SUNREF to back Nigeria’s industrialists on renewables, energy access projects

The Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance (SUNREF) has been launched in Nigeria with €70 million funding and €9.5 million investment grant for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

SUNREF, a green financing line for businesses developed by the French Development Agency, said in a statement that it is launching a technical assistance facility for the development of green energy projects in Nigeria.

According to it, manufacturers in Nigeria will be provided up to €70 million worth of technical support grant aimed at helping to improve their access to clean, low-cost, stable, and renewable energy sources.

It noted that the €70 million and €9.5 million grant will come from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and European Union Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU-ITF) to fund green energy projects.

OGN learnt that the country’s manufacturers through their trade platform, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) could be the biggest beneficiaries.

“Through this grant, the SUNREF Nigeria programme will provide technical assistance to support the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), partner banks, and companies in Nigeria towards the development of energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) projects,” the statement said.

According to it, access to energy in Nigeria is far from universal, with limited energy security and rising energy prices likely to continue to challenge the growth of Nigerian businesses in the near future.

“As a result, increasing the development of green energy is a key condition to a sustainable economic growth by ensuring reliable access to energy as well as enabling businesses and households to seize the opportunities of the ecological transition,” it stated.

The SUNREF Nigeria programme, it explained, “seeks to improve access to energy through improved access to affordable finance for renewable energy technologies and energy efficient initiatives that will improve lives, increase economic opportunities, and support various sectors such as industry and agriculture.”

It noted that the SUNREF initiative has been deployed in over 30 other countries and successfully supported over 42 projects in partnership with about 70 banks to the tune of about €2.5 billion from the AFD, of which €1.2 billion has been paid.

The benefits of the SUNREF program, it stated include, “targeting entrepreneurs AFD cannot finance directly such as SMEs and individuals, using financial intermediaries as channels for disseminating these types of projects through reliable local counterparts with technical skills, disseminating technical know-how and good practices through the technical assistance.”