Universal Energy Facility offering grants to support electrification by mini-grid in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
A new initiative launched in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will help improve electricity access and empower thousands of people and businesses.
The Universal Energy Facility opened a new financing window in the DRC that offers grants to companies connecting people to mini-grids. The facility provides "results-based finance" to these companies by awarding grants once electricity connections have been established and verified.
The Universal Energy Facility has already helped bring electricity to communities like Am-bohitoaka, Madagascar and will soon do the same in the DRC.
Mini-grids are essential for improving electricity access in the DRC, where an estimated 19.1 percent of the country's population currently has electricity. Mini-grids provide quick and efficient means of connecting millions of households and businesses to clean, affordable and reliable electricity in hard-to-reach communities.
"The Universal Energy Facility's mini-grid programme directly supports the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's efforts and commitment to achieve universal energy access and drastically reduce emissions caused by traditional energy sources including fuel generators and energy wood from deforestation," said Mr. Idesbald Chinamula, Directeur Général, L'Agence Nationale de l'Electrification et des Services Energétiques.
By providing renewable energy companies with USD 592 per connection, the Universal Energy Facility offers finance that will reduce financial risks of mini-grid projects, which will help companies attract additional finance for their projects. In turn, this will support the overall growth of the mini-grid sector in the DRC, which will help power new social and economic opportunities.
"The Universal Energy Facility will help improve electricity access in communities across the Democratic Republic of the Congo," said Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy. "Mini-grids supported by the facility will power households and businesses, creating jobs and economic growth within these communities"
The Universal Energy Facility was established in 2020 and is managed by Sustainable Energy for All, an international organization with headquarters in Vienna, Austria. The DRC is the fifth country to have a Universal Energy Facility programme, with the others being Benin, Madagascar, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
In September 2022, the Universal Energy Facility announced it had verified its first-ever set of electricity connections and paid its first grant for 542 connections to mini-grids across eight communities in Madagascar.
Mini-grid projects in the DRC supported by the Universal Energy Facility are anticipated to be completed by the end of 2023 and early 2024.
Companies with mini-grid operations in the DRC and interested in applying for results-based finance from the Universal Energy Facility can apply here before 9 December 2022.