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Power for All receives UK support to help Africa’s poor through distributed renewables



Power for All and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) have joined forces to advance the rapid uptake of distributed renewable energy in Africa to improve hundreds of millions of lives.

Britain’s International Development Minister Grant Shapps announced new UK support to Power for All to advance policy and financial environments conducive to achieving universal energy access through off-grid energy solutions by 2025. Power for All will work to accelerate markets for distributed renewable energy in a dozen African countries involved in the Energy Africa campaign, which Minister Shapps launched in London on 22 October 2015.

Power for All is a global education and advocacy initiative that joins leading private sector and civil society practitioners and implementers to advance renewable, decentralized solutions as the fastest, most cost-effective and sustainable approach to universal energy access.

It recently committed to recruiting at least 100 partners over the next year, including representatives from the solar, wind, biomass, mini-grid and micro-hydro sectors. Critical to Power for All’s success are the many African entrepreneurs, businesses and civil society organizations who are creating a vibrant market for distributed renewables, but need more policy and financial support to scale modern energy services more rapidly.

Grant Shapps said: “I have seen for myself the way solar energy can improve the lives of some of the world’s poorest people. The technology is there, and yet around two out of three Africans have no electricity in their homes. Power for All has the potential to transform energy access in Africa by bringing together civil society and the private sector to break down barriers that are stifling the market.

“When combined with the efforts of African nations and our new Energy Africa campaign, we have the power to help millions of people lift themselves out of poverty and boost the growth of an entire continent. This is not just good for Africa – it is good for Britain too.”

Power for All seeks to act as a unifying voice for scaling the distributed renewable, off-grid sector, which currently provides energy services to more customers than many of the world’s largest electricity utilities.

Power for All Director Kristina Skierka said: “The Power for All initiative is focused on enabling ambitious and measurable action that will deliver on the promise of clean, affordable universal energy access. The off-grid technology exists today to eradicate energy poverty, and Power for All is committed to positioning distributed renewable energy to leap-frog centralized energy systems that are impractical, unsustainable and too expensive.

“It’s only through global and national collaboration that we can rapidly achieve scale for distributed renewables. By working together with industry, NGOs and governments, we can make the biggest difference and go well beyond the current projections for universal energy access. Power for All is 100% behind the Energy Africa campaign and greatly appreciates the support DFID is providing our bottom-up initiative.”

Power for All will use the new support for three main areas of focus:

Behaviour change: raising awareness and changing behaviour to mainstream distributed renewable energy

Advocacy: Recruiting and educating African advocates, policymakers and investors to promote sector growth

Market activation: Helping to create supportive in-country environments for market-building and the rapid deployment of distributed renewable energy