To date, GVEP initiatives have provided over four million people with access to clean energy through the deployment of a wide range of technologies eg. improved cookstoves, solar lanterns and solar home systems, energy efficient briquettes and micro-hydro schemes.
Over the last five years as a result of our activities:
- 2.7 million tonnes of CO2 have been saved through the use of renewable energy;
- $20 million has been leveraged to support the development of energy products and services across the developing world;
- Over 3000 local energy jobs have been created in Africa and the Caribbean
Our programmes are not about giving away new infrastructures and equipment. By focusing on helping small and medium energy businesses selling good quality products and services at affordable prices, GVEP is making a real difference for less: In our biggest programme we achieved, one person gained access to energy for every euro of GVEP funding. In the last year we have worked with about 90 mid-sized companies and 1,600 micro and small businesses, mostly rural, all focused on renewable energy activities.
Energy access brings tangible benefits to all areas of society and it has a direct impact on health, agriculture and food production, small businesses, households and education. Below are a few examples of the differences that our work has made in these areas.
Energy and health
Millions of people are exposed to indoor air pollution from toxic fumes of cooking fuels and kerosene lanterns, resulting in chronic eye and lung conditions. GVEP is tackling this problem; we have worked in total with over 800 entrepreneurs involved in manufacturing and selling cleaner fuels and more efficient stoves in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, with 80 currently active engagements. We are also currently active with one stove business in the Caribbean.
We’re offering technical guidance, business development support and marketing advice to these businesses helping them build up their capability to supply high quality, more efficient and cleaner forms of energy for cooking so as to reduce the incidence of associated deaths and diseases. Health centers, vaccine dispensaries and hospitals are also at the heart of GVEP-supported solar power and micro hydropower initiatives, drastically improving the quality and reliability of their health services throughout East Africa.
Energy, agriculture & food production
Growing and processing food requires energy. GVEP is working with various agricultural and food production companies to help them fund investments to improve their access to energy and boost their productivity. This is done through the implementation of mini-grids and hybrid systems and through the adoption of renewable energy technologies.
Agricultural by-products represent an important source of energy. In East Africa, crops such as maize, cereals and sugar cane all produce residues that can be used to make briquettes, which serve as a sustainable alternative to charcoal or fuelwood for cooking. GVEP is working with entrepreneurs in Africa to increase the production and use of sustainable energy sources. We are also working with businesses using agricultural main crops, by-products, or animal or food waste as feedstocks for anaerobic digestion, gasification and biofuel production.
Energy and small businesses
Reliable and affordable energy enables increased operating hours for all kinds of businesses such as restaurants, chilled foodstuffs, mobile phone and car battery charging, sewing, food processing, artisan workshops, electrical and vehicle repair, internet provision, cinemas, barbershops, etc.... GVEP works directly with businesses in various sectors to use improved access to modern energy in order to develop their activities.
The businesses benefit from increased production and profitability, while the surrounding communities benefit from job creation and increased incomes to pay for education and better food. GVEP is also working with developers of mini-grids and small hydro systems helping them to supply power to productive end users and businesses to generate profit.
Energy in the households
For most households cooking is the most important energy need. However, throughout the developing world, the majority of women still cook and heat water with wood or coal-based fuels on inefficient and harmful fires and stoves. Furthermore, people with no electricity in their homes rely on expensive candles or kerosene lamps. These provide poor illumination, affect their health and are a fire hazard. Radios use expensive batteries and charging a mobile phone could mean travelling miles.
GVEP is helping to promote the use of solar products, such as lanterns, larger home systems, solar phone and battery chargers, energy efficient cookstoves and fuels by providing local producers and stockists with technical advice, marketing training, business coaching and facilitating access to affordable loans. As a result, microbusinesses are able to grow in the domestic energy product markets.
Energy and education
Improved access to energy means more children can have the chance to receive a better education, especially children in poor households who spend hours daily helping in the fields, doing the house chores, collecting fuel wood and fetching water. Modern energy services in the home can reduce the burden on children, giving them more time to study and attend school. They can also provide lighting to allow studying after dark. Meanwhile, access to electricity in schools offers greater opportunities for learning, as they can operate in the evening and access computers and the internet.
GVEP is implementing improved cookstoves programmes for schools, which save them money that they can spend on books and equipment and improve the teaching and learning conditions. We also work with microbusinesses to increase the availability of affordable solar energy solutions in rural homes.