SEforALL implements ambitious Country Programme to help Sierra Leone grow its clean energy sector
This week Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) spotlighted its robust Country Programme in Sierra Leone, which is helping the country expand energy access and transition to clean energy.
Major initiatives under the programme include a newly announced project to help young women build careers in renewable energy; financing mini-grid development through the Universal Energy Facility; advising on how to improve the affordability of mini-grid electrification; managing the solar electrification of hospitals; and more.
These initiatives were highlighted during SEforALL’s ‘Sierra Leone week,’ when leadership from SEforALL, government representatives, the private sector, funders, and other stakeholders came together in a series of important meetings to raise awareness of game-changing projects in the energy sector and to chart the way forward on the country’s energy sector plans.
Ngozi Beckley-Lines, Country Manager for Sierra Leone at SEforALL, said “The Government of Sierra Leone has shown great ambition for transforming its energy sector, including plans to increase household energy access to 80 percent of the population by 2030. But the country needs greater support from the international community to reach its goals. In consultation with the Government, SEforALL and its partners have designed a wide set of initiatives that will support clean energy development, powering people and key social and economic infrastructure.”
Major initiatives that were unveiled or discussed included the following:
- Traineeship for young women in energy: The six-month programme will provide hands-on technical training to 12 recent or soon-to-be university graduates in the execution of a health electrification project. Trainees will be on-site at hospitals and clinics to develop solar installations. In addition to their technical work, SEforALL is providing the women with additional training on energy sector development throughout the six months.
- Market Assessment and Roadmap for Social Infrastructure in Sierra Leone: The assessment consists of two analyses that examine the electrification of health and education facilities. It provides actionable recommendations for the public sector, development partners, and the private sector, to overcome barriers that are impeding the accelerated deployment of sustainable power solutions to schools and health facilities, providing a step-by-step roadmap towards full electrification of social infrastructure in Sierra Leone.
- Health electrification project: SEforALL is managing the solar electrification of six hospitals across the country, working closely with implementing partners EM-One and Crown Agents. This project is supported by funding partner the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, and will add approximately 0.6 MWp of installed solar PV capacity to the health sector. The project emerged from an analysis conducted by SEforALL that showed 38 percent of health facilities lack access to power.
- Advising on hydroelectric project development: SEforALL is providing legal, project management and technical support for the implementation of the Betmai Hydroelectric Project. Once developed, the project is expected to provide enough reliable, clean and affordable electricity for 500,000 people and unlock over USD 100 million in private investment.
- Finance for mini-grids: Sierra Leone is one of five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa where the Universal Energy Facility – a results-based financing facility managed by SEforALL – is providing grants for energy access projects. Mini-grids supported by the facility are already under development in Sierra Leone and are expected to be completed in 2023.
- 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.
The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet and the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office are among the key partners to support the development and execution of SEforALL’s country programme in Sierra Leone.