9 July, 2021 Member article

ARE Member EDP funds seven solar energy projects in five African countries

8 July 2021 – Several sustainable and clean energy projects will receive a total funding of half a million euros through the A2E Fund. Initiatives could benefit more than 30,000 people.

Solar energy is a common element in the seven projects that ARE Member EDP, through the A2E (Access to Energy) Fund, will support in five countries in Africa: Angola, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda and Malawi. From refrigeration systems for fish and fruit in local markets to the electrification of schools and health centres, or the supply of technologies that make it possible to desalinate water, all projects are based on the same renewable energy source: the sun.

The proposals selected in this third edition of the fund – from a total of 115 applications – now have a global funding of half a million euros, with which EDP intends to promote access to clean energy in remote and deprived regions, and thus helping to fight energy poverty in these territories. As in previous editions, the A2E Fund invests in initiatives in five priority areas – education, health, agriculture, companies and community – and values assessment criteria such as social impact, partnerships, sustainability, potential for expansion and financial viability.

Mozambique and Nigeria are the countries with the most projects in this edition, two each. In the first case, the projects to be funded are by the Luwire Wildlife Conservancy, which involves the creation of a solar system to power basic services for the local population and the irrigation of agricultural fields, and Viva con Agua by Sankt Pauli, which intends to give access to drinking water through desalination technology. In the case of Nigeria, both proposals involve refrigeration systems: Koolboks wants to install them in eight markets for fish sellers in the Lagos area and ColdHubs plans to create them to support a community of women farmers.

OffGridBox is the project that will be funded in Rwanda and aims to provide energy and clean water to six refugee camps. ADDP Angola wants to abandon diesel generators, replacing them with a renewable energy system to supply schools. Finally, the DAAP Malawi project is directly aimed at supplying a vocational school with electricity from a solar platform.

The A2E Fund thus continues the program started in 2018 that has already contributed a total of one million euros to 13 projects that have helped improving the lives of 65 thousand people and, indirectly, of about one million. Each of the projects in this new edition received between 25 thousand and 100 thousand euros, and it is estimated that its development can have a direct positive impact on the lives of 16 thousand people and also indirectly benefit more than 15 thousand people in these territories.

With this initiative, EDP reinforces its commitment to the sustainability of the planet, renewable energies and the need to fight poverty and lack of electric energy that still affect the lives of millions of people, especially in remote and poor rural communities in developing countries. Therefore, supporting these projects is a decisive contribution to guaranteeing a more sustainable, inclusive and fair future, in line with the company’s own ambition to be fully green by 2030 and to reinforce its commitment to society.

The mission of each project

  • It’s called OffGridBox and it aims to provide energy and clean water to six refugee camps in Rwanda. The project involves the installation of a ‘box’ in each of these communities that includes solar battery kits, LED lighting, a telephone charger and a container to collect purified water. Through this system, its users will be able to perform basic day-to-day tasks and also support other productive activities. It is estimated that the project will benefit at least 12,000 people.
  • Access to clean, potable water is one of the difficulties that the Viva con Agua project in Sankt Pauli hopes to overcome with a solar energy powered water desalination technology. Designed to benefit around 350 families in the Mozambican region of Catuane – and, in particular, the community’s primary school – this system will allow 750 students to receive free clean water and another 750 people to purchase it at affordable prices.
  • The main focus of the Luwire Wildlife Conservancy is to improve the quality of life, education, agriculture and nutrition of a community in the Niassa region of Mozambique. The project aims to create a basic solar energy infrastructure that serves the school, health center, agricultural irrigation system and also allows better lighting and facilitates electrical charging of equipment, from simple mobile phones to water purification systems or medicine and vaccines preservation. At least 380 people will be directly impacted by this initiative.
  • Sellers in markets in the region of Lagos, Nigeria, lose about 30% of their fish due to the lack of adequate conditions to preserve fresh items. This is the challenge that the Koolboks project intends to overcome with the creation of a refrigeration system that helps the activity of these women: in total, 150 Koolhome solar coolers are planned to be installed in eight markets, impacting around 120 saleswomen. In addition to fish, other perishable products such as meat or vegetables can be kept safe with this system.
  • One of the purposes of the ColdHubs project in Nigeria is to avoid wasting food because there are no refrigeration systems. With this system, women who sell fresh products (such as fruit or vegetables) will be able to prolong the life of these foods from two to 21 days, thus guaranteeing safer products and an improvement in the conditions and results of the business itself. The refrigeration systems to be created are powered by solar energy and directly impact the activity of 300 farmers and small traders.
  • ADDP Angola‘s project has the mission to replace diesel generators, which are highly polluting and have very high costs, with a renewable energy system to supply two schools in communities in the provinces of Bié and Cubango. With the installation of solar systems in these rural areas, around 420 children will have access to better (and longer) teaching conditions. Training sessions on how to maintain and manage these energy systems are also planned.
  • The DAAP Malawi project wants to create a solar energy system to supply a vocational training school with around 500 students. This will result in an increase in school hours (even when there is no longer natural light) and easier access to the internet, which is an additional factor of motivation for the students. In addition, the school will also provide training in the area of energy and electrification. The direct beneficiaries of this project are around one thousand, but indirectly it can impact 10,000 people in the Mikolongwe region.

All projects selected by the A2E Fund can be seen here.