- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has selected eight solar companies in Africa to receive a total of $4 million through its "Power Africa Scaling Off Grid Grand Challenge," PV Magazine reports.
- The investment is meant to help solar companies provide power while developing business models, as the projects are often not initially profitable.
- All total, USAID seeks to invest $36 million through the program in sub-Saharan Africa. The Obama administration announced the award winners earlier this month at the United Nations climate talks in Morocco.
Off-grid power will be key to development in parts of Africa, but it's not necessarily a profitable endeavor right out of the gate. USAID's grant awards, through the "Grid Grand Challenge," are designed to "empower entrepreneurs and investors" to ultimately provide electricity 20 million households in sub-Saharan Africa.
The program this month announced an initial eight companies it would back, to the tune of $4 million, and it ultimately intends to invest about $36 million. PV Magazine has details on the eight projects, which include pre-packaged solar kits in Ghana and job training in Uganda.
While the energy sector is unsure of what to expect from President-elect Donald Trump, the Obama administration has made several major announcements on clean energy initiatives recently. At the United Nations climate talks, officials revealed a broad range of global clean energy initiatives and investments, including financing in India and El Salvador, a new report on the market for access to efficient appliances, and the Africa grants.
From 2010 to 2015, the United States invested $11 billion in international clean energy finance, according to the Department of Energy.