Image: Rural electrification agency.
The European renewable energy developer, Statkraft, is working with the international development organization SolarAid to tackle energy poverty through solar energy in sub-Saharan Africa over the next three years.
Statkraft will provide $ 2.7 million in cash and equipment during that time to support SolarAid's work. The donations will be used for clean, safe and simple solar lighting to ensure that all households, schools and clinics in the region have access to energy by 2030.
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According to Statkraft, 548 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are currently living in energy poverty. The International Energy Agency, in a worst-case theory outlined in its Stated Policies Scenario, expects that number to reach 630 million by 2030 due to the economic slowdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic across Africa will rise.
The donation to SolarAid follows the acquisition of Solarcentury by Statkraft, a renewable energy company and founder of SolarAid. The donation is also part of Statkraft's efforts to support progress in achieving SDG7 to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” and to combat climate change.
The solar revolution is already underway
John Keane, CEO of Solar Aid, said, “While grid electrification will not reach most of rural sub-Saharan Africa in our lifetime, the solar lighting revolution is happening right now, helping to illuminate millions of homes that would otherwise kept in the dark. Together we can end the darkness. “
The money and equipment are targeted at regions or households that currently rely on expensive, dangerous, and toxic light sources such as candles and kerosene. Healthcare facilities will benefit from the donation as health care workers can perform life-threatening procedures under light and store vaccines such as those against COVID-19 in solar-powered refrigerators for safe administration.
Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, CEO of Statkraft said solar power is a simple and affordable solution for those who have no choice but to rely on kerosene or candles: “We are excited to be working with a charity on such a critical mission . This partnership began with the acquisition of Solarcentury in 2020 and we are excited to work with SolarAid to ensure access to modern energy for all. “