Universal Energy Facility provides grants to solar projects across Nigeria, helping SMEs while saving thousands of tons of carbon emissions per year

Companies to receive finance for projects connecting businesses with clean energy as part of programme designed to support Nigeria Energy Transition Plan

LAGOS, Nigeria, Feb. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Universal Energy Facility (UEF) – a results-based financing facility managed by Sustainable Energy for All – has announced that it will provide grants to renewable energy companies who applied to have their projects financed as part of the facility’s Stand-alone Solar for Productive Use programme in Nigeria.

Mini-grid constructed in Madagascar with support from the Universal Energy Facility.

These companies will now begin construction on their proposed solar projects, all of which are designed to connect businesses and services to a clean, affordable and reliable electricity source.

These projects will span most states in Nigeria and be completed within the next 12 months. Together, they will connect approximately 3,500 businesses, markets, shopping malls, cold-storage facilities, clinics, schools, and other productive uses of energy, which are uses that support economic activity and community infrastructure.

As stand-alone solar energy projects, they will alleviate the need for businesses and services to rely on expensive, polluting fossil fuel generators as their source of power. The UEF estimates that approximately 5,400 tons of CO2 equivalent per year will be saved once all of the proposed projects are implemented.

“With this programme in Nigeria, the Universal Energy Facility will demonstrate the enabling power that sustainable energy can have on local economic development and climate action,” said Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. “Solar projects supported by the facility will give businesses clean and affordable electricity to help them scale up, create jobs, and replace polluting power sources.”

Last year, the Government of Nigeria launched its Energy Transition Plan showing how the country will achieve universal energy access by 2030 and net-zero emissions by mid-century, as well as the finance required to meet these goals. The UEF is contributing to the plan’s finance targets for the power sector by providing grants that companies can leverage to attract additional finance for clean energy.

“The Universal Energy Facility will provide grant payments to enable solar companies to expand their operations to small and medium-sized enterprises across Nigeria, while crowding-in additional private capital,” said Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “Projects supported by the Universal Energy Facility will help grow businesses and create jobs, making them key contributors to our Energy Transition Plan.”

Hon. Goddy Jedy Agba, Minister of State for Power of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, said “This Universal Energy Facility programme is a practical demonstration of targeted investment in our power sector and in our overall objective to provide energy access to all Nigerians.”

The Stand-alone Solar for Productive Use programme in Nigeria opened for applications in August 2022 and received expressions of interest from hundreds of energy developers.

“Within just a few months of opening this programme in Nigeria, we are now at the point where grantees have been selected and companies can start building transformative stand-alone solar projects,” said Anita Otubu, Senior Director, Universal Energy Facility. “The Universal Energy Facility is proving the effectiveness of results-based finance to catalyse energy development at speed and scale.”

Simon Harford, CEO, Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, said, “”The global energy transition must power both people and planet, enabling economic opportunities and displacing carbon-intensive technologies. The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) is proud to support the Universal Energy Facility’s efforts to offer targeted, country-specific solutions in those communities most affected by energy poverty and climate change. The UEF has the potential to become a unifying force and the platform of choice for those interested in results-based financing.”

This is the first grant funding window under the Stand-alone Solar for Productive Use programme in Nigeria. The UEF has identified many additional viable projects for financing in future waves.

More information on the Stand-Alone Solar for Productive Use programme and the UEF are available here.


Stephen Kent, Communications Specialist, Sustainable Energy for All
+43 676 846727234   

About the Universal Energy Facility

The Universal Energy Facility (UEF) is a multi-donor results-based finance facility established to significantly speed up and scale up energy access across Sub-Saharan Africa, in line with SDG7 and the Paris Agreement. The UEF provides incentive payments to eligible organizations deploying energy solutions and providing verified end-user electricity connections (including mini-grids and stand-alone solar systems) and clean cooking solutions based on pre-determined standards. The facility is managed by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and supported by the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, Shell Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Africa Minigrid Developers Association, Power Africa, Good Energies, UKaid, Carbon Trust, IKEA Foundation, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany (BMZ) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

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