RMI’s World Bank DARES Award Expands Program to Scale Renewable Energy Deployment in Sub-Saharan Africa

RMI Also Establishes Its Nigerian Entity to Deepen Its Program and Boost Climate Action in the Region

Abuja, Nigeria – June 4, 2024

RMI, founded as Rocky Mountain Institute, has been selected as an implementation partner for the World Bank Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-up (DARES) project. DARES is a $750 million multi-year program that uses innovative financing solutions to scale up private sector-led clean electricity provision. The project was approved by the World Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria in late 2023 to provide access to clean and reliable energy through distributed renewable energy solutions to over 17.5 million Nigerians and over 200,000 micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises by 2030 through private sector interventions. As an awardee, RMI will focus on project de-risking and project preparation work aimed at integrating distributed renewables such as embedded generation and interconnected minigrids into Nigeria’s distribution networks.

RMI acknowledges the crucial role of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet in providing critical support for the DARES project. Other development partners collaborating on the program include the United States Agency for International Development, the German Development Agency, Sustainable Energy for All, the African Development Bank, and Japan International Cooperation Agency.

”We believe that Nigeria’s energy future must include forms of energy that are increasingly distributed, decarbonized, and digitized. Being an awardee of the World Bank’s DARES project is a testament to our commitment and capability to bring innovative distributed renewable energy solutions to regions that need them the most,” said Ije Ikoku Okeke, managing director of RMI’s Catalytic Climate Capital and Global South Program. “Through our Catalytic Climate Capital (C3), RMI is committed to mobilizing funding through private, public, and philanthropic partnerships to catalyze private investments and accelerate the deployment of clean energy solutions in Nigeria and beyond.”

The Rural Electrification Agency of Nigeria (REA), as the main client and primary implementer of the DARES project, plays a pivotal role in its successful execution. “At the Rural Electrification Agency, our ambition is clear: to scale up renewable energy projects through the deployment of interconnected minigrids and by supporting Renewable Energy Service Companies. This approach aims to not only address the immediate energy needs of our communities but also foster long-term economic growth and environmental sustainability,” said Abba Abubakar Aliyu, REA managing director/CEO. “Partnerships are at the heart of our mission, and we are proud to have RMI as a technical partner. Their expertise and collaboration are invaluable in our shared goal of bringing sustainable electricity access to those who need it most.”

RMI has also officially established its Nigeria entity, reinforcing the institute’s commitment to Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa. With this RMI intends to deepen its programs and expand the deployment of clean energy solutions in the region. RMI has been active in Nigeria since 2017, supporting the deployment of clean and reliable energy solutions, facilitating comprehensive energy planning, and fostering local economic development.

“With Nigeria being an economic giant on the African continent, renewable energy technologies will be key in achieving a sustainable energy mix and meeting the growing needs of the nation,” said Jon Creyts, CEO of RMI. “Our new office in Abuja represents our deep commitment to supporting Nigeria in its journey towards a sustainable and inclusive energy future. We believe that by deploying innovative clean energy solutions, we can help bridge the energy gap and drive economic development.”

Nigeria is stepping up its ambition to provide access to clean and efficient electricity to its people through various plans and initiatives. Chief among these efforts is the Nigeria Energy Transition Plan, which aims to generate 30,000 MW of electricity from renewable energy sources and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. Despite these ambitions, Nigeria, one of Africa’s largest economies with a rapidly growing population, still faces substantial challenges in energy access. Currently, 85 million Nigerians, accounting for 45 percent of the population, lack access to electricity due to insufficient generation and grid constraints.

“Nigeria offers fertile ground for renewable energy investment and development. By scaling distributed energy resources, we are creating a conduit for inclusive, equitable economic growth and businesses’ and communities’ resilience,” said Suleiman Babamanu, RMI Nigeria program director. “The new office marks a significant milestone in RMI’s efforts to accelerate energy access in the region through collaboration with local and international development partners.”

For media inquiries please contact:

Benson Kibiti, Sr. Strategic Communications Manager
T: +254720 658597 E:bkibiti@rmi.org or RMI’s media team media@rmi.org.

About RMI

RMI, founded in 1982 as Rocky Mountain Institute, is an independent nonprofit that transforms global energy systems through market-driven solutions to align with a 1.5°C future and secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all. We work in the world’s most critical geographies and engage businesses, policymakers, communities, and NGOs to identify and scale energy system interventions that will cut climate pollution at least 50 percent by 2030. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Oakland, California; Washington, D.C.; Abuja, Nigeria; and Beijing. More information on RMI can be found at www.rmi.org or follow us on Twitter or Facebook @RMIAfrica.