‘Development and Mini-Grids in Rural Africa’ was the first Energy for Development’s (e4D) dissemination conference successfully held 11 – 12 May 2015, in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference was well attended with over 110 registrants including academics, project developers, governmental officials, private sector contractors, students, project financiers as well as other stakeholders operating in the field of rural electrification.
The e4D £2.6 million programme funded by the Research Councils UK has deployed mini-grid projects in Kenya and Uganda. The on-going action-research addresses energy provision in rural communities in East Africa with the aim of establishing and implementing replicable, sustainable, off-grid electricity generation to promote development and wellbeing. The e4D concept has people at its core, with projects aimed at invigorating communities and their village centres, providing support for self-governance, finance and entrepreneurship.
Prof AbuBakr Bahaj the head of Energy and Climate Change Division within the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton and the e4D Principal Investigator commented: “This work is providing new approaches to energy access to rural communities through the development of self-reliant sustainable communities. The research is also providing stakeholders with a wealth of information related to health education, entrepreneurship and project economic assessment. Now in its replication phase the new projects were for the first time deployed on cost-shared bases with the rural electrification authorities. This is important as it provides better scope for energy access and affordability as well resilience in the deployed projects.”