Exclusive interview with Jill Godden, CEO of Clean Energy for Africa (CEFA). Ms Godden will address the Large Power Users track at the upcoming African Utility Week from 13-14 May in Cape Town on “The future of clean energy in Africa’s power sector”.
1) Let’s start off with some background on the CEFA and its goals.
CEFA is a non profit organization which was established to address the lack of electrical and water services in the off the grid or more rural areas of South Africa and Africa. Using donor funds we are working with the department of Energy to assist where possible to bring Solar Home Systems to the off the grid homes which number more than 3 million in South Africa, and address the electrification of clinics and schools in rural South Africa.
2) What are the CEFA best accomplishments so far in your opinion?
We are too "young" to show our accomplishments but the mission for 2014 is to electrify at least 100 000 rural homes in South Africa.
3) How do you see the CEFA's role in the industry?
Currently the department of energy has six concessionaires who supply these SHS's to rural areas at a cost to the applicant. CEFA's intention is to supply free basic energy to the applicants using only donor funding.
4) What do you see as the main challenges in the industry?
The time delays getting funding in to assist in electrifying these off the grid areas. While the government is working very hard to alleviate and deliver on their promises, the delays in setting up renewable energy power plants and the growing need for basic electricity as our economy and population grows are an important factor in planning.
5) Why the decision to partner with African Utility Week?
AUW is definitively THE utility and energy conference in South Africa. The value of a partnership with AUW is immeasurable and the platform it creates for industry to discuss and network is unprecedented in the industry.
6) What will be your message at African Utility Week?
My message is a showcase of the needs in South Africa and Africa, and the efforts been made to alleviate the problems regarding energy delivery.