The French utility, ENGIE, has announced its plans to launch off-grid energy in Africa at the Africa Energy Forum. The news was revealed at the event, which took place between 19-22 June in Mauritius, with ENGIE confirming it intends to expand its solar home system (SHS) and mini-grid activities. Through its unit, ENGIE PowerCorner, the firm will introduce new mini-grid projects to Zambia, whilst the Fenix subsidiary will target Côte d’Ivoire with its SHS. The recent plans are part of the company’s ultimate goal to supply access to decarbonised, decentralised energy provision to 20mn people globally by 2020.
“Advances in decentralised energy put universal access within reaching distance, but the scale of the challenge is significant,” stated Yoven Moorooven, CEO of ENGIE Africa. “As governments work hard to improve electrification rates, decentralised solutions must be part of the mix.” “The extension of national grids, combined with the development of local mini-grids and solar home systems can together be a viable solution towards the UN's 7th Sustainable Development Goal, provision of affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.” “Demand for clean and safe energy across Africa is continuing to increase, and the supply needs to rise in both speed and quantity.” “It is encouraging to see a number of African governments and regulators putting renewable energy at the core of their energy policies and implementing much-needed supporting regulations.” (African Business Chief)