REA, RMI eye $0.20/kWh framework for delivery of mini grid power in Nigeria

Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) of the US, have disclosed that they will release a first-of-its-kind, three-year roadmap on how to get electricity to Nigerians and other African countries using mini grid solutions at $0.20 per kilowatt hour (kWh) by 2020.

REA and RMI stated this in a statement they released after a recent workshop they held in this regards in Lagos with operators and financiers in mini grid power from across the world.

According to them, the roadmap will outline how much capital is required and a plan for transitioning funding from grants and high-risk concessional and government sources to venture capital and private equity.

In the statement, the parties explained that more than 50 industry leaders and experts were at the workshop which focused on delivering a profitable and scalable mini grid market business model.

They also noted that at the workshop, market solutions centered on six key opportunity areas which include grid-in-a-box hardware, better load management, effective customer engagement, efficient project development and operations and maintenance, affordable finance and supportive policy.

The statement quoted billionaire businessman and founder of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson, who is also a donor to RMI to have said at the workshop: “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.

In addition, REA’s managing director, Damilola Ogunbiyi, stated in the statement that: “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.”

It equally quoted the Chief Executive Officer of RMI, Jules Kortenhorst, to have said: “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.”