Posted by Michelle Romeu and David Levaï
The Center’s Energy Links project aims to broker partnerships between energy companies, microfinance institutions, NGOs, and development projects to alleviate energy poverty and facilitate the uptake of clean and affordable energy solutions in Africa. Our podcast series, by the Center’s Senior Fellow, Paul Rippey, explores the latest innovations and efforts to provide modern energy to rural households without access to the electricity grid. This time, he reports from Tanzania.
In this first interview, host Paul Rippey talks with Felistas Countinho, Managing Director of Tujijenge Tanzania, about the progress of Tujijenge, an innovative microfinance institution that provides loans for clean energy. Countinho talks about what she has learned throughout the last decade, and looks to the future. This year, thanks to support from E+Co, a private sector investor in clean energy, she hopes to focus on solar-lighting loans, an area in which she has had a particular interest since 2003.
In the next podcast, Paul follows up with Nachiket Potnis, Executive Director of the Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI-Tanzania). Potnis describes ARTI’s compact biogas digesters, which convert organic waste (such as banana peels or leftover food) into methane gas, which is tapped directly into the kitchen to provide cooking fuel!
In both cases, there is a financial challenge to introducing clean energy solutions. However, since the technology is available and the demand is high, financing is the last hurdle to overcome to providing clean and affordable energy to the world’s poor. Let’s educate investors and donors to understand how dire the need is, and to make energy poverty one of their priorities.