To Boost Renewable Energy in Nigeria, World Bank Approves $750m

In a groundbreaking move to enhance access to clean energy for 17.5 million Nigerians, the World Bank greenlights the Nigeria Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-up (DARES) project. Financed by a $750 million International Development Association (IDA) credit, the initiative aims to leverage over $1 billion in private capital, along with substantial parallel financing from key development partners.

The project boasts collaboration with significant partners, including the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet contributing $100 million, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) providing $200 million. Other allies include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the German Development Agency (GIZ), SEforAll, and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The DARES project’s core objective is to furnish more than 17.5 million Nigerians with either new or enhanced access to electricity through distributed renewable energy solutions. Faced with unreliable and insufficient power supply, exacerbated by costly and polluting generator sets, over 85 million Nigerians lacked electricity access as of 2021.

Building on the successes of the World Bank-financed Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), which facilitated the establishment of 125 mini-grids and the sale of over a million Solar Home Systems, the DARES project will further bridge the access gap. NEP not only supported electricity access but also created over 5,000 private-sector green jobs in Nigeria.

The DARES program, being the World Bank’s largest-ever single distributed energy project globally, will address the energy shortfall in Nigeria. It will deploy standalone solar and mini-grids, replacing more than 280,000 polluting generator sets. This marks a crucial step for Nigeria in achieving its energy transition targets, as highlighted by World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri.

The program’s multifaceted approach includes enabling the Federal Government of Nigeria to coordinate off-grid electrification efforts, providing technical assistance to states, and emphasizing gender and inclusion. By building on NEP’s gender-related actions, DARES aims to facilitate electricity access for disadvantaged female-headed households, support women-led MSMEs, and increase women’s employment in the energy sector.

Expressing enthusiasm, Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adebalu, emphasized the revolutionary impact of innovative financial instruments like the DARES program. This initiative not only unlocks the full potential of the off-grid sector but also fuels investments, propelling forward clean energy solutions.

The DARES program is poised to propel Nigeria toward sustainable, efficient, and economically viable electricity supply. It exemplifies the possibilities achievable through effective collaboration and partnerships between the Government, private sector, and development partners.


  • Samson Adeyemo

    An experienced broadcast and print media journalist with nose for news and proven track records of success without compromising objectivity.

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