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Unique off the grid club to focus attention on energy use in Africa

EnergyNet, the pioneering energy-focused organiser of forums and collaborations designed to facilitate investment into Africa’s power & industrial sectors, is launching the Off the Grid Club with the support of the Club’s founding members Shake Your Power, PowerTurtle and Solektra International. This unique membership programme kicks off in festival-style with a gig celebrating African music at the Africa Energy Forum in London on 23rd June.

The Off the Grid Club has been developed to provide a networking platform for technology providers and financiers working in Africa’s off grid energy space. The aim is to foster relationships between off-the-grid technology providers, micro-financiers and regional leaders in order to build momentum for the development of off-the- grid power solutions and energy access in Africa.

As organiser of the Off the Grid Club Gig, Sudha Kheterpal is well placed to understand the ability of music to unify people in a common cause. As well as Faithless, she has toured the world with huge acts including the Spice Girls and Dido, and has observed the energy required to run performances, as well as the energy required to give performances. This inspired her to start the Shake Your Power initiative to bring clean energy and education through the power of music.

An energy entrepreneur, Sudha introduced Spark, a percussion instrument that creates clean energy as it is played, providing much needed light or the ability to charge a mobile phone in parts of Africa where electricity does not reach.

The Off the Grid Club Gig brings together an eclectic mix of artists including Fuse ODG, the MOBO Award winning British-Ghanaian rapper; Imaani, the velvet voice behind iconic band, Incognito; Afriquoi, the five piece outfit that fuses African melodies and rhythms with house, funky, garage and dubstep; and DJ Rita Ray, the club and radio DJ who helped to revitalise the world music scene in London with the Mambo Inn.

“We have to draw attention to the energy and power needs of people throughout rural Africa, who have no electricity to rely on, which is why we are kicking off the Off the Grid Club with this event,” said Sudha Kheterpal. “My goal is to spread the word about how energy can be delivered cleanly, sustainably and economically through the use of technology solutions and by working together with EnergyNet and organising this gig, I believe this is the most powerful way to start that process.”

As well as Sudha, the other founding members of the Off the Grid Club include emerging technology companies, PowerTurtle, the mobile renewable energy platform fitted into a 6m shipping container, and Solektra International, whose goal is to find sustainable and affordable energy solutions for Africa.

The ‘off-the-grid’ focus of this initiative aims to take advantage of falling energy prices and improved battery technology, which together provide a viable way to access energy in rural locations. Two thirds of people living in Africa have no access to electricity, which also restricts their access to education and healthcare. The Off the Grid Club is determined to help Africa meet its target in the international drive for universal access to energy by 2030.

“We have to work together to find commercial opportunities for long-term, not just short-term development,” said Simon Gosling, Managing Director at EnergyNet “This means identifying market-ready products that are proven to deliver access to energy now, coupled with helping communities establish the infrastructure they can build on to stimulate economic growth moving forward. Off the grid energy has the advantage of lower set-up costs and lower energy costs, particularly in rural areas where the Grid has not been extended.”

Further information about the Off the Grid Club is available at www.offthegridclub.com