Sustainable Energy for All’s Africa Hub, hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), has launched a Green Mini-Grid Help Desk to support project developers delivering renewable energy to rural areas through decentralised mini-grids.
Today, 645 million Africans, nearly 60% of the population of Africa, don’t have access to electricity. According to the International Energy Agency, by 2040, 70% of new rural supply in sub-Saharan Africa will be from off-grid sources and mini-grids – two-thirds of it powered by renewables as a result of falling costs, technological advancements and more efficient appliances.
Green Mini-Grids are small electricity networks developed to provide renewable power to households, businesses and institutions in rural communities.
“Mini-grids are a key piece of the energy access puzzle in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Daniel-Alexander Schroth, Coordinator of the SE4All Africa Hub. “The GMG Help Desk will be a key tool to accelerate the deployment of private sector-led mini-grid projects in support of the New Deal on Energy for Africa’s vision of universal energy access in Africa by 2025”.
The GMG Help Desk provides on-line technical assistance on a wide range of activities important to the business cycle of developing and operating a clean energy mini-grid. The portal provides knowledge products and tutorials on setting up a mini-grid business, site selection, legal and compliance issues, mini-grid business models, technical system design, community and stakeholder engagement, financing, procurement, installation and commissioning, operation and maintenance.
The portal also includes country-specific information, and project developers can apply through the portal for bespoke support on their projects.
The GMG Help Desk is part of the larger Green Mini Grid Market Development Program implemented by the SEforALL Africa Hub and funded through the AfDB’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA).
It was designed and will be operated for the Program by Energy4Impact and INENSUS GmbH. Energy4Impact (formerly 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 is a German consultancy firm for private-sector-driven mini-grid electrification.