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  • Setting out to improve energy access

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Pitti-Gare village is home of a Villasol installation enabled by Schneider Electric partner Instrumelec. Photo courtesy of René-Pierrot Ekoé. 600 million. In Africa, more than 600 million people do not have access to energy (i.e. 70% of the population — excluding South Africa and Egypt).

Schneider Electric ‘Base of the Pyramid’ (BipBop) program projects have brought electricity to 1.6 million people in remote, energy-poor areas off the national grid.

Electricity is readily available, safe, and reliable in most developed countries. But for populations at the base of the energy pyramid, access to electricity is a systemic challenge.

Recognizing this limitation and its economic, educational, and technological consequences, Schneider Electric advances its efforts to support energy access projects and training in remote and energy-poor countries globally through its BipBop Program. BipBop stands for “Business, Innovation, and People at the Base of the Pyramid.”

As an example, Schneider deployed a project in the village of Pitti-Gare, Cameroon, which is not directly connected to the national electricity network. According to the French Agency of Development (AFD), 95 per cent of the people living in rural areas in Cameroon have no access to electricity. Schneider equipped the village with a solar micropower plant, which has transformed the lives of its citizens.

This decentralized rural electrification solution consists of photovoltaic panels, a battery bank, and a battery charging station that enables a communal recharge system. The facility supplies domestic, entrepreneurial, and community needs such as schools, health centers, water supply, and public lighting – all without connection to the national grid.

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