International Solar Alliance Operationalises Groundbreaking Global Solar Facility with MIGA

India, 08 December 2023: The International Solar Alliance (ISA) proudly announces a significant milestone with the initiation of the first pilot project under its Global Solar Facility (GSF). In collaboration with Nuru, a leading solar power company in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the project aims to develop and construct 15 megawatts (MW) of solar metro grid capacity across three provinces in the Eastern Congo.

Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General of the International Solar Alliance, emphasized the transformative potential of Nuru’s approach: “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. The company 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, contributing significantly to the viability of the project.”

The ISA, through its GSF, is supporting Nuru by partnering with the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the World Bank Group. This collaboration, announced at the G20-Clean Energy Ministerial meeting in Goa in July 2023, is dedicated 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 the potential of investments in Africa”, added Dr. Mathur.

Jonathan Shaw, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Nuru expressed his enthusiasm: “Nuru is delighted to be implementing the first project to receive International Solar Alliance support. 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’s plan includes the deployment of an additional 39 MWs in subsequent phases, with the anticipation of providing power to up to 5 million people by 2025. In a country where only 19% of the population has access to electricity, Nuru’s innovative approach, supported by ISA’s GSF, holds immense promise for fostering climate resilience and sustainable development.

Nuru’s utility-scale solar metrogrids, integrated with cutting-edge technology and services, are designed to provide 24/7 reliable and renewable energy to urban communities in the DRC. Despite the challenging electrification rate, Nuru’s metro grids are poised to have a substantial impact on economic activity and market demand.

Global Solar Facility (GSF): Catalyzing Solar Investments Across Africa

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

Shri R K Singh, Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy, Government of India, during the International Solar Alliance Assembly had highlighted the GSF’s objective to raise $100 million USD, aiming to provide security to investments and accelerate the transition to solar energy in Africa.

Dr Mathur emphasized citing the GSF as a crucial mechanism for the urgent need for universal energy access and a clean energy transition, “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.”

After Africa, the GSF plans to expand its reach to regions such as 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.