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Africa now has more than one-sixth of the world’s population, but it produces only 4% of the world’s electricity. Three-quarters of the continent’s energy use is accounted for by South Africa and the countries north of the Sahara. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA, 2019) about 600 million Africans do not have access to electricity, and 780 million rely on conventional solid biomass (mostly fuel wood and agricultural waste) for cooking. Rural areas are home to about 80% of persons without access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa has a lot of wind, sun, hydropower, and even geothermal resources, thus it has a lot of potential for renewable energy deployment and investment. Improving access to power across the continent is a key goal of both the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and practically all African governments’ national development plans. Clean energy technologies will play a critical role in accomplishing these goals.

High-yield investment options for clean energy in Africa are being aggressively investigated, in line with the 2030 goal to energize and “light up” Africa. The African energy market landscape provides numerous potential for investments and collaboration in clean energy generation technologies, as well as energy efficiency, transmission networks, and diverse distribution methods. According to the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) new energy contract for Africa, increasing sustainable generation capacity by 2030 will require between €39 and €62 billion in annual financing, largely for renewable generation. Strengthening grids and connecting new customers through mini grids and solar farms that provide further investment opportunities.

Opportunity in Mini Grid Investment

Mini grids have been identified as an important platform in Africa for addressing critical electrification shortages. It expands access to electricity for underserved populations through clean energy mini-grid solutions. Beyond trial programs, African governments suffering severe shortages, particularly for their off-grid people, are also focusing on developing successful small grid ecosystems. Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, and Ghana are just a few of the nations that have structures and regulations in place to expand electricity access through small grids. Foundations, donors, and organizations are increasing their financial support for minigrids as the goal of universal energy access by 2030 approaches.

Mini-grids could provide a cost-effective option for providing energy to around 7 million households who do not have consistent connectivity to the grid. With a functional mini-grid regulatory environment and relatively high rural power demand, the country is reasonably progressed in its mini-grid development. The World Bank forecasts that cumulative investment in mini-grids might exceed $10 billion by 2030, but actions to release debt finance, particularly in local currency, are required to scale nationally.

Africa has the greatest number of proposed minigrids. According to World Bank data, over 4,000 small grids are currently being planned. Senegal and Nigeria are the two major markets for proposed small grids in Africa, accounting for approximately 2,000 of the 4,000 planned mini grids in Africa. However, Congo has a significant unelectrified population that may be supplied by mini-grids, with a possible investment of $12.5 billion reaching around 8 million African households.

Solar Farms Investment in Africa

Solar farms, also known as solar power stations, are large-scale installations of solar panels. The concept of community solar has grown in popularity in recent years as more people have realized that they may go solar without installing solar panels on their own physical roof. A communal solar farm, often known as a “solar garden” or “roofless solar,” is a farm where the electricity is shared by more than one household. A community solar array is often a huge ground mount installation that spans one or more acres.

These solar gardens resemble utility-scale solar farms in appearance, but they are typically smaller in size. Customers can either buy a share of a solar garden or own that portion of the overall array, or they can lease energy from the solar system and, in effect, replace their monthly utility payments with monthly community solar payments, which are typically lower in price. Because they are decentralized solar power applications, they differ from typical residential and business systems. While generating light from micro grids is an useful way to create electricity in remote regions, renewable mini grids have lately become inefficient if the energy sourced from the tiny grids power system is not audited. Users of renewable mini grids are looking for a cost-effective approach to stop or decrease energy waste.

Several impediments lie in the way of rapid growth of electricity access in Sub-Saharan Africa, and power providers across the continent confront financial shortfalls. Investment in high volume generating and transmission infrastructure continues to be lower than in any other region, owing to increased risks and reliance on ad hoc, fragmented solutions. In most African countries, the power distribution sector is still dysfunctional. A framework for an integrated distribution system that takes a comprehensive and long-term (permanent) approach to energy delivery provides a solution to energy difficulties. Such a framework would aid in the development of mini grids and farm solar that are capable of attracting critical investments through private engagement in clean energy distribution. Investment in renewable energy is especially critical in the last mile of serving African businesses and communities maintaining and accelerating progress demands a strong commitment to mini grids and solar farm. Integrated mini grids and solar farm distribution is a complete, progressive strategy to electrification that combines diverse delivery mechanisms while also capitalizing on digitalization trends where applicable. In addition to the construction of new connections through the main grid, the off-grid sector can provide cost-effective options for access, such as mini-grids and independent and lighting-only energy systems.

Despite well-known obstacles, energy efficiency has enormous potential to relieve stress on the environment. A dichotomy of the African energy dilemma is that in many locations, the scarcity and high cost of energy supply correlate with inefficient, wasteful energy use due to typically antiquated, inefficient gear and equipment. Energy efficiency frequently lacks the attention it requires to channel expenditures. Various investment barriers and negative market characteristics, such as a lack of awareness and market incentives, prevent potentially and commercially viable energy efficiency initiatives from being realized. However, this depends on the services; nevertheless, saving little amounts of energy over time can result in greater energy savings and lower environmental emissions. 

Investment in Energy Audit

Energy audits can detect an energy use and expenses, and it can evolve over time to develop strategies to minimize waste, increase efficiency, and optimize supply energy. Why do Businesses and communities in Africa prefer to pay for energy they do not use? Return on Investment (ROI) in the energy audit is highly promising because this is a high yielding investment which has not been widely detected and involved in by the energy providers in Africa.

As the cost of investing in clean energy projects becomes more economically viable than that of investing in fossil fuel projects and the need to transition becomes more pressing, development finance institutions, international banks, government agencies, and private sector entities are putting more money into the clean energy pool. The World Bank unveiled a new $465 million fund to boost sustainable energy integration in West Africa. It has also authorized $168 million in funding for Burkina Faso’s initiatives to enhance rural access to electricity and promote the country’s transition to clean energy. From Europe, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has also approved $95 million for funding geothermal energy projects in East Africa. 

The solution

Energy Project Africa (EPA) engages in energy audit operation in mini and micro grids in Africa communities and its business environment. EPA is improving the efficiency of energy services delivered through a variety of technologies and business models, also including energy feasibility solution. The EPA energy auditing system is 85 per cent efficient, with 85 per cent less manpower, than standard solar power systems. Once operational, it runs in parallel with existing mini grids solar system. Businesses and African communities where mini grids are provided benefit from energy auditing. Doing so saves 70 to 80 per cent on power wastage, locks in a fixed solar power price. At the core of the system is an energy efficient monitor that aids the auditing of energy to avoid energy wastage and performed to the full maximum capacity. 

EPA energy auditing system allows flexible contract lengths in African countries. It has the potential to become a significant player in the emerging energy sector, generating healthy financial returns, real social benefits for the communities in which they do business. Initializing the energy audit saves USD 350 million in clean energy investment in African countries, reduce power costs by USD 64 million a year and give access to sustainable energy to millions of people in remote communities. In addition, EPA formally launched its energy audit in solar farm equity investment offering to qualified investors. EPA provides investors with an attractive yield, combined with a significant sustainable development impact in selected African countries and other fast-growing markets.


Energy Project Africa is a leading renewable energy business in Lagos, Nigeria with expertise in energy audit and feasibility solutions, of mini grid and solar farm, strategy advisory. Supply by EPA provides solar products and equipment for corporate and institutional clients for the project and operational needs. If you need a partner with hands-on local expertise in the renewable energy space or any of our bespoke solutions/services, kindly visit Mail to learn more.

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