FB, Mi­crosoft to usher in mi­cro­grids


Face­book, Mi­crosoft and ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists at Al­lotrope Part­ners have set up a fa­cil­ity to finance en­ergy ac­cess projects in In­done­sia, In­dia and East Africa. A mi­cro­grid is a minia­ture power sys­tem that op­er­ates in­de­pen­dently of a na­tional grid. The In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency es­ti­mates that over 1.2 bil­lion peo­ple don’t have ac­cess to elec­tric­ity, mostly in sub­Sa­ha­ran Africa and devel­op­ing Asia.

As re­new­able en­ergy tech­nolo­gies such as so­lar pan­els be­come cheaper, mi­cro­grids have emerged as an option to more peo­ple. The Mi­cro­grid In­vest­ment Ac­cel­er­a­tor, or MIA, will seek to mo­bilise $50 mil­lion from 2018 to 2020. It will tap grants and loans from foun­da­tions and devel­op­ment banks to at­tract pri­vate cap­i­tal into projects that help to trans­mit re­new­able en­ergy over small elec­tric­ity net­works.

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