UKAID connects 49,000 homes to solar power in 3 months

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The United Kingdom Agency for International Development (UKAID) has connected 49,000 homes in Nigeria to solar lighting and power systems between January and March 2016 through a funded initiative, SolarNigeria.
The programme, it said, was helping many households and small business entities to access modern, clean, lighting and power at lower cost than kerosene lanterns and small generators.

A statement from Genevieve Bosah of SolarNigeria at the weekend said the programme helped solar suppliers and financiers scale-up as households could access the equipment on commercial terms.

It said over 14,000 of the homes in the north benefited from the initiative through full payment, loans and by renting the solar energy equipment.
Market data indicates that about 130,000 solar units existed in the market last year. The addition of the current units raises the number by 40% to over 179,000 solar units installed across Nigerian households.
SolarNigeria said the plug-and-play solar systems include bright lamps and solar home systems that to power multiple lights, a television and fan.
Head of Consumer Markets, Leigh Vial in the statement said: “Millions of Nigerian households could today save money while enjoying bright light and clean power using solar instead of kerosene lanterns and small generators.”
He said the pilot programmes in 2015 provided capacity building grants of £1.5 million to 16 companies. This year, the financing pilot provides £0.5million grants to mobilise the provision of commercial financing for household connections.
Additional £16.7million has been approved by the UKAID for expansion of the programme in Nigeria between now and 2020, the statement revealed.

By Simon Echewofun Sunday [Daily Trust]