Renewable Energy Gains Traction in Togo

By Thomas Hedley, Field Editor

In a bid to increase access to renewable energy in the country, Togo has launched a renewable energy development program.

The first phase of the program, funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research, was launched in January and will officially start in March.

The goal is to enhance cooperation and create synergies around climate change research between ten West African countries and Germany. Ultimately the research, which is being undertaken in partnership with Lome University and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany, will be the base of development for innovative renewable energy production to create a clean energy mix in Togo.

To increase electrification throughout the country, government implemented the Cizo Project in October 2018, where isolated rural areas are equipped with solar energy kits. Financed by the African Development Bank, the program aims provide access to electricity to 300,000 homes by 2022. Last year, French electricity giant Électricité de France took a 50 percent stake in solar kit manufacturer BBOXX to boost the program, and aims to reach 500,000 homes by 2030.

In 2016, the World Bank reported that only 46 percent of the population had access to electricity, slightly below the regional average of 52 percent. The country aims to increase that figure to 50 percent by 2020 and 100 percent by 2030. Only one out of five people living in rural areas in Africa have access to electricity, compared to 90 percent of the population of urban areas.