Husk Power, a leading net-zero energy company serving rural Asia and Africa, has launched the Africa Sunshot initiative to rapidly scale the minigrid industry in rural sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)
The company celebrated the launch at the Africa Climate Summit, being held in Nairobi from 4-6 September, where it set the goal of having 2,500 net-zero minigrids operating in off-grid and weak-grid communities across the region within five years. In order to achieve this feat, Husk is expecting to mobilise around US$500mn in equity and debt to finance Sunshot.
If this initiative is completed Husk expects 7.7mn people to be impacted; 225,000 micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises MSMEs to be connected; 150MW of rooftop solar commercial and industrial (C&I) to be installed; and 2.1 megatons of CO2 avoided through the displacement of diesel generation.
Husk will draw on its experience in Nigeria and India, where it currently has 200 minigrids in operation. As part of Sunshot, 1,000 minigrids will be installed in Nigeria, 500 in DRC and 250 in four additional countries to be identified.
Manoj Sinha, Husk’s co-founder and CEO, commented, “Meeting the targets of the Africa Sunshot will require operational excellence from Husk, and we are ready to mobilise immediately. It will also need the active support of governments to get the right policies in place that integrate minigrids as a central component of national electrification and energy transition plans. Finally, all investors, including development finance institutions, infrastructure funds, and commercial debt providers, must provide the appropriate quantum, tenure and cost of capital to meet these accelerated timelines.”
Olu Aruike, Husk’s Nigeria country director, added, “Now is the time to support a 10-fold increase in the minigrid industry and supercharge low carbon and climate resilient growth in rural Africa. We’re already doing it at scale today in Nigeria, the world’s largest off-grid market, and it’s time to roll out that scale across the continent.”