Mini Grids Bringing Energy Access To Madagascar
Mini Grids Are Bringing Clean Energy Access to Madagascar
Energy solutions from the sun
While the Government of Madagascar has set a target of reaching a 70% electricity access rate by 2030, there is a lot to achieve in just a few years. But progress is being made, and as part of its Africa Mini grids Programme, UNDP is working with 21 African countries - including Madagascar - to help scale up the potential of renewable energy mini grids (in particular solar-battery mini grids) to address their energy access issues.
The UNDP Programme is a country-led technical assistance programme for solar mini grids, it is a multi-partner effort to establish the enabling environment for subsequent private investment at scale. Minigrids are thought to be the least expensive method for bringing electricity to at least 265 million people in Africa by 2030, according to UNDP modelling. You can read more about the Africa Minigrids Programme here.
In their latest investment raise on Energise Africa, Aptech raised finance to install two new mini grids that will provide energy to Androka and Manatenina, two rural communities in Madagascar, as part of a project for UNDP. The offer raised £300,000 to fund the upfront costs of building and installing the mini grids. That will provide life-changing electricity access to the people in these communities.
Why mini grids?
As a reliable and sustainable solution to the energy issues many communities on the continent are facing, solar mini grids have attracted a lot of interest and momentum in Africa. In order to close the energy gap, these mini grids, which are small-scale, decentralised electricity generation and distribution systems that primarily rely on solar power, provide clean, affordable electricity to off-grid or underserved communities in Africa, particularly rural areas where grid access is still some distance away.
Solar mini grids harness energy from the abundant sunlight in Africa, making them an environmentally friendly and sustainable source of power. They reduce reliance on fossil fuels, which is not only beneficial for the users but also mitigates the effects of climate change.
And it’s not just the environment that benefits. Solar mini-grids are usually locally owned and operated, empowering local entrepreneurs and creating job opportunities, contributing to economic development and poverty reduction.
On top of this, solar mini grids are known for their reliability, especially in regions with inconsistent grid access. They increase the standard of living and productivity for businesses in rural areas by offering a reliable source of electricity for lighting, operating appliances, and powering small businesses. A lot of solar mini grids use battery storage systems to store extra energy produced during sunny periods and provide electricity at night or on overcast days. As a result, the system is more reliable and the supply of power is constant.
Why is invest in mini grids needed?While we can see that solar mini grids offer multiple benefits, there are also challenges to their rollout, such as high initial costs, maintenance costs, and the need for communities to get on board. Addressing these challenges will require a multi-faceted approach involving governments, donors, and the private sector, and this is the approach the UNDP mini grid project is taking.
Investments in bonds such as those offered by Aptech on Energise Africa will help address the primary cost challenge, enabling this pioneering renewable energy organisation to create more mini grids as part of UNDP projects. They will be launching a second mini grid investment opportunity on the Energise Africa platform soon. Register for investment alerts from us if you want to be informed when this goes live.
The future of mini grids in Africa
Given all the benefits they can provide, the adoption of solar mini-grids in Africa is expected to grow, especially as the cost of solar technology continues to decrease. They play a vital role in achieving SDG 7, which aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030. Solar mini grids are a promising solution to expand energy access, promote sustainability, and drive economic development in rural African communities. They are a critical step towards achieving universal electrification and improving the overall well-being of people across the continent.
Don't invest unless you're prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 minutes to learn more: https://www.energiseafrica.com/risk-summary.