4All Initiative and the AfDB hosts the SE4All Africa Hub since May 2013 in partnership with the African Union Commission, the NEPAD Planning and Coordination and Planning Agency and the UNDP.
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