Smallholders and entrepreneurs in remote villages across Uganda are set to access reliable and cheap electricity for the first time under a new off-grid solar scheme agreed between ENGIE, through its Solar Home System Company Fenix International and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide a USD 12.5 million loan to support the deployment of 240,000 high-quality solar home systems in Uganda by Fenix International.
Solving the last mile challenge to provide power in remote communities across Uganda Only one in five Ugandans living in remote and rural communities has access to reliable electricity. By scaling up the adoption of off-grid solar technology this new initiative will provide economic, social, education and health opportunities for families and entrepreneurs who cannot be connected to the national electricity network.
“Access to affordable and clean energy is important. Unlocking sustainable economic and social development through off-grid solar is key for Africa’s future and the EIB is pleased to back this project in Uganda.” said Ambroise Fayolle, EIB Vice President.
“At ENGIE, we see the massive potential of the off-grid electrification sector as a way to bridge energy gaps across Africa. Our new partnership with the EIB in Uganda will allow Fenix to provide ultra-affordable PAYGO systems to millions of people in villages across the country. This will provide access to clean solar power and financial empowerment,” said Yoven Moorooven, CEO of ENGIE Africa.
Provision of a PAYGO model will also allow families who would be unable to afford the upfront costs of solar home systems to repay the cost of equipment over years at less than USD 20 cents a day. The new European Investment Bank financing will also allow repayment of equipment purchased in US dollars in Ugandan shillings. Previously currency fluctuations hindered the provision of affordable clean energy solutions to Ugandans without access to foreign currency.
“Providing hundreds of thousands of new solar home systems through the PAYGO model will allow our Ugandan team to transform communities across the country,” said Daniel Willette, Managing Director Fenix Uganda.
Customers will also benefit from cheaper costs and easier repayment through the use of mobile banking. This will also provide other financial products and allow customers to expand existing equipment as needed.