• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

DARES project to power 17.5m Nigerians with renewable energy says World Bank

What to know about the World Bank’s report as Nigerians?

The World Bank announced on Friday that it has approved the Nigeria Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-up (DARES) project, which is targeted at providing over 17.5 million Nigerians with new or improved access to electricity through distributed renewable energy solutions.

Funded by an International Development Association (IDA) credit totaling $750 million, the project is set to leverage over $1 billion from private capital and additional financing from various global partners, the World Bank said.

The project will also involve $100 million and $200 million in funding from the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Added to the above partners, a consortium of development agencies such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), SEforALL, and the African Development Bank (AfDB) are partnering with the World Bank to actualize this project.

Read also:Nigeria, others spend $443.5bn to service debt in 2022; World Bank

According to a statement from the bank, “The DARES project will use innovative financing solutions to scale up private sector-led clean electricity provision in Nigeria.”

The inspiration behind the DARES project came from over 85 million Nigerians who lack access to efficient electricity, including the thousands of businesses and households that have restricted access to a reliable and sufficient supply of electricity.

DARES is expected to “build on the achievements of the World Bank-financed Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), which has supported the establishment of 125 mini-grids and the sale of over a million solar home systems, through which more than 5.5 million Nigerians have gained access to electricity. NEP has also resulted in the creation of over 5,000 private-sector local green jobs in Nigeria.”

It will also enable the Federal Government of Nigeria to coordinate and finance all off-grid electrification efforts and will help states access technical assistance to develop institutional capacity and policy frameworks for rooftop solar.

Another important benefit of the DARES programme is that it will focus on helping more women and female-led businesses get electricity, building on what NEP did for them. It will target creating more jobs for women in the energy sector.

“We are committed to expanding clean energy-based access in Nigeria, with the $750 million Nigeria DARES project being the largest ever single distributed energy project of the World Bank globally.

Read also:NNPC needs to be transparent about profit, revenue – World Bank

“It will benefit over 17.5 million unserved, underserved, rural, and remote Nigerians through the deployment of standalone solar and mini-grids and replace more than 280,000 polluting and expensive petrol and diesel generator sets, an important step for Nigeria towards achieving its energy transition targets,” said Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria.

“Through the DARES project, Nigeria will be able to provide up to 237,000 MSMEs with reliable and clean electricity for productive uses that will help improve their potential to generate income and create local jobs.”

Speaking on this achievement, Adebayo Adebalu said, “I am excited to contribute to this revolutionary movement, emphasising innovative financial instruments like the DARES programme. These initiatives not only unlock the full potential of the off-grid sector but also fuel investments, propelling forward clean energy solutions.

“The ripple effect reaches unserved and underserved communities, unlocking access to a realm of clean and equitable energy for all. It’s a powerful journey of empowerment and transformation.”.

The DARES programme is expected to help close Nigeria’s electricity access gap by stressing the importance of sustainable and efficient energy sources.

This collaboration between government entities, the private sector, and development partners signals a paradigm shift towards cleaner and more accessible energy for millions of Nigerians.