EDP has been committed to promoting universal access to sustainable energy in the last decade and has now decided to strengthen that commitment. The Group will invest 12 million euros in this area over the next three years, and also apply 1 million euros in social responsibility activities. This investment will impact 200,000 people, above all in developing countries.
This decision follows the new strategy defined for the access to energy (A2E) area and is in a context of the relevant potential market in developing countries. The Group’s investment will be carried out in existing and promising companies with sustainable solutions for access to energy, and will aim to promote sustainable energy for all, as well as the opportunity for EDP to become an A2E operator with relevance in emerging markets, with special emphasis on the rural market where there is no connection to national (off-grid) electric networks with renewable energy resources.
In terms of geography, priority will be given to East Africa and its greater political stability, a regulatory framework and its dynamics of economic development.
Investment in social responsibility activities will strengthen EDP's commitment to sustainability, notably through the creation of a philanthropic fund whose mission will be to mitigate the exclusion from electricity that affects more than a billion people.
Initially created in the EDP Foundation sphere, A2E is now regarded as an activity that is closely related to core business, with a team dedicated to the development of new projects and investments in decentralized generation, distribution and marketing, involving the Group’s different geographical areas of operation.
It reflects, therefore, EDP’s constant commitment to the local communities where it operates, combining social responsibility and economic sustainability in projects, and also enhancing new opportunities for internationalization in countries where a significant part of the rural population still does not have access to electricity.
Since 2009, the Group has invested about five million euros in A2E projects, directly impacting 20,000 people. Projects with direct impact were implemented in Kenya, Angola, Brazil, Guinea-Bissau and Benin, and consultancy projects were also implemented in São Tomé and Príncipe, Myanmar, Peru, Mexico, Mozambique, Timor and Venezuela.
This announcement of an increased investment of 12 million was been made during the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) forum. The forum has been discussing since yesterday universal access to sustainable energy at Lisbon’s Convento do Beato. As the only Presenting Sponsor, EDP has been involved in the preparation and promotion of this initiative from the beginning.
SEforALL, an initiative created by the United Nations, is, by the way, one of the many partners with which the Group has worked on this issue, and more specifically concerning faster actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Objective 7 of the United Nations – universal access to sustainable energy until 2030 – and the Paris climate agreement, which calls for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to limit the increase in global climate warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.
In April 2017, EDP Executive Chairman, António Mexia, was appointed chairman of the SEforALL Board of Directors.