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Renewable Energy : 2.3 billion USD for one project

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Renewable Energy : 2.3 billion USD for one project

Joint development of Green Giant project accelerates construction of first 200 MW investment phase. Mini-grids account for more than half of all new connections in DRC.

Promoting the use of renewable energy

The decision to promote the use of renewable energy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) marks a significant milestone in the country’s energy transition. This initial phase of 200 MW represents a crucial step towards the ambitious goal of implementing a historic 1,000 MW Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between SkyPower and the DRC’s National Electricity Company (SNEL).

The partnership between SkyPower and the AFC combines expertise in developing large-scale solar projects with AFC’s successful track record in financing and de-risking infrastructure projects across Africa. Together, they aim to provide sustainable energy solutions to the continent, contributing to the global fight against climate change.

This agreement, announced following COP28, underscores the commitment of both organizations to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It highlights the importance of collaborative efforts in accelerating the deployment of renewable energy technologies and addressing the urgent challenges posed by climate change.

By leveraging renewable energy sources such as solar power, the DRC and other African countries can diversify their energy mix, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance energy security while promoting economic development and improving access to electricity for their populations.

Green Giant : A large-scale project

The DRC Green Giant project, marked by the signing of the first Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the National Electricity Company (SNEL), reflects the strong commitment of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) government to enhance electrification rates through renewable energy partnerships. President Félix Tshisekedi’s vision encompasses a substantial increase in clean energy production, which is expected to contribute significantly to the country’s GDP by 2.3 billion USD and generate approximately 30,000 jobs.

This joint development agreement represents a significant step forward in the realization of the project, with all necessary permits and land allocations already secured. Construction of the first phase, which will add 200 MW of clean energy capacity, is slated to commence by 2025. The partnership between SkyPower, AFC, and the DRC government signifies a milestone in collaborative efforts towards sustainable economic development and a transition to cleaner energy sources.

Beyond its immediate impact on energy generation, the Green Giant project is poised to serve as a model for future initiatives aimed at fostering sustainable growth and resilience in the region. By facilitating rapid industrialization, creating local employment opportunities, and promoting a pragmatic shift towards net-zero emissions, this collaboration aims to contribute significantly to the economic and environmental goals of the DRC and Africa as a whole.

SkyPower supports renewable energy development

Kerry Adler, the President and CEO of SkyPower, highlights the leadership and dedication of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) in expediting essential energy projects. This collaboration is pivotal in leveraging solar energy for the advancement of economic development, the generation of employment opportunities, and the implementation of effective measures for mitigating climate change.

« The partnership with AFC reflects a united endeavor to realize the ambitious objectives set forth by visionary nations such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in striving towards a brighter, more sustainable future for all », emphasized Adler.

Booming Energy Startups

This partnership between AFC and SkyPower highlights AFC’s significant role in advancing renewable energy solutions and both organizations’ steadfast commitment to fostering a greener and more resilient world.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) faces significant challenges in terms of electricity access, with less than 10 % of its population having access to elctricity. This situation places the DRC second only to Nigeria in terms of the number of people without electricity in Africa.

In response to these challenges, energy startups like Nuru are emerging as key players in expanding access to electricity in the DRC. Nuru recently secured a substantial 40 million USD equity investment to support its mission of providing 24-hour electricity to five million people across the country. Founded in 2015, Nuru, formerly known as Kivu Green Energy, specializes in deploying and operating metro grids powered by renewable energy in strategic urban areas of the DRC. The company established the country’s first mini-grid in 2017.

Nuru’s large-scale solar mini-grids aim to deliver reliable and renewable energy around the clock to the communities they serve. In 2020, Nuru is set to inaugurate a 1.3-megawatt facility in the city of Goma, marking it as the largest mini-grid in sub-Saharan Africa not connected to the national grid.

The success of Nuru’s fundraising efforts, amounting to 40 million USD, underscores the support from various institutions, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), the Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP), Proparco, E3 Capital, Voltalia, the Schmidt Family Foundation, the GAIA Impact Fund, and the Joseph Family Foundation.

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