SPONSORED NEWS – On this planet, about 1.2 billion people do not have access to electricity and more than half of them are living in Africa. Over 640 million Africans have no access to energy, corresponding to an electricity access rate for African countries at just over 40 percent, the lowest in the world. Per capita consumption of energy in sub-Saharan Africa per year (excluding South Africa) is 180 kWh, compared to 14,000 kWh per capita in the United States and 7,500 kWh in Europe.
The poverty of energy in Africa is keeping its people poorer. This does not only affect the attainment of health and education outcomes but also increases the cost of doing business and unlocking economic potential and creating jobs. Insufficient energy access manifests itself in hundreds of thousands of deaths annually due to the use of wood-burning stoves for cooking (Carbon monoxide poisoning or fire); handicaps the operations of hospitals and emergency services; compromises educational attainment; and drives up the cost of doing business. Energy access for all is, therefore, one of the key drivers of inclusive growth as it creates opportunities for women, youths, children both in urban and rural areas.
Africa’s energy potential, especially renewable energy, is enormous, yet only a fraction of it is being currently employed. For which reason, the renewable energy pioneer BLUETTI is now making its move.
As a rising star of the off-grid power industry, Bluetti’s well known for its highly recognizable portable power stations and portable solar panels. Their products are well-loved by their customers all over the world, but mostly in developed regions like the U.S. and Europe. Yet Bluetti’s been dedicated to bringing easy access to power to every corner of the world. And in the year 2021, they set foot on African soil.
Bluetti has launched a 5-year plan in Africa called Project LAAF (Lighting An African Family). Literally, the company’s strategy is giving lighting and power supply to African families that are living without electricity. The ultimate goal is powering over 1,000,000 families at the end of 2026.
In September 2021, the first family was powered up in Nigeria. Jane Adona, a poor woman living with 5 children in the Soweto Kibera informal settlement. She has been living in a shanty room without electricity for several years. And her effort to get connected has been fruitless as those who are responsible keep asking for money.
But now, she’s got light on the ceiling, solar panel on the roof, and a whole set of power storage systems, all from Bluetti, for free.
The aspirational goal of this project is to help as many families as possible to achieve relatively easy electricity access by 2026 with a strong focus on encouraging clean and renewable energy solutions. This will require providing 10 GW of new capacity, one million new off-grid connections, and providing one million households with access to clean cooking solutions.