A British energy firm lighting up homes in Africa with pay-as-you-go solar power has secured £40m to extend its reach to Asia with the help of Japan’s Mitsubishi. The conglomerate has taken a stake in off-grid solar company BBOXX through the start-up’s latest funding round, which will power the Africa-focused company deeper into Asia. The funds will also help BBOXX, which operates in Rwanda, Kenya, Togo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to break into new African markets, where an estimated one in three people live without reliable access to electricity. BBOXX is one of a growing number of energy companies to plug into the demand for energy across Africa and south Asia. The falling cost of solar technology and the strength of mobile banking across Africa have encouraged major investments from global energy companies including US giant General Electric and France’s EDF and Engie.
Guardian 28th Aug 2019 read more »
The African Development Bank is building new financing structures to support the next generation of power companies hoping to revolutionise energy distribution and connect the 50 per cent of African households without access to electricity. Electrification strategies have long focused on producing energy in centralised power stations and distributing it to users down transmission lines. Highly effective in densely populated cities, that approach has proven prohibitively expensive in many African countries where the cost of last mile connections in rural communications can reach $2,000 per household, which utilities companies have been reluctant to pay. “We’ve realised that if you’re going to connect the over 600m Africans that do not have access to electricity you have to adopt a number of different, innovative approaches,” says Wale Shonibare, the AfDB acting vice-president for power, energy, climate change and green growth. “You can’t do everything by extending the grid,” he says. One of Mr Shonibare’s plans is to help so-called distributed energy companies – which provide off-grid, largely solar-powered electricity solutions – to expand and ultimately service state utilities to provide energy to customers.
FT 28th Aug 2019 read more »