UK Pledges £100m for Improving Electricity Access in Sub-Saharan Africa

Funding to help small to medium-scale renewable energy sector


The United Kingdom has committed an additional funding of £100 million for the Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP) which aims to give a major boost to Sub-Saharan Africa’s small to medium-scale renewable energy sector. The additional investment was announced on the sidelines of COP24 in Katowice, Poland.

The additional investment will enable REPP to support the financing of up to 40 more projects across the region from 2019-2023 – providing improved or first-time electricity access to around 2.4 million people per year.

The additional funding will enable REPP to build on its early successes. The extension could also unlock an extra £156 million of private finance into renewable energy markets in Africa by 2023.

Claire Perry MP, Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, said, “At home we’re world leaders in cutting emissions while growing our economy and abroad we’re showing our international leadership by giving countries a helping hand to shift to greener, cleaner economies. This £100 million will help communities harness the power of their natural resources to provide hundreds of thousands of people with energy for the first time. Building these clean, reliable sources of energy will also create thousands of quality jobs in these growing green economies.”

Sub-Saharan Africa is a region where universal electricity access is still a distant dream. To this end, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a United States Government agency, recently provided 600 million shillings (~$5.86 million) to CrossBoundary Energy, a Nairobi-based company which funds commercial and industrial solar in East Africa.

In January 2018, Azuri Technologies, a pay-as-you-go (PayGo) off-grid solar products provider in the sub-Saharan African region, launched its $20 million off-balance-sheet debt financing program aimed at providing working capital for the expansion of off-grid energy and service provision in east Africa.

Image credit: REPP