European loan to fund 107,000 home solar panels in Benin


French energy giant Engie will deploy 107,000 solar home systems (SHS) in Benin with the EIB loan. The lender said the funds would provide access to electricity for 643,000 people.

They will use the solar panels and batteries on a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) basis, at a rate of less than $0.20 per day. The EIB said customers will pay back the cost of the systems using mobile banking. The loan will enable customers to pay for the solar systems in the West African CFA franc used in Benin, rather than in US dollars.

Engie became a big player in the African PAYG solar market after acquiring SHS supplier Fenix International in 2017. It also bought troubled German PAYG company Mobisol in 2019.

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“Vulnerable communities across Africa are being impacted by global energy shocks triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and so improving access to affordable and clean energy is even more important to fight poverty, create jobs, and empower women and girls,” said EIB Vice President Ambroise Fayolle.

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