Energy Daily tells about efforts to get electricity to the 2.5 billion people with little or no access.  As Earth’s Energy discussed earlier, 1.4 billion of these people have no access to electricity with the majority in India and sub-Saharan Africa.

The “energy-poor,” as they’re called in a recent United Nations report, “suffer the health consequences of inefficient combustion of solid fuels in inadequately ventilated buildings, as well as the economic consequences of insufficient power for productive income-generating activities and for other basic services such as health and education.”

The UN says that 1.5 billion people have no access to electricity and up to 1 billion more have access only to unreliable electricity networks. The International Energy Agency estimates that, unless efforts are stepped up, 1.4 billion people will still lack access to electricity in 2030.

Now new electricity sources are being created as the result of co-operative efforts between national governments, local communities, and members of the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership, a non-profit organization created by several of the world’s largest utilities to provide energy in developing and emerging nations.

…while these renewable energy projects are small in size, the ‘Public-Private Partnership’ (PPP) used to create them provides a model of large importance for sustainable-energy projects needed in countless other places around the globe where energy needs are minimally met, with potentially profound health, educational and economic benefits.

The article mentions, as examples, two Argentinean projects designed to bring energy to isolated locations.  In Patagonia a 86-kilowatt hydroelectric station will provide power to the tiny rural community of Cochico.  A wind and diesel hybrid system of the same size will supply the village of Chorriaca. Both communities now rely on unreliable diesel generators that operate sporadically.

The purpose of the PPP approach is to bring together the appropriate technology, technical skill, financing, national and local public policy goals, R&D, and long-term purchasing agreements so as to maximize the benefits to the local communities and investors.

According to Thierry Vandal, President and CEO of Hydro-Quebec, the Partnerships focus on projects that make “economic sense” are “environmentally responsible” and meet the immediate needs of the communities where they were situated.

Michael Morris, CEO of American Electric Power says: “In addition to improving the lives and environment of people by supplying them with non-polluting electricity, the projects will also stimulate the growth of jobs in manufacturing and services.”

Along with providing electricity for homes and commercial operations, the PPP approach also favours increasing the supply of electric vehicles in developing and emerging countries.

See also the UN news release Public-private partnerships can bring affordable clean energy to poor.


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