Saudi Energy Firm To Finance Rural Electrification Projects In Nigeria

Yemisi Izuora

Saudi solar energy firm Desert Technologies (DT) has revealed plans to provide large-scale financing to electrify villages in Nigeria.

It announced the plan during its participation in a live online conference titled “Renpower Nigeria Investors 2021,” from March 31 to April 1.

Nour Mousa, founder and CEO of DT, discussed projects in solar PV and grid connected electricity access across Nigeria and other markets, among more than 200 high-level decision-makers, market participants and stakeholders from around the world.

The conference provided the participants with an opportunity to learn about the future of the renewable energy market and the Nigerian government’s plans to generate electricity using solar energy and encourage investment in solar energy projects in rural villages to improve education, water supply, health, agriculture, trade and security.

During the conference, Mousa presented the experience of DT with inspiring insights and ideas. He said that the participation of DT in the virtual event came from its keenness and interest in the African and Nigerian markets, with DT having significant experience in providing solar PV products and solutions to commercial and industrial clients, as well as governmental and nongovernmental organizations.

“DT is an independent, fully integrated PV solar energy platform with a proven track record as a PV developer, investor, EPC and operation and maintenance contractor, and PV solar panel and energy storage solutions manufacturer. Headquartered in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, operating across Africa, the Middle East and Emerging Asia, DT is a diversified company operating across the value chain of the solar sector,” Mousa said.

He discussed the business case of Sahara, DT’s off-grid solution that grants sustainable access to electricity in remote and rural areas. Sahara is DT’s containerized solar generator, a very agile and versatile product designed to operate under different conditions. Through this system, small businesses will have the ability to light their shops and power their computers, while other businesses may require power to operate machinery and appliances such as refrigerators and electric sewing machines.

Mousa said that Sahara has been designed specifically in response to the critical need of enhancing electricity access in Africa, through micro-grid and off-grid solutions. Sahara is a plug-and-play, stand-alone system, which can support local communities and their development by relieving their dependency on power generated from the grid.

“With the Sahara series, we are looking at a levelized cost of electricity at about 11 cUSD /kWh provided by the hybrid system, which is already half of what diesel is today. DT is planning to provide finance at a large scale and electrify villages in the sub-Saharan region,” he added.

Despite being the leading economy in the African continent in terms of GDP ($443 billion), the installed electrical capacity in Nigeria does not exceed 12,522 MW (2020), as only 36 percent of the population in rural areas has access to electricity. The federal government hopes to improve the situation through the Nigeria Electrification Project funded by the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

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