To date, GVEP initiatives have provided more than 7 million people with access to clean energy.
Our activities have also resulted in:
- Over 200 SMEs and 2,500 micro-enterprises receiving support
- 4.3 million tonnes of CO2 having been avoided due to renewable technologies
- $47m raised to support the development of a wide range of energy businesses
- Over 5,700 local jobs being created in Africa and the Caribbean
Most importantly, we are conscious that we are making a difference in an efficient manner. As measured in one programme, the Developing Energy Enterprises Programme (DEEP), we achieved the equivalent of one person gaining access to improved energy for every Euro (€1) of funding.
Energy access provides tangible benefits to all areas of society and has a direct impact on:
Millions of people are exposed to toxic fumes from cooking fuels and kerosene lanterns, resulting in chronic eye and lung conditions. We work with nearly 1,000 micro-entrepreneurs manufacturing and selling cleaner fuels and more efficient cookstoves, and with companies designing, manufacturing and distributing solar lighting products. Health centers, vaccine dispensaries and hospitals are also at the heart of the initiatives we support, as access to reliable electricity dramatically improves the quality of available healthcare.
Agriculture & food production
Without reliable and clean energy services, farmers and agribusinesses in developing countries are less able to adopt modern agricultural techniques, increase food production, and engage in opportunities for value-added processing. With much of rural Africa without reliable electricity, there is limited ability to increase agricultural productivity, improve post-harvest handling and processing, and access markets. We are working with agricultural companies to finance investments in energy that will boost productivity and provide economic growth.
Commercial activity in the community
When a community receives new access to electricity, significant economic opportunities are created. New businesses may be established and existing businesses can expand, diversify and increase output. Besides enabling energy-focused business models such as mobile phone charging, reliable electricity allows entrepreneurs to install workshops, process agricultural commodities, and establish cold chains for food products. Opening hours may be extended at restaurants, artisan workshops, repair shops, internet cafes, tailors, cinemas and barbershops. Businesses can realize increased profitability, while the community realizes the benefits of job creation.
For most households, cooking is the most important use of energy. Throughout the developing world, however, the majority still cooks and heats water using harmful fires and stoves powered by inefficient fuels. Lighting is also a key use of energy in hosueholds, and millions rely on expensive candles and kerosene lamps. These provide poor illumination and are health and fire hazards. Expensive and environmentally unfriendly batteries are used in radios and other electronics, and charging the mobile phones that have proliferated Africa often requires several miles of travel.
Improved access to energy means children are able to receive a better education. This is particularly true in poor households where children spend much of the day helping in the fields and doing chores. Modern energy can reduce the burden, allowing more time for children to attend school and study, and providing better lighting for studying after dark. In addition, electricity offers the opportunity to benefit from access to information using computers and the internet. We are directly supporting improved education through our activities to increase the use of improved institutional cookstoves in schools. These stoves save schools money which can be spent on books and equipment to improve learning conditions.