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Universal Energy Facility signs grant agreements with 19 clean energy developers in Nigeria

Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) today announced the signing of grant agreements with 19 clean energy developers under its results-based financing (RBF) multi-donor fund, the Universal Energy Facility (UEF), Stand-Alone Solar for Productive Use (SSPU) programme, for the deployment of high capacity solar and battery storage systems to businesses and institutions across Nigeria. These systems are expected to be fully installed and operational before the end of this year.

This marks a significant step forward in our shared vision for a sustainable future. By signing these grant agreements, the UEF is truly making a difference by empowering clean energy developers to bring their innovative solutions to life. I'm incredibly proud of the UEF's work and excited to see the positive impact these projects will have on many lives.

Joseph Nganga, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP)

Reliable clean electricity for homes, businesses (SMEs), and institutions, transforms daily life. Electricity stays on, harmful petrol and diesel generator sets will be removed, which reduces indoor air pollution and CO2 emissions, equipment runs smoothly, and essential services like healthcare and education can function effectively. This unlocks economic opportunities and improves overall well-being.

I am proud of the work we have all done to enable a better environment for the private sector to grow within the energy sector. The companies signing the grant agreements today are a testament to the policies that have been put in place and capacity building efforts made in the past decade to build the sector

Abba Aliyu, Managing Director, Rural Electrification Agency

This significant expansion builds upon the success of the UEF's initial launch of the SSPU programme in February 2023 when 10 developers received grants to deploy SSPU units in underserved or unserved communities.  So far, over 1,600 systems have been installed, serving over 1,200 businesses and institutions such as health and educational facilities.  

The UEF has achieved significant progress over the past year, not only in Nigeria but also in Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, and Sierra Leone, with thousands of Africans benefiting from this facility.

The SSPU systems are game-changers; these solar power systems provide a reliable source of electricity, unlocking a range of socio-economic benefits. Businesses can extend operating hours, utilize equipment, and improve product quality, leading to increased income.  SSPUs also stimulate job creation by fostering local businesses that rely on electricity.

The event was attended by distinguished guests, including Ms. Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All; Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, Country Director, World Bank, Nigeria; Mr. Abba Aliyu, Managing Director, Rural Electrification Agency; and Mr Aminu Umar- Sadiq, Managing Director of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority.

In combination with innovative financing solutions, such as those we are discussing today through the Universal Energy Facility, among others, the DARES project will scale up productive use and clean energy to not only communities but also to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that form the backbone of Nigeria’s economy

Shubham Chaudhuri, Country Director, World Bank, Nigeria

During the event, the attendees engaged in a productive discussion around the Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-up (DARES) initiative, the impact of the UEF, and the role of results-based financing and climate finance in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

An example of how the UEF has transformed the lives of business owners is demonstrated with Ruth Badejo, a fashion designer at the Ayandburen Market in Lagos, Nigeria, who struggled with unreliable power for her business. Previously reliant on a petrol generator, she faced high prices of petrol, fuel shortages and power cuts, limiting her work hours and turning away clients.

The installation of the 5kW solar and storage system at her shop by one of the clean energy developers under the UEF SSPU has transformed her business.  With constant, clean energy, Ruth now enjoys uninterrupted power 24/7. This allows her to save money, work longer hours without generator hassles and improves her work efficiency. The reliable power also benefits her clients, who can charge devices and enjoy a cool environment during visits, strengthening customer relationships.

Ruth sees a bright future with the SSPU system. The reliable power not only improves her service quality but also opens doors for business expansion, previously hindered by power issues.  Her story exemplifies the UEF's success in empowering small business owners like Ruth with sustainable energy, bringing positive change to both their professional and personal lives.

The Universal Energy Facility (UEF) is a multi-donor results-based finance facility established to significantly speed up and scale up energy access across Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond, in line with SDG7 and the Paris Agreement. The UEF provides incentive payments to eligible organizations deploying energy solutions and providing verified end-user electricity connections (including mini-grids and stand-alone solar systems) and clean cooking solutions based on pre-determined standards. The facility is managed by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and supported by the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, Shell Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Bezos Earth Fund, Africa Minigrid Developers Association, Power Africa, Good Energies, UKaid, Carbon Trust, IKEA Foundation, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany (BMZ) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).