In collaboration with Nigeria’s public and private sectors, the World Bank aims to support building 1,000 micro solar power networks in Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy, according to the lender’s president Ajay Banga on Saturday.
With a population of over 200 million, Nigeria has an installed power production capacity of 12,500 megawatts (MW). Still, it only generates a small portion of that, forcing millions of homes and businesses to rely on gasoline and diesel generators.
The average size of mini-grids, which are composed of small-scale electricity-producing units, ranges from a few kilowatts to up to 10 MW, or enough energy to power about 200 homes.
In order to provide energy to villages without it, approximately 150 small grids have been created, with some of the money coming from the World Bank, according to Banga, who was speaking to media during a visit to a minor grid site outside of the capital Abuja.
“We are putting another 300 in, but our ambition with the government is to go all the way to 1,000. We’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars that are being invested,” said Banga, without giving a timeline. “Now the idea is not for the World Bank to be the only person putting the money. We put part of the money like a subsidy,” he added.
According to World Bank data, 568 million people in sub-Saharan Africa still do not have access to electricity. Africa is home to around 80% of the world’s population without access to electricity.
Additionally, the World Bank recently praised the newly elected president Bola Tinubu’s first actions as leader, stating he is resolved to act morally and responsibly. The president of the World Bank stated that Tinubu is doing all the necessary steps for Nigeria to survive and improve its current circumstances, adding that if not, Nigeria will always be running unaffordable deficits.
He stated, “In essence, we had a really fruitful discussion, not only with the President but also with a lot of his aides, and we spoke about what was in his mind as priorities.