Nigeria, others get World Bank’s $200m off-grid electrification support

Nigeria and 18 other African countries will get $200 million in funding from the World Bank as part of the Regional Off Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP) which aims to provide beneficiaries support to foster a sustainable and scalable off-grid electrification market to meet the electrification needs of populations in remote areas.

Implemented by Cedeao’s Ecreae Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, the initiative will enable the deployment of solar photovoltaic systems for households, utilities and production infrastructure.

The ultimate goal is to enable people living in the most remote communities to have access to clean energy sources. Its implementation will be in two phases that will span five years between 2017 and 2022. BusinessDay has reported.

The first phase will consist of supporting the acceleration of the market for solar electric installations. It has a budget allocation of $60 million. The second, which will cost $140 million, will support and develop supply and demand in these solar markets. Its main beneficiaries will be importers, distributors of solar energy equipment, as well as the end-users of this equipment.

Apart from Nigeria, other beneficiary countries of the project include; Mauritania, Chad, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

With support from international development institutions, off-grid power projects in Nigeria are changing the face of rural communities, creating new jobs and enterprises, reducing crime rates, empowering rural women and positively impacting class attendance in public schools.

In less than two years, companies like Rubitec Solar, Havenhill Energy Ltd, GVE Nigeria, Ajima farms, Azuri technologies, Arnergy Ltd and others have attracted close to N1billion in financing for biogas, solar home systems and mini grid projects in rural communities in Nigeria, BusinessDay investigations show.

These projects are setting off a quiet revolution in creating new enterprises, ramping up financial inclusion through adoption of mobile money systems and creating a pool of new businesses BusinessDay findings in communities in Kaduna and Abuja showed after visits to project sites last year.

Ajima farms managed by Fatima Ademoh, is powering Rije village in Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, with 20 kilowatts of biogas from generators.

With a $150,000 grant from the United States African Development Foundation, USADF, the project, called Ajima Farms Biogas Digester Off-Grid, commissioned in June, converts huge volumes of wastes generated from large poultry farms around the communities into power.

“We were presented with two problems, agricultural wastes and villages that are not connected to the national grid. They need electricity and the gases released by these wastes into the atmosphere is 24 times dangerous more than carbondioxide as a greenhouse gas,” said Ademoh in an interview.