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Husk Power launches “Africa Sunshot” initiative at Africa Climate Summit

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Husk Power Systems has made a significant commitment to accelerate climate-resilient economic growth in rural Sub-Saharan Africa through its “Africa Sunshot” initiative.

The goal is to have 2,500 net-zero mini-grids operating in off-grid and weak-grid communities in the region within 5 years, with Husk aiming to mobilize $500 million in equity and debt for this initiative.

This announcement was made during the inaugural Africa Climate Summit, where Husk presented ambitious goals that raise the bar for the mini-grid industry, aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including universal energy access (SDG7) by 2030.

The 5-year objectives of the Africa Sunshot initiative include:

– Establishing 2,500 operational mini-grids
– Providing 1 million new connections directly impacting 7.7 million people
– Connecting 225,000 micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)
– Installing 150MW of rooftop solar for commercial and industrial (C&I) purposes
– Avoiding 2.1 megatons of CO2 emissions by displacing diesel generation

In the 33 least developed countries (LDCs) in Africa, the electrification rate stands at only 36%.  However, the current pace indicates the construction of only about 12,000 new mini-grids serving 46 million people. To electrify 380 million Sub-Saharan Africans by 2030, over 160,000 minigrids costing $91 billion are needed, per the World Bank. Without a significant industry-scale increase and a more than 10-fold rise in the industry’s deployment rate, achieving SDG7 will remain a distant goal.

Husk currently operates over 200 minigrids in Nigeria and India. In the Africa Sunshot initiative, Husk aims for 1,000 minigrids in Nigeria (doubling their previous goal) and 500 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), plus four more countries with 250 minigrids each. This year, Husk proposed a PPP framework to fund hundreds of African minigrids, pending met conditions.

Manoj Sinha, Husk’s Co-Founder and CEO, emphasized the need for operational excellence, government support for policy integration, and adequate financing from investors, including development finance institutions, infrastructure funds, and commercial debt providers, to meet the accelerated timelines of the African Sunshot initiative.

Olu Aruike, Husk’s Nigeria Country Director, urged support for a 10-fold increase in the mini-grid industry, highlighting its potential to drive low-carbon and climate-resilient growth in rural Africa, drawing from their successful experience in Nigeria, the world’s largest off-grid market, which they aim to replicate across the continent.

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