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World Bank Invests $750 Million in Renewable energy in Nigeria

Yemi Olakitan

A significant leap in Nigeria’s renewable energy landscape is underway, driven by a $750 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA).
The funds are not only unlocking over $1 billion from private investors but also garnering support from various partners for the Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-up (DARES) project.
The World Bank’s approval of the DARES project on December 14 marks a crucial step in addressing Nigeria’s energy challenges
. Notable contributors to the initiative include $100 million from the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet and $200 million from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Collaborators such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the German Development Agency (GIZ), Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll), and the African Development Bank (AfDB) underscore the collaborative nature of this endeavor.
The DARES project’s overarching goal is to provide improved electricity access to over 17.5 million Nigerians through distributed renewable energy solutions, aiming to alleviate the prevalent electricity access deficit. In 2021, over 85 million Nigerians lacked reliable electricity, resorting to costly and environmentally harmful petrol and diesel generators due to an unreliable national grid.
Building on the success of the World Bank-financed Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), DARES aims to enhance off-grid electrification efforts, strengthen state capacities, and promote policies supporting rooftop solar energy. NEP had previously established 125 mini-grids, distributed over a million solar home systems (SHS), and generated over 5,000 local green jobs.
Crucially, DARES prioritizes inclusivity, specifically empowering female-headed households and women-led businesses by facilitating easier access to electricity and fostering increased female employment in the energy sector. Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, emphasized the project’s environmental impact, intending to replace nearly 280,000 polluting and expensive generator sets, aligning with Nigeria’s energy transition objectives.
Adebayo Adelabu, Nigeria’s Minister of Power, highlighted the transformative potential of this effort, extending clean and equitable energy access to communities currently unserved or underserved. The DARES project signifies a concerted push towards sustainable energy solutions, embodying empowerment and transformation on a national scale.

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