African Mini-Grids Community of Practice
Over 600 million people in Africa lack access to reliable electricity. This energy poverty imposes a significant social and economic burden onto communities, affecting their access to education and health services, as well as adversely impacting economic productivity. Mini-grids offer an opportunity to fill this supply gap, bringing electricity to areas underserved or not served at all by the centralised grid. In many places, mini-grids are the most affordable, reliable and sustainable electrification option. Mini-grids based on renewable energy sources can assist countries to reach their overall development goals, energy-sector objectives and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Climate Agreement. Despite their tremendous potential, uptake of mini-grids are slow as investment risks are high and business models remain largely unproven.
In response to this challenge the African Mini-Grids Community of Practice (AMG-CoP) was convened in June 2017 at the African Carbon Forum in Cotonou, Benin to provide a peer-to-peer working group for African government leaders committed to, scaling up mini-grid policies and systems in their countries.
The AMG-CoP is an initiative of the African Climate Action Partnership (AfCAP), formerly known as the Africa LEDS Partnership (AFLP) supported by the Global Climate Action Partnership (GCAP) Energy and Finance Working Groups. The CoP brings together African government representatives from governmental departments, Rural Electrification Agencies and National Energy Commissions with representatives from private sector, academia and International Organisations who design, finance and implement mini-grid systems.
The AMG-CoP aims to advance the application of mini-grids as a key energy access and economic development solution that assists countries in achieving their socio-economic development, and energy-sector goals as well as their NDCs. The CoP seeks to capture and disseminate key, real time learnings from rapidly evolving mini-grid policy and finance arenas through direct peer-to-peer engagement and exchange.
- Learn with and from other African countries and work with micro-grid pioneers from around the world to design policy and regulatory frameworks and create enabling environments that leverages micro-grids to meeting national developmental, electrification and climate change mitigation objectives;
- Engage with the private sector development and investment community to understand what is needed to unlock private investment and accelerate financial flows;
- Access new tools and technical assistance to develop country-specific, tailored policy, market and finance solutions
- Designing effective policies and enabling regulatory environments to foster strong collaboration and partnership between public and private sectors;
- Evaluating and promoting proven business and ownership models and best practices to drive toward commercial viability;
- Accessing finance, including engagement with the private sector, and developing bankable project proposals and regulatory frameworks that de-risk and attract private sector investment.
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