New EU financing to strengthen access to energy in Africa
Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Ambroise Fayolle recently announced the signature of USD 25m in financing with d.light design to strengthen access to energy in Africa via solar kits that do not require a grid, are easy to use and inexpensive for users thanks to a pre-payment system. Particular emphasis will be placed on rural and suburban populations and micro-entrepreneurs.
This EU financing will enable d.light design to develop the installation of solar kits – including not only panels and lamps but also low-energy equipment (radios, TVs, etc.) – in sub-Saharan Africa with the ambitious goal of reaching 10 million solar installations within five years.
“I am delighted that the EIB has signed this new financing with d.light in Africa for an off-grid solar project that will have a major economic and social impact on people and micro-entrepreneurs,” said Ambroise Fayolle. “The EU bank is determined to implement the Paris climate agreement and to cooperate to achieve the sustainable development goals, particularly when it comes to ensuring access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for all. With its unique technical and financial expertise in the support of solar projects, the EIB will mobilise new investments to develop renewable energies in Africa.”
The installation of these off-grid solar systems with d.light will initially take place in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.
Renewable energy development – a priority for the EIB
For the EU bank, climate action and the development of renewable energies are major priorities both inside and outside the EU. At the founding ceremony of the International Solar Alliance that recently took place in New Delhi, the EIB emphasised its record investment of EUR 1bn into the development of global solar projects in 2017. The Bank also confirmed that it would be significantly expanding its activities in support of solar energy in developing and emerging economies. Since 2002, the EIB has allocated EUR 6.3bn to financing solar projects, with 50% going to emerging and developing economies.
The EIB has fostered an outstanding long-term partnership with the African continent. Since its creation by the Treaty of Rome and the beginning of its operations in Africa, the EU bank has invested around EUR 25bn in support of more than 1,300 public and private sector projects, helping to revitalise companies and improve day-to-day living standards. The EIB has intensified its investments since 2014, with the signature of EUR 8.8bn in new financing to support infrastructure and the private sector across the African continent.