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In the latest issue of African Review, Fabrice Mpollo, investment manager at Norfund, discussed the prospects of off-grid and renewable energy projects on the continent
In explaining the importance of off-grid energy projects to Africa’s various industries, Mpollo commented, “Inefficiencies in most of Africa’s centralised power systems (with generation and transmission) lead to load shedding affecting both industries and households. Access to clean and reliable power is fundamental in developing industries such as manufacturing, food processing, financial services, ITC, and others.
“We expect off-grid or captive energy projects to increasingly support Africa’s industries and businesses’ needs. These projects may be quicker to develop and may be able to meet reliability, sustainability, and economic demands of customers better than the existing solutions.”
Continuing, Mpollo noted that there are numerous challenges to delivering these projects with a lot of issues arising from unclear regulation.
“In our view, regulation should promote development and adoption of new solutions, but this needs to be done while taking into consideration the potential impact of grid deflection. Utilities have a wider mandate and cannot, for example, be left to serve only the last customer at the end of the grid.”
Read the entire interview, including Mpollo’s thoughts on renewable solutions and how investment can be encouraged, in the June issue of African Review here.