Microgrids an Afterthought in Obama’s $7 Billion Africa Electrification Push
In the second leg of his whistle-stop tour of Africa, U.S. President Barack Obama recently promised to provide $7 billion in funding to boost the African power infrastructure. The ultimate aim is to deliver electricity to more Africans, with initial projects located in Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Mozambique. According to figures released by the White House, a staggering 66% of the Sub-Saharan Africa population live without access to electricity.
Out of the $7 billion pledge, a paltry $2 million has been dedicated to the development of off-grid solutions. The U.S. African Development Foundation will be spearheading the initiative, together with General Electric Africa, which will bestow USD$100,000 each to 20 African that renewable energy-backed off-grid solutions. Considering the International Energy Agency’s estimates that 55% of new connections will need be off-grid in order to reach universal access by 2030, the amount the Obama administration has set aside for the microgrid development is underwhelming.
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