SolarAid and Statkraft have announced a strategic partnership to tackle poverty and climate change. Statkraft intends to support the charity with donations totalling £2m to be paid over three years. There are 548 million people living without electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, impacting their ability to learn, work and feel safe after dark.
SolarAid’s ambition is to use clean, safe, and simple solar lighting to combat poverty and climate change so that no home, school or clinic in Africa is left in the dark by 2030.
Statkraft is Europe’s largest renewable energy producer and the company also became a leading developer in the European solar market with the acquisition of Solarcentury in November 2020. Solarcentury founded SolarAid in 2006 and Statkraft will now continue the relationship.
Through the partnership with SolarAid, Statkraft will support progress to reach the 7th UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”. For the first time since 2013 the number of people who do not have access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa is predicted to increase and could reach as reach as many as 630 million if economic recovery slows, and action is not taken.
The donations from Statkraft will increase access to solar light and power for families and communities currently dependent on expensive, dangerous, and toxic lighting sources such as candles, and kerosene. Solar lighting saves money, reduces carbon emissions and allows people to safely work, study and socialise after sunset.
Access to power is essential for rural health clinics across Africa. Statkraft’s partnership with SolarAid will also fund solar power access for clinics that currently operate without access to reliable electricity. Power for fridges, equipment and lighting is essential to care, and solar power ensures that healthcare staff will not have to carry out life threatening procedures in the dark. Care can be administered safely, and drugs – including vaccines for Covid-19 – can be kept at the right temperature.
Statkraft’s donations will be used to fight poverty and climate change as SolarAid works to ensure that every home, school and clinic in Africa has access to clean, safe, solar lighting and power by 2030.
Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, CEO of Statkraft, says: “548 million people live without the benefit of electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. Solar power is a simple and cost-effective solution for those who have no choice but to rely on expensive and toxic kerosene or dangerous candles. We are delighted to be working with a charity with such a critical mission. This partnership was sparked with the acquisition of Solarcentury in 2020, and we are happy to work with SolarAid to help ensure access to modern energy for all.”
John Keane, CEO of SolarAid, says: “We’re delighted that our long and successful partnership will continue now that Solarcentury has merged into Statkraft. While grid electrification is not going to reach most of rural sub-Saharan Africa in our lifetimes, the solar light revolution is taking place right now, helping light up millions of homes, which would otherwise be kept in the dark. Together we can end the darkness.”