Sunday Jan 29, 2023

Access to Reliable and Affordable Off-Grid Energy to be Transformed Across Benin under New EIB – ENGIE Energy Access Initiative – African Business


Scaling up off-grid solar power model for transforming rural energy access across Africa; EIB ( financing to improve access to access to electricity for 643,000 people; Local currency financing to accelerate PAYGO solution for affordable green energy

Households, smallholders and entrepreneurs in remote locations across Benin will be able to access reliable and cheap electricity for the first time under a new off-grid solar scheme agreed between leading solar energy company ENGIE Energy Access and the European Investment Bank, one of the world’s largest financiers of renewable energy.

The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide a EUR 10 million loan to support the deployment of 107,000 high-quality solar home systems to Benin. This will open up access to clean energy for 643,000 people. The solar home systems include solar panels and battery storage to be sold on Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) contracts.

Ambroise Fayolle, the European Investment Bank Vice President, said: “Vulnerable communities across Africa are being impacted by global energy shocks triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and so improving access to affordable and clean energy is even more important to fight poverty, create jobs and empower women and girls. The European Investment Bank is pleased to agree new support for scaling up off-grid solar deployment to West Africa under this new partnership with ENGIE. 

“For the first time, more than half a million people across Benin will be able to access electricity that will power communications, provide light and make cooking easier. Deployment of solar home systems will also reduce the usage of kerosene, charcoal, candles and generators to help families save money, reduce pollution and reduce the risk of accidents. Unlocking sustainable, economic and social development through off-grid solar is key for Africa’s future and to reduce the impact of global energy shocks, The EIB is pleased to back this project in Benin.”

Gillian-Alexandre Huart, ENGIE Energy Access CEO, said: “Over the last couple of years, the private sector has developed off-grid solutions such as solar home systems (SHS), micro- and mini-grids, which have clearly proven to be sustainable and economical solutions to reach universal energy access by 2030.

“Thanks to the use of digital tools and the strong penetration of mobile money in Sub-Saharan Africa, ENGIE Energy Access sells access-to-energy products to our customers on credit to make them affordable. It is clear that a combination of capital from private investors and impact funds from multilateral funds is needed in order to reach the amount of funding necessary to realize the energy transition and to meet SDG7 in Africa. Our new partnership with the European Investment Bank in Benin will provide ultra-affordable PAYGO systems to people in villages across the country, giving access  to clean solar energy and financial empowerment. With its sustainable integrated business model, ENGIE Energy Access is now serving 1.5 million customers, impacting over 7 million lives in Sub-Saharan Africa, reaching people in low-income communities or rural areas who are often left out of the economy.”

The new Benin cooperation follows EIB’s previous support for ENGIE to deploy off-grid solar power in Uganda. Benin is the sixth African country to benefit from the EIB’s streamlined support for African off-grid energy investment, following recent backing for projects in Mozambique, Uganda, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Comoros.

Solving the last mile challenge to provide power in remote communities across Benin

More than one million households are dependent on polluting and inefficient lighting by kerosene or candles, and increasingly expensive …….


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