Nigeria is set to receive US $21m from the United Kingdom and Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) to support the deployment of solar generated electricity small businesses in the country.
The funds will provide a mix of interest free loans and repayable grants and technical assistance to private sector operators in the solar business. It will be deployed through AECF’s Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technology (REACT) Household Solar Round Two Competition.
“Renewable sources of energy provide just 18% of Africa’s current power generating capacity, therefore developing off grid alternatives could create many more opportunities and transform millions of lives,” said the Chief Executive Officer of AECF, Daniel Ohonde.
The funding window was also part of AECF’s Africa Clean Energy Programme (ACE) which seeks to increase the supply of household solar systems to rural markets at affordable costs, facilitated through innovative financing; operating and distribution models such as the PAYGO and micro-financed solar power interventions.
Solar power operators in Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal and Somalia are other countries set to benefit from AECF funds. The countries will be allowed to access the funds as long as they meet the requirements spelt out by AECF. Up to 25 solar-based businesses or operators from these countries would be able to access the fund on a matching grant basis.
“The additional funding will enable AECF to continue investing in private sector companies to deliver business models which accelerate access to trans formative solar home systems to rural markets in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Mr. Daniel.
The REACT programme has so far contributed to the generation of 29.7MW of clean electricity in countries it has supported, while reducing their carbon emission by over one million tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCo2e) cumulatively.