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Husk Signs U.N. Energy Compact as it Begins Solar Mini-Grid Expansion in Africa

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Husk Power Systems, a leading rural clean energy company, has signed a voluntary commitment with the UN to scale up the clean energy market in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The commitment falls under the 24/7 Carbon-free Energy Compact, which aims to provide affordable, clean, and modern energy – with specific, trackable actions to help progress in energy transition and net-zero emissions.

The renewable start-up, currently operating in India, Nigeria, and Tanzania has set the goal of installing at least 5,000 solar mini-grids by the year 2030, including 500 new mini-grids in Nigeria by 2026. Last year in November, Husk Power System launched 6 hybrid solar mini-grids in Nigeria’s Nasarawa state, providing electricity to 5,000 households and 5000 businesses.

Under Husk Power’s compact, the company has committed to establishing 1 million connections, powering 500,000 MSMEs and benefitting 11 million people. The company has also planned to install 500 MW of rural commercial & industrial (C&I) solar, sell 5 million energy-efficient devices, and reduce 7 megatons of CO2 emissions.

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The international organization, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) spearheaded the Energy Compact initiative as a key outcome to the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy and COP26.

Kanika Chawla, UN-Energy and SEforALL Program Manager, said, “We welcome the Energy Compact commitments made by Husk Power and appreciate their leadership. It showcases the business opportunity presented by the global energy transition, and how private enterprises can drive accelerated action on ending energy poverty, expand renewable energy solutions for consumptive and productive load, and improve the adoption of energy efficiency solutions by end consumers.”

The mini-grid industry in Africa is growing and is demonstrating significant socio-economic impact. The signing of the UN-Energy Compact by Husk put forward a more ambitious vision not only for the company but also for the entire mini-grid industry, which will lead to a higher level of climate finance and more supportive government policies.

The renewable energy firm is exploring growth opportunities in the eastern, western, and southern regions of Africa, and looking for the countries with a “supportive regulatory environment” as its current markets. For example, in Nigeria, the mini-grid operators are largely free of permit requirements for mini-grids, whether it is standalone off-grid or interconnected mini-grids.

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