ISA announces launch of pilot project backed by Global Solar Facility


The International Solar Alliance (ISA) has announced the initiation of the first pilot project under its Global Solar Facility (GSF). The project was launched in collaboration with Nuru, a leading solar power company in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Under the project, Nuru will develop and construct 15 MW of solar mini-grid capacity across three provinces in the Eastern Congo.

Ajay Mathur, Director General of the International Solar Alliance, said, “Less than 20% of the DRC’s population has access to energy, and with a rising energy demand projected for the future, Nuru’s innovative approach to renewable energy access unlocks the immense market potential across the country.”

“[Nuru] will be installing a series of mini grids that will power around 5 million people. Towards this, the GSF is providing insurance capital to the company, which will be bought from MIGA [Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency of the World Bank Group], contributing significantly to the viability of the project,” Mathur added.

The ISA, through its GSF, is supporting Nuru by partnering with the MIGA. The collaboration, announced at the G20-Clean Energy Ministerial meeting in Goa in July 2023, aims to promoting new investment in solar power generation to increase access and boost energy security, especially in countries with the greatest needs. “ISA-MIGA partnership will be invaluable to mitigating risk, and unlocking potential of investments in Africa,” said Mathur.

Jonathan Shaw, chief executive officer and co-founder of Nuru, said, the ISA is providing critical and catalytic support to ensure that we can manage complex risks in the places we work while also maintaining affordable pricing for our clients.

Nuru plans to deploy an additional 39 MW in subsequent phases, so as to provide power to up to 5 million people by 2025.

Nuru’s utility-scale solar metrogrids are designed to provide 24/7 reliable and renewable energy to urban communities in the DRC.

Global solar facility

The GSF aims to catalyze solar investments in underserved segments and geographies across Africa, unlocking commercial capital in the process. ISA had earlier announced a $35 million funding for the GSF to stimulate investments into solar power projects.

During the International Solar Alliance Assembly, RK Singh, minister of power and new & renewable energy, Government of India, had highlighted the GSF’s objective to raise $100 million, to provide security to investments and accelerate the transition to solar energy in Africa.

“The world requires an investment of $12.5 trillion in renewable energy and $23 billion in off-grid solar by 2030. The GSF will further our vision of addressing the urgent need for universal energy access and a clean energy transition,” said Mathur.

After Africa, the GSF plans to expand its reach to Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, tailoring regional facilities to meet specific requirements. The GSF envisions investments in innovative technologies, support for startups, and exploration of emerging solar energy sectors in its mission to enhance solar energy efficiency globally.

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