The United Kingdom (UK) has earmarked £10million grant for innovators in Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia, and South Africa to address the energy situation in the benefitting countries.
The initiative, which is UK’s Energy Catalyst programme, was designed to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all and is one of the UK’s biggest energy access focused grant funding initiatives.
At an Energy Catalyst meeting in Abuja, the Knowledge Transfer Manager for the Innovate UK Nigeria, Mr Joshua Adedeji, said the objective of the programme was to look out for innovations that could end energy poverty in benefitting countries.
He 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 fund that is available. It is a 10 million pounds fund that people can apply for. The fund is open till June this year.”
Adedeji said the mission of the energy catalysts was to accelerate the intervention needed to meet SDG 7 by providing financial and advisory support to innovators.
According to him, 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.
He explained that transforming energy access is to speed up access to affordable, clean energy services for poor households, enterprises and social institutions in official development assistance (ODA) eligible countries.
‘’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,” he added.
The President of the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria, Mr Ayo Ademilua, said the intervention would boost clean energy access in the country.
Ademilua said the association would mobilise its members across the country and connect them with partners in the UK to benefit from the grant.