Shell Invests Over $21m in 40 Off-Grid Energy Firms in Nigeria

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By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

Shell Petroleum Development Company has confirmed that so far, it has invested over $21million in 40 off-grid energy companies in Nigeria and has driven over 40,000 solar connections across Nigeria to date via the All On platform.

All On an independent impact investing company seeded with funding from Shell, and works with partners to increase access to commercial energy products and services for unserved and underserved off-grid energy markets in Nigeria.

The Shell All On platform has special focus on Nigeria’s Niger Delta. The company invests in off-grid energy solutions spanning solar, wind, hydro, biomass and gas technologies deployed by both foreign and local access-to-energy companies that complement available grid power across Nigeria and help to bridge its significant energy gap.

Speaking at the 51st Founders’ Day Lecture of the University of Benin titled: The Transition and The Imperatives for Nigeria, managing director of Shell, Osagie Okunbor, said that Shell Nigeria is responding to the challenge of access to energy and the global drive to grow the renewable energy sector. He said his company had made significant targeted investments on the platform of Shell’s Energy Access team and the Shell-seeded impact investing company, All On, to help close Nigeria’s energy gap.

Mid November 2021, Shell announced a $1million investment in Salpha Energy Nigeria to scale the company’s solar home systems distribution business. Salpha Energy is focused on bottom-of-the-pyramid customers in rural and peri-urban areas across Nigeria including the Niger Delta.

Shell said the investment expected to be used to increase Salpha’s inventory and product range, expand sales channels and customer service infrastructure, and test more flexible pricing models to sustainably manage rural customers in states across Nigeria including in the Niger Delta.

“We are very excited about this support from All On which is an indication of their growing confidence in our vision,” said Salpha founder, Sandra Chukwudozie said during the unveiling of the package on November 19. “This additional support will allow us to deliver on our strategy to provide products for customers across the range of their developing energy needs.”

She explained further that the investment is the continuation of a journey and would provide Salpha inventory needed to supply the company’s expanding network of distributors, as well as a platform to cement its competitive advantage and respond to growing market demand for Solar Home Systems.

All On Senior investment associate, Goziem Okubor, who spoke at the event said the portfolio is also an opportunity to support young female entrepreneurs in building an exciting and fast-growing solar business.

The company has an active distributor network of over 350 individuals, cooperatives, and traders nationwide with key partnerships with payment collection enablers such as InfiBranches, Paga, and Interswitch.

All On’s contribution will enhance a highly scalable opportunity by speedily deploying power assets to households in Nigeria and facilitate the adoption of a sustainable power service payment culture within the Niger Delta and beyond.

The deal is in addition to a $50,000 investment provided to Salpha as one of the winners of the USADF/All On, Off Grid Energy Challenge in 2020. The funds were used to pilot Pay-As-You-Go contracts for customers in the Niger Delta.

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