Off-grid potential:  Millions of Nigerian homes connected to solar roof tops – World Bank

Solomon Ezeme

With Nigeria being the largest and most attractive off-grid market in Africa, the World Bank has revealed that millions of homes in the country are powered by solar roof tops, promising to collaborate with the Federal Government to develop the right policy framework to further expand off-grid electricity market penetration.

Shubham Chaudhuri, Nigeria Country Director, World Bank, made this known  recently during a power dialogue organised by Nextier Power in Abuja.

According to him, the market in Nigeria is viable and sustainable for the massive off-grid installations that has potential to address the country’s energy poverty.

He said, “The human capacity for the off-grid market is quite high, but the impact is limited by finance and policy encumbrances inherent in existing power sector regulatory framework.

“There is a large potential for scaling up the penetration of solar roof tops into the market. The World Bank is willing to partner with the Nigerian Government in the area of policy making in order to address regulatory issues hindering private players from investing in renewable energy projects, including solar roof tops.”

Chaudhuri however cautioned that off-grid regulatory bottlenecks must be addressed in order to unlock investment space for both local and international investors.

Ashish Khanna, Regional Director for Infrastructure, Africa West and East, the World Bank, added that the Nigeria Electrification Plan offers a huge opportunity for increased private sector participation.

He noted that the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) had achieved recent milestones through its Result-Based Financing programmes.

According to him, the World Bank is dedicated to providing catalytic funds to scale up  electricity supply in the country. He added that the Bank would continue to provide grants to finance major off-grid projects in collaboration with the Government.