A sobering reminder from Kirk Edelman, CEO of Siemens Financial Services, that globally there are still an estimated one in seven people who do not have access to something as basic as electricity. Most of the energy poverty is in Africa and developing Asian nations – but it exists to one degree or another worldwide. – Philip Bane
In a piece for The Energy Collective, Edelman writes about the importance of public-private partnerships and a clean energy mix to solving the energy poverty that impacts quality of life and economic development in countries like Nigeria.
In Nigeria, Africa's most populated country, he says only an estimated 35% of the population has access to electricity – and repeated outages are the norm. He says the energy poverty in Nigeria and throughout sub-Saharan Africa stalls economic development in the region.
He believes that renewable energy should be part of the solution, but that clean fossil fuels should also be part of the mix. Private investors, he says, can also play a key role in ending energy poverty by supporting clean energy projects.
Siemens, a Council Associate Partner, is working with the Nigerian government to supply equipment for the country's first power generation project -- the Azura-EDO IPP power plant – a combined 1,500MW simple cycle gas power plant. At the same time, Siemens Financial Services has been involved in structuring the financing for the plant and is contributing $50 million to support the first phase of development and construction.
Creating over 1,000 jobs
Edelman says the project is expected to create over 1,000 jobs and provide the dependable energy Nigeria needs to carry out its long-term development efforts. And these types of projects, he notes, can be replicated to continue improving the quality of life.
By way of example, he says Siemens just announced its eighth energy plant in Bangladesh, where 50% of the population still does not have access to electricity.
"In energy-impoverished locations," Edelman says, "public-private partnerships (PPPs) such as these can help by sharing project risk expertise and providing tailor-made equity and debt finance packages."
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This article is from the Council's Compassionate Cities initiative which highlights how city leaders and other stakeholders can leverage smart technologies to end suffering in their communities and give all citizens a route out of poverty. Click the Compassionate Cities box on our registration page to receive our weekly newsletter.
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