UNEP – PIDEO
Promoting Investment in Decentralised Energy Options: this programme started in 2015 and was designed and managed for UNEP by Parallax’s MD. The aim was to demonstrate how clean energy mini-grids can be a commercially viable and hence sustainable option for remote areas that currently have no electricity connection (“greenfield” sites). As a first step towards this goal, the business prospects were assessed for replacing diesel in existing mini-grids serving remote areas (“brownfield” sites). Results from seven countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America were documented in a detailed report showing that there are good prospects for such intervention.
This potential enabled UNEP to attract investor interest to a greenfield clean energy mini-grids site in Titimane, a remote village in Mozambique. Here, the practical demonstration of a replicable clean energy mini-grid model is being developed (led by Energia de Portugal and JFS from Mozambique) based on long-term commercial finance. The whiteboard video on YouTube for this initiative provides a good summary of the issues involved.
After successful progress in Titimane, UNEP continued to target countries for similar business models under the PIDEO framework, involving different approaches for rural electrification matched to the local conditions..