solar minigrids in urban DR Congo

About Solution

Today, the Democratic Republic of Congo is in a state of fragility, weakened by decades of poor governance, broken infrastructure, violence and corruption. In Congo, there are more than 130 armed groups, 4.5 million people living as IDPs and 13 million in need of humanitarian assistance.

Energy poverty is one consequence and symptom of Congo's complex context of instability, ongoing conflict and insecurity. Households, businesses and organizations in Congo are all affected by conflict and a chronic lack of access to reliable, affordable energy. Various sources estimate that less than 19% of urban DRC households have access to electricity and there is 2,929 MW of unmet electricity demand.

DRC has one of the lowest rates of electrification and energy consumption in the world and those that have electricity often experience irregular and unreliable supply service. Typical energy solutions in Congo are irregular and unreliable and often largely dependent upon small-scale diesel generators, an expensive, high maintenance, and unclean source of power.

92% of Congolese households rely on charcoal and wood for cooking fuel, which is a significant stressor on Congo's forests.

Beni city and territory have been in a state of regular insecurity since July [2013]. A series of mysterious killings in Beni territory since October 2014 have resulted in more than 800 deaths to date and more than 180,000 displaced persons. Beni is currently the epicenter of a significant ebola outbreak.

Kivu Green Energy seeks to disrupt the existing energy sector in eastern Congo by developing PV and storage based microgrids throughout North Kivu that quickly, affordably, and reliably provide renewable energy to thousands of people in eastern Congo.KGE's decentralized solar micro-grids can be installed quickly, providing scalable electricity to address Congo's chronic energy shortages by powering organizations providing humanitarian assistance and health care to ebola victims; accelerating economic development through powering educational institutions, local businesses and meeting household energy needs; stabilizing ICT infrastructure; reducing future deforestation and dependence on wood for fuel; and improving DRC’s security context by powering household and street lights.

Our business model is toprovide renewable energy and excellent customer service to hundreds of thousands of off-grid users by: leveraging best practices in solar PV and storage micro-grid development; deploying GSM-based smart meters and a mobile money payment system for revenue recovery; and by creating a financing vehicle to scale our model using Power Purchase Agreements and/or Letters of Intent from commercial, industrial and bulk residential clients as bankable assets.

During the next two years, KGE plans to build on the success of our 55kW system in Beni, North Kivu by installing 3.5MWsolar-based hybrid minigrids in Beni to service at least 560 new connections for Beni’s 355,000 people, 48 commercial and industrial businesses, 700 SMEs, and 40 NGOs.

In, Beni, DRC, KGE will sign Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with various larger commercial and industrial businesses, who would serve as anchor clients for the 1MWp solar PV and storage installation with excess energy production sold to residential households, SMES, NGOs, etc. proximate to the installation. KGE is in conversations with several off-takers about assessing their energy needs and signing LOIs and PPAs.



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