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FeatureSDG 7

Ten solar-powered water pump systems supply farmers in Benin

With the Results-Based Finance (RBF) mechanism, GBE Benin is closing financing gaps for the purchase of solar water pumps and ensuring the quality and longevity of the systems.

To enable farmers, agro-processors and other businesses in rural areas to finance and deploy renewable energy systems over the long term, GBE Benin also relies on the RBF mechanism. Solar companies receive a fixed subsidy for every eligible solar product that they sell and install to end users. The subsidy helps cover costs and mitigate risk for solar companies. It is intended to enable them to increase their sales.

Other advantages are quality assurance and customer protection. The RBF mechanism requires a warranty of more than two years. After a company sells and installs a device, the GBE initiates a review process to ensure the good quality of the product and installation. To do this, experts collect data and talk to the users of the equipment. The subsidies are only paid if the result of the review is positive.

Benin Renouveau Construction et Equipement (Construction and Equipment Renewal) has now installed ten solar water pumps in the north of Benin in the departments of Alibori and Borgou, for which it received a grant of 12,192 euros. These are high-quality, tested pumps with a guarantee of more than five years, which pump an average of more than 10,000 litres of water per day. The farmers use them to irrigate their vegetable plantations. Many have replaced their previous diesel pumps and now save up to 200 euros a month on fuel and protect the climate.

None of the ten farmers had difficulties in raising finance. They are all financially stronger than the average farmer in Benin. Two of them received financing from their parents and a microfinance institution, while the others were able to pay upfront.

However, funding from other end-users remains a challenge. GBE Benin is planning further activities to improve end-users’ access to finance.