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In Africa, Enel Green Power’s Energy Contributes to Healthcare

3 min.

In Africa, Enel Green Power’s Energy Contributes to Healthcare

From Ethiopia to South Africa, Enel Green Power is helping both small and large communities get faster, safer and more modern medical care. In Uganda, for example, it’s working with EMERGENCY on a world-class hospital designed by Renzo Piano

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Forty-two days. Until recently, this was how long the residents of Paleisheuwel – a small farming community in South African’s Western Cape – had to wait between one visit from their mobile clinic and the next. 

The alternative? Travel by foot, at their own expense, for roughly 50 km to the nearest city, to see a doctor or even to buy common medicines.

Since July 2019, things have changed: the residents of this community can go to the Sandveld Health Centre, a center for basic medical services, any time. The center was inaugurated by Enel Green Power with the cooperation of CMAN (Cederberg Matzikama Aids Network).


Green Energy for Health

The Sandveld Health Centre isn’t the only example of Enel Green Power’s care for community health. Still in Africa, in Entebbe, in a desert area of Uganda, EGP is contributing to the complete energy self-sufficiency of a EMERGENCY's world-class Center for Pediatric Surgery, a project led by the organization that involves several Italian talents, including Renzo Piano as architect.

The center for pediatric surgery is part of the larger project ANME (African Network of Medical Excellence), created in 2009 by EMERGENCY, with the goal of bringing free and world-class healthcare to Africa, helping to reduce infant mortality in Uganda and the surrounding countries.

The structure, on Lake Victoria, is in earth pisè– a traditional construction technique that uses raw earth, guaranteeing thermal inertia that can maintain a constant temperature and humidity – for which Enel Green Power provided 2,600 thin-film photovoltaic modules, for a total of 289.24 KWp, granting the building full energy independence. The use of raw earth ensures sustainability in the project’s construction phase by minimizing environmental impact. At the same time, the presence of photovoltaic panels regulates electrical energy production for the entire structure, guaranteeing its energy needs are met. Green space is an important aspect for the psychophysical well-being of patients and plays a key role in the recovery and healing process. For this reason, to complete the structure, born from the earth and nourished by the sun, the project includes a large garden with hundreds of trees.


“Energy is a right that contributes to all the others. It makes it possible to gain access to the other fundamental rights of an individual, like healthcare.”

– Suelen Quadri, Head of Sustainability, North Africa and Central Africa


In Ethiopia, a Wolisso, a town with 50,000 inhabitants southwest of Addis Ababa that already had a hospital, Enel Green Power’s involvement made it possible to guarantee constant energy supply to the structure. A few months ago, at the St. Luke Hospital, an innovative hybrid system made up of a photovoltaic plant and batteries was implemented, which has stopped frequent interruption to the functioning of life-saving machinery.

In southern Zambia, too, just a few weeks after the launch of operations at the 34-MW Ngonye solar photovoltaic park – the first in the country – Enel Green Power created new shared value. The Chisankane Clinic, which provides medical care to 11 nearby villages every day, underwent complete remodeling together with the Shantumbu School, where 1700 students can how study in a more comfortable environment.


Sustainable Development and “Nexus”

Health and energy are also intertwined in the water-food-energy “Nexus”, which EGP is exploring on an international and inter-governmental level. A paradigm shift whereby energy and its productive uses become key to access clean water and the agri-food supply chain (processing of agricultural input, food conservation and introduction of the cold chain, pasteurization).

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) laid out in the UN’s 2030 Agenda have been integrated into Enel Green Power’s business model. And creating shared value is a key aspect to providing a concrete contribution to the socio-economic development of the areas where EGP works, hand in hand with the pursuit of energy objectives. 

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