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Peer-to-peer exchange helps energy regulators from Sierra Leone advance country’s mini-grids sector


Based on recommendations from its recent report, Understanding Mini-Grid Tariffs in Sierra Leone, the Sierra Leone Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission (SLEWRC) initiated an innovative, peer-to-peer learning programme with regulators from Nigeria and Kenya focused on strategies for updating mini-grid tariffs in Sierra Leone – something that is crucial to the sector’s development and improving electricity access in the country.

The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), in collaboration with Kenya's Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), co-facilitated the four-day exchange programme held in Nairobi, Kenya from 17-20th January 2024. Spearheaded on the ground by SEforALL staff members Gregoire Jacquot, Robert Opini, and Abdul Yakubu, the event covered institutional arrangements, policy frameworks, and coordination mechanisms for mini-grid economic regulation.

Participants also learned about project development, funding, and tariff determination, with concluding sessions focusing on refining regulatory processes, optimizing efficiency, and summarizing key learnings, culminating in an implementation plan.  

With the knowledge they have gained, these regulators are now better equipped to implement timely and evidence-based tariff decisions, embed best practices, and allocate resources effectively, paving the way for sustainable and inclusive energy access in Sierra Leone.  

“This exchange programme has empowered me to make timely, evidence-based tariff decisions, supporting the establishment of cost-reflective tariffs for a sustainable mini-grid sector,” one of the participants explained.  

Another participant said, “During the session, I learned how to incorporate best practices within regulatory instruments to enhance electricity access at affordable tariff levels. I intend to apply these concepts to ensure the efficient use and allocation of resources.”

“This training empowers regulators with the tools and knowledge to create a conducive environment for sustainable and inclusive energy access,” said Ngozi Beckley-Lines, Country Manager for Sierra Leone at SEforALL. “By refining regulatory processes, optimizing efficiency, and implementing key learnings, Sierra Leone is poised to ramp up energy equity, especially in underserved areas,”  

The commitment of all stakeholders, including communities, policymakers, and organizations like SEforALL, underscores the shared mission of achieving universal access to sustainable energy, which will support environmental progress, increased productivity, and economic and health benefits for millions of Sierra Leoneans.  

SEforALL works with key partners like the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) to empower Sierra Leone's clean energy journey.  

Additional SEforALL initiatives in Sierra Leone include:

  • Traineeship for women in clean energy: The six-month programme provided hands-on technical training in executing a health electrification project to 12 recent or soon-to-be university graduates. Trainees were on-site at hospitals and clinics, developing solar installations. In addition to their technical work, SEforALL provided the women with additional training on energy sector development throughout the six months. 
  • Market Assessment and Roadmap for Social Infrastructure: The assessment consists of two analyses that examine the electrification of health and education facilities. 
  • Health electrification project: SEforALL is managing the solar electrification of six hospitals nationwide, working closely with implementing partners EM-One and Crown Agents. Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, & Development Office, this project adds 0.6 MWp of solar PV capacity to the health sector.
  • Advising on hydroelectric project development: SEforALL provides legal, project management, and technical support for implementing the Betmai Hydroelectric Project. Once developed, the project will provide enough reliable, clean, and affordable electricity for 500,000 people and unlock over USD 100 million in private investment. 
  • Universal Energy Facility (UEF): Since 2020, the UEF has committed over USD 2 million in grant agreements to deploy mini-grid projects in two different funding windows. The UEF recently signed a USD 706,000 grant agreement with Energicity (SL) Limited to develop seven mini-grids with a portfolio of 17 projects. The first seven projects are expected to provide 1,193 electricity connections and 0.2 MW of renewable energy capacity, which will impact the lives of nearly 6,000 people. 
  • Enabling clean energy mini-grids: SEforALL shared recommendations for interventions to reduce end-user tariffs and improve the affordability of mini-grid electrification in rural areas based on a quantitative and comparative analysis of price drivers in the country.