27 February, 2024 ARE article

Powering Progress: DRE Solutions Ignite Industry and Rural Development

In the current landscape of sustainable energy solutions, decentralised renewable energy (DRE) emerges as a transformative force, particularly for empowering industries and communities in remote and underserved regions. By harnessing renewable sources such as solar, wind, bioenergy, and hydropower at or near the point of consumption, decentralised solutions ensure a reliable, modern, and environmentally friendly power supply.


Despite significant strides in expanding electricity access to underserved areas in recent years, there remains a notable gap in fully realising its potential. To bridge this divide and fully harness the benefits of rural electrification, the Productive Use of Renewable Energy (PURE) emerges as an innovative solution. By generating revenue for rural communities, empowering remote industries, and stimulating demand for clean electricity, PURE facilitates sustainable economic development at both the household and industrial levels. This comprehensive approach spans industries ranging from farming and fishing to telecommunications and mining, underscoring its transformative impact on local economies.

In view of this, the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) Members take the forefront in implementing renewable energy solutions in rural areas to enhance productivity and income.

ARE actively advocates for the adoption of PURE across industries, leveraging partnerships like with ADEME to bolster rural economic development. In this regard, ARE organised workshops and exhibitions in Benin and Cameroon, with the support of ADEME, introducing PURE equipment to local farmers, thereby extending the reach and effectiveness of the work. In Benin, the workshops took place in Natitingou and Allada. Each two-day workshop included presentation sessions, discussions, site visits, and exhibitions, attracting a total of 119 participants. Cameroon also saw two workshops in Ndé region, attracting 78 participants. The testimonials from both countries are available on ARE’s Youtube Channel.

To present the outcomes of its PURE campaign, ARE took the centre stage at the PROMOTE 2024 Trade Fair in Cameroon. ARE attended a panel in Cameroon – EU Business Week to talk about the upcoming publication on the Electrification of Health Centres in sub-Saharan Africa. ARE also met Cameroon’s Minister of Energy, participating in discussions on renewable electrification of the country.

ARE with Minister of Energy in Cameroon

Furthermore, with the support of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, ARE organised two public-private dialogues in Senegal and Ghana to show the potential of DRE on green job creation while enhancing productivity. The dialogues brought together government representatives, private sector companies, and development organisations. A virtual public-private dialogue was also held in December with government entities and private sector representatives throughout West Africa for knowledge sharing between the countries on their approaches. In conjunction with the Dialogue in Senegal, CORE Initiative rolled out training sessions on system design, supply and installation of mini-grids and trained 15 trainers for the Ecole Supérieure Polytechnique de Dakar.

Covering the entire life cycle of DRE equipment, ARE, with its Partners, launched a new project titled Partnership for Responsible Battery and Metal Recycling (ProBaMet). The project aims to improve battery recycling in Nigeria while raising labour and environmental standards and establishing sustainable trade flows for raw materials.

Finally, powering both industries and households while exploring synergies between these sectors presents a massive and growing opportunity. Yet, persistent challenges, particularly in securing ample and accessible financing for project implementation and connections, remain. That’s why we’re spearheading the ARE Energy Access Investment Forum 2024 in Lagos, Nigeria, slated for 21-23 May. This pivotal event will actively address these obstacles and facilitate partnerships between businesses and investors. Don’t miss out—registrations are now open, offering a chance to actively engage in this transformative event and drive rural empowerment through DRE solutions.

In the pursuit of advancing global electricity access, DRE shines as a beacon of hope. With ARE and its Members leading the charge, we can empower communities and drive sustainable economic growth in remote areas. Let’s seize this moment to unite, collaborate, and invest in the transformative power of DRE for a brighter, more electrified future.

David Lecoque   |   CEO   |   d.lecoque@ruralelec.org