World Bank on Thursday, announced the approval of the $750 million Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-up (DARES) project in Nigeria.
The $750 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA), is being used to leverage more than $1 billion from private investors and additional funding from different partners.
Contributions, according to Nairametrics, include $100 million from the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet and $200 million from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Other collaborators in this initiative include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the German Development Agency (GIZ), Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll), and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
This ambitious DARES project aims to provide over 17.5 million Nigerians with better access to electricity through distributed renewable energy solutions. The goal is to tackle the electricity access deficit.
As of 2021, more than 85 million Nigerians lacked access to reliable electricity. Many households and businesses rely on expensive and environmentally harmful petrol and diesel generators due to the unreliable and insufficient national grid supply.
To bridge this gap, DARES builds upon the success of the World Bank-financed Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP).
NEP had already made significant strides, establishing 125 mini-grids and selling over a million solar home systems (SHS), benefiting more than 5.5 million Nigerians. Additionally, NEP created over 5,000 local green jobs in Nigeria.
The new DARES program will assist the Federal Government of Nigeria in coordinating and financing off-grid electrification efforts.
It will also aid states in developing capacity and policies to promote rooftop solar energy.
One of its key focuses is on inclusivity, especially empowering female-headed households and women-led businesses by providing easier access to electricity and increasing women’s employment in the energy sector.
Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, emphasized the project’s goal of replacing nearly 280,000 polluting and expensive generator sets, contributing significantly to Nigeria’s energy transition objectives.
Meanwhile, Adebayo Adelabu, Nigeria’s Minister of Power, noted that this effort would extend access to clean and fair energy to communities that are currently unserved or underserved, promoting empowerment and transformation.