- World Bank, MIGA and IFC have launched a new DRE platform for African region
- It will focus on mini-grids, off-grid solar markets, systems for schools and health facilities, solar irrigation and cold chain for farmers, and innovative business models
- Aim is to speed up the pace of electrification to meet the universal access goal by 2030
The World Bank Group has announced the launch of the Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-Up (DARES) Platform to help Africa speed up efforts to achieve universal electrification goal by 2030 and mobilize private investment into distributed renewable energy (DRE) in the continent.
At the current pace of electrification and investments, the bank believes only 8 Sub-Saharan African (SSA) nations will achieve the universal electrification goal leaving over half a billion still without electricity by 2030.
To enable electrification of targeted areas quickly and efficiently, the new initiative will focus on 5 core areas namely, mini-grids, off-grid solar markets, systems for schools and health facilities, solar irrigation and cold chain for farmers, and innovative business models. These will displace diesel generation and improve access reliability.
The same DRE solutions developed for Africa will then be applied globally.
Since DRE systems can be easily installed with a solar PV and storage system and are do not require large investments, the DARES platform sees it as a feasible and cost-effective solution for businesses, homes and community facilities that can operate in an off-grid environment.
DARES will leverage the expertise of the World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) to:
- develop innovative financial and de-risking instruments that can be rolled out at a regional level
- provide significant technical assistance for governments and the private sector, customized for various markets, and
- tackle barriers to private sector participation to hasten the deployment of DRE systems faster.
“Investing in distributed renewable energy is one of the most efficient ways to tackle energy access challenges and to support economic activities in Africa while addressing greenhouse gas emissions,” said IFC Vice President of Cross-Cutting Solutions, Emmanuel Nyirinkindi.
According to a recent World Bank and Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) report, at the end of 2021 there were 490 million people who access energy through off-grid solar solutions, but 733 million are yet to get there. Faster deployment requires more public funding and PAYGo options (see Increasing Need For Off-Grid Solar).