The World Bank has stated that in sub-Saharan Africa, “Mini-grids are emerging as a key player for cost-effective and reliable electrification of rural areas and have the potential for playing a significant role in efforts to achieve universal energy access.”
WATT Renewables is active in bringing this emerging technology to Africa, by providing a diverse set of renewable energy solutions, including micro-grids, grid-tied systems, and off-grid systems that can suit virtually any location.
Combating Energy Shortages the World Over
WATT Renewables has developed clean energy solutions that are fully turnkey. What does this mean for the people we serve, and does it matter?
The UN’s website states that: “In sub-Saharan Africa some 609 million people (6 out of 10) have no access to electricity, and about 80% of those in rural areas lack electricity access, according to 2017 data by the World Bank.”
Many of the WATT Renewables projects currently underway are located in sub-Saharan Africa, where energy shortages are beginning to be recognized on a global scale. However, it’s important that the solutions provided for this crisis are well thought out in terms of accessibility and sustainability. If we are going to be responsible for providing people with clean and affordable energy solutions, we need to ensure that it works in the context of the region, the people, and the infrastructure we’re developing.
Providing the Tools Needed for Industry
Imagine for a moment that you have the opportunity to create good jobs in your region (or to have a good job in your region), but you don’t have the tools you need to accomplish it. Energy is a resource that powers our lives in many ways, including the ability to generate business, jobs, and economic stimulation. Without it, many people can’t depend on stable income from jobs, and businesses can’t reliably operate.
The UN has found that “manufacturers in sub-Saharan Africa experience an average of 56 days of shutdown time per year due to power outages, the African Development Bank noted in 2017.”
In many ways, a lack of affordable and effective energy options creates a cycle of instability that puts pressure on an economy and makes growth nearly impossible.
No Fuel Sourcing Issues
The issue many locations without current infrastructure face is accessing a dependable and consistent source of energy. One of the main issues in sub-Saharan Africa is a lack of infrastructure for the transmission of power over distances. Even where this infrastructure is in place, supply to these areas can often be interrupted or delayed.
All of this tends to make traditional energy solutions less viable, which is why there has been a major push toward renewable energy in Africa. WATT Renewables’ energy systems depend on resources found almost everywhere on earth, eliminating these potential challenges. Plus, our storage solutions ensure that energy can be ready for any time of day, even for solar-powered systems.
Organization & Full Project Oversight
In our research, we’ve discovered that one of the main barriers to clean energy solutions is access to the full range of tools and professionals it takes to commission, install, and maintain the systems. As a result, we have created a start-to-finish system that takes communities through all of the steps needed for successful implementation and sustainability:
- Project development
In regions where this type of technology is new or doesn’t exist, we can bring in experienced professionals (with the aim of training locals to provide good jobs in the communities we serve).
Continued Management & Service
Maintenance and operations are the two key elements that, if missed, can make an investment in clean energy costly or non-functional. We’re just as committed to keeping our solutions running as we are to installing them in places where energy is needed most.
Creating Opportunities for Responsible Canadian Investors with ESG Factors
Many Canadian investors are seeking responsible investment opportunities that align with ESG (environmental, social, and governance) factors. In fact, ethical and sustainable investing is responsible for trillions of dollars in investments globally in today’s world.
WATT Renewables works with many partners who mandate an ESDD (Environmental & Social Due Diligence) component. This means that we constantly review our procedures and solutions to ensure we are not doing harm in the communities and environments we serve.
Not only does responsible/sustainable investing pay off in the grand scheme of things (i.e. by supporting a clean environment that can sustain life), but it can also pay off for investors. After all, “sustainable” solutions are those that have been created with an eye to the future. In other words, you’re less likely to have issues such as major environmental incidents railroad your investments.
WATT Renewables is proud to offer Canadians sustainable investment opportunities that lead to a better life for people here and across the world. In particular, our projects in Africa offer a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those living without stable power (or without power at all).
We know that we can make a positive impact in multiple ways, which is why we have a set of 17 ambitious sustainability goals we work toward each day. These cover everything from gender equality to clean water to good jobs.
For more details about investment opportunities in Canada and worldwide, reach out to our Chief Investment Officer, Sherisse Alexander.
The Market for Clean Energy in Africa is Growing
There has been a recent explosion of growth in the clean energy market in Africa. The large rural populations, large and diverse geography, and various needs across the continent require custom-fit solutions that rely on natural and renewable resources. Unreliable or expensive solutions have been implemented in some places, but are not enough to begin to address the energy crisis in Africa.