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EDP brings energy and environmental sustainable solutions to refugees in Kenya

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Kakuma pilot project, in partnership with UNHCR, helps more than 70,0000 people

EDP joined together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to bring renewable energy and sustainable environmental solutions to the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. An unprecedented global project that was presented at the 5th annual conference of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York in September 2009.
A simple idea that, in this first stage will revolutionise the lives of more than 70,000 people.

This pilot project aims to develop a standardised set of energy solutions and encourage social entrepreneurship in Kakuma. If successful and scalable to other camps and rural communities, EDP will thus help to break cycles of poverty and foster sustainable development worldwide, empowering vulnerable people and covering their basic energy needs.

High demand for scarce or expensive energy resources such as firewood and kerosene has a huge impact on the sustainability of refugee camps. Depletion of natural resources presents a number of risks, particularly for the most vulnerable refugees such as women, potential targets of violence over the long distances they have to walk to collect firewood.

EDP will produce electricity from the sun and the wind, furthering a reduction in the consumption of diesel and implementing solar-powered street lighting, which will greatly improve the energy efficiency of the camp. To reduce dependence on firewood and consequent deforestation, solar ovens and water purifiers will be used. In terms of social entrepreneurship, EDP will provide technical training to refugees on how to install and maintain solar systems, even installing solar systems for pumping water for irrigation, encouraging small-scale agricultural production.

The pilot project is currently in its closing stages, having reached the objectives we all set ourselves.

Thanks to the merit and innovative nature of the project, EDP has become one of the official partners of the "Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign", also being shortlisted for the "Sustainable Energy Europe Awards Competition 2011".

Project Highlights:

> About 47 kW of photovoltaic solar systems installed and more than 1,500 low energy bulbs in 11 buildings. The metallic structures were built locally, as were the technical rooms for electrical equipment.

> 30 high-quality solar ovens.

> 4,000 solar lanterns to students in around 20 schools by entering into a written agreement between parents (or guardians), the students and their schools.

> 31 solar street lamps installed.

> Three solar water pumping systems for small-scale agriculture and reforestation installed.

> Technical training sessions for around 100 refugees.

> The environmental and social impact of the entire pilot project is to be monitored and assessed with the support of two specialised external partners.

> Detailed study of the lighting and energy use expenses incurred by refugees and the local community (hosts).

About EDP

Energias de Portugal, S.A. is a vertically-integrated utility company, headquartered in Lisbon, Portugal.  EDP holds significant electricity and gas operations in Europe, Brazil and the United States, including a strong renewable generation profile. The Group is present in 12 countries.

EDP is among the major European operators in the energy sector; is one of the largest energy operators in the Iberian Peninsula and the 3rd largest producer of wind energy.

EDP is today rated as No 1 European utility in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (World and STOXX), the world's most demanding ranking which distinguishes the best performing companies on issues related to transparency, sustainability and excellence in economic management and the social environment.