Double counting the number of people overstated the number of people in countries including Kenya, who would benefit from clean energy through the UK government’s £10 billion International Climate Finance (ICF) programme, it has been revealed.
The Department for International Development (DfID) blamed “human error” for the mistake in its annual report which claimed 77 million people, instead of the correct figure of 36 million people, had benefited from the project.
The £10 billion ten-year programme, which runs until 2021, has so far helped to provide 17 million people with better access to clean energy in countries including Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Bangladesh and Nepal.
In Kenya, the UK is the sole funder of the Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP), an organisation focused on providing access to financial and technical assistance.
One of the beneficiaries of the REPP is Virunga Power, an African developer, investor, and operator of renewable power projects and rural distribution grids, who wanted to develop two river-based mini hydro-power plants in the Murang’a and Bungoma counties. To get these projects off the ground they needed to show private investors that the projects would be sound and successful.
Partnering with REPP allowed Virunga Power to carry out activities like environmental impact assessments and feasibility studies. This addressed concerns of potential investors and the project is now expected to attract significant private and public finance. At the same time, it demonstrates that small scale renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa are a viable investment.
These 2 power plants will provide improved access to clean electricity to around 340,000 people in rural communities, helping to stimulate rural economic growth. REPP is now working with partners to develop more hydro, biomass and solar power projects in Kenya which could power 18,000 homes.