ADA at the Energy Access Investment Forum

31 May 2024
ADA participe à l’Energy Access Investment Forum

As part of its strategic priority to provide vulnerable households and young entrepreneurs with access to basic services and renewable energy, ADA is actively seeking new partnerships with other development and local actors in these sectors. 

The Energy Access Investment Forum, which was organised by the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) from 21 to 23 May in Lagos, Nigeria, was a great opportunity to explore synergies with investors, solar mini-grid operators and suppliers of solar kits and other energy-efficient equipment. 

Boosting rural growth and employment with green energy 

As one of the main sponsors of the event, ADA’s Head of Programmes - Access to Basic Services, Marina Abboud, was represented on numerous panels to explain how ADA aims to encourage entrepreneurship in remote areas by providing access to green energy via local providers. 

ADA aims to build the capacity of local operators to manage solar mini-grids as effectively as possible while at the same time encouraging households and entrepreneurs in the villages to use the electricity for economic activities. While economic activities increase the income and improve the quality of life of private households, these activities are also essential for the operators, since larger, corporate clients make the grids profitable.  

Strengthening solar mini-grid operators 

Despite their huge potential for developing rural areas, investors often shy away from the mini-grid operators as their small size and the lack of large clients pose too high a risk. ADA therefore leverages its extensive expertise in inclusive finance to unlock funding.  

On the one hand, ADA provides technical assistance to make the operators investment ready. On the other hand, ADA drives partnerships among investors to complement traditional debt financing with other innovative and flexible instruments such as guarantees, patient capital or even catalytic subsidies.  

Flexible, tailored financing for rural electrification 

In addition to helping the operators attract investments, ADA also acts as an investor via its Financial Innovation Tool (FIT), which is managed by ADA together with the Luxembourgish government. The tool is well suited to support these grid operators as it offers a broad range of financing instruments which can be tailored to the operators’ needs. 

At the Forum, FIT President Axel de Ville therefore sat on the jury of ARE's investment Academy, at which promising green energy SMEs pitched to early-stage investors.