Campaign Update: October 2018

25x25 Collaborative

Power for All first put forward the idea of "25x25" in May 2017, when we called on the energy access community to increase its sense of urgency to deliver SDG7, by pledging to accelerate national market activation in 25 countries by 2025. 

Our call was answered, and a year later, at the SEforALL Forum in Lisbon, four international NGOs -- Hivos, Power for All, Practical Action and SNV --came together to turn an idea into a reality, briefing donors and sector stakeholders on the concept. The four are now taking the effort on the road. 

At IOREC in Singapore on November 1, the 25x25 Collaborative will host a side event to rally additional support, and will also be hosting a side event at the ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum in Dakar on November 15. 

Power for All, representing the collaborative, also briefed the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centers (GN-SEC) in Vienna during a UNIDO-hosted High-Level Conference on Sustainable Energy and Development. Contact 25x25(at)powerforall.org to learn more.

Energy Access Jobs

IRENA and Power for All are co-hosting a side event at the IOREC event in Singapore, October 31, called "Closing the Human Capital Gap in Energy Access", with participation from the Skill Council for Green Jobs in India, Hivos and Schneider Electric. 

During the event, Power for All will launch a new initiative focused on mobilizing international and national resources to ensure that the energy access workforce exists to fill an expected 4.5 million jobs by 2030. The initiative will include a heavy focus on evidence linking energy access to jobs, and the areas of focus needed to fill the skills gap. 

Tune if for more news on October 31, and if you're interested in learning more, please contact sudha(at)powerforall.org

Utilities 2.0

In October, our Power for All team spent time with Ugandan utility Umeme and a group of decentralized renewable energy technology partners to discuss ways in which new advances in technology and digitization can support Umeme in its efforts to accelerate new connections, reduce cost of operations and provide more reliable service to customers. We also conducted site visits, exploring different customer settings (each of which presents its own challenges: rural off-grid communities, peri-urban off-grid communities and under-the-grid communities. Look out for an upcoming Call to Action from Power for All, which will put forward a vision of the utility of the future in low energy access countries, drawing from these and many other expert sources. 

PEAK Hosts Introductory Webinars

Earlier this month,  the Platform for Energy Access Knowledge (PEAK) team hosted a series of webinars for DRE practitioners, academics, media, researchers, energy access platforms, policy makers and donor agencies, to showcase the functionalities of the PEAK and demonstrate how different sector stakeholders can get the most out of PEAK. 

The webinars were a great success, with over 100 participants tuning in. 

The PEAK team would like to thank all the webinar participants for their time and insightful questions and comments. 

If you would like to revisit the webinar or were not able to attend, you can learn more about PEAK here. The webinar recording includes an introduction of PEAK, a tour of the site, instructions for annotating and importing documents, creating and saving visualizations and the value of becoming a  registered PEAK user. 

Power for All Participates in Nigeria Donor Coordination Meeting

The Nigeria campaign of Power for All participated in the Off-Grid Stakeholders Meeting on the 19th September in Lagos.

The meeting which is held quarterly brings together donor programs working to increase energy access through off-grid renewable energy to discuss their various activities in order to achieve synergy, and also to identify barriers that they can collaborate to dismantle.

This quarter’s meeting was dominated by discussions on how to continue to engage with the Nigerian government towards eliminating import duty and value-added tax for solar panels and components, how to achieve collaborative data sharing for the sector and how to enable digital finance for the sector

Power for All shared with the participants what it was doing on these issues through its DRE Taskforce and introduced the participants to its new data-sharing platform, the Platform for Energy Access and Knowledge (PEAK).

There were also presentations from various other programs such as the Nigerian Off-Grid Market Acceleration Program funded by Shell Foundation, the Fund for Energy Inclusion – Off Grid Energy Fund and the Energy Impact Fund of ElectriFi which introduced their funds and the Energizing Economies Program of the Rural Electrification Agency.

Nigeria Country Director Discusses Mini-Grids 

Nigeria Country Director Ify Malo was a guest at “Sustainable Conversations” in Lagos on the 21st of September, discussing how renewable mini-grids can be used to bridge Nigeria’s electricity gap.

With only 45% of Nigerians connected to the main grid and the bulk of the unconnected in the rural areas, the Federal Government through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has set a target of 10,000 mini-grids by 2023. There has also been increasing interest in mini-grids development from local and international developers.

Ms. Malo said: “There is need for better financing for the Off-Grid sector in Nigeria – where local Nigerian investors match the foreign investors to both catalyze more access to financing for Mini Grid developers, minimize risks of over-exposure to currency fluctuations for developers and ensure that the acceleration of Mini-Grid deployment to meet national and global “access” targets become more realistic.” 

Sustainable Conversations is a thought leadership event series on sustainable development organized by ThistlePraxis Consulting with the support of IHS Towers. 

Power for All Hosts Last SOGE Training Workshops

Power for All will be holding the two last workshops tagged DRE101 under the Scaling-Off Grid Energy (SOGE) project in Anambra and Kaduna States.

The Scaling Off Grid Energy project, which is funded by USAID and Power Africa and co-implemented in Nigeria by Power for All and FHI360, is designed to work with governments at national and sub-national levels to use DRE to increase electrification rates nationally and within states in order to make the target of the Federal Government to achieve an electrification rate of 75% nationally by the 2020 realistic.

The DRE101 trainings which are targeted at state-level policymakers and community leaders has been held in six states so far with over 400 participants in attendance. It has also resulted in agreements signed for investments into rural electrification and powering industrial clusters using decentralized renewable energy solutions.

For more information, email Daramfon Bassey, daramfon(at)powerforall.org 

Power for All Perspective on Mobile Money in Nigeria DRE

Nigeria Country Director Ify Malo and Markets Access Lead Chibuikem Agbaegbu have co-authored two articles on how to finance Nigeria’s fast-growing decentralized renewable energy sector and the need for mobile money as a form of payments in order to enable it scale.

The article on how to finance the sector which is published in ESI-Africa, Africa’s biggest publication focused on the power sector, highlighted that the size of the market signified a huge opportunity for investors in the sector.

“Recognising the DRE market opportunity, the government is working on creating an enabling environment through policies such as the Rural Electrification Strategy and Implementation Plan (RESIP), and the Mini-Grid Regulation; provision of debt finance for DRE enterprises through the Bank of Industry (BOI); setting up of a Rural Electrification Fund; and exploring public-private off-grid initiatives under the National Solar Programme,” they wrote.

They pointed out that the current flow of investment into the sector was not matching the growing energy demand, and advocated for a combination of debt to financing instruments such as credit guarantees, incentive-based risk sharing scheme, securitization of receivables, blockchain technology and crowdfunding platforms.

The article can be read online here or on page 37 of the ESI Africa Edition 4, 2018. 

The second article which was published in Offgrid Nigeria, Nigeria’s biggest publication dedicated to the DRE sector highlighted the need for mobile money to be licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria in order to enable the sector grow, especially for pay-as-you-go solar providers.

Mobile money refers to enabling the payment of goods and services through the use of mobile network airtime. It has been crucial to the growth of the DRE sector in East Africa, as those without access to energy are often also without access to proper banking services.

“The CBN should permit MNO-driven mobile money solutions by granting mobile money licenses to MNOs and regulated by the CBN through a strong mobile money regulatory framework. Under the MNO-driven model, the MNO provides electricity payment services as a value-added service under its mobile money license, enabling subscribers to make payments for electricity in the form of electronic money which are settled through the MNO’s established agent network,” they advocated.

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