A Power Africa program partner, the U.S. Africa Development Foundation (USADF), which has helped fund off-grid electrification projects as part of investment readiness initiatives in six Nigerian states, sees opportunities in the sector. “We’ve had some very successful solar-storage projects in Nigeria, many of which are minigrids, said Tom Coogan, USADF regional director.
Solar-storage microgrids, or minigrids as they’re known in Africa and other developing world markets, are proving themselves in the field, and in Nigeria in particular, Coogan said.
“Once they [renewable energy entrepreneurs] establish a business model and generate positive cash flows they’re able to access bank and other institutional sources of capital,” he told Microgrid Knowledge.
USADF has joined with national and international private and public sector organizations to help fund the development of more than 20 distributed, renewable energy entrepreneurs that are building rural, off-grid microgrids in Nigeria , part of the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge.
“We’re really seeing Nigerian banks develop products specifically around solar minigrids and solar energy now. They were just discussing it about three years ago, now they’re making loans,” Coogan said.
These include blended financing packages, made up of a mix of grant and private-sector equity and debt financing packages.
“There’s a mass market in Nigeria, and a mass of opportunity, along with a real entrepreneurial spirit among Nigerians,” Coogan said. “Coupled with a demand for energy, there’s lots of enthusiasm and actions being taken by and on the part of small entrepreneurs.”
Source: Micro Grid Knowledge