Power Africa May 2016 Newsletter

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Power Africa May 2016 Newsletter

Meeting of the Power Africa Senior Advisors Group and the SE4All/AfDB Africa Energy Leaders Group
Several high-level officials joined private sector partners and Power Africa's Advisors for a small "salon-style" dinner in Kigali to share ideas for tackling two issues: (1) Getting micro-grids to the point of commercial viability; and (2) Mobilizing public and private capital for grid roll-out. In addition to many U.S. Government agency leaders, other participants included Nigerian businessman Alike Dangote, Tony Blair, and AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina.

The event also convened the African Governance Initiative Senior Advisors Group and the African Development Bank’s African Energy Leaders Group. There was clear consensus around the need for policy predictability, risk mitigation tools, and integrated planning. There was also agreement on the need for African governments to deploy alternative electrification solutions that can be implemented more quickly than via grid expansion... CONTINUE READING

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Power in Beauty: Turning Waterfalls into Watts in Rural Kenya

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Power in Beauty: Turning Waterfalls into Watts in Rural Kenya

At the edge of Mt. Kenya National Forest, secluded by dense wilderness, is the rural Kenyan market center of Mutunguru. Those who live in the small villages surrounding Mutunguru enjoy stunning views of green valleys, lush forests, and idyllic waterfalls. But these features have also isolated residents from main roads, and limited access to electricity. 

The rivers and waterfalls in this region of Kenya offer more than a pretty view. They hold vast potential to power communities and improve lives.

Recognizing this, a group of Mutunguru leaders rallied the community to find a partner to help build a run-of-the-river hydropower plant in their valley. Instead of bringing in donors, the reason an earlier power project never took flight, they looked for investors. The community leaders applied for grants and conducted feasibility studies, and eventually caught the eye of Virunga Power, a Power Africa partner and founding member of Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid sub-initiative.... CONTINUE READING

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