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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) together with Power Africa, have concluded the four-year Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project (REEEP) in Nigeria.

According to This Day, the $2.1 million project ran from March 2014 to February 2018, and was aimed at mitigating climate change, reducing carbon emissions, increasing economic opportunities, improving employment and ultimately sustaining development in the country.

Director, Office of Economic Growth and Environment, USAID, Roseann Casey, said the project was set up to raise awareness on renewable energy as the fastest, cleaner and cheaper way of providing power for Nigerians.

Chief of Party, Winrock International, the company that implemented the project, Javier Betancourt, said through the project, the company was able to provide training and capacity building for local citizens, and that the company had to work with some Nigerian banks to achieve the objective.

"We provided training for banks and financial institutions on how to create consumer financing products," Betancourt said.

USAID collaborating on the project

Highlighting some achievements of the four-year project, Betancourt said that USAID was able to work with donors, NGOs, government agencies and financial institutions to enable over 16,600 connections for 2.5MW of power through off and on-grid sources, and that over 261,938 citizens received clean and renewable energy.

"Environmentally, these connections reduced up to 4.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from polluting the atmosphere," he said.

Betancourt concluded: “These past four years have been a challenging, yet a transformative time. We witnessed a foreign exchange crisis that severely restricted financing of the project.

“Despite this, we saw Nigerian companies making movements on ambitious new projects such as Africa's largest solar irrigated farm. Additionally, in partnership with GIZ NESP, six off-grid mini grids were commissioned. These mini grids will play a pivotal role in electrifying rural areas of Nigeria and demonstrating such projects' bankability.”

African Utility Week