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Econet, partner deploy hybrid energy in Africa

Econet Wireless subsidiary, Distributed Power Africa (DPA), has signed a partnership agreement with EDF, a French international leading electricity company to jointly develop commercial and industrial hybrid energy solutions to the African market.

In a joint statement the two firms said the collaboration was expected to focus on the development of distributed-energy solutions based on solar panels associated with energy back-up systems such as batteries. 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.

DPA and EDF plan to set up power businesses in various African countries with countries like Nigeria and Ivory Coast high on their priority list. They intend to accelerate the deployment and roll-out of green energy across Africa, with EDF acting as a technology partner for DPA projects in Africa.

EDF has vast experience in renewable energy while DPA will leverage EDF’s capabilities and utilize these solutions in developing and growing their pipeline in Africa.

Econet founder Mr Strive Masiyiwa has said that the problem of power in Africa can only be solved by giving entrepreneurs like him a free hand to drive capital into the sector.

He is on record saying energy is the next biggest infrastructure opportunity on the journey to transform the continent’s fortunes.

“Enabling reliable and stable energy to businesses will help meet the continent’s global economic growth goals. In the telecoms industry, for every 10 percent increase in tele-density we observed a one percent increase in GDP. In the energy sector we expect a tenfold increase in GDP by addressing the continental power challenge,” said Mr Masiyiwa.

EDF senior executive, Marianne Laigneau, said: “We are excited about partnering with one of the most respected Pan African brands that benefit from an extensive footprint on the African continent and a proven track record of operating in some of Africa’s most challenging environments.

“For EDF, this partnership represents an opportunity to expand our services into the burgeoning distributed energy sector. Already active in renewables, grids and energy-efficiency services in 15 African countries, EDF has the necessary expertise to deliver comprehensive energy solutions perfectly suitable for African C&I applications.” The Chronicle