Enhancing access to renewable energy

There is no doubt that COVID19 has caused a devasting impact on people’s lives, businesses and the economy as a whole. As countries grapple with recovery efforts, all the fundamentals need to be in place for an accelerated transition. However, lack of reliable electricity supplies to drive economic activity, remains a major challenge, as exemplified by the recent blackouts in South Africa. Elsewhere on the continent, more than 600 million people have no access to reliable energy to meet their needs.

Off-grid energy solutions such as Photovoltaic (PV) solar, provide an excellent opportunity to build a resilient energy supply system, that can transform people’s lives and build a more equitable society. However, despite significant investments in off-grid energy solutions, their wide uptake is still relatively limited.

The African Centre for a Green Economy, convenors of the NEA are delighted to announce a new partnership with the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC), to undertake a comprehensive 3 years research aimed at building the ecosystem to scale up investments in off-grid energy solutions.

Among other things, the project will assess the effectiveness of different renewable energy technologies in accelerating green jobs creation and a low-carbon trajectory in Uganda and South Africa; analyze the equity and distribution implications of energy transition in vulnerable communities across gender, age, and income groups; develop potential financial and business models to deliver a just transition.

Here is what the IDRC’s project manager Dr Bhim Adhikari had to say “we are delighted about this opportunity to partner with the African Centre for a Green Economy, on building the evidence base for low carbon development trajectory in Africa. Off-grid energy solutions remains the most important solution to addressing Africa’s development challenges”

The Founder of African Centre for a Green Economy Dr Mao Amis says “For the last 6 years the NEA has been supporting green entrepreneurs in South Africa, we are thankful to the IDRC for enabling us continue doing this important work. We are even more excited about creating the platform for South
African green entrepreneurs to collaborate with their colleagues in the rest of the continent, especially Uganda that is regarded as one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the World”.