Leading off-grid renewable energy provider, Winch Energy, has opened its crowdfunding campaign to fund solar off grid developments that will connect more people in Sierra Leone and Uganda to clean and reliable power. This campaign enables individuals to invest in Africa’s growing clean energy market via Crowdcube from as little as £10.

Winch Energy’s work strives to help the UN meet its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), specifically SDG 7, which ensures universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services by 2030. With less than a decade left, Winch Energy is targeting countries in sub-Sahara Africa, which has the largest proportion of people without access to energy, to make the biggest impact.

Moving green energy forward in developing countries 

The COP26 summit in October 2021 has continued to drive interest in ESG investments and highlighted opportunities for scaling up clean power solutions in developing countries. With the power sector accounting for a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, the need to move away from fossil fuels has never been more urgent. Through its proprietary solar remote power unit (RPU) technology, Winch Energy is already working with several African governments, international foreign aid departments and NGOs to electrify communities. With more projects within sights, Winch Energy plans to use further investment to accelerate the switch to clean energy.

The commercial viability of green energy

To date, Winch Energy has raised $18 million through equity and loans and has established a pipeline of projects that will benefit over 4.2 million people in off-grid communities. Earlier this year it closed the largest ever mini-grid financing platform, a $16 million project via Winch IPP Holdings. This round of crowdfunding will fund further clean energy projects in Africa and support Winch Energy’s ambitions to become the largest off-grid utility in Africa. The London-based company has already received investment from shareholder Total Eren, which has pledged £375,000 to the Crowdcube campaign.

The organisation has already installed pilots in Mauritania and Benin; developed an award-winning project to power community healthcare centres in Sierra Leone; given energy access to 20,000 people on Lake Victoria; and just last week began construction for 25 mini-grids in Uganda’s northern Lamwo district. The inauguration ceremony was presided over by Uganda’s State Minister for Energy, the Hon. Okasaai Opolot, and, once live, the development will in addition provide street lighting and improved water services in 25 villages.

As more developments like these demonstrate the successful off-grid market investment, it will make it easier for developers to finance further projects and to offer better pricing and higher quality products to energy consumers.

Nicholas Wrigley, founder and CEO of Winch Energy Limited, says: “One of the key takeaways from COP26 is the need to scale up clean energy production in developing nations. Access to reliable energy is fundamental for stimulating economies, improving standards of living and reducing migration and overcrowding in cities. We have witnessed first-hand the impact access to clean, affordable energy has. These countries require a combination of energy solutions to meet development objectives; they have remote communities and are presented with geographical and infrastructure challenges yet are blessed with plentiful sunshine, so solar is an obvious part of the mix.

“We have already seen great growth in Africa’s clean energy market and the current spotlight on levelling up while managing climate change will push for further progress. This crowdfunding campaign gives individuals the opportunity to participate in the development of the Company and invest in change.”

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