The Energy for Development (e4D) programme implements rural electrification projects as learning entities to support energy access. Projects target improvement of living standards of the poor in communities in rural Africa, and provide pathways for growth and development. To date, e4D has installed six community managed solar PV mini grid systems in Sub-Saharan Africa with more in the planning. In addition to mini grids e4D undertakes research in other areas of distributed energy access and energy efficiency.

Follow the link to read some quotations from community members in Kitonyoni about the project.

FORTIS UNUM (Stronger As One): Innovations in Mini Grids and their Networks

Fortis Unum builds on the extensive experience of the e4D team in the areas of energy access, mini grids and networks. This includes in country field experience of research and development in delivering 6 modular PV driven power generation and distribution systems in rural Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) affecting ~ 20,000 people in Cameroon, Kenya and Uganda.

Fortis Unum: clustering mini-grid networks

In addition to our e4D team, the Fortis Unum project also brings in partners from Kenya and Uganda. Such a partnership with over 100 years experience, will harness their complementary skills and capabilities across network design, power generation and transmission, distributed generation, mini grids, policy development, fieldwork and stakeholder engagement. The project will test off-grid networks, in terms of their ability to:

  • Work individually.
  • Work collaboratively with each other in a small network cluster.
  • Work in parallel with the national grid, individually, in clusters and transitioning these as a formal part of the national grid.

For more information about the latest progress on this project, please download the project leaflet here


Sustainable Rural Electrification

Reliable and affordable sources of energy are fundamental not only for wellbeing, but also for economic growth and poverty reduction. Fulfilling the energy needs of developing countries without compromising the environment is a challenge, requiring imaginative policies and methods. Many rural communities do not have access to the national electricity network or the associated benefits in health and quality of life provided by electrical services such as lighting and refrigeration. The installation of modular energy technologies that can be operated independently provides a solution for these areas.

The Energy for Development Network aims to develop appropriate, replicable models for energy systems that recognize the socio-economic, financial and technical aspects of supplying energy. The concept table below summarizes the e4D process.


We argue that to implement sustainable rural electrification, three important components are required:

People: Engage the local community in determining their needs, aspirations and goals and assess the social, economic and cultural context of the community to identify the most appropriate system.

Product: Select technologies best suited for the local situation, based on the resources available and the wants and needs of the community.

Process: The introduction of energy systems must be accompanied by the development of business processes to allow sustainable replication, deliver social benefits and generate wealth for the community.



Implementation Sites
Kitonyoni solar power plant Kitonyoni, Kenya.
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front_image_bambouti Bambouti, Cameroon
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Oloika, Kenya
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shompole - kenya Shompole, Kenya
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kanyegaramire - uganda thumb Kanyegaramire, Uganda
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Kyamugarura - uganda thumb Kyamugarura, Uganda
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e4D has also designed a 60kWp off-grid solar mini-grid in the north of Kenya, which is due to be completed by the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) in late 2015. There are also plans for further projects in Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique and Zambia – more info to follow.