Gridworks at the UK-Africa Investment Summit

Gridworks Chair, Helen Tarnoy speaks at UK-Africa Investment Summit panel on Clean Energy Transformation

It’s been an inspiring week for those of us committed to boosting investment in Africa. On Monday, the British Prime Minister hosted the UK-African Investment Summit in London which brought together 21 African governments, international businesses and investors to promote awareness of investment opportunities across the continent.

We were delighted to play our part in it, with our Chief Executive Simon Hodson attending, and our Chair, Helen Tarnoy speaking during the afternoon panel on Clean Energy Transformation. The session saw the Presidents of Sierra Leone, Senegal and the DRC set out their ambitions for boosting clean energy, including the partnerships and policies they hope will help them on this journey. Helen spoke alongside leaders from business and multilateral about the transformation to clean energy and the vital role that well-run and efficient transmission and distribution can play in encouraging the growth of renewables in Africa.

In a session that also featured leaders from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Actis and the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency, Helen explained the importance of African countries making the necessary regulatory and legislative changes to encourage long-term investors.

She said: “With the importance of increased investment in energy networks widely understood, we have to ask ourselves why more countries have not encouraged private sector investment in transmission and distribution and why the privatisation of the distribution companies in Nigeria, for example, has not met expectations. A stable, investor-friendly legal and regulatory framework and a commitment to cost-reflective tariffs are essential to attract experienced, long-term capital.”

Gridworks was set up to play a part in changing the continued shortage of investment in African electricity networks. It was clear from many of the discussions at AIS this week that there are many positive, climate -friendly impacts that come from well-run and efficient T&D sectors. These include:

  • Fewer technical losses, which put less burden on the generation sector and means that a smaller quantity of non-renewable sources is required.
  • Better performing networks that absorb more renewable power by managing the unpredictable generation of some renewable sources, and also connects more firms and homes that currently use diesel or kerosene.

Helen added:

At Gridworks our focus is on the quantity and quality of power. Improving the efficiency and operations of electricity networks will cut their running costs and lead to networks that are better placed to serve their people and businesses. We’re here to encourage more investment in transmission and distribution and to work with African governments who recognise the need for that investment.”

For more details and to learn more about Gridworks please contact:

Rhyddid Carter, Communications Advisor: rhyddid.carter@gridworkspartners.com

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