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FMO backs Lumos expansion in Cote d’Ivoire

FMO has provided new funding for Lumos to expand its solar power offering in Cote d'Ivoire.
80% of Lumos' customers reported that their income has increased following their adoption of the technology, according to the CDC Group study.

The Netherlands’ FMO development bank has set out new funding for solar power company Lumos for expansion in Cote d’Ivoire.

Lumos said the funding would allow another 200,000 people to access the company’s solar home systems. The facility takes the form of debt funding, which will cover 35,000 of Lumos’ systems.

“Lumos offers a unique solution for millions of people living with no access to the electricity grid. We support companies, like Lumos, that power developing economies, promote the transition to a low-carbon system and achieve prosperity at scale,” said FMO’s director of energy Huub Cornelissen.

“Lumos delivers on all three goals and their next phase of growth in Côte d’Ivoire will bring immeasurable benefits to local people in the hardest to reach communities.”

The solar company will use the funds to produce “tens of thousands” of its solar systems. It estimated that around 9 million people in Cote d’Ivoire lacked access to the grid, one third of the population.

“Access to reliable energy is critical for economic growth. The new funding from FMO will enable hundreds of thousands of people to benefit from reliable, sustainable and affordable energy,” said Lumos Cote d’Ivoire’s CEO Renee Comoe Seka.

“FMO is a pioneering institution and shares our commitment to harness the market demand and lift people out of poverty. Our joint ambition is to provide power for everyone.”

Lumos claims a more than 50% market share in Nigeria. Customers pay an initial deposit, followed by monthly payments. After five years of payment, the customer owns the set and can continue to use the solar power.

The company launched in Nigeria in 2014 and in Cote d’Ivoire in November 2017.

A study by CDC Group in March suggested that while 78% of Lumos’ customers were connected to the grid, this supply was unreliable or inadequate.

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