Renewable mini-grid trade group launches in Africa

Image: BayWa re renewable energy GmbH

April 13 (Renewables Now) - The world's first trade group dedicated to the mini-grid industry was launched today in Africa.

The Africa Mini-grid Developers Association (AMDA) currently has chapters in Kenya and Tanzania, and 11 members, including start-ups and utilities, and aims to become a pan-African platform. It is supported by the Shell Foundation, the World Bank and the UK Department for International Development (DfID).

AMDA is setting up its next chapter in Nigeria, which will add seven local developers.

One of the organisation's near-term goals is to mobilise financing for the sector. It plans to work with donors, governments and other stakeholders to develop a smart Results Based Financing (RBF) fund to help the wider adoption of mini-grids, and will seek to unlock lower-cost debt capital. The objectives also include establishing national grid integration frameworks that are inclusive of mini-grids.

"AMDA’s vision is to see 100% of Africa electrified before 2030, and this will require utilities to incorporate new and innovative technologies, with mini-grids playing a central role," said AMDA's Global Coordinator Jessica Stephens. "Mini-grids can deliver more connections per dollar, can be deployed more rapidly than traditional grid infrastructure and play an important role in stimulating local economic opportunities and creating jobs," Stephens added. 

AMDA's member companies in Kenya and Tanzania have built 430 km (267 miles) of transmission lines and renewable generation that serve more than 11,000 users, including homes, schools, health clinics, micro-enterprise and agriculture. 

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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