In our last blog post, we discussed the need for electrification in rural areas, specifically Africa and the challenges utilities face when trying to deliver power to their communities to meet basic human needs. Though we initially focused on Africa, it is important to emphasize that this is not the only continent that experiences this problem. At Delta, we strive to help utilities everywhere – whether they are located in the Caribbean, Mexico, South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, India, Southeast Asia or elsewhere. With the world’s electrification rate in rural areas being 68%, we look to find ways to help so that everyone has access to reliable electricity.
With so many people living without reliable access to power, we wonder if the traditional approach of extending the grid to provide electricity to these communities is proving to be insufficient despite the valiant efforts of utilities worldwide. Many have noticed this approach is mostly dependent on being centralized and can require electricity to be transmitted over long distances. But distributed power resources and micro-grids offer developing regions a more flexible and less expensive alternative and can help utilities overcome some of the challenges they face when trying to extend the grid in a traditional manner.
These solutions can operate concurrently or independently from the main utility grids already in place, they utilize renewable energy, and make it possible for utilities to create energy closer to where it is being used. Another benefit is that they enable community empowerment by allowing for local energy reliability and independence. And, utilities are beginning to recognize these alternatives may offer a more sustainable solution. In fact, according to the PWC Global Power Utilities Survey in 2015, 82% see the distributed power generation as an opportunity to match supply and demand rather than meet demand itself. As utilities look to new solutions they must also look at ways they can help the communities they serve prosper outside of just reliable power.
As these utilizes start to grow and expand, something that micro-grids and distributed power resources enable, it is important to recognize the specific needs of these under-served communities in which micro-grids are being placed. These communities reflect new customers with unique needs.
Consequently, we created Delta Squared to empower utilities to do just that! Our strategy is to align utilities with the social needs of their customers by dedicating a small percent of their smart grid enhanced revenues into a dedicated fund, locally managed by a Delta established 501c3. This dedicated fund empowers the utility’s customers through local infrastructure investment, supporting enterprise growth, education and livelihood enhancement.
At Delta, we strive to help utilities as they look to new solutions that can help them achieve the best return on their investment in modernizing old infrastructures, developing more productive business models, and of course, bettering customer satisfaction as the energy sector evolves.