The Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge is a joint initiative of the
United States African Development Foundation (USADF) and All On and is
designed to achieve the following results:
- To increase electrical generation to unserved and underserved communities through sustainable business model solutions;
- To expand electricity access – delivered through off-grid solutions such as home systems or micro-grids;
increase access to electricity for productive and/or household use –
while this may include power to meet household consumer needs, emphasis
is also given to the delivery of power to productive or commercial
activities including agricultural production and processing, commercial
enterprises, and others.
The Off-Grid Energy Challenge is a
key element of the Beyond the Grid sub-initiative of Power Africa, a
U.S. Government-led partnership launched in 2013 to double access to
electricity in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 by increasing installed power
capacity by 30,000 MW and creating60 million new connections. Of these
targeted 60 million new connections, as many as 25-30 million are
expected to be added through off-grid solutions.
and All On are excited to request proposals for the USADF-All On
Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge. Proposals of up to US$100,000 in
50/50 blended grant/ debt or equity per award will be considered and
approximately ten awards are anticipated.
- To be considered for
the Challenge, applicants must be 100% African-owned, majority
Nigerian-owned and -managed private companies registered in Nigeria and
must be operating in Nigeria.
- Projects are to be focused on
increasing sustainable energy access – specifically off-grid solutions –
extending the delivery of electrification to un-served and underserved
communities in Nigeria. The type of clean energy technologies to be
proposed may include, but are not limited to, solar, hydro, wind,
biomass, biogas, gas,and hybrid systems.
Winning applicants will receive:
- An investment in the form of a convertible loan at an affordable interest rate and/or an equity investment
- Seed capital in the form of grant funds
and All On will consider proposals from 100% African-owned and majority
Nigerian-owned and Nigerian-managed companies. Passports or other
government-issued IDs of owners and senior managers must be submitted
with the applications. The companies applying must be for-profit
enterprises and must not be government-owned or operated in any way.
Applicants may be developers of their own technology and/or may be
acquiring and implementing technology developed elsewhere. Applicants
need to be legally registered in Nigeria and demonstrate the capacity to
track and manage the project resources and operate in good standing
with the local governments in which they operate.
Winning proposals must:
- Further develop, scale up or extend use of proven technologies for off–grid energy in Nigeria.
marginalized, or low income rural or urban populations currently undeserved by utility companies, ideally with a focus on benefits to
women and girls and operating in the Niger Delta.
financial sustainability or the potential for financial sustainability.
Theproposed investment period must include approximately three months of
generation of electricity (or generation of energy) and revenue/cash
flow from sales.
- Demonstrate a proven track record of experience
or have project sponsors or partners with a proven track record of
- Propose a budget of no more than US$100,000.
Proposals with budgets greater than US$100,000 must bring leveraged
resources from one or more sources that meet the total financing
requirements. Leveraged funds from other private sector and donor
sources are encouraged.
- Demonstrate clearly whether and how many new connections will be added, as well as potential for future replication.
- Applications for projects/ businesses leveraging wind, hydro, biomass, and gas as the energy source are greatly encouraged.
Applications will only be considered if:
- They are 100% African-owned and passports showing citizenship are submitted:
shareholders, members of the board and senior management must be
citizens of a sub-Saharan African country and must reside in Nigeria;
- They are majority Nigerian-owned and -managed (senior managers);
express clearly how they will benefit marginalized, grassroots people
in Nigeria, including also ideally showing demonstrable positive impacts
for female beneficiaries and people living in the Niger Delta;
- They express clearly how they will achieve profitability;
- They are fully and legally registered in Nigeria and the registration is submitted;
- They document adequate expertise in the field they are proposing or document how they will acquire the necessary expertise;
- They plainly document how they will we use the USADF/All On investment funds to carry out their concept.
Winning proposals will do the following:
off-grid energy to rural or urban areas and populations currently
lacking energy access. Distance of the site from the grid is to be
included. An explanation on why grid connection is not feasible is
necessary, including an estimate of the cost to connect to the grid.
Best understanding of how long it will take for the area to connect to
the grid to be stated. If the proposal is for an urban area or an area
with grid connections, a justification is to be included.
- Focus on reaching un-served, underserved or marginalized populations.
- Make clear any female ownership/management.
all tangible improvements to lives of women and girls, including
whether and how company targets women for capacity building/employment.
- Make clear any current or planned operations in the Niger Delta.
- Make clear any specific innovations of the technology or business model, and what the energy source.
- Clearly state whether and how many new connections will be added.
power for economic activities, for example small-scale value-added
agriculture processing. The actual or potential business impact is to be
addressed in the proposal.
- Demonstrate the potential for
financial sustainability. Some measure of projected financial return on
investment and payback period is to be included in an attached
comprehensive five-year financial model in Excel format. The application
must demonstrate the potential to operate as a commercially viable
- Be driven by demand: is the proposal meeting a clearly known and unmet demand?
- Preferred) Leverage financing from sources in addition to Challenge funds.
- Operate within Nigeria.
The following technologies will be considered:
energy solutions for mechanization of processes such as grain milling,
oil expelling, refrigeration, transport, etc. Solutions are to explain
clearly how they will be commercially viable. It is expected that use of
the power will address a business solution(s) that will generate
ongoing revenue and profits to sustain the enterprise. This must be
clearly explained in the proposal.
power generation systems which provide an alternative to, or an
enhancement of, national/regional grid connected electric transmission.
or systems installed directly in the homes of off-grid households,
which supply energy directly to marginalized populations currently (and
in the foreseeable future) lacking access to energy.
- Focus must be on distribution systems which are scalable and can be replicated, in addition to being affordable.
need not necessarily be for power generation only – they may also
include provision of innovative metering, payment systems or other
enabling technology, especially if they are an innovation in Nigeria.
If it is an innovation, then a clear and simple explanation is needed of
why the innovation is important and what it will do for the sector or
How to Apply.
applicants are required to use the linked business proposal template.
The completed proposal template along with the required documentation
should be submitted by email on or before February 29, 2022, to the following email address: OffGridChallengeNigeria@usadf.gov.
Proposals will only be accepted at the above email address. General inquiries can be directed to OffGridChallengeNigeria@usadf.gov and will not be accepted at other email addresses.
You can visit https://www.usadf.gov/off-grid for more information.