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Deployment of solar energy technology in Togo's rural areas

Context

Togo struggles with very low energy access rates, especially in rural areas. Togo’s energy supply predominantly comes from traditional energy sources (biomass consisting of wood fuel and agricultural residue), which account for 70 to 80 percent of the national energy mix.  New and renewable energy sources (e.g. solar, wind) are only marginally represented in the country's generation facilities. In 2015, Togo prepared and submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which identified the energy sector as a priority area.

There are three major barriers to achieving the objectives set by Togo for access to Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All): 1) low national funding capacity (public and private) and heavy reliance on external funding from public and private sources; 2) a significant technology gap in terms of energy efficiency, energy management and development of new and renewable energy sources, and heavy reliance on the transfer of technology and expertise; and 3) poverty of the population, especially rural, and its effect on purchasing power. In addition, there is a lack of incentives for developing renewable energy and a lack of competitiveness in renewable energy markets compared with traditional markets.
 

Requested CTCN Assistance

  • Perform a market review and provide assistance in establishing a partnership with a supplier of certified solar products, designed for people living in poverty
  • Support the development and implementation of an advocacy strategy to foster initiatives for developing renewable energy in Togo
  • Conduct awareness-raising among rural populations of the benefits of utilizing renewable energy sources, such as solar energy

Expected Results

  • Increased awareness among beneficiaries (distributors, retailers and end users) and better knowledge 
  • Acquisition of entrepreneurial knowledge and creation of green jobs for cell phone representatives
  • Improved access to low-cost, off-grid electricity in rural and suburban areas, through high-quality solar technology
  • The price of a high-quality solar lamp becoming more affordable over time than kerosene and disposable batteries, thanks to the PAYG system (where the poorest can make small, affordable payments), and energy service provision being significantly improved
  • Increased income for cell phone representatives involved in the project, through the sale of solar lamps
  • Increased income for end users (a household using a PAYG lamp can save USD 110 to 114 over three years)