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Energy access - developing countries

EDF's strategy to promote energy access in developing countries is based on four key elements: financial viability, continuity, partnership and sharing of experiences.
Temasol is working to install photovoltaic kits in rural homes located far from the grid

A strategy based on four key elements

Financial viability

Despite the fact that they operate in rural environments which are generally home to disadvantaged local populations, rural electrification companies must nevertheless achieve financially profitability if they are to withstand the test of time. In order to offer customers access to energy services which they could otherwise not afford, external subsidies are required (from the World Bank, the European Union, etc.). These subsidies help with the initial investment. The company must then sell its services to develop its business.

Project continuity and replicability

EDF has made a long-term commitment in the field of access to energy, which requires continuous action and the ability to duplicate projects in other geographical areas.


The scale and diversity of requirements, and the complexity and variety of responses needed as a result of differences in local cultures, mean that working in partnership and gaining a local foothold are essential. As a result, EDF is systematically looking to form local private and/or public partnerships, with the aim of eventually transferring the entire project to the local partner.

Sharing of experience

When tasked with providing access to energy, sharing experiences is essential to progress. EDF's commitment is part of a learning process, and the group therefore relies on the regular evaluation of its actions (customer surveys, feedback seminars, participation in conferences, publications, etc.).

What are the geographical criteria?

EDF invests in developing countries which meet the following criteria:
  • the country must be safe and politically stable;
  • it must have the political will to promote energy access over the long term;
  • it must have an appropriate regulatory and institutional framework;
  • it must be eligible for international aid (development bank subsidies);
  • at least one local partner must participate.

A model : The RESCO

In the late 1990s, EDF and ADEME created a model to guarantee both the viability of rural electrification projects over the long term and their large-scale reproducibility: the Rural Electricity Service Company.
Find out more about the RESCO

Taking a closer look