Abuja — The United Kingdom has earmarked a £10 million grant for innovators in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa and South East Asia to address the energy situation in the benefitting countries.
Speaking at an Energy Catalyst meeting yesterday in Abuja, Knowledge Transfer Manager for the Innovate UK Nigeria, Mr. Joshua Adedeji, said the programme was designed to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
He added that it was one of the UK’s biggest energy access focused grant funding initiatives, saying the objective of the programme was to look out for innovations that could end energy poverty in benefitting countries.
Adedeji said the mission of the energy catalysts was to accelerate the intervention needed to meet Sustainable Development Goal 7 by providing financial and advisory support to innovators.
He explained that transforming energy access was to speed up access to affordable, clean energy services for poor households, enterprises and social institutions in Official Development Assistance eligible countries.
Adedeji said: “One thing we do with this programme is to ensure that organisations are able to bring in their ideas, their solutions and utilize the funds that are available. It is a £10 million fund that people can apply for. The fund is open till June this year.”
He said to qualify for the grants, innovators must look for partners from the UK and present their proposals, stressing that the project must address transforming energy access and clean energy.
Adedeji added: “We are particularly keen to receive projects which focus on the Indo-Pacific region. It must support the development, testing or scale up of innovative technologies or business models.
“A clear social or economic benefit in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or the Indo-Pacific Region is required. Creating new energy access in unserved regions, improving existing access to provide a more reliable service.”
On his part, the President of the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria, Mr. Ayo Ademilua said the intervention would boost clean energy access in the country.
He said the association would mobilize its members across the country and connect them with partners in the UK to benefit from the grant.