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Shell continues investment flurry, doubling down on off-grid renewables with d.light investment

Image: d.light.

Image: d.light.

Shell New Energies has continued its flurry of acquisitions and investments, doubling down on the off-grid renewables market with the purchase of a minority stake in solar firm d.light.

In acquiring the stake, Shell is to help d.light – which develops solar power and lighting solutions in developing economies – move on to new projects in a move which the company said underscores the sector’s “increasing commercial viability”.

A number of d.light’s early investors, including ethical investor Omidyar Partners, have been bought out by Shell under the deal, although specific financial terms have not been disclosed.

To date, d.light has deployed solar solutions in more than 70 developing countries, claiming to have benefitted more than 100 million lives in the process. Ned Tozun, co-founder and chief executive at d.light, backed Shell as the “ideal partner” for its “next phase of major growth”.

“We have great confidence that we will continue to accelerate and deepen this impact, as we expand our geographic footprint and product portfolio to delight our customers. The future is truly bright for d.light and the offgrid solar industry as a whole.”

Earlier this week Shell announced an investment in African renewables microgrid developer PowerGen, which itself acquired the interests of ex-E.On entity Rafiki Power. The d.light deal also comes amidst a flurry of activity for Shell, which also acquired floating wind pioneer Eolfi this week.

Shell Energy Solutions VP Brian Davis said the company had been impressed by d.light’s track record in Africa and Asia, pointing particularly to its sales and distribution channels in those markets.

“We look forward to supporting d.light to realise its growth ambitions. With this latest investment, Shell takes a step closer to meeting its ambition to provide a reliable electricity supply to 100 million people in the developing world by 2030,” he said.

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