In Summary:
– The Off-Grid Energy Challenge, part of the Beyond the Grid Initiative and funded by GE Africa, USADF and USAID, promotes innovative solutions that increase access to reliable, affordable and sustainable power.
– These energy entrepreneurs are finding solutions for rural communities to access power, including solar-powered mini-grids, home solar systems and revolving credit funds.

Kenyan entrepreneurs in renewable energy sector have a chance to win grants of up to Sh10 million each following the launch of the third round of the Off-Grid Energy Challenge.

The competition, which is part of Power Africa is aimed at spurring ideas that are meant to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, where at least 600 million people are estimated to lack basic access to electricity.

The competition was Thursday launched by GE Africa, U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Eleven winning companies and enterprises from Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Ethiopia will receive grants of up to $10,000,000 each to expand their renewable energy projects and reach those that do not have access to electricity.

The awards were announced during President Obama’s trip to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) that took place in Nairobi between July 24 and 26, as part of his continued commitment to Power Africa project of widening energy access to underserved populations.

BEYOND THE GRID

The Off-Grid Energy Challenge, part of the Beyond the Grid Initiative and funded by GE Africa, USADF and USAID, promotes innovative solutions that increase access to reliable, affordable and sustainable power.

The $5 million three-year Challenge will award at least 50 grants of up to $100,000 each during the three year period to African companies providing off-grid solutions that deploy renewable resources and power economic activities.

These energy entrepreneurs are finding solutions for rural communities to access power, including solar-powered mini-grids, home solar systems and revolving credit funds.

The most recent winning projects include five solar systems, three biogas generation projects, and a small hydro-electricity power plant, providing over 10,000 people that did not have access to power, electricity connection.