EIB investment to enhance access to electricity for 643,000 people; scaling up off-grid solar power model to alter rural energy access throughout Africa; Local currency finance will speed the implementation of the PAYGO option for cheap green energy.
Under a new off-grid solar program agreed upon by leading solar energy company ENGIE Energy Access and the European Investment Bank, one of the largest financiers of renewable energy in the world, households, smallholders, and entrepreneurs in remote areas throughout Benin will be able to access dependable and affordable electricity for the first time.
107,000 top-notch solar household systems will be installed in Benin thanks to a loan of 10 million euros from the European Investment Bank.
This will give 643,000 individuals access to renewable energy. The pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) contracts for the solar home systems call for the sale of solar panels and battery storage.
Ambroise Fayolle, vice president of the European Investment Bank, stated: “Improving access to affordable and clean energy is even more important to fight poverty, create jobs, and empower women and girls.
Vulnerable communities across Africa are being affected by global energy shocks brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The European Investment Bank is pleased to announce further funding in this new partnership with ENGIE for expanding off-grid solar deployment to West Africa.
More than 500,000 people will be able to use electricity for the first time in Benin, which will power communications, offer light, and facilitate cooking.
In addition to saving families money, lowering pollution, and lowering the danger of accidents, the installation of solar household systems will minimize the use of kerosene, charcoal, candles, and generators. Off-grid solar energy holds the key to unlocking sustainable, economic, and social development for Africa’s future, and The EIB is glad to support this initiative in Benin to lessen the effects of global energy shocks.
“Over the last few years, the private sector has developed off-grid solutions such as solar home systems (SHS), micro- and mini-grids, which have clearly proven to be sustainable and affordable solutions to reach universal energy access by 2030,” said Gillian-Alexandre Huart, CEO of ENGIE Energy Access.
“ENGIE Energy Access sells access-to-energy goods to our customers on loan to make them affordable thanks to the use of digital tools and the great penetration of mobile money in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is obvious that in order to raise the finances required to accomplish the energy transition and to fulfill SDG7 in Africa, a combination of capital from private investors and impact funds from multilateral funds is required.
Our new relationship with the European Investment Bank in Benin will give people in villages all throughout the country access to ultra-affordable PAYGO systems, empowering them financially and giving them access to clean solar energy.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, ENGIE Energy Access is currently serving 1.5 million customers and having an impact on over 7 million lives thanks to its sustainable integrated business model. This program reaches out to those living in low-income neighborhoods or rural areas who are frequently left out of the economy.
The EIB previously supported ENGIE’s deployment of off-grid solar power in Uganda, which is followed by the current Benin collaboration.
Following recent funding for projects in Mozambique, Uganda, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Comoros, Benin is the sixth African nation to gain from the EIB’s streamlined support for African off-grid energy investment.
overcoming the difficulty of the last mile to bring electricity in isolated areas around Benin
Over a million households rely on polluting, ineffective kerosene or candle lights, as well as pricey generators.
In distant and rural areas of Benin, less than one in five residents have access to dependable energy, and only 10% of families use off-grid solar goods.
This new effort will offer households and business owners who cannot access the power network economic, social, educational, and health prospects by accelerating the adoption of off-grid solar technology in Benin.
fostering Benin’s sustainable development and private sector expansion
Following the new deal between ENGIE and the European Investment Bank, households, enterprises and smallholders across Benin will be able to access power for mobile phones, solar lighting, refrigerators, radio and television.
In addition to enhancing community health and opening up new markets for traders, this will assist farmers in selling their goods.
Increased access to affordable, dependable energy will provide opportunities for women and girls and lessen exposure to the indoor pollution now caused by the use of kerosene.
The European Union is dedicated to assisting in the sustainable economic and social development of Benin, according to Sylvia Hartleif, the EU’s ambassador to that country.
This new collaboration effort between the European Investment Bank and ENGIE highlights the value added of European engagement with our African partners to transform energy access and fight against climate change.
Harnessing renewable energy through private sector engagement and innovative off-grid solar technologies, along with productive use of power in rural regions, is a direct and concrete effect of the European Union’s ‘Green Deal’ for Africa.
In keeping with the EU’s “Global Gateway” strategy, the initiative will open up new opportunities for more than 500,000 people throughout Benin and pave the path for the transition to sustainable energy.
gaining access to financial empowerment and getting over currency obstacles
Families who cannot afford the initial prices of solar home systems will be able to purchase the equipment over a period of years for less than 20 cents USD a day thanks to the PAYGO model’s availability.
Equipment bought with US dollars can now be repaid in local currency thanks to new financing from the European Investment Bank.
Before, currency swings made it difficult to offer populations without access to foreign cash inexpensive, renewable energy alternatives. Through the usage of mobile banking, customers will also benefit from lower expenses and simpler payback.
extending the EIB’s record of renewable energy in Benin and throughout Africa
The European Investment Bank has given more than 5.4 billion euros to sustainable energy investments in Africa over the past ten years.
The Lake Turkana Wind Farm, Olkaria Geothermal Plant, Radiant and Eldosol Solar Schemes in Kenya, Bujagali Hydropower Project in Uganda, Nachtigal Hydropower Scheme in Cameroon, last-mile connections in Kenya, and
-border interconnectors in West, East, and Southern Africa have all been funded by the European Investment Bank in recent years.
Additionally, the EIB is funding research into using hydropower to create renewable energy in Burundi and the Great Lakes region.