Engie inaugurated its first PowerCorner in the Zambian village of Chitandika on Wednesday, echoing its progress in off-grid renewable energy solutions to improve electricity access in Africa, the French energy group announced.
Chitandika, located in eastern Zambia, has 378 households of 1,500 inhabitants who were previously deprived of electricity access, according to Engie's statement.
"This mini-grid provides energy to households and local businesses and supports public services such as the Rural Health Center and 2 schools," the press release read.
"Engie's PowerCorner will foster economic development by enabling other electrical productive uses, including water pumping for agricultural use, or carpentry and welding machines, and by triggering business opportunities for entrepreneurs in the village," it added.
According to the press release, Engie has already successfully developed its own approach to mini-grids for the electrification of villages in Tanzania in addition to Zambia with a total of 13 mini-grids in operation or construction.
The group aims to develop 2,000 mini-grids by 2025 in Africa enabling 2.5 million people, entrepreneurs, small to medium-sized enterprises and local businesses to access renewable, reliable and cost-effective energy.
According to the statement, Engie is also expanding Fenix, its solar home system business, as part of its decentralized energy developments.
"Since the launch of its operations in Zambia in October 2017, Engie Fenix has reached 70,000 customers in the country, supplying 350,000 people with clean lighting and power," the company said, adding Fenix has so far sold over 400,000 solar home systems across Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast and Benin, and changed the lives of over two million people.
Today, more than 600 million people or 60 percent of the population living in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity, according to the statement.
By Hale Turkes