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REA, institute to launch road map for mini-grid market

REA, institute to launch road map for mini-grid market

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‘Femi Asu

The United States-based Rocky Mountain Institute and the Rural Electrification Agency are set to release a first-of-its-kind, three-year road map for electricity mini-grid market in Africa.

A statement from the RMI said the road map, which would outline how to achieve $0.20/kilowatt hour from electric mini-grid technology by 2020, would be unveiled on May 1, 2018.

It said the road map would outline how much capital would be required and a plan for transitioning funding from grants and high-risk concessional and government sources to venture capital and private equity.

According to the statement, the RMI co-hosted a workshop last week to chart the path to unlocking the mini-grid market in Nigeria, which would provide energy access to millions and tap into a multibillion-dollar opportunity.

It said more than 50 industry leaders and experts attended the interactive work session that focused on delivering a profitable and scalable mini-grid market business model.

“Nigeria has all the right drivers to become a leader in the mini-grid market in Africa: great entrepreneurial tradition, a large self-employed population and market size. I’m looking forward to seeing how entrepreneurs in Nigeria leverage this opportunity over the next few years,” said Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group and an RMI donor.

According to the statement, 85 million people do not have reliable access to electricity or are not connected to the grid.

Mini-grids provide an enormous investment opportunity as Nigerians already spend $14bn annually on off-grid power from small 14,000MW gas generators, according to the RMI.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Rural Electrification Agency, Damilola Ogunbiyi, was quoted as saying, “The electricity market for off-grid energy in Nigeria is huge and profitable for developers. Installing 1,000 mini-grids each year for the next 10 years would provide power to millions of Nigerians currently off-grid.”

“I am excited and optimistic about cracking the mini-grid challenge in Nigeria. Nigeria is blessed with some of the region’s most amazing entrepreneurs. We urge venture capitalists and impact investors from around the world to get involved with us,” said the Chief Executive Officer, RMI, Jules Kortenhorst.

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