Shell invests in African microgrid developer PowerGen Renewable Energy

Screenshot from the PowerGen Renewable Energy website.
Screenshot from the PowerGen Renewable Energy website.

PowerGen Renewable Energy (PowerGen), a company that develops, manages and supports micro-utilities in Africa, announced that it received Series B investment from Shell New Energies, as well as Omidyar Network, Acumen, Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP), EDFI ElectriFI, Sumitomo Corporation, DOB Equity, and Micro-grid Catalytic Capital Partners (MCCP).

The company said the funds will strengthen PowerGen’s position in its core African markets — Kenya, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Nigeria — and help it expand into new ones, as the demand for reliable, clean and affordable electricity in Africa continues to grow. PowerGen aims to connect one million more people to reliable electricity over the next five years.

Over 600 million people in Africa lack access to electricity, of which approximately 80% live in rural areas, according to the IEA. PowerGen has been working to alleviate that energy poverty by delivering affordable, reliable and clean electricity to underserved Africans through modern, sustainable mini-grids, it said. It also provides customer support through dedicated maintenance and customer services. This approach is, in turn, helping to reduce poverty by supporting economic development and contributing to a clean electricity system in Africa, said the company.

This round of funding follows a Series A round closed in December 2016 led by DOB Equity and supported by AHL Venture Partners.

Brian Davis, Shell VP Energy Solutions, comments: “I am happy that Shell will be supporting the next chapter in PowerGen’s exciting journey towards meeting the electricity needs of more African customers. We see that PowerGen’s local experience, capabilities and growth to date make it well positioned to serve the expanding African decentralized power market. The firm is a key part of our growing energy access business as we move towards Shell’s ambition to provide a reliable electricity supply by 2030 to 100 million people in the developing world.”

Lead image: Screenshot from the PowerGen Renewable Energy website.

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