OFF THE GRID CLUB EXPLAINED
Africa’s continuing energy demands are clear for all to see. Power is currently inaccessible, unaffordable, and unreliable for most people. This traps communities into poverty – students find it difficult to read after dark, clinics cannot refrigerate vaccines and businesses have shorter operating hours.Whilst conferences such as the Africa Energy Forum seek long-term solutions in the guise of financing for large scale power projects, in the interim many on the continent must rely on off grid technologies for access to electricity.
THE OFF THE GRID CLUB (OTGC)
EnergyNet is committed to championing the importance of off-grid solutions for the continent. At the 2017 Africa Energy Forum we celebrated the one year anniversary of the Off the Grid Club - EnergyNet’s business accelerator and networking hub for the Rural Energy Access community, now with the support of over 45 members. OTGC is a membership programme developed to provide a networking platform for off grid technology providers, financiers and regional leaders working in Africa’s off grid energy space
WHAT WILL IT DO?
HThe Off the Grid Club will act as a business accelerator specifically for commercial businesses and proven Htechnologies, putting them immediately in front of our network of community leaders, entrepreneurs, Hinternational investors and proven consultants. The programme will provide a platform for members to form Hpartnerships, giving them the opportunity to scale up their products and bring them to market more quickly.
HThe Club will have a particular focus on social development through empowerment of female entrepreneurs, Hand projects that stimulate and enable further commerce in their communities. The most innovative Hmembers of the Club will be able to apply for an Investment Award, presented by the Founding Members on Hbehalf of EnergyNet’s ‘Not Just Talking Fund for Energy Access".
The Origins Of The Off The Grid Club
OTGC Electrification Projects
With roughly 2 out of 3 people in Africa living without access to electricity, power is currently inaccessible, unaffordable, and unreliable for most people. This traps communities into poverty – students find it difficult to read after dark, clinics cannot refrigerate vaccines and businesses have shorter operating hours.
With the Off the Grid Club, EnergyNet has actively invested into projects via the “Not Just Talking” fund, partnering with a number of OTGC members to help bring a sustainable and secure solution to rural electrification shortfalls. The fund is designed to provide an alternative financing solution for small scale off grid projects across the continent that will contribute positively in communities – especially in areas of healthcare, education and female empowerment.
To date, we have collaborated on four Off Grid Projects (South Africa, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Guinea Bissau) and are looking to expand this into more countries across the continent in the coming years.
SEE OUR JOURNEY TO ELECTRIFICATION SO FAR:
The Off The Grid Village at AEF 2017
Featuring at AEF for a second year, the ‘Off the Grid Village’ returned in 2017 as the destination and networking hub for the Energy Access and Off Grid Community. The Off the Grid Village returned in a much greater scale, occupying premium space right at the front of the main Exhibition Hall. The area featured exhibition stands from leading off grid companies, dedicated networking functions, featured exhibits from our Arts-Energy Partnership and a dedicated 'alternative' stream for off grid and creative intiatiatives called The Innovation Theatre.
The Innovation Theatre
The Innovation Theatre is a dedicated 'alternative' stream of the AEF agenda which hosted interesting panels, workshops, demonstrations and seminars throughout the duration of AEF and showcased leading off grid solutions, services and expertise. It also hosted presentations from creative innovations linked to Energy Access, such as presentations from Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) and world renowned artist and co-founder of Little Sun, Olafur Eliasson.
The theatre was open to all AEF delegates, designed to provide an additional platform for the Off Grid and creative communities to communicate at AEF 2017.
The Arts-Energy Partnership
The Arts-Energy Partnership showcases the impacts of energy access on creativity in emerging markets, giving a platform to some of Africa’s most talented creative individuals. At AEF 2017 the partnership played host to some of the most inspiring photo entries from our Energy Photo Competition as well as collaborating with local African artists to showcase their artworks in the Africa Energy Yearbook 2017/18.