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Investors advice subsidizing solar grids to power rural Africa

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Twelve energy and impact investors have said that local renewable-energy grids can provide electric power to hundreds of millions of people in developing nations, especially in Africa, but will not attract enough financial backing unless they are subsidized.

The group of investors urged donors to reduce financial risks for them.

The director of strategic partnerships, SunFunder, Nico Tyabji, which provides debt financing for solar enterprises, said; “The capital is there and waiting to invest, but there is a missing piece.

“Taxpayer funding has long backed expansion of national power grid systems around the world – and the new subsidies would be in line with that”, he told Reuters. In a position paper, released to coincide with the Africa Energy Forum in Lisbon, the investors said mini-grids – which are self-sufficient grids serving households and businesses – had “immense potential” to accelerate electrification in Africa.

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