- The Energy and Environment Partnership Trust Fund’s (EEP Africa) new portfolio stems from a 2020 competitive call for proposals on Clean Energy Powering Green Growth.
- From among 357 applications submitted, 26 companies were awarded a total of EUR 8.3 million in financing for projects to be implemented in 12 countries across Southern and East Africa.
- The new grantees are mainly start-up companies (81%), with a significant share of locally-led (62%) and women-led (38%) enterprises.
EEP Africa is a clean energy financing facility hosted and managed by the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) with funding from Austria, Finland and NDF. It is guided by a vision for a climate-resilient, zero-carbon future with the aim of contributing to the achievement of the Paris Agreement on climate change and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“We see many clean energy start-ups developing sustainable solutions to stimulate green growth in rural communities. However, it is a well-known fact that there is a severe lack of flexible and early-stage financing for such innovators, especially for local and women-led companies. EEP Africa is proud to be one of the leading funders willing to take risks and catalyse investment in new technologies and business models”, said Jussi Viding, EEP Africa Fund Manager
The new portfolio demonstrates the growing trend of integrating energy services along the entire agricultural value chain. It includes projects that are bringing solutions to market in solar irrigation and cooling, agro-processing, waste-to-energy and e-mobility. Grant funding is needed to test and demonstrate new products and business models in these areas. It also allows companies to expand asset financing and financial inclusion, which increases uptake of productive use assets in last-mile communities.
The new projects aim to enhance access to energy for both household and productive use purposes. Collectively, they expect to create 2,600 new jobs (43% for women) and result in EUR 7.7 million in annual savings on energy-related expenditures. The call primarily attracted applications for stand-alone appliances and services, rather than large-scale power plants, but even so the new projects are projected to generate 25,000 MWh of clean energy per year and reduce or avoid 105,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions annually.
The new grantees join those funded under earlier calls, resulting in a combined portfolio of 67 companies working in 14 countries. The portfolio collectively reflects the incredible diversity of technologies, products and business models being utilised to advance a just clean energy transition in Africa.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal