Ten African Countries Receive Access to Low-Cost Solar Energy

Ten African countries are set to benefit from access to low-cost solar energy.

A Mauritius-based company ‘ToughStuff’ announced that it will expand access to low-cost, durable solar panels and solar battery packs to low-income communities in 10 African countries (Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, South Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe) and four South Asian countries (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Nepal).

The solar provider will provide acces to low-cost solar energy for 33 million people in Africa and Asia for the next four years.

Nellis Solar Power Plant in the United States, one of the largest photovoltaic power plants in North America.

The initiative is part of a United Nations-backed initiative to fight poverty.

The company’s efforts are part of Business Call to Action (BCta). The BCtA is a global initiative that encourages private sector efforts to fight poverty, supported by several international organizations including the UN Global Compact.

The company expects to help consumers who previously relied on kerosene or biomass fuel to save a combined total of US $520 million on lower energy costs while reducing carbon emissionsby up to 1.2 million tonnes by 2016.

The company will rely on a network of village-level entrepreneurs that are provided with training on how to sell, rent, or provide access to affordable energy services.

“Companies like ToughStuff invest in communities by providing cleaner, healthier energy options through core business operations.” – Susan Chaffin, programme manager for BCtA

She states that the commitment will help to boost development and improve social equity in a sustainable way that is good for the environment and good for business.

According to the UN;

  • One in every 5 people on earth lives without access to electricity and the opportunities it provides for learning and earning a living.
  • Sub Saharan Africa is the region most acutely affected by energy poverty in Kenya just 18 per cent of homes have power.

    UN reports an estimated 1.5 billion people still do not have access to electricity, and around 3 billion people rely on traditional biomass and coal as their primary source of energy.

    The initiative will also help to further the goals of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, launched by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in September.

    Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the sun. It has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar energy technologies include solar heating, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal electricity and solar architecture.

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