Manufacturing and Energy

$60 million solar project to give 150,000 Nigerians electric energy set for completion in 2026

Africa possesses an impressive 60% share of the world’s finest solar resources, making it an attractive destination for investors seeking lucrative and sustainable opportunities in the long run. At the Invest in African Energy (IAE) 2024 forum held in Paris on May 14, a panel session delved into strategies aimed at unlocking financing for renewable energy projects across the continent.

ENGIE Energy Access, an independent power producer, actively participated in the session and engaged in a comprehensive discussion on the deployment of solar energy. With a commitment to enhancing electrification rates throughout Africa, the company is currently undertaking a $60 million mini-grid project in Nigeria. This project is expected to be completed by 2026 and will provide electricity access to over 150,000 individuals.

Marie Testard, the Head of Funding at ENGIE Energy Access, emphasized the company’s mission to bridge the electricity access gap, which affects more than 600 million people. ENGIE Energy Access aims to be the leading energy access provider in sub-Saharan Africa and has already established a presence in nine countries, constructing nearly 10 GW of mini-grids.

On another front, Africa50 Group, a pan-African infrastructure investment platform, has successfully secured commitments totaling $222.5 million from African institutional investors in January. This positions the fund favorably to implement a series of renewable energy infrastructure projects. Africa50 Group is poised to play a crucial role in addressing the energy requirements of the continent while promoting inclusive and sustainable development.

Molly Gbodimowo, the Strategy Director of Africa50 Infrastructure Investment Platform, highlighted Africa’s abundant renewable resources and its status as the world’s highest solar potential region. Despite this, the continent currently only has 5 GW of installed solar capacity. Gbodimowo emphasized that Africa needs an annual investment of $277 billion to achieve its 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Overall, Africa’s solar power potential presents numerous opportunities for investors, and with the involvement of companies like ENGIE Energy Access and Africa50 Group, the continent is making significant strides towards a sustainable and electrified future.

Underscoring the pivotal role of public-private partnerships and innovative financing mechanisms in driving renewable energy initiatives, the speakers stressed the importance of local institutions and a favorable investment environment in Africa.

Additionally, it was noted that Africa’s path towards a more sustainable future will require a concerted effort from international stakeholders in the continent’s energy sector to divest from carbon-intensive resources and move towards renewables.

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