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EIB powers African solar firm d.light with US$25m funding

EIB powers African solar firm d.light with USm funding

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided US$25 million in financing to the Nairobi-based solar company d.light to help it reach its goal of hitting 10 million solar installations in the next five years.

d.light says it strengthens access to energy in Africa using off-grid solar kits, which the company claims are easy to use and inexpensive for users due to a pre-payment system.

So far, it has sold close to 20 million solar light and power products in 62 countries, impacting over 80 million people, and its recently partnered cloud-based microfinance institution Musoni to expand access to its solar products for low-income Kenyan consumers.

This EU financing will enable the company to install solar kits - including panels and lamps, as well as low-energy equipment such as radios and televisions - in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the goal of reaching another 10 million solar installations within five years.

The installation of these off-grid solar systems with d.light will initially take place in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.

"I am delighted that the EIB has signed this new financing with d.light in Africa for an off-grid solar project that will have a major economic and social impact on people and micro-entrepreneurs," said EIB vice president Ambroise Fayolle.

"The EU bank is determined to implement the Paris climate agreement and to cooperate to achieve the sustainable development goals, particularly when it comes to ensuring access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for all. With its unique technical and financial expertise in the support of solar projects, the EIB will mobilise new investments to develop renewable energies in Africa."

The EIB claims to have fostered an "outstanding long-term partnership" with Africa. Since its creation by the Treaty of Rome and the beginning of its operations in Africa, the bank has invested around EUR25 billion to support more than 1,300 projects.

It has intensified its investments in Africa since 2014, providing EUR8.8 billion in financing to support infrastructure developments across the continent.

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