World Bank Group To Fast-Track Electrification Of Sub-Saharan Africa

The World Bank Group says it has designed an innovative initiative to accelerate electrification in Africa to achieve universal access by 2030.
This is contained in a statement obtained from the World Bank website on Wednesday in Abuja by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
According to the bank, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and other development agencies will promote private investment in Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE) systems to electrify targeted areas quickly and efficiently.
“The Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-Up Platform (DARES) calls for joint action by government, private investors, and development agencies to solve Africa’s immediate needs while developing DRE solutions that can be applied globally.
“At current rates of electrification, over half a billion people in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will still be without electricity by 2030 unless the current electrification pace is tripled.
“Present projections indicate that only eight SSA countries will achieve universal electricity access by 2030, and some will take more than 100 years to fully electrify.”
The statement said the lack of energy access greatly inhibits the green, resilient, and inclusive development of many countries in SSA.
It said the expansion of access through DRE systems would answer an urgent need quickly and support climate resilience, food security, and human capital development goals.
The statement said DRE was the fastest and most cost-effective mechanism to accelerate clean electricity access on the continent.
It said over the last 10 years, 20 per cent of all new electric connections in SSA have been through DRE systems.
“In rural communities, these systems can serve a health care facility, for example, or a group of customers such as households or businesses in a village, operating independently from the national power grid.
“DRE systems can be easily installed, are reliable, and do not require the large investment needed to build a utility-scale power plant.”
The statement said DRE was attracting private-sector financing, however, the support was not at the scale that was needed.
It said DARES would leverage this positive momentum to work with governments and the private sector to expand DRE investment.
According to the statement, the World Bank Group is well-positioned to take the lead in scaling the DRE sector in SSA, using a different approach from traditional infrastructure investments to incentivise private financing commitment.
The statement quoted Riccardo Puliti, World Bank Vice President for Infrastructure as saying, “now more than ever we need innovative solutions that close the energy access gap.
“Bringing together governments and the private sector to support distributed renewable energy can help extend electrification to the most vulnerable while also advancing clean energy,” he said.
The statement also quoted Hiroshi Matano, MIGA Executive Vice-President as saying, “MIGA is in a strong position to support private investment.
“We would do this through new and innovative risk mitigation solutions that are fit-for-purpose for the unique risk faced by investors.
“We look forward to working with SSA countries to create opportunities to combine public and private investment approaches to electrify Africa in the near future,” he said.