EDP will award EUR 450,000 to six African solar projects in Mozambique, Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania through the A2E (Access to Energy) fund, which aims to support clean energy in developing countries.
“In the first edition of the Fund, six projects in East Africa were selected from 108 candidates from all over the world,” António Mexia, told the president of EDP.
The money will be spent on promoting access to energy “in remote rural areas, with no connection to the network,” in projects that will benefit about 55,000 people, including 10,000 directly.
The organizations can receive between 25 thousand and 100 thousand euros and will have to implement their projects until the beginning of next year.
In Mozambique, Girl MOVE Academy’s “Energy for a Better Future” program was created to create a solar power station for ECOCampus and the institution’s information technology centre to increase the number of hours training.
UN-Habitat is the promoter of the other Mozambican project: three solar power systems to supply schools affected by natural disasters, which also includes the installation of emergency warning systems, internet access and charging stations and generate revenue for schools.
In Kenya, the Co-operative Bank Foundation plans to install solar greenhouses in 12 schools, along with irrigation systems, to produce food that will be directed to school students or sold in local markets if there are surpluses.
In the Kakuma Refugee Camp (Kenya), the OKAPI Green Energy project of SAVIC Africa will build a photo-voltaic mini-grid to provide electricity to 150 homes and 50 commercial customers.
Fundación Energía Sin Fronteras will offer photovoltaic panels to electrify the buildings of the St. Mary Rehabilitation Center in Malawi, providing 24-hour medical care and drinking water for 130 orphans with HIV.
In Tanzania, the Sustainable Investment and Development Initiative (SIDI) will provide access to energy for 1,500 fishermen and commercial and public outlets on a remote island through a photovoltaic mini-grid.
António Mexia stressed that projects have a direct impact “on the lives of thousands of people” creating a “very interesting multiplier effect“. “There are studies that prove that every dollar invested in access to energy has a multiplier of 15 times“, translating into a return of $ 15, he said.
The A2E Fund has a million euros to apply to projects of organizations working in the areas of education, health, water and agriculture, business and community, chosen according to criteria such as social impact, partnerships, sustainability, expansion potential and number of beneficiaries. The second edition should be released later this year.
Last year, EDP invested two million euros in the purchase of a minority stake in SolarWorks !, a Dutch domestic solar systems company operating in Mozambique.
The operation marked the start of EDP’s project to promote universal access to sustainable energy, which provides for an investment of 12 million euros over the next three years, with an impact on 200,000 people in developing countries.
According to António Mexia, EDP remains attentive to Africa seeking “decentralized management models“.
The EDP official said that centralized infrastructure, with large networks, is “relatively expensive to reach dispersed populations and management of collection was” often called into question “, compromising the financial return on investments.
In the case of decentralized systems, besides being sustainable, “they are also cheaper” and substitute other “highly polluting” equipment that used firewood, diesel or oil.
Without revealing potential acquisitions, Mexia said that EDP wants “very focused companies” that have the economic and financial management and the contact with the end user “well resolved“, without restrictions of countries.