Access to energy is now a must.

Energy is Nexans’ core business, regarded by the Group as a key driver of economic and social development. As a leading player in this fi eld, Nexans has therefore committed to support common interest projects aimed at fi ghting energy insecurity and poverty worldwide, thereby enabling disadvantaged communities to access services that are essential for their human, social and economic development. This commitment takes place in an international context and refl ects the issues raised in this respect by the United Nations.

Access to energy is now a must. Energy, however, is not only about light and comfort. In most countries that have very limited access to energy, it facilitates education, healthcare, women’s empowerment and economic development… These are essential needs that must be met. Fighting energy insecurity and poverty also helps disadvantaged communities to access clean cooking facilities, thus contributing to reducing the number of premature deaths caused each year by pollution from the rudimentary combustion of biomass.

Today, over 1.3 billion people1 do not have access to energy and at least 2.7 billion do not have access to clean cooking facilities. More than 95% of them live in Sub-Saharan Africa or in developing Asia. It is estimated that 1 billion will still not have access to energy by 2030, and that access to clean cooking facilities will not have improved at all by then (see map below).

In view of such alarming figures, the United Nations declared 2012 as the Year of Sustainable Energy2. “The International Year of Sustainable Energy for All presents a valuable opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of increasing sustainable access to energy, energy efficiency, and renewable energy at the local, national, regional and international levels. Lack of access to clean, affordable and reliable energy hinders human, social and economic development and is a major impediment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals” (see box), according to the Organization who asked for support from all government and private stakeholders.

There are multiple energy resources (including hydraulic, geothermal, solar power, etc.) which are often largely untapped, especially in some regions of Africa. Therefore Nexans wishes, through its Foundation and as a worldwide expert, to contribute to fighting the lack of access to energy.

This is not a new subject for Nexans, which has already become active in this field in 2011 by supplying the international solidarity NGO, Electricians Without Borders (ESF)3, with cables covering at least half the organization’s needs over three years, worth a total of 300,000 euros.

In the context of this partnership, Nexans has already sponsored the installation of 90 small run-of-river water turbines in the Phongsaly province of Laos in order to provide power through a micro network to hundreds of households in 24 isolated villages. Nexans also participates in the supply of electricity for about 800 households in three villages in Madagascar. Many further projects are underway with ESF, including in Togo, Niger, Madagascar, Peru, Benin and Congo.

All projects favor local resources and environment-friendly technologies, and ESF trains local people in the building and maintenance of installations.

Through its Foundation, Nexans has thus decided to get further involved in developing the electrification of disadvantaged communities throughout the world by giving priority to grassroots-level organizations and sustainable solutions.

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