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World Bank Predicts 8 African Nations Will Achieve Universal Electricity Access by 2030

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According to the World Bank, Only eight African nations can achieve universal access to electricity by 2030.

The multinational organization predicted that some African nations would take over 100 years to fully electrify, and that over half a billion people on the continent would still lack access to power in 2030 unless the current pace of electrification was tripled.

The Washington-based organization claimed in a statement that lack of access to electricity severely impedes the inclusive, resilient, and green growth of many of the continent’s nations.

According to the World Bank, “the increase of access through Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE) networks will quickly address an urgent demand and support goals for climate resilience, food security, and human capital development.”

To solve the issue, the bank unveiled a creative plan to speed up the electrification of Africa so that everyone has access by 2030.

The statement said that in order to promptly and effectively electrify specific areas, the World Bank, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and other development agencies would encourage private investment in DRE systems.

According to the World Bank, “The Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-Up Platform (DARES) calls for collaborative action by government, private investors, and development agencies to address Africa’s immediate needs while creating DRE solutions that can be used internationally.”

In most DRE systems, a solar photovoltaic station is combined with battery storage. In remote areas, these systems can function independently from the national power grid to provide services to a hospital or a collection of clients, such as a village’s homes or businesses.

“DRE systems are dependable, simple to install, and don’t require the significant expenditure necessary to construct a utility-scale power plant. More than ever, we require creative solutions to reduce the energy access gap, according to Riccardo Puliti, Vice President for Infrastructure at the World Bank.

In addition, Pulti noted that bringing together the public and commercial sectors to support distributed renewable energy can help electrify the most vulnerable populations while simultaneously developing sustainable energy.

The most rapid and economical method for expanding access to clean electricity on the continent is DRE. In the past ten years, DRE systems have accounted for 20% of all new electric connections in SSA. Although DRE is already drawing private sector funding, this assistance is not at the required level.

Utilizing this favorable momentum, DARES will collaborate with public and private organizations to increase DRE investment. In order to encourage private finance commitment, the World Bank Group is well-positioned to take the lead in expanding the DRE sector in SSA. This will be done by utilizing a strategy different from traditional infrastructure investments.

According to MIGA Executive Vice President Hiroshi Matano, “MIGA is in a great position to promote private investment through new and creative risk mitigation solutions that are fit-for-purpose for the unique risk faced by investors.”

In the near future, Matano continued, “we look forward to partnering with Sub-Saharan African countries to generate chances to combine public and private investment approaches to electrify Africa.”

To build cutting-edge financial and de-risking tools that might be implemented at the regional level, DARES would draw on the expertise of the World Bank, MIGA, and IFC.

The platform also offers substantial technical help for the public and private sectors, as well as distinct strategies appropriate for various national settings and markets.

SSA nations should be able to mobilize DRE systems more quickly while also making them greener, more resilient, and inclusive by removing impediments to private sector participation.

Mini-grids, off-grid solar markets, systems for schools and hospitals, solar irrigation and cold chain for farmers, and innovative business models to replace diesel production and increase access reliability will be the five main focuses of DARES.

According to Emmanuel Nyirinkindi, vice president of cross-cutting solutions for the IFC, “Investing in distributed renewable energy is one of the most effective methods to manage energy access difficulties and to boost economic activities in Africa while tackling greenhouse gas emissions.” “Mini-grid systems are one form of DRE and can efficiently distribute electricity to cities and rural areas outside of a national grid,” the statement reads.

With a current portfolio of $2.7 billion for DRE access, the World Bank is aiming to electrify around 40 million people.

The Scaling Mini Grids Program was started by the IFC, which is also expanding its Lighting Africa Engagement. DRE guarantees totaling $83 million and a $400 million pipeline are held by MIGA.

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