ElectriFI invests close to USD 1.5M to incentivize DRC green energy transition
Having 83% of its population without access to electrification, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is one of the top 20 energy deficit countries in the world. The province of North Kivu is particularly affected by this shortage as less than 7% of its 6 million inhabitants have access to any form of electricity. In other words, most individuals and businesses in DRC struggle from insufficient grid access, forcing them to heavily rely upon costly and non-renewable sources of energy for their daily needs.
ElectriFI invests in Kivu Green Energy (KGE), a company active in the development of minigrids powered by solar PV and with battery storage. Other investor in this round is Energy Access Ventures. KGE will deploy its first minigrid project in the city of Goma, with an initial capacity of 1.3MW solar and 2MWh battery storage, with significant expansion opportunity. This investment represents a unique market opportunity where no quality energy solution currently exists. By offering stable electricity supply and cheaper than existing sources of energy, KGE aims to directly serve commercial and industrial (C&I) off-takers as well as to sell power to local small and medium businesses households and institutions.
“After the closure of the equity tranche end of 2018, we are happy to see that the company will now start building its first minigrid. More than 760 new connections will be created with this Goma-based project. Many more projects are needed to address the needs of under-served dense urban areas such as Goma and so many more cities across Kivu and DRC” explained Dominiek Deconinck, ElectriFI Fund Manager.
“With more than half of its electricity sold through long-term power purchase agreements to anchor clients, this minigrid model is unique in terms of approach and market access. We look forward to confirming the business model and to support the company rolling out its pipeline of projects” added Liesbet Mijlemans, ElectriFI Investment Officer.
Upon completion, the minigrids will offer clean energy to 3,800 new beneficiaries and produce up to 2,300 MWh of electricity per year, resulting in 1,840 tons of CO2 avoidance. Kivu Green Energy seek to scale rapidly in eastern Congo, deploying and operating 33 MWp of additional capacity by 2023.
“ElectriFI are ideal partners for Kivu Green Energy as we work to accomplish our mission of bringing reliable, affordable, renewable energy to the people of eastern Congo,” said Jonathan Shaw, CEO at Kivu Green Energy. “Our engagement with ElectriFI not only resulted in crucial capital that will allow us to scale our impact in Congo, but the team also helped refine our approach, modeling, and environmental and social impact policies. We are excited to partner with ElectriFI in reaching thousands of households in the DRC with renewable energy. Together we will move the needle on energy access in Congo.”