Congo Energy Solutions Ltd. (“NURU”)


Congo Energy Solutions Ltd. (“NURU”)


NURU develops and operates commercially-viable isolated solar-hybrid “metrogrids” (utility-scale urban mini-grids) that provide reliable, affordable and clean energy in the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Project Details

Being active in the challenging environment of Eastern DRC, NURU has the potential to deliver truly widescale and transformational impact in one of the world’s poorest countries. Proparco contributes through this investment to the development of new decentralized models for the distribution of sustainable, reliable and low-carbon renewable energy in DRC cities, where access to electricity is a major issue for economic and social development.

Proparco has invested €1.5 million directly into this unprecedented company, that has at an early stage sustained through COVID, and in a fragile local environment. In 2018, NURU completed its first institutional round of financing, financed predominantly by ElectriFi and EAVF, enabling it to commission a first 55 kW site in Ben, and a second 1.35 MW site in Goma in Nor th Kivu.

Proparco is further planning to participate in the company’s upcoming series B round, to further scale its operations. Building on these initial successes, the company has developed a pipeline of mini-grid projects in Eastern DRC.

Proparco plans to co-invest with IFC in this opportunity, and has jointly led the ESG and Governance action plans, bringing much-needed risk capital to the round to fully finance the series B projects. The raise will help to accelerate the implementation of three nationally-strategic development projects in Goma, Kindu and Bunia, with an aggregate installed capacity of 13.7MWp. Proparco plans to make the series B investment from its “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility” (ARE Scale-Up facility), which is supported by the European Union to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa.

Anticipated Impact

The investment into NURU is high-risk given its nature of business, and the environment where it operates, but is expected to generate a great opportunity for both financial and high-impact results:

  • NURU and its investors endeavor to aid in closing the energy access deficit, while directly diversifying and decentralizing DRC’s energy mix, thereby supporting DRC’s Strategic National Development Plan (SNDP 2019-2023) goal for increased renewable energy capacity.
  • Invest to support a more sustainable and resilient economy, in off-grid energy, within a fragile, conflict-prone region, but one with untapped potential of towns of millions without access to the grid.
  • Full alignment with Paris Agreement.
  • The transaction fits both climate and fragile and conflict states targets.
  • Transaction contributes to green/low-carbon development as it avoids/replaces highly-emissive diesel genset solutions, with hybrid solutions based on solar, as demonstrated by the carbon footprint assessment (estimated reduction of 4964 tCO2eq per year).
  • Access to energy: NURU provides workplace energy access to companies, households and SMEs with reliable access to cleaner and cheaper energy in poor grid and off-grid areas.
  • NURU will support economic growth and employment opportunities by providing reliable electricity to local companies, hence having a positive downstream effect on the suppliers and clients of these companies.
  • The project has the ambition to contribute to SDGs #7 (clean energy), #8 (economic growth and decent jobs), #9 (infrastructures), #10 (reducing inequalities) and #13 (climate change).
Support/Partnership Required

Alliance members or other stakeholders are welcome to participate in future financing rounds of NURU, as the company will continue to seek equity and debt to develop its secured pipeline of another in 2024/2025. Technical Assistance and grant funding are also much welcomed, as NURU needs further scaling to reach more businesses and households.

Investing in NURU is supporting a more sustainable and resilient economy, in off-grid, within a fragile conflict-prone region, but one with untapped potential of towns of millions without access to the grid.

The project will be backed by strong strategic investors in the industry, including DFIs (IFC, REPP) and industry experts. NURU is a highly-scalable and resilient business with excellent visibility on growth, thanks to 43.2 MW of actionable, advanced pipeline across the region. NURU’s mission is to deliver reliable, affordable, renewable energy to 5 million people in the DR Congo.