What is one of the most wasted sources of energy – a sustainable approach for delivering electricity to off-grid villages across the continent – it must be wind energy.
In the light of the global recognition for delivering electricity beyond city and industrial boundaries, EnergyNet has partnered with ‘Wind for Prosperity’, a Vestas initiative to deliver electricity to the poorest off-the-grid citizens across Africa.
More than 1.3 billion people across the globe lack access to affordable and reliable electricity. This has created a systemic and colossal backlog of demand on grids that only support urban and peri-urban areas. ‘Wind for Prosperity’ seeks to support government’s plans for industrial electrification by delivering electricity beyond the grid. Africa needs no less than $40 billion to supply at current rates of electrifications and this must be scaled to meet off-grid supply plus infrastructure.
‘Wind for Prosperity’ will create a world of new opportunities by accelerating access to clean water, healthcare, irrigation, education, communications infrastructure, and other social and economic benefits. It is different to most other corporate initiatives to alleviate poverty as the concept is commercially based and is more scalable and sustainable than efforts purely reliant on philanthropy and donations – it is business as a force for good.
Morten Albæk, Group Senior Vice President and CMO of Vestas commented “Every day at Vestas we think about solutions to make the world’s energy mix more sustainable and maintain our position as the global wind leader and technology developer. With more than 61 GW of installed wind turbines, comprising close to 19% of total global capacity, we understand the importance of delivering viable energy programmes and we’re delighted to partner with EnergyNet in Africa to increase the chances of delivering electricity to important corners of the continent, often overlooked due to challenging financial conditions.”
A study by the World Future Council (WFC) and the Heinrich Böll Foundation found that Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFiT) policies are a favourable tool to cascade renewable-energy development in Africa.
REFiTs has successfully increased the use of renewable technologies worldwide, with 65 countries implementing some form of a REFiT by 2012. This drove 64% of global wind installations and 87% of the photovoltaic capacity installations worldwide.
EnergyNet’s MD Simon Gosling added, “The potential for such an off-grid solution to support government objectives is huge both economically and politically and we’re delighted to partner with Vestas on such a potentially game changing venture; indirectly supporting industrial development, directly supporting local development.”
Excitingly ‘Wind for Prosperity’ also has the ‘EnergyNet Student Engagement Initiative (ESEI)’ which supports African student engineers from across the continent.