Togo Subsidizes Citizen Access to Off-Grid Solar Home Systems

David Lawrence, Chairman of Lawrence Energy Group LLC, is a former Shell executive who has extensive experience in the United States and international energy exploration, development and commercial spheres. Lawrence had responsibility for Shell’s Wind Energy business, Gas Monetization, Conventional and Unconventional Exploration and New Business Development in the Americas from 2009 through 2013. He has served as chairman on the Yale Climate and Energy Institute Advisory Board, as a commissioner on the Aspen Commission on the Arctic, on the board of the National Ocean Industry Association and as the University of Wyoming Energy, Law and Policy Fellow. David Lawrence presently utilizes his experience with Shell in defining pathways to sustainability utilizing technologies and resources including wind, solar power, natural gas, nuclear, CCS and biosequestration. He focuses on pragmatic solutions for the energy transition and issues of energy poverty in developing nations.

One of the most dynamic areas of growth in solar energy centers on developing countries, where technology leapfrogging offers the potential of quickly moving toward renewable energy. Solar home systems sales are rapidly increasing, with 285,000 kits sold across the African continent in the first half of 2018 alone.

An example of this push is taking place in Togo, which recently started offering its citizens subsidies that will cover the expenses associated with off-grid solar power systems. With only 40 percent of people presently connected to the national electric grid, the power market has attracted the interest of major European utilities.

UK headquartered BBOXX recently won a contract to electrify some 300,000 homes that do not have national grid access, and the consortium Soleva subsequently signed a similar deal. The programs involve the use of government-issued vouchers, with 100,000 households expected to be connected within a year and more than a half million within the next decade.

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