The World Bank has said that it has deployed 100 solar-powered mini-grids in Nigeria under its National Electrification Project, adding that its market-driven approach has expedited the process. The bank disclosed this in a statement yesterday, and added that powering 380 million people in Africa by 2030 would require the construction of more than 160,000 mini grids at a cumulative cost of $91 billion. It noted that the deployment of solar mini grids had accelerated in sub-Saharan Africa from 500 installed in 2010 to over 3,000 as at today, and a further 9,000 planned for deployment over the next few years.
The bank attributed the growth in deployment to the decline in the costs of key components, the introduction of new digital solutions, a large and expanding cohort of highly capable mini grid developers and growing economies of scale. It said: “Important progress has been made in several African countries to accelerate the deployment of mini grids. “In Nigeria, for example, a marketdriven approach to mini grid development under the World Bank-supported National Electrification Project has catalyzed the deployment of more than 100 new solar-powered mini grids.
“The deployment of solar mini grids has markedly accelerated in sub-Saharan Africa, from around 500 installed in 2010 to more than 3,000 installed today, and a further 9,000 planned for development over the next few years. This is the result of falling costs of key components, the introduction of new digital solutions, a large and expanding cohort of highly capable mini grid developers and growing economies of scale. “In Africa, mini grids are on track to provide power at lower cost than many utilities.
The cost of electricity produced by mini grids could be as low as $0.20/ kWh by 2030, making it the least-cost solution for more than 60 per cent of the population. “Further acceleration is needed, however, to meet Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7). Powering 380 million people in Africa by 2030 will require the construction of more than 160,000 mini grids at a cumulative cost of $91 billion.” It added: “At the current pace, only around 12,000 new mini grids serving 46 million people will be built by 2030 at a total investment cost of approximately $9 billion. “Solar mini grids can provide highquality uninterrupted renewable electricity to underserved villages and communities across Sub-Saharan Africa and be the least-cost solution to close the energy access gap on the continent by 2030.