The Carbon Trust awarded €5 million IKEA Foundation funding to realise the potential of energy access in sub-Saharan Africa


The Carbon Trust today announces a new partnership with the IKEA Foundation following an award of €5 million to support the new Powering Renewable Energy Opportunities (PREO) Programme, which will be delivered jointly with Energy 4 Impact.

The PREO programme aims to use renewable energy in sub-Saharan Africa to boost long-term job creation and reduce poverty through economic growth and empowerment of women.

Backed by the IKEA Foundation with co-funding from UK Aid, PREO will fund more than 20 collaborative projects and partnerships that use a market-led approach to promoting productive use of energy (PUE), and support revenue growth in the companies involved by an average of fifty percent.

While a reliable and affordable energy supply is vital for people living in rural sub-Saharan Africa to power their homes and businesses, energy access alone is not enough to transform economies. Rural energy programmes need to consider the social and economic context for each local area and build partnerships that give people access to finance, technology and markets.

PREO promotes direct collaboration between energy users and power suppliers to realise the potential of energy access to improve livelihoods and boost economic growth. It therefore supports locally-relevant productive use of energy initiatives through:

  • grant funding to stimulate investment and income-generating activities;
  • partnership building support to bring various actors together for specific projects and programmes;
  • offering advisory services to companies involved in PUE, including market intelligence, partnering and financing advice.  

In addition, PREO also aims to create a globally significant centre of PUE expertise in the sector, by developing a platform to support, direct and communicate market and project learnings, which will be key to achieve wider impact. The funding from IKEA Foundation will supplement €5.9 million that has been provided by UK Aid and, through attracting additional co-funding, PREO will aim to deliver a project portfolio with a total value of more than €20 million.

Jolanda van Ginkel, the IKEA Foundation’s Programme Manager for Renewable Energy, says:

“The PREO programme gives organisations working on energy for productive use the support to scale up by focussing on what people in rural communities really need.

By working together effectively, we want to make renewable energy accessible more quickly to many communities. This will reduce carbon emissions and enable people living in poverty to afford a better life.”

More on the PREO Programme