N’Djamena, Chad --- (METERING.COM) --- May 2, 2012 - A US$1.8 million grant to promote renewable energy-based mini-grids for rural electrification in Chad was approved by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) last month.

The project, to be implemented by the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Chad’s Ministry of Energy, addresses the institutional, financial, policy and regulatory framework for promoting renewable energy-based mini-grids to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase access to electricity in rural areas in Chad.

Before implementation, feasibility studies will be conducted to select the most economically viable sites. The aim is to install up to five pilot photovoltaic-based mini-grids of around 50 kW each.

The project will create detailed business models and risk management mechanisms in order for renewable energy investments to be most effective. This will be followed by the construction of the PV-based mini-grids and the training of local authorities and investors on how to use them.

Approximately US$4.1 million in co-funding is required, with contributors including government, multi-lateral agencies and the private sector.