Project supports DRC’s Updated NDC commitment to reduce its GHG emissions by 21% compared to the 2030 BAU scenario through investment in renewable energy development to meet country’s target of 42.7 MW for wind, solar and geothermal energy by 2030. The project is well-aligned with the goals of DRC’s National Development Strategic Plan 2019-2023, which calls for the increase in modern energy access to reduce the use of traditional biomass. It also directly contributes to strengthening the climate resilience of DRC’s energy infrastructure, thus supporting DRC’s adaptation efforts set out in the National Adaptation Plan to Climate Change 2022-2026.
REPP has invested USD 500,000 as part of a wider support the development and construction of a 43MWp portfolio of solar-hybrid isolated grids in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
DRC is the second largest and fourth most populous country in Africa, with one of the richest endowments of natural resources globally. However, it remains one of the world’s poorest countries as a result of decades of political upheaval and conflict over the resources. And with approximately 19% of the population having access to electricity – it is also one of the least electrified. Making things worse, the country’s grid power generation comes predominantly from hydropower plants, which are coming under mounting pressure due to a lack of maintenance and the increased incidence of drought as a consequence of climate change.
The Nuru project, being developed by Congo Energy Solutions Limited (trading name “Nuru”), aims to close the energy access deficit while aiding the diversification and decentralisation of DRC’s energy mix, in doing so supporting DRC’s Strategic National Development Plan (SNDP 2019-2023) goal for increased renewable energy development.
To date, the company has installed 1.7MWp of operating capacity, providing commercial and industrial (C&I) and residential customers in large off-grid towns with reliable, affordable and clean energy via solar PV installations (with battery storage and diesel back up) and isolated distribution networks. Communities in the Ndosho neighborhood in Goma are also benefitting from solar-powered streetlights that have been installed to enhance safety and security in a densely populated area with high levels of crime. The project was partially funded by the sale of Peace Renewable Energy Credits (P-RECs) to Microsoft in a deal facilitated by Energy Peace Partners and 3Degrees in 2020.
REPP’s initial investment of USD 500,000 will take place alongside funding from Proparco and E3 Capital (formerly Energy Access Ventures), and will bridge a financing gap in the build-up to Nuru’s USD 25 million Series B equity fundraise, helping to bring the deal to financial close. The residual REPP funds (USD 5.5 million) will be invested at the close of Nuru’s Series B round alongside a consortium of international investors including a strategic investor, helping to accelerate the implementation of three late-stage development projects with an aggregate installed capacity of 13.7MWp.
The next phase of the project is expected to be completed by mid-2024. The construction of the remaining 35MWp in Nuru’s current pipeline is due to be finished within five years, and once completed the company will be providing first-time clean energy access to approximately 233,000 people and c.5,300 C&I businesses and social and public institutions, most of whom currently rely on diesel gensets for their power. This will lead to greater levels of economic activity and improved living standards for the region’s communities.
The investment is expected to serve as an indication of improving investment conditions in DRC, which could subsequently attract additional investors, particularly from the private sector.
Contracted date: 20 February 2023
Funding type: Equity
REPP funding: USD 500,000 (with a further USD 5.5 million agreed subject to additional conditions)
REPP's team have been absolutely catalytic in ensuring Nuru's pipeline is funded and under deployment. Nuru needed a dynamic, outcomes-focused partner to help us tackle the enormous needs and opportunities of the DRC market, and REPP have repeatedly played a proactive and decisive role in our round. We are thrilled to partner with REPP to achieve transformational impact in Congo.- Jonathan Shaw, CEO, Nuru