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Landmark green energy deal signed by the Democratic Republic of Congo government

We designed and facilitated the process that will bring affordable, green energy to half a million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), boosting economic growth and reducing carbon emissions. The African Solar Industry Association described it as 'probably the largest [solar] mini-grid project in the world'.

Setting the scene

Our work with the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is helping rebuild the country’s economy after decades of conflict and instability, including facilitating much needed international investment and access to reliable, green electricity.

The DRC is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of mineral deposits, and the size of Western Europe, yet the people remain some of the poorest in the world. Conflict has ravaged the country for decades, and it’s not surprising that the country's infrastructure is fragile - only 10% of the country has access to reliable electricity.

On behalf of the FCDO, we have been working to support the DRC government with various projects over the past decade to improve the country’s ways of doing business, their public services, and energy supply.

How we helped

In June 2021 we celebrated a landmark event, with three concession agreements signed that will bring affordable, green energy to half a million people, boosting economic growth and reducing carbon emissions. The African Solar Industry Association heralded our PwC Essor programme as 'probably the largest [solar] mini-grid project in the world'.

Four years ago we designed an innovative tendering process for international companies to bid to develop solar mini-grids in the North of the DRC, to provide reliable and affordable electricity. It’s expected these will serve around 24,000 households and 4,000 businesses, as well as schools and medical centres.

Louise Farrar

“I’m immensely proud of our work in the DRC. We’re making a real difference, delivering sustainable outcomes to some of the poorest communities. It also builds immense trust in British interests and values overseas.”

Andrea Talbot-West, Essor Programme Director

Making a difference

The chosen supplier will now design, build, operate and maintain these solar mini-grids, paving the way for economic growth and job creation, and a cut in carbon emissions through the displacement of diesel generation.

Our Engagement Partner and Global Client Partner for the FCDO, Andy Woodfield, said: “Our work here embodies The New Equation, leads to sustainable outcomes like job creation, quality of life improvements and a cut in CO2 emissions. I’m proud to see our team led by Andrea Talbot-West delivering on our joint PwC/FCDO Net Zero commitment by helping to move the scope of what was a non-climate and environment project to become, possibly the world's largest ever solar mini-grid programme.”

This achievement is recognised by the market as a landmark model having the capacity to scale up much-needed private investment in the DRC and beyond its borders. Other organisations, such as the World Bank Group have already received Essor’s templates with the aim to scale up this work in the DRC and other African countries.

Contact us

Annual Report enquiries

Corporate Affairs, PwC United Kingdom

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