Barely one year after EDF and Off-Grid Electric (OGE) launched a joint off-grid electricity supply solution for the Ivorian market, the offering has already been adopted by more than 10 000 households with approximately 50 000 people now enjoying access to electricity. Buoyed by their success, both companies, partnered by the Ghanaian CH Group – an industrial company – are now launching a new joint offering to supply the Ghana market with off-grid solar kits, led by ZEGHA, a dedicated joint venture. This initiative consolidates the position of off-grid power as a major growth opportunity for EDF in Africa.

With 600 million Africans not having access to electricity, off-grid solutions address a vital need and provide a substitute – in the form of solar power – for other CO2-emitting fuels (kerosene, candles, paraffin, etc.), whilst also supplementing the development of traditional systems.

ZECI: Off-grid pioneer in Côte d’Ivoire

ZECI, an EDF-OGE Ivorian joint venture, is the first large-scale partnership between a global electricity company and a start-up specialising in off-grid power. Pioneering in Côte d’Ivoire, ZECI was up and running within just a few weeks. Solar power kits were quickly available for sale in areas where access to power grids was the most lacking. The company is now a leader on the Ivorian market and employs over 400 locals for the sale and maintenance of solar kits. EDF and OGE are aiming to achieve a market share of more than 20% in Côte d’Ivoire by year 2020.

Ghana: a new market with high potential

As is the case with ZECI, ZEGHA will oversee the installation and maintenance of solar kits for homes located in Ghana’s rural and peri-urban areas. These kits comprise easy-to-install solar panels along with batteries for storing electricity, as well as energy-efficient appliances like radios, TVs, fans, mobile phone chargers and lighting. Kits are sold in the form of a 24 to 30-month lease agreement at the end of which the customer becomes owner. The kits are serviced by ZEGHA for a 5-year period.

The range of products sold by ZEGHA comprises two kits with different capacities. The monthly cost for one household ranges from 20 to 27 Euros depending on the model, tantamount to the current electricity expenditure of Ghanaian households for similar usages. Payment is simply made via a mobile phone using the “pay as you go” principle.

EDF, OGE and CH Group are aiming for a Ghana market share of 20%-25% by year 2022. This rate of growth is expected to create 1000 local job opportunities within ZEGHA.

EDF and OGE: a partnership based on operating experience

With 50 years of experience in Africa through its power generation and grid design business, EDF brings its expertise across the entire electricity value chain, along with a detailed knowledge of African markets. OGE, a start-up specialising in off-grid solutions, was involved in the design of the business model and provided technical solutions for the kits. The latter have been verified and tested by EDF R&D, who vouches for their sustainability.

Marianne Laigneau, Group Senior Executive Vice-President in charge of the International Division: “For us, the sale of 10 000 off-grid kits in Côte d’Ivoire within the space of just a few months is living proof of the appeal and efficiency offered by off-grid solutions. We are delighted to be entering the Ghana market with OGE and are already putting together innovative new off-grid solutions to support the energy transition in Africa. Off-grid power is thus becoming a strong contributor to the expansion of our business and fits perfectly into our CAP2030 strategy, which aims to triple the EDF Group’s international business outside of Europe by year 2030.”

“Building upon the success of our initial joint venture with EDF to provide solar solutions to households in Côte d’Ivoire, we’re excited to expand our partnership to Ghana. Ghana marks the fourth African country — in addition to Tanzania, Rwanda and Côte d’Ivoire — where Off Grid Electric has established market leadership." said Xavier Helgesen, co-founder and CEO, Off Grid Electric.

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