Zambia – ENGIE, a global low-carbon energy and services player has unveiled its first PowerCorner smart mini-grid in Zambia. The mini-grid located in Chitandika village in eastern Zambia will provide electricity to 378 households which until now had no access to electricity.
With this first installation of its PowerCorner mini-grid, ENGIE confirms its progress in off-grid renewable energy solutions to improve electricity access in Africa.
The mini-grid will not only provide energy to households but also to local businesses, a Health Centre and two schools.
ENGIE’s PowerCorner mini-grid is expected to aid economic development in Chitandika village where the power generated can be used for water pumping for agriculture and small manufacturing or repair businesses. The availability of electricity will also create business opportunities for entrepreneurs in the village.
So far ENGIE has successfully developed its own approach to mini-grids for the electrification of villages in Tanzania in addition to Zambia with a total of 13 mini-grids in operation or under construction. The company is aiming to develop 2,000 mini-grids by 2025 in Africa enabling about 2.5 million people to access renewable, reliable and cost-effective energy.
“At ENGIE, we believe that universal access to electricity is possible in the foreseeable future thanks to a smart combination of national grid extensions, mini-grids and solar home systems, depending on the local characteristics of energy demand,” said Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE. “ENGIE is already present along the whole spectrum of solutions with its subsidiaries PowerCorner and Fenix for off-grid solutions, and utility-scale grid connected generation such as Kathu, our 100 MW concentrated solar power plant in South Africa. Within a constantly changing world, it is ENGIE’s role to make a cost-efficient zero-carbon transition possible for the benefit of the African population.” With more than 600 million people or 60% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa not having access to electricity, ENGIE is already a leader in off-grid electrification in Africa, offering clean, safe and reliable decentralised electricity from its mini-grids and SHS to more than 2 million people living in multiple African countries.
As part of its decentralized energy developments, ENGIE is also expanding Fenix, its solar home system business. Since the launch of its operations in Zambia in October 2017, ENGIE Fenix has reached 70,000 customers in the country, supplying 350,000 people with clean lighting and power. To date, Fenix has sold over 400,000 solar home systems across Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast and Benin, changing the lives of over 2 million people.
ENGIE’s goal is to provide 20 million people around the world with decarbonised, decentralised energy supply by 2020 using the latest digital technologies.