EU Programme to Provide Energy to 2 Million Africans

The European Union (EU) has introduced new rural electrification projects to provide energy to more than 2 million Africans in rural areas.

The programme will see 16 new energy projects across nine African countries. The 95 million pound funded programme will include hydro, solar, wind and biomass solutions. The new project was announced at the New Business Models for Bringing Sustainable Energy to the Energy Poor event in New York and will focus upon delivering affordable and sustainable energy services to rural areas.

The Commissioner of the European Commission Development, Andris Piebalgs, highlighted the benefits of the programme: "These innovative projects are a real step forward in terms of bringing energy to some of the most remote and poor areas in Africa. The benefits of rural electrification are manifold by connecting people to clean energy, we'll improve healthcare, education, and opportunities to make a living in the area."

The project includes a hydroelectric solution in the Ludewa District in Tanzania which will provide energy to 20 villages, over 4000 households, 43 primary and secondary schools and 500 small businesses and farmers will benefit from the project. Additionally an eco-electrification project is set to be implemented in Burkina Faso and aims to reach 100,000 people, health centres and schools.

The EU also commented on the development: "The EU aims to allocate more than 3 billion euro's in grants, during the 2014 to 2020 financial period to support sustainable energy projects in about 30 countries that see energy as a focal sector for development. This will leverage between 15 and 30 billion euro in loans and equity investment, thus enabling to plug the gaps in energy infrastructure projects and power businesses, schools, homes and hospitals."