Renewable Energy

Renewable energy access boosts rural jobs in Africa

Carbon Trust
PowerGen solar mini-grid in Kiwa Island, Lake Victoria, Kenya. Photo credits: Energy 4 Impact

Our new partnership with the Carbon Trust will use renewable energy to create sustainable jobs, reduce poverty and empower women in rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

The IKEA Foundation has granted the Carbon Trust €5 million to support the Powering Renewable Energy Opportunities (PREO) Programme, which will be delivered jointly with Energy 4 Impact.

The programme, which is co-funded by UK Aid, will fund more than 20 collaborative projects and partnerships. These use a market-led approach to promote the productive use of energy – linking energy directly to activities that generate income.

More than energy

While a reliable and affordable energy supply is vital for people living in rural sub-Saharan Africa to power their homes and businesses, energy access alone is not enough to transform economies.

Rural energy programmes need to consider the social and economic context for each local area and build partnerships that give people access to finance, technology and markets.

PREO promotes direct collaboration between energy users and power suppliers. In doing so, it will help realise the potential of energy access to improve livelihoods and boost economic growth. Overall, it plans to create 3,500 jobs, empower 1,000 women and benefit more than 11,000 rural households.

Afford a better life

Jolanda van Ginkel, the IKEA Foundation’s Programme Manager for Renewable Energy, says: “The PREO programme gives organisations working on energy for productive use the support to scale up by focussing on what people in rural communities really need.

“By working together effectively, we want to make renewable energy accessible more quickly to many communities. This will reduce carbon emissions and enable people living in poverty to afford a better life.”

The funding from IKEA Foundation will supplement €5.9 million that has been provided by UK Aid. By attracting additional co-funding, PREO aims to deliver a project portfolio with a total value of more than €20 million.