World Bank aims to power up Nigeria with 1,000 mini solar grids

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The World Bank committed to driving Nigeria’s energy transformation by financially backing the construction of 1,000 mini solar power grids across Africa’s most populous nation. This initiative is set to be realised in partnership with the Nigerian government and various private sector entities, as disclosed by the Bank’s president, Ajay Banga.

Despite having a massive installed power generation capacity of 12,500 MW, Nigeria, home to over 200 million residents, can harness only a limited fraction of that potential. As a result, countless households and commercial enterprises have had to depend on petrol and diesel generators to meet their energy needs.

These mini grids, defined as compact electricity production units, can typically generate power ranging from a few kilowatts to a maximum of 10 MW, sufficient to electrify approximately 200 homes.

While touring a mini grid facility just outside Abuja, the country’s capital, Banga informed the media that nearly 150 such mini grids have already been constructed, with partial financial assistance from the World Bank. These grids are pivotal in delivering power to regions previously untouched by electricity.

He stated, “Our ongoing commitment includes the addition of 300 more, yet our joint vision with the government stretches to a monumental 1,000 grids. We are discussing investments that run into hundreds of millions of dollars.” However, Banga emphasized that the World Bank doesn’t intend to be the sole financier of the project, but they will contribute “resembling a subsidy.”

As per the data collated by the World Bank, an alarming 568 million individuals in sub-Saharan Africa remain without electricity. To put this into a broader perspective, nearly 80% of the global populace without access to electricity resides in Africa.

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