to create an African mini-grid industry involving decentralized electricity generation and
distribution networks based on renewable energy, Schneider Electric has signed a Memorandum of
Understanding with EM-ONE Energy Solutions, a Nigerian sustainable energy engineering company.
For 18 months, led by its sustainability department, the Group has been working to set up an industry
based on mini-grids built or operated by local stakeholders.
This has led to a first MoU with EM-ONE Energy Solutions, a Nigerian company that also operates in
Canada. “EM-ONE Energy Solutions has already won a contract for 30 mini-grids in Nigeria to power
hospitals in Kaduna State, and is also targeting the university and rural electrification market.
The MoU concerns Schneider’s support with optimizing the architecture of these projects and
developing an industrial platform to integrate these mini-grids into containers in Nigeria and
manufacture Schneider Electric mini-grid solutions under licence,” explained Paul-François Cattier,
Schneider Electric’s Vice President, Business Development, Africa & Middle East.
With sales representatives spread out over 12 countries (Chad, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania
and others), Schneider Electric is seeking engineering procurement construction (EPC) companies to
locally produce its solutions (e.g. Villaya Community, a mini-grid designed for rural electrification,
providing 7-63 kW of power).
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), West Africa’s energy consumption
could quadruple by 2030 to reach 219 TWh a year, less than half of the 478 TWh already consumed in
France in 2018. Part of the solution will come from mini-grids, decentralized networks powered by
photovoltaic energy. Demand is high: an estimated
200,000 mini-grids are required to power the continent and reach the United Nations Sustainable
Development Goal 7 (“Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”).
“Rather than importing mini-grids produced in Europe, Asia or North America, we want to create an
African mini-grid industry with operators, integrators, investors and local jobs,” Paul-François
past 10 years, the Group has already installed 700 mini-grids in Africa, mainly for rural
electrification, through its Access to Energy programme. This has largely been achieved with donations
to NGOs and equipment often produced in Europe.
Schneider Electric will provide them with advice on setting up an industrial plant and testing.
The Group is also working with public and private funding bodies.
It intends to cover the full range of needs with capacities up to 500 kW (enough to power a city of
10,000 inhabitants in Africa) through its standardized solutions, and from 500 kW to 20 MW through
specific architectures (for cities of several hundred thousand inhabitants that are without an electricity