What is the Digital Energy Facility?
The Digital Energy Facility is a programme mainly funded by the European Union and implemented by Agence Française de Développement.
- Budget: €23,500,000 (among which, €3 million has been dedicated to the management, communication and evaluation of the programme)
- Location : countries eligible for official development assistance from the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) are eligible, except EU pre-accession countries. Focus on Sub-Saharan Africa
- Duration: December 2019-December 2023 (December 2034 for the seed component)
Why the Digital Energy Facility?
The energy sector, especially electricity, is facing fundamental changes, which have disrupted the structure of the network: from a centralized to a decentralized power grid, mono-directional to multi-directional, carbon-based to decarbonized, production-centered to a consumer-centric network.
Digitalization is crucial in this new flexible and decentralised energy network as it helps manage energy demand, improves the grids’ planning, and can help implement new business models (mini/offgrids), which contribute to an increased access to energy.
Thanks to the financing of digital innovation projects and products, the Facility aims to:
- Support the integration of renewable energy sources into the grid
- Increase access to energy
- Improve the performance of utilities and reduce technical and commercial losses
What are the Facility's main objectives?
The Digital Energy Facility’s actions can be divided into 3 main axes:
- Support innovative solutions for energy access in collaboration with the private sector, including start-ups and digital ecosystems active on energy access
- Support power utilities to develop comprehensive roadmaps and investment plans for performance improvement through the integration of smart grids and new digital solutions in the operation of their systems and the management of companies
- Eventually, support partnerships between utilities and the private sector to promote the dissemination of innovative solutions on a sustainable basis with the aim of harmonizing technologies and sharing know-how
This later point is the Facility’s specificity as it is the first programme ever to support synergies between the digitalization of utilities and innovative solutions developed by startups.