Winch Energy, an off-grid renewable energy supplier, has launched a crowdfunding effort to help fund solar off-grid developments that will deliver clean and reliable power to more individuals in Uganda and Sierra Leone. Individuals can contribute as low as £10 to Africa’s expanding sustainable energy sector through Crowdcube as part of the initiative.
Winch Energy’s efforts are aimed at assisting the United Nations in achieving its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 7, which calls for universal access to affordable, dependable, and modern energy amenities by the year 2030. With under 10 years left, Winch Energy is focusing its efforts on Sub-Saharan Africa, which has the highest percentage of people lacking access to electricity.
The COP26 conference in October 2021 has reignited interest in the ESG investments and emphasized the potential for developing countries to scale up green power solutions. The necessity to move away from the fossil fuels has grown more than ever, with the electricity sector responsible for a quarter of the global emissions. Winch Energy is already collaborating with many African governments, global foreign aid departments, as well as NGOs to electrify communities using its unique RPU (solar remote power unit) technology. With other projects in the pipeline, Winch Energy intends to deploy additional funding to speed the transition to clean energy.
Winch Energy has generated $18 million in equity and loans to date and has a pipeline of projects in the works that will assist more than 4.2 million people living in off-grid communities. It closed the biggest ever mini-grid funding platform earlier this year, a $16 million project through Winch IPP Holdings. This phase of crowdfunding will help Winch Energy achieve its goal of becoming Africa’s largest off-grid utility by funding more renewable energy projects. Total Eren, a shareholder in the London-based firm, has already donated £375,000 to Crowdcube effort.
The organization has already fitted pilots in Benin and Mauritania, developed an award-winning project in Sierra Leone to be able to power community healthcare centers, provided energy access to about 20,000 people on the Lake Victoria area, and just started construction on 25 mini-grids in Uganda’s northern Lamwo district last week. The Hon. Okasaai Opolot, Uganda’s State Minister for Energy, presided over the inauguration ceremony, and once operational, the facility will provide street lights and better water services to 25 settlements.
As more initiatives like this demonstrate the viability of the off-grid market investment, developers will be able to fund more projects and provide consumers with better prices and higher-quality products. “One of the important messages from COP26 is the need for poor countries to scale up clean energy generation,” Nicholas Wrigley, who is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Winch Energy Limited, stated. “Reliable energy access is critical for boosting economies, raising living standards, and lowering migration and overpopulation in cities.