The Powering Renewable Energy Opportunities (PREO) programme has launched an in-depth knowledge guide on equipment procurement based on insights from their clean energy projects in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Benin, Burkina Faso and Lesotho. Funded by the IKEA Foundation and UK Aid, and delivered by the Carbon Trust and Energy 4 Impact, projects in the PREO programme are implementing innovative off-grid productive use of energy (PUE) business models in sub-Saharan Africa. The overall programme aims to boost long-term economic prosperity and job creation within local value-chains, but insights generated by the projects in the meanwhile are set to be published in a series of PREO Knowledge Guides across 2021.
The equipment procurement guide is the first knowledge piece arising from the programme. The guide highlights current supply chains in sub-Saharan Africa for PUE equipment that uses clean energy. It identifies the challenges, opportunities and successes faced by the PREO projects when purchasing such equipment, such as problems with sourcing, shipping and installing equipment delivered from international markets, obstacles around port clearance, and regulatory frameworks that do not fully support the manufacturing of clean energy equipment locally.
PREO projects have modelled a few of the mitigation strategies explored in this guide: creating partnerships along the supply chain, using collaborative shipping models, increasing local and international market knowledge, upskilling local personnel by providing technical training programmes, and strengthening relationships with local government bodies. Whilst there is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution to every challenge, it is vital that companies consider their responses to common potential challenges before they arise: to be forewarned is to be forearmed. In particular, energy companies experiencing difficulties in procurement should proactively seek support to streamline their supply chain operations and processes. This knowledge guide therefore also details sources of support in relation to port clearance, transport, logistics and delivery, technical and business advisory support and avenues for industry networking.
Offering a comprehensive overview on resolving procurement challenges, this PREO Knowledge Guide comprises a useful resource for a variety of stakeholders in the public and private sectors. Further knowledge guides on crisis management, local partnerships and community engagements will be published this year.