Transmission ‘the next big deal’ as financiers assess prospects

The number of big multilateral financing facilities being put in place for electricity transmission and distribution (T&D) projects across Africa points to a recognition that, after decades when installing generation capacity was the central preoccupation of governments and donors, the infrastructure for delivering power to the people has often been ignored. Historically, large-scale T&D infrastructure has, of course, been put in place. But the momentum to modernise and expand grids has, in most jurisdictions, lagged in recent decades.

Failure to develop (usually state-owned) transmission systems and provide commercially viable environments in which distribution companies can thrive has often left a legacy of poor – or no – services. But this situation could be set to change. As one participant told the 14-15 November Africa Investment Exchange (AIX): Power and Renewables meeting in London, “transmission is the next big deal” in widening access across sub-Saharan Africa.
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AIX Power & Renewables featured a stream dedicated to transmission and distribution issues. The Grid-based and distributed strategies session was led by the Africa Infrastructure Development Association (AfIDA) as part of its thought leadership on key infrastructure issues.
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