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US launches new energy intiative in Nigeria

04 June 2014, 18:14

Abuja - The U.S has announced a new energy innovation tagged "Beyond the Grid" to boost energy and address supply shortages in Nigeria and five other African countries.

The US Secretary for Energy, Ernest Moniz, said this on Wednesday at the ongoing US-Africa Energy Ministerial conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The theme of the conference is Power Africa Beyond the Grid: Increasing Access through Small-Scale Energy Solution.

Moniz said that more than 240 million people live without electricity in rural and semi-urban communities across the six countries targeted by the project.

'Beyond the Grid' will establish small-scale power projects and is part of President Barrack Obama’s Power Africa initiative announced in South Africa during his visit in June 2013.

The project is expected to provide power to communities and help in meeting the target of the Power Africa initiative within five years.

The initiative by the U.S Government will involve the private sector, World Bank and African Development Bank, to generate additional 10 000 MW of electricity in Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Liberia, Ghana and Tanzania.

It is also expected to attract $1billion in investment and connect 20 million households and commercial entities.

Moniz said, "over five year period, ‘Beyond the Grid’ will partner with over 27 investors and practitioners that have committed themselves to invest over $1 billion into off-grid and small-scale solutions to this underserved market.

"These private sector commitment will be significant in helping Power Africa meet and exceed its objective to provide access to 20 million new connections for households and commercial entities.''

He said the initiative would unlock investment and growth for off-grid and small-scale energy solution, adding that the ‘Power Africa’ had already supported 20 small-scale energy projects.

"Beyond the Grid will expand this significantly, facilitating $500 million in new private sector investments to blend with donor and private capital,’’ Moniz said.

Nigeria's Minister of Power and Energy Development, Prof Chinedu Nebo is among the participants at the two-day conference.


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