Mini grids grant could drive 80 MW of new capacity in Africa


The African Development Bank (AfDB) has said a $7 million grant to help the continent's renewables mini grid sector could power up to 80 MW of new generation capacity and attract $650 million of private sector investment.

The lender has devoted the money, from its overseas-funded Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), to easing the roll-out of off-grid renewable electricity networks across the continent.

The money from the SEFA funding stream – established by Denmark in 2011 and bolstered by public money from Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden the U.S. and the U.K. since – will be devoted to financing standardized mini-grid framework programs for four, unspecified nations; de-risking mini-grid finance; and sharing knowledge, innovation and skills training, according to a press release issued by the AfDB on December 22.

Popular content

The development lender said the grant would be named the Africa Mini-grid Market Acceleration Programme and would be expected, in its initial phase, to provide 880,000 new electricity access points for 4 million people and to create 7,200 jobs, of which 1,800 would be for women.

Aaron Leopold, CEO of the Africa Minigrid Developers Association (AMDA), said: “Mini-grids are a fundamental but under-supported element of Africa’s energy future. To achieve SDG [sustainable development goal] 7 – the UN’s target for universal energy access – the sector must be radically scaled up and to do this, a holistic and broad-spectrum support program informed by industry needs is required, to bring governments, investors, and of course the mini-grid sector the kind of support that can facilitate fast and efficient progress. For these reasons, AMDA is excited to see AfDB working to bring mini-grid investments in Africa to the next level.”

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: