16 January, 2024 Member article

ElectriFI bets on solar kits for access to electricity

ARE Member EDFI ElectriFI has announced the second disbursement of a €4 million loan to E-Long Life Energies Nouvelles (FinEu Ellen). The French company supplies large-scale solar home systems for household and business electrification in the Sahel.

At a time when the Sahel is facing growing insecurity as a result of numerous terrorist movements, the European Union’s Electrification Financing Initiative (EDFI ElectriFI) has nevertheless decided to continue its efforts to promote access to electricity. The investment facility has just released $1.5 million to E-Long Life Energies Nouvelles (FinEu Ellen).

This is the second disbursement of a €4 million loan pledged in 2019. Since then, the world has had to contend with the Covid-19 pandemic, which has severely slowed economies. At the same time, the Sahel has witnessed the rise of terrorism, which has weakened states and led to regime changes, particularly in Mali, Burkina Faso and recently in Niger. These factors are thought to be behind the delay in releasing this funding.

Nearly 2,000 solar kits distributed

The first disbursement of €2.5 million was made in March 2023. “This second disbursement is a crucial step in expanding access to electricity for productive use in the poorest rural areas of Mali and beyond. Energy solutions are of great importance, as are the positive impacts created among vulnerable populations”, enthuses Vincent Monteux, Managing Director of FinEU Ellen.

But during this long period of uncertainty, the company has continued to operate, thanks to its shareholders who have advanced $4 million to accelerate the deployment of 1,940 kits in Mali. ElectriFI’s investment is therefore crucial to the repayment of the shareholder’s loan and progress in the deployment of sustainable energy solutions.

In addition to Mali, FinEu Ellen is contributing to the electrification of the Sahel by installing large-scale solar home systems with capacities of up to 5 kW to provide access to electricity for households, schools, health centres and small businesses in Niger. With the ElectriFI loan, FinEu Ellen expected to distribute 2,400 domestic systems, with the aim of reaching 20,000 customers in rural and isolated areas.