Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is setting up a 15MW project under its Global Solar Facility (GSF) backed by the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
In collaboration with solar power firm Nuru, the project will be spread across three provinces in the Eastern DRC.

Nuru plans to deploy an additional 39MW in subsequent phases, aiming to provide power to up to 5 million people by 2025.

Nuru, a pioneering solar power company, has embarked on an ambitious project with the mission of constructing a 15-megawatt (MW) solar metro grid capacity in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

This groundbreaking initiative is set to unfold across three provinces in Eastern Congo, where the abundant availability of solar energy will be harnessed not only as a power source but also as a beacon of hope for a region often shrouded in the shadows of energy poverty.

In the face of adversity, the radiance of solar power emerges as a powerful catalyst for change, promising a brighter and more sustainable future for millions of people in Eastern DRC.

The project will be developed by Nuru in collaboration with the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and will serve as the first pilot project under ISA’s Global Solar Facility (GSF).

Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General of the International Solar Alliance, emphasized the transformative potential of Nuru’s approach: “Less than 20 percent of the DRC’s population has access to energy, and with a rising energy demand projected for the future, Nuru’s innovative approach to renewable energy access unlocks the immense market potential across the country.”

MIGA guarantees to protect investments against non-commercial risks
The ISA, through its GSF, supports Nuru by collaborating with the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the World Bank Group to achieve energy stability in the country.

MIGA facilitates cross-border investment in developing countries by providing guarantees, including political risk insurance and credit enhancement, to investors and lenders.

Typically, these guarantees from the World Bank unit protect investments against non-commercial risks and assist investors in accessing funding sources with improved financial terms and conditions.

ISA, consisting of 118 countries, collaborates with governments to facilitate solar deployment and advocate for solar power as a sustainable transition towards a carbon-neutral future.

The agency’s mission is to stimulate investments in solar while concurrently reducing technology and financing costs.“ISA-MIGA partnership will be invaluable to mitigating risk, and unlocking potential of investments in Africa,” added Dr Mathur.

Felix Tshisekedi wins five-year term in DRC
MIGA’s decision to guarantee Nuru’s solar project aligns with the recent ruling by the DRC’s Constitutional Court. The court dismissed two cases challenging the provisional results of a contested presidential election held last month, officially declaring President Felix Tshisekedi as the winner.

This verdict paves the way for Tshisekedi to continue leading Africa’s second-largest country and the world’s primary producer of cobalt and other valuable industrial commodities for another five years.

“The company will be installing a series of mini-grids that will power around 5 million people. Towards this, the GSF is providing insurance capital to the company, which will be purchased from MIGA, contributing significantly to the viability of the project,” added Dr. Ajay Mathur.

Nuru plans to deploy an additional 39MW in subsequent phases, aiming to provide power to up to 5 million people by 2025.

In a country where only 19 per cent of the population has access to electricity, Nuru’s innovative approach, supported by ISA’s GSF, holds immense promise for fostering climate resilience, energy stability and sustainable development.

Nuru’s initiative to deploy utility-scale solar metrogrids, incorporating state-of-the-art technology and services, marks a significant leap forward in addressing the energy stability needs of urban communities in the DRC.

Nuru driving energy security by deploying metrogrids
These metrogrids are engineered to deliver uninterrupted, reliable, and renewable energy around the clock, overcoming the challenges posed by the country’s low electrification rate.

Jonathan Shaw, CEO, and Co-Founder of Nuru, noted, “Nuru is delighted to be implementing the first project to receive International Solar Alliance support. The ISA is providing critical and catalytic support to ensure that we can manage complex risks in the places we work while also maintaining affordable pricing for our clients.”

With a commitment to sustainability and innovation, Nuru’s solar metrogrids not only aim to bridge the energy gap but also seek to catalyze substantial advancements in economic activity and meet the growing market demand for reliable power sources and energy stability.

In a region where access to electricity has been a persistent challenge, Nuru’s initiative represents a transformative step toward fostering energy stability while driving economic development.

By providing a continuous and clean energy supply to urban communities, Nuru aims to empower businesses, improve the quality of life for residents, and contribute to the overall economic growth of the DRC.

The integration of cutting-edge technology ensures that these metrogrids are not only efficient but also adaptable to the dynamic energy needs of a rapidly evolving urban landscape, positioning Nuru as a key player in advancing sustainable and resilient energy solutions in the region.

Global Solar Facility (GSF): Catalyzing Solar Investments Across Africa
Earlier, ISA announced $35 million in funding for GSF to stimulate investments in solar power projects. The GSF aims to catalyze solar investments in underserved segments and geographies across Africa, unlocking commercial capital in the process.

Shri R K Singh, Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy, Government of India, highlighted the GSF’s objective to raise US$100 million during the International Solar Alliance Assembly, aiming to provide security to investments and accelerate the transition to solar energy in Africa.

Dr. Mathur emphasized the GSF as a crucial mechanism for the urgent need for universal energy access and a clean energy transition, stating, “The world requires an investment of $12.5 trillion in renewable energy and $23 billion in off-grid solar by 2030. The GSF will further our vision of addressing the urgent need for universal energy access and a clean energy transition.”

After Africa, the GSF plans to expand its reach to regions such as Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, tailoring regional facilities to meet specific requirements.

The GSF envisions investments in innovative technologies, support for startups, and exploration of emerging solar energy sectors in its mission to enhance solar energy efficiency globally.

By Joy

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