In Nigeria, the national grid only provides around 20 per cent of the electricity demand, leaving corporate and industrial businesses to address the large energy gap trough self-generation, which is mostly done by installing diesel generators. Consequently, Nigeria is home to more than five million generators, and the country spends up to USD 14 billion fuelling and servicing these assets according to World Bank statistics. The energy situation in most West African countries is similar.
Daystar, a West African solar company, is set up to assist corporate and industrial businesses in solving the energy challenges by offering turnkey solar power solutions that can reduce cost and are more reliable and cleaner. The innovative Daystar concept is provided as either Power as a Service or Solar as a Service, where Daystar takes over total responsibility for the supply of power or installs solar power as a supplement. Both solutions are based on an operational lease model replacing upfront cost for the customer with a monthly fee.
“By offering our commercial and industrial clients cheaper, reliable and cleaner power, we have seen a more than 50-fold increase in power-as-a-service revenue over the last two years. African businesses are realizing that solar power – standalone or in tandem with a second power source – is a superior energy alternative to the often-unreliable grid or too expensive, polluting diesel generators.”
Jasper Graf von Hardenberg, CEO and Co-founder of Daystar Power
New investment round
In recent years, Daystar has installed more than 10 megawatts of solar power and has a strong pipeline. To scale up the business, IFU has led a new investment round of USD 38 million joined by Proparco, the French DFI, backed by a guarantee from the European Union under the African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility, STOA, a French infrastructure investor, and Morgan Stanley.
IFU’s investment of USD 20 million is made on behalf of the Danish SDG Investment Fund, which is backed by the Danish State, large Danish Pension Funds and other private investors.
With the fundraising, Daystar Power is on track to expand its installed capacity to over 100 megawatts, meeting demand from its clients in the financial services, manufacturing, agricultural and natural resources sectors. Key markets are Nigeria and Ghana, but the company will also be deepening its presence in other countries in the region such as Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Togo, going forward.
– We believe that Daystar has the right elements – the client base, technology, engineering expertise, and executive leadership – to scale off-grid solar across West Africa. Not only is Daystar at the forefront of a growing market, it is helping to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy in some of Africa’s fastest growing cities. We are thrilled to support them in this next growth phase, said Thomas Hougaard, IFU Vice President, Sub-Saharan Africa.
Supporting the SDGs
The investment in Daystar is supporting SDG 7.1: Ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services. And SDG 13.a: Mobilising climate-relevant private investments.