Nigeria Partners Canadian Firm to Develop Rural Solar Energy Projects
- As REA Celebrates 1 million solar home systems connections
The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has inked a Memorandum of Understanding with CarbonA1 Inc, an Alberta-based solar energy firm, to to identify and develop small-scale solar energy projects in the country.
A statement jointly signed by the duo on Tuesday explained that the projects will be funded by proceeds from carbon credits that are generated through CarbonAi-financed and developed flare gas capture projects in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the agency also disclosed on Tuesday that it has achieved 1 million solar home systems connections between 2019 to 2022.
According a statement via its official Twitter account, the milestone was made possible through the Standalone Solar Home Systems (SHS) component.
The statement read:“With this milestone, about 5 million people across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria are now enjoying access to clean, safe, reliable & affordable electricity through the use of SHS technology.”
Under the new MoU however, the parties will explore opportunities to finance and develop solar energy projects in unserved or underserved communities near CarbonAi’s flare gas capture projects in Nigeria.
The REA will apply its knowledge of Nigeria’s rural electrification requirements and programs to identify appropriate project opportunities and liaise with local communities.
CarbonAi, in turn, will apply its carbon finance and project development expertise to finance, design and construct the projects.
The company will also quantify, verify and monetize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions using its proprietary data management platform.
The REA is an implementation agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the Ministry of Power. It is primarily tasked with promoting and increasing access to electricity in unserved and underserved rural communities across Nigeria.
Whereas, CarbonAi is a world-leading developer of fully integrated GHG reduction projects and GHG emissions quantification and monetization solutions.
Based in Calgary and Dubai, the company provides full-cycle flare gas capture services in Africa and the Middle East, from project finance, design and construction to carbon credit quantification, verification and sale.
For each project that CarbonAi develops, it invests a portion of carbon credit revenues to help local organizations develop sustainability initiatives through the CarbonAi Climate Dividend Programme.
“We are excited to work with the REA as our CarbonAi Climate Dividend Programme partner in Nigeria,” stated CarbonAi’s Chief Carbon Officer, Yvan Champagne.
“We are strong believers in win-win outcomes, and we believe our Climate Dividend Programme captures the spirit of the energy transition by leveraging immediate reductions in today’s energy system to build the energy system of tomorrow in Nigeria.”
Managing Director/CEO of the REA, Engr. Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad added that “REA’s collaboration with CarbonAi is timely and solution-driven. The off-grid space in Nigeria is undergoing commendable growth.
“With the resultant opportunities, key stakeholders must take the responsibility to leverage these opportunities to accelerate sustainable impact, nationwide. This is another strategic and innovative way to finance climate-resilient infrastructure in Nigeria while alleviating energy poverty.”
What You should Know
Flaring of gas is a common practice in oil and gas activities worldwide; however, it generates high levels of GHGs and harmful local pollutants, often creating serious local air and water quality issues.
Nigeria has the third highest number of gas flares globally, but the country has pledged to eliminate the practice by 2025. Many communities in Nigeria’s high-flaring regions do not currently have access to reliable electricity.
The parties believe this MOU will be an important step in providing reliable renewable energy to local communities that are currently unserved and underserved, while improving local air quality associated with gas flaring.
The REA is currently administering the Rural Electrification Fund (REF) and implementing the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) and several initiatives in furtherance of its mandate.
To give effect to some of its initiatives, REA has obtained financing amounting to $550 million ($350 million from the World Bank and $200 million from the African Development Bank) for financing the Nigeria Electrification Project, and an additional $11 million for financing the Rural Electrification Fund for the deployment of Solar hybrid mini grids and solar home systems.
These funds will ensure that millions of Nigerians have access to clean, safe, reliable, and affordable electricity. Already, the company said it has delivered the off-grid solutions to up to one million homes in the country.