10 of December 2015

Village in Mozambique gets access to sustainable energy

The 4.000 inhabitants of the village of Titimane, in northern Mozambique, are about to enter a new phase of their history. The project to supply electricity, led by EDP in partnership with UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme, has secured 1,75 million euros to finance the investment and is currently in the licensing phase after which the construction of a mini-grid will begin.

The project will implement a hybrid mini-grid with solar power (photovoltaic) and biomass gasification (using pellets sourced from locally produced cotton residues), battery storage, and diesel backup. These will be combined in a fully commercial operating model. This way, it creates an opportunity to test a new business model (mini-utility based on prepayment fee-for-service) with innovative technologies, demonstrating a sustainable business case for an isolated mini-grid that can deliver an affordable and long lasting electricity service to the populations of remote communities.

This project is within the scope of UNEP’s programme “Decentralized energy applications“ and is one of the High Impact Opportunities (HIO) of the United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4All), for the promotion of clean energy mini-grids. It gathers a wide range of stakeholders: private partners - EDP and Mozambican company SAN-JFS (Sociedade Algodoeira do Niassa - Grupo João Ferreira dos Santos), public bodies - Mozambican Government, FUNAE (Fundo de Energia) and EDM (Electricidade de Moçambique) -, and international development entities - EEP (Energy and Environment Partnership) and OFID-ARE (OPEC Fund for International Partnership - Alliance for Rural Electrification).

The investment in clean energy mini-grids is in line with the proposals that a group of large corporations gathering at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Low Carbon Technology Partnerships Initiative will present at the COP21 Climate Conference, taking place in Paris.

"For EDP, an integrated utility company with activities from generation to supply, this project is a further demonstration of the wide range of the Group's expertise. It is also a result of the commitment we have made to the United Nations to contribute to the achievement of the recently approved Sustainable Development Goals, especially to ensure access to clean, sustainable and affordable energy for all”, says António Mexia, CEO of EDP.

With this project, Titimane will no longer be part of the 1.3 billion people that, according to the UN, still lack access to electricity. Its population will have access to a reliable electricity service that will improve their standard of living and opportunities, creating a virtuous cycle with an impact on growth, health, food/nutrition, access to water, education, the empowerment of women, security and entrepreneurship.

See Titimane's video here.

Source and picture © EDP