In international news, the UK International Development Minister, Grant Shapps, announced last week that the department has launched its Energy Africa campaign aimed at accelerating the expansion of household solar throughout the African continent.
Promoting the solar market
Solar Love reported that the campaign aims to reach the objective of universal access to modern energy services by 2030, through the creation of 4.5 million jobs in the off-grid-renewables-based electricity sector.
Energy Africa intends to promote the development of Africa’s emerging solar market by working with African governments, investors, businesses, NGOs, think tanks, and other donors.
“It is shocking that around two out of three of the African population have no electricity in their homes. This not only holds back individuals, but entire nations. It prevents businesses from trading and holds back economic growth – indeed outages cost African countries 1-2% of their annual GDP,” Shapps said.
Speaking at the launch, founder of the Virgin Corporation, Richard Branson, said the company plans to invest in a number of projects to help turn the situation around.
“Solar is a tremendous opportunity for African countries to leapfrog traditional carbon intense energy systems to a cost effective, clean energy future.”
“Brought to scale, it will give countries a stable, reliable energy source and boost job growth, he said.