Shizen Energy signs MoU with Little Sun and CESEL to bring Energy for unserved Communities in Nigeria

2019.12.04[News Release]

Shizen Energy Inc. (Headquarters: Fukuoka-Shi, Fukuoka/Representative Directors: Ken Isono, Kenji Kawado, Masaya Hasegawa, hereinafter Shizen Energy), Little Sun GmbH (Headquarters: Berlin, Germany/CEO: Mr. John Heller, hereinafter Little Sun) and Community Energy Social Enterprise Ltd. (Headquarters: Nigeria/CEO: Dr. Patrick Tolani, hereinafter CESEL), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to bring clean, reliable, and affordable energy to people living without electricity in Nigeria while raising awareness for energy access and climate action on 1st November.

With the MoU, Shizen Energy and Little Sun in cooperation with CESEL will work together to distribute Little Sun lamps for around 34 communities without access to electricity. Knowing that only 41% of Nigeria’s rural population has access to electricity, this MoU aims to capitalize on the unmatched connection between art, renewable energy, and climate action to create a purpose-driven collaboration.

The MoU is powered by beyond-profit purpose, where Little Sun and Shizen are willing to enter into a portable solar lamp purchase and supply agreement; CESEL is willing to enter into a sales and distribution agreement. Shizen Energy will utilize the expected income from sales to repeat the purchase and continue serving communities without access to electricity.

Launched in 2012 by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen at London’s Tate Modern, Little Sun’s social business brings clean, reliable, affordable energy to the 1.1 billion people in the world living without electricity while raising awareness for energy access and climate action worldwide. In 2017, Olafur Eliasson launched the Little Sun Foundation, as an extension to the social business. The Foundation brings light to those beyond the reach of our entrepreneurial distribution channels, especially school children, refugees and people affected by natural disasters. In December 2019, Little Sun will have distributed 1,000,000 lamps worldwide, with more than half of them going to off-grid communities.

Since their establishment, CESEL has contributed to local communities across the country by providing access to infrastructure, efficient systems and timely support, so that communities can benefit from access to energy at cheap prices–leading to employment generation and shared prosperity.

Shizen Energy Group has contributed to the development of approximately 1 gigawatt worth of renewable energy in Japan and aims to expand its global businesses to “take action for the blue planet”. Sub-Saharan Africa, with only 44% of its population having access to electricity[1], is a core market within Shizen Energy’s global expansion strategy. Shizen Energy aims to not only change people’s lives through access to energy but to provide reliable clean energy to contribute to the development of a 100% renewable energy powered planet.

Little Sun sales training in Burundi © Imagine Burundi

[1] JICA co-hosted a seminar with METI and USAID promoting energy development in sub-Saharan Africa [Web log post]. (April 24, 2019). Retrieved September 24, 2019, from https://www.jica.go.jp/english/news/field/2019/190424_01.html