IFC and DFID Partner to Improve Access to Electricity for More Small and Medium Enterprises
By GLADYS JOHNSON
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, DFID, have partnered to facilitate the deployment of off-grid and embedded solar systems in commercial and industrial sectors of Nigeria. The ultimate goal is to help corporates and SMEs to have better and more reliable access to electricity, utilizing the country’s abundant solar resources, and thus contributing to Nigeria’s sustainable economic growth and greenhouse gas emission reduction objectives.
Through this partnership, IFC’s Off-Grid and Embedded Solar Market Development and Finance Program, and DFID’s Solar Nigeria Program are launching a new program in Nigeria for solar market development and finance. One of its major components will be to provide technical support and possibly financial instruments to local financial institutions. This will help them develop business solutions for the emerging solar market especially solar PV technology investments in Nigeria. The program is being launched at a workshop that will share market study findings, present the key components of the program implementation phase, and collect feedback from stakeholders.
Ben Mellor, DFID Nigeria’s Head of Office, said, “The UK Government is committed to helping to increase investment in off-grid energy and accelerating the delivery of solar energy systems that will help improve access to energy for more businesses. As access to energy is one of the most critical business needs in Africa and particularly Nigeria, the UK’s Department for International Development is determined to assist in bringing solar technology financing solutions to smaller businesses and corporates and we are working with IFC to help implement these solutions.”
“IFC has been at the fore, creating and facilitating solutions to help increase access to energy at the home and corporate levels in Nigeria,” said, Eme Essien Lore, IFC Country Manager for Nigeria. “The Solar market has the potential for quick wins in bringing access to electricity for more businesses as it takes less time to install. It also enables production of electricity at the point of need, which eliminates transmission losses to a great extent. We are working with DFID to accelerate access to electricity for more businesses and help contribute to economic growth in the country,” she continued.
This program is part of the World Bank Group’s Energy Business Plan for Nigeria where each World Bank Group institution (IFC, IBRD, and MIGA) leverage their competencies and products to provide solutions for projects that encourage the viability and contribute to the sustainability of the power sector.
Over the past three years, IFC has financed close to $3.5 billion in renewable energy projects worldwide, including biomass, geothermal, hydro, solar, and wind.