French electricity generation and distribution company ENGIE has inaugurated its off-grid renewable energy solutions PowerCorner in the Zambian village of Chitandika.
Chitandika village is located in the East of Zambia include 378 households with 1500 inhabitants who were not provided with access to the electricity previously.
ENGIE said that the installation of its first PowerCorner confirms the progress in off-grid renewable energy solutions to improve electricity access in Africa. The mini-grid delivers energy to households and local businesses along with supporting public services like Rural Health Centre and schools.
ENGIE’s PowerCorner is expected to encourage economic development by enabling other electrical productive uses including water pumping for agriculture, carpentry and welding machines and by creating business opportunities for entrepreneurs in the village.
With a total of 13 mini-grids in operation or construction, the company claims that it has developed its own approach to mini-grids for the electrification of villages in Tanzania in addition to Zambia.
The firm aims develop 2,000 mini-grids by 2025 in Africa in order to provide access to renewable, reliable and cost-effective energy for 2.5 million people, entrepreneurs, SMEs and local businesses.
Besides, ENGIE is expanding its solar home system business Fenix as part of its strategy to decentralize energy developments.
Following the launch of its operations in Zambia in October 2017, ENGIE Fenix has reached 70,000 customers in the country and supplied 350,000 people with clean lighting and power. Till date, it has sold 400,000 solar home systems across Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast and Benin.
ENGIE CEO Isabelle Kocher said: “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.
“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.”
Using the latest digital technologies, ENGIE targets provide 20 million people around the world with decarbonized, decentralized energy supply by 2020.