Alexander Pedersen, founder and COO of Empower New Energy, will sit in the second session of panel discussions at the 7th Annual Power & Energy Conference, hosted by EXPO GROUP, to be held in Nairobi on May 30th. The panel will place particular focus on the growth and emergence of the multi-million-dollar solar industry in Africa and the positive effects of social and economic impact investment. Alexander Pedersen will provide insight into innovative ways to effectively finance small and medium-sized renewable energy projects across the continent.
East African countries face some of the most difficult energy conditions compounded by a rapid growth rate of population and consumption. In East Africa, approximately 80% of the population do not have access to electricity. Additionally, the region is also grappling with the challenge of ageing power infrastructure that makes power cuts all too frequent, adding further to the gap of power deficit.
There is a general consensus now that a large proportion will have to be served through mini grids and captive power as the cost of full-grid extensions is far greater than the current funding available from the government and international funding institutions.
Efficient and effective ways of financing decentralised renewable energy production is currently one of the key issues holding back huge growth in renewable infrastructure. The current finance structures, based predominantly on financing larger-scale infrastructure, have not proven suitable for smaller-scale renewable projects, due primarily to the incurrence of high fixed costs for setting up adequate financing, in addition to the lead-time for non-recourse financing. New and more innovative financing models are required to spur the growth within the smaller-scale segment for mini-grids and captive power for both commercials and industry.
Alexander Pedersen provided key insights in to an innovative approach for financing small-scale renewables in the East African market, presenting Empower New Energy 's approach within this field and providing detail on the ground Empower is breaking.