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$24.5b Grant Available for Nigeria Startups with Tech Solutions to end Energy Poverty

Nigeria’s mini-grid market is worth $9bn or N3.2 trillion being the largest mini-grid market in the world.

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Global energy poverty is real. Over 1 billion people do not have access to electricity. Over 3 billion people rely on solid fuels and kerosene for cooking and heating.

It is estimated that approximately 80 percent of people gaining access to electricity worldwide are in urban areas.

Are you a Nigerian startup that has a technology driven solution to provide electricity and end energy problem?

Can you develop market-based technologies and business models that accelerate access to clean, modern and affordable energy in Africa, Asia and the Indo Pacific regions. There is a whooping $24.5 billion grant available to startups that can deliver effectively on this project.

Application for pitch which closes by 10th August would require potential Nigerian in­novators to partner with a UK innovator to submit pitches.

According to reports, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) of Nigeria, Innovate UK KTN and other partners recently announced their plan to help facilitate entry into $9.2 billion minigrid market.

Innovate UK KTN is the UK’s largest innovation network responsible for the implementation of the Global Alliance Africa project, has decided to facilitate this project by offering Nigerian companies the opportunity to pitch for grants from £20 million ($24.5 million) available globally.

According to Sophie West, Africa Regional Lead at Innovate UK KTN, the Innovate UK’s Energy Catalyst programme helps early-to-late-stage innovators develop market-based technologies and business models that accelerate access to clean, modern and affordable energy in Africa, Asia and the Indo Pacific regions.

West explained that the Energy Catalyst, which is a programme aimed at accelerating the innovations needed to end energy poverty on the continent, is one of the UK’s biggest energy access-focused grant funding initiatives, having invested more than £60 ($73.6m) in over 360 projects in eight different rounds.

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The programme, she added, will also leverage financial and advisory support, build strategic partnerships and uncover new insights to provide energy solutions to improve lives.

Simon Ighofose, CEO, PyroGenesys, a waste to renewable energy and biofuel company, said, Nigeria’s mini-grid market is worth $9bn or N3.2 trillion being the largest mini-grid market in the world.

Citing a survey by the Afri­can Development Bank (AfDB), Ighofose said, “51 percent of the Nigerian population live in ru­ral areas far from the national grid. This means there are over a 80million people in Nigeria’s rural areas without access to power.

“Development of off-grid alternatives to complement the grid creates a $9bn (N3.2tr) yearly market opportunity for mini-grids.”

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