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Off-grid 94 - Rural electrification still hampered by grid extension dogma

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Dear Blue Blue,

The good news this week is that several African and Asian governments are again starting to draw up rural electrification strategies. The bad news is that many of these seem still to be driven primarily by grid extension supporters. Of course well managed national grids are in a perfect world a good solution, and it’s not just the developing world that has a problem in this respect - witness the controversy in the UK over Hinckley Point. We believe that off-grid energy provision has a major role to play and it seems that many of the articles we have come across support this view. Note for example the Kenyan blogger who implores his government to consider off-grid solutions because of the failings of the country’s grid, the cautionary note by the Tanzanian press on their country’s dash for gas. Match this with the investments in mini grids in Niger, India and Kenya and exciting new biomass and solar plants being opened in Malaysia, Uganda and Madagascar. Most of all read about the impact of pay-as-you-go solar systems in Zimbabwe in areas the grid has no hope of reaching by 2030.
 

Top Stories

Uganda Takes World Bank Loan To Fund Off-Grid Investment
The Ugandan Cabinet has approved a USD71M World Bank Loan to increase power access to power by 22 by 2022. Some of the beneficiary districts include Gulu, Lira, Nebbi, Arua, Kole, Oyam and Nwoya. Also approved, is a request by the minister of energy to issue three petroleum production licenses to Total EP UGANDA B.V. [...]

URN (03.08.16)

RIG Says Renewables Are Key Part Of Rwandan Energy Policy
A greater energy mix, better infrastructure and advanced skills development are among the benefits to be seen in Rwanda through increased regional integration, says Dr Ivan Twagirashema, Executive Director of Rwanda Investment Group (RIG). [...]

TheWorldFolio (03.08.16)

Mali’s Banks Offer Solar Home System Credit
Residents of Mali's capital, Bamako, and surrounding areas will find it easier to switch on power in their homes thanks to local banks that have begun offering credit to buy solar energy equipment. [...]

Soumaila T. Diarra - DailyMail (04.08.16)

Community Schemes Making Solar Affordable In Zimbabwe
Residents of Mali's capital, Bamako, and surrounding areas will find it easier to switch on power in their homes thanks to local banks that have begun offering credit to buy solar energy equipment. [...]

Tonderayi Mukeredzi - ThomsonReutersFoundationNews (08.08.16)

Philippines Looks To Fast Track Rural Electrification
Delivering uninterrupted supply of electricity at affordable prices to all communities across the country has been taken by the new Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi as a priority challenge [...]

Voltaire Palana - ManilaTimes (04.08.16)

Mini-Grids To Boost Renewable Energy Growth in India
India aims to deploy as many as 10,000 mini grids based on renewable energy sources to sustainably provide electricity to villages in remote locations. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in June presented a draft national policy on mini and micro grids powered by renewable energy (RE) sources that aims to build at least 10,000 of them across India with a minimum installed RE capacity of 500 MW in the next five years. [...]
Sapna Gopal - IndiaClimateDialogue (05.08.16)
 
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