BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
Distributed Power Africa (DPA), a subsidiary of Econet Wireless Global, has partnered EDF (Électicité De France) to develop commercial, industrial and hybrid energy solutions for the African market.
The collaboration is expected to focus on the development of distributed-energy solutions based on solar panels associated with energy back-up systems such as batteries.
EDF, which has vast experience in renewable energy, will act as a technology partner for DPA projects across the continent.
Both companies plan to deploy their solutions in sub-Saharan Africa, which initially includes South Africa, Ivory Coast and Nigeria, with the intention to expand into other key markets.
Econet founder Strive Masiyiwa says energy is the next biggest infrastructure opportunity on the journey to transform the continent’s fortunes.
He said a partnership with a global player such as EDF, with vast technological expertise and access to energy markets, would accelerate the rollout of energy on the continent and significantly impact the continent’s economies.
“Enabling reliable and stable energy to businesses will help meet the continent’s global economic growth goals. In the Telecoms industry, for every 10% increase in teledensity, we observed a 1% increase in the GDP. In the energy sector, we expect a tenfold increase in GDP by addressing the continental power challenge,” Masiyiwa said.
EDF senior executive, vice-president international Marianne Laigneau, said the partnership represented an opportunity to expand the firm’s services into a burgeoning distribution energy sector.
“We are excited about partnering with one of the most respected Pan African brands that benefits from an extensive footprint on the African continent and a proven track record of operating in some of Africa’s most challenging environments. EDF is already active in renewables, grids and energy-efficiency services in 15 African countries. It has the necessary expertise to deliver comprehensive energy solutions, perfectly suitable for African applications.”
According to Norman Moyo, Group CEO of DPA Africa: “Businesses in Africa are increasingly interested in affordable and reliable energy security, and the replacement of generators with solar technology is a growing trend due to the associated financial savings and environmental dividend. DPA has received tremendous interest from the commercial and industrial sector for reliable and clean energy solutions, including solar power and battery back-up technology.”