The January 2020 Power Renewable Energy (RE) Dialogue Port Harcourt Series discussed off-grid financing and options that can be leveraged for increased off-grid acceleration across the country. The session considered the limitations off-grid developers have in accessing finance, the challenges facing consumers, and how consumer affordability affects project financing.
The panel consisted of industry leaders including Uchechukwu Ogechukwu, Co-Founder/Head of Business, Greenage Technologies, Dr Albert O. Okorogu, Director General/Chief Executive, Imo State Power & Rural Electrification Agency (IPOREA), Olasimbo Sojinrin, Country Director, Solar Sister Nigeria, Afolabi Akinrogunde, Investment Manager, All On, Emeka Okpukpara, Partner, Nextier Power [Moderator]
Some recommendations from the discourse are as follows:
- Adoption of Innovative Servicing Models: Innovative service models should be adopted to improve the uptake of solar home systems (SHS).
- Increased Informal Financing Options: Informal financing options like cooperatives can serve as a source of finance for start-ups that cannot access debt from formal financial institutions.
- Enact Favourable Policies: The Federal Government needs to enact favourable policies that increase developers’ bankability and ensures affordability by consumers.
- Capacity Building for Local Finance Institutions: While local commercial banks like sterling and FCMB have increased financing to the off-grid space in recent years, more work needs to be done to increase the local investment in the sector.
- Adoption of Innovative Financing Models: Financing institutions should begin to look beyond the present business models in the sector and engage stakeholders who operate other sustainable innovative models.
- Increase Awareness: Consumers would be more likely to adopt off-grid solutions when they are aware of the financial requirements of their options, and how they can leverage energy efficiency for reduced costs.