Scaling mini-grids could stimulate $20bn investment in Nigeria – Report

A solar project in Nigeria (PHOTO: Greentech)
A solar project in Nigeria (PHOTO: Greentech)

The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) in collaboration with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) this week released a report entitled, Minigrid Investment Report: Scaling the Nigerian Market, which shows how mini-grids can improve business profitability.

According to the report, mini-grids could also stimulate a $20 billion investment opportunity throughout Nigeria.

At present, only 45% of the Nigerian population has access to electricity, and only 36% of the population in rural areas has access to a centralised power source.

Mini-grids can provide a cost-effective solution to the demand for rural electrification, which could help businesses tap into a revenue opportunity of up to N2.8 trillion ($8 billion) per year.

“The Nigerian mini-grid space is ready to take off, and there is a huge opportunity for investment to scale the market,” said Sachi Graber, an associate at Rocky Mountain Institute and co-author of the study.

“These mini-grids could drive a significant economic change in rural Nigeria,” Graber added.

The research presents the following findings to show how necessary mini-grids are to the future of Nigeria’s business structure:

* Scaling mini-grids could create a $20 billion investment opportunity
* Over 80% of Nigerian business owners cite electrification challenges as their most significant obstacle, and mini-grids could solve the most common challenges through high reliability and consistent quality

The report also provides recommended best practices for the mini-grid sector, based on current operating mini-grid projects, which can ensure success from both a business and development perspective.

The Mini-grid Investment Report presents a clear pathway to scale in Nigeria, where the mini-grid market is taking off.

RMI and NESG hope that this industry will be able to provide power to millions of individuals and small businesses within the next several years.