All On, an independent impact investment company, has announced the completion of the first phase of nationwide solar installations at emergency health facilities related to the COVID-19 pandemic response.
The company had announced the formation of a COVID-19 Solar Relief Fund on March 31, 2020, and it was established with help from solar companies like Auxano, Arnergy, GVE, and Lumos. The main aim of the fund is to provide solar power for emergency health facilities in support of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, all the installations have been deployed during the period of two months and are in operation now.
Commenting on the completion of Phase I of the project, CEO of All On, Wiebe Boer, said, “When we conceived this contribution to the national COVID-19 support initiative, our main objective was to ensure that our chosen companies delivered quality installations quickly and safely to help save lives.”
“Our investee companies’ efforts include ten rooftop solar and storage installations spread across Lagos, Oyo, Kaduna, Rivers, and Enugu states as well as 95 solar home systems across 24 states and the Federal Capital Territory,” said, Afolabi Akinrogunde, Investment Manager at All On.
Many off-grid companies in Nigeria realized early that solar companies would have to play a critical role toward the COVID-19 response by providing solar power to health centers and ensuring that the testing facilities were not hampered by the lack of electricity.
Adepeju Adebajo, CEO of Lumos Nigeria, said, “Lumos was ready with trained staff and products on the ground to install solar-powered systems that allowed key workers to test and treat patients with the virus, ultimately saving lives.”
Apart from providing electricity to health centers, the company also postponed all Q2 (second quarter) interest payments investments to ensure business continuity during the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. The decision was taken because of the economic impact of the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic and to also accelerate the growth of the off-grid energy sector in Nigeria.
All On received seed funding from oil and gas giant Shell, and it works with partners to increase Nigeria’s access to electricity and create an enabling environment for players in the off-grid sector to thrive. Through the COVID-19 Solar Relief Fund, the company aims to provide green power solutions to the people of Nigeria and contribute to the containment and treatment of the virus.
Recently, the African Union Commission (AUC) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) agreed to work together to promote renewable energy across the African continent and to bolster Africa’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. The two organizations will focus on innovative solutions to drive the development of renewable energy, including decentralized systems, and to increase access to energy across the continent.
Earlier, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Government of Nigeria announced the launch of their National Electrification Project (NEP), which aims to improve access to energy by promoting private investment into mini-grid and off-grid solutions. The project will be implemented by the country’s Rural Electrification Agency to boost efforts to achieve the target of universal energy access by 2030. The project will be jointly financed by the AfDB and Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF), amounting to $200 million (~₹14.82 billion).
Rakesh Ranjan is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.