Derisking Sustainable Off-Grid Lighting Solutions in Nigeria


The UNDP-GEF Project is designed to develop a Private Sector-led technology value for making off-grid renewable energy technologies, such as solar lanterns and solar home systems, available to base-of-pyramid rural households who would not be electrified at least until after 2025. The Project will directly support the implementation of the Rural Electrification Strategy and Implementation Plan (2016) and the energy access targets in the SE4All Investment Prospectus. The Project rationale is underpinned by a novel approach to derisk private sector investments in the market for rural decentralised renewable energy access.

The long-term impact of the project is to achieve Green House Gas(GHG) emission reductions with strong sustainable development co-benefits through the deployment of off-grid solar-powered solutions for lighting and electrical appliances (Section IV). The long-term outcomes of the project relate to addressing the underlying barriers thereby reducing risks for establishing a private sector led supply chain model for rural energy access that will be both sustainable and replicable



The lifetime global environmental benefits that will accrue from the adoption of off-grid solar technologies is estimated at ~108 ktCO2e. Consequential emission reductions amounting to ~5,644 ktCO2e are expected between 2020 and 2029 predominantly through the replication of the sustainable technology value chain. The project yields a GEF abatement cost of 0.46 US$/tCO2e.

Target Beneficiaries and Their Location


Geographic focuscoverage: It is estimated that 70% of Nigerians that live in rural areas currently do not have access to the national electricity power grid. These communities are typically found in: 

i. The far North-East and far North-West, up to the border with Niger Republic and Cameroon;

ii. The coastal areas of the Niger-Delta;

iii. The highlands of the South-West, up the border with the Republic of Benin; and

iv. The mountainous regions of the South-East, up to the border with Cameroun


Target beneficiaries: In this Project, rural communities in at least 12 States representative of the 6 geopolitical regions of Nigeria will be involved as direct beneficiaries.


Project Outcomes


The project rationale is underpinned by a novel approach to derisk private sector investments in the market for rural decentralised renewable energy access. This will be achieved through three outcomes:

  • Putting in place appropriate policies, programmes and regulations that address policy, awareness and financial barriers to facilitate investment in sustainable off-grid lighting solutions and corresponding business models; 

  • Off-grid lighting providers are operating and have access to working capital and equipment; and 

  • Good practices, lessons learned, market assessments, demand-supply surveys, delivery models and business models are documented to support replication and scaling-up of project results. The number of direct project beneficiaries is expected to be around 96,380 persons, of which approximately 47,540 women.



July 2021


December 2026






Rural Electrification Agency


Global Environment Fund Trustee







Full Project information