Despite the progress that has been made, an estimated 1.3 billion people in the world were without electricity at the end of 2012. Furthermore, 2.6 billion people are still without modern cooking fuel and technology.
85% of these people are concentrated in the rural areas of poor countries, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Source: International Energy Agency
Since the early 1990s, the EDF Group has been involved in promoting energy access in developing countries:
In addition to its industrial importance, the action taken by EDF to promote access to electricity in rural areas is also part of its social and environmental responsibility objectives. In addition to its financial contribution, one of EDF's aims is to promote the emergence and dissemination of a sustainable economic model: this has resulted in the development of decentralised services companies.
In the late 1990s, EDF and the ADEME created a model to guarantee both the viability of rural electrification projects in the long term and their reproducibility: Decentralised Services Company .
From April to December 2012, Claire Guibert and Jérémy Debreu travelled through Africa, mainly by train, to meet the people involved in each project. This study enabled them to identify best practice that can be copied and the key factors in making a project successful in terms of technology, governance, business models, etc.
This work will be covered in a best practice white paper in September 2013. A documentary retracing the journey of the Africa Express Mission (almost 40,000 km in 23 African countries) is also being made.
Taking a closer look