Funding and Investment – February 2017


Launch of the ENEA Access Call for Projects 2017, Deadline March 4, 2017

ENEA Consulting’s ENEA Access Program aims to support social entrepreneurs and development organizations who work on the field to improve energy access. In 2016, 5 project developers – all Practitioner Network or Clean Energy Mini-Grids Partnership members – benefited from ENEA’s support through the ENEA Access Call for Projects:

  • SteamaCo – New markets assessment (solar pumps, domestic biogas and gensets)
  • Benoolend – Defining energy access solutions for rural areas in Togo, from solar kiosks to mini-grids
  • SunnyMoney – New pico-solar lamp launch and commercial and distribution strategy definition for Zambia
  • Eternum Energy Solaris – Scaling-up the last-mile distribution of solar home systems in Tanzania
  • UpOwa – Distribution strategy of solar home systems in low-populated areas (on-going)

In 2017, instead of launching one Call for Projects per year, ENEA will select six projects through two Call for Projects launched in January and in June. This way, ENEA can commit to start its pro-bono consulting support shortly following the winners announcement (3 to 6 months).

The selected projects will receive 30 to 100 days of pro-bono consulting services. In return, fixed costs associated with field trips will be at the expense of the project developer.

Depending on the maturity and the needs of selected projects, ENEA can provide assistance on:

  • Realization of feasibility studies, market studies and technology benchmarks to precise your project design
  • Analysis and business models / business plans construction to define your positioning
  • Support in pilot projects implementation to test your solution in real conditions
  • Strategy definition, realization of techno-economic analyses, process management, partners identification to scale-up your solution / business model
  • Environmental and socio-economic impacts evaluation to add value to your project with potential donors.

ElectriFI Launches its Second Call for Investment Proposals, Deadline March 8

The Electrification Financing Initiative (ElectriFI) was created as a financing scheme to bridge the gaps in structuring and financing, stimulating the private sector, and mobilizing financiers, with the mission to grow viable businesses and projects that create new connections to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy in developing and emerging markets.

Please keep in mind the following considerations:

  • ElectriFI is targeting projects / businesses that provide new connections to electricity;
  • The project / business must be financially sustainable in the near-term (2-3 years);
  • Projects must be in the active stage of development;
  • ElectriFI provides no grant funding, concessional loans or other low-cost capital – its investments are generally high risk with the expectation of corresponding financial returns in line with local commercial markets;
  • ElectriFI must be additional to others. It only finances companies and projects without easy access to finance from others and with a clear need for flexible interim financing solutions;
  • ElectriFI investment amounts are between EUR 500 thousand and EUR 10 million (or equivalent in USD or local currency) in equity, quasi-equity, debt and guarantees. ElectriFI does not fund more than 50% of the total project costs or the balance sheet. Sponsors/promoters must provide a substantial part of the total required funding;
  • ElectriFI seeks to support projects led by an experienced management team with the skills, will, and vision to execute the business plan, an unwavering commitment to access to energy, and unyielding ethics.

Please see ElectriFI’s investment criteria and guidelines to determine eligibility. Each company may submit a maximum of two applications per Call, of which no more than one may be selected.

2017 SWITCH Africa Green-SEED Awards, Deadline March 8, 2017

The SEED Awards for Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Development is an annual awards scheme designed to find the most promising, innovative and locally led start-up eco-inclusive enterprises in countries with developing and emerging economies. The independent SEED International Jury of experts selects enterprises which have the potential to make real improvements in poverty eradication and environmental sustainability while contributing to a greener economy.

This year up to 15 SAG-SEED Awards are available. If you meet SEED’s eligibility criteria, you can apply for the 2017 SAG-SEED Awards here.

C3E Announces 6th Annual Women in Clean Energy Awards, Deadline March 15

The U.S. Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial has announced the 6th Annual C3E Awards to recognize the outstanding leadership and accomplishments of mid-career women working in clean energy throughout the United States. Each Awardee receives national recognition and a cash gift of $8,000 to be used toward advancing the goals of the C3E initiative, i.e., supporting women in clean energy.

The 2017 C3E Awards honor mid-career leadership and achievement in eight categories:

  • Advocacy
  • Business
  • Education
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Government
  • International
  • Law & Finance
  • Research

Learn more about the eligibility requirements on

Nominate a woman in clean energy here.

Learn more about past winners here.

Applications for 2017 Momentum for Change Awards now open, Deadline April 9, 2017

The United Nations Climate Change secretariat opened the call for applications for the 2017 Momentum for Change Awards to showcase action and ambition as national governments work toward implementing the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Selected initiatives, called ‘Lighthouse Activities,’ shine a light on innovative, scalable and replicable examples of what people are doing to address climate change, in the hope of inspiring others to act. The winning activities will be recognized and celebrated during a series of special events in November at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany (COP 23).

Please note the “Women for Results” category, which recognizes the critical leadership and participation of women in addressing climate change. For more information, and to apply, click here.

The Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge funding window now open, Deadline April 30, 2017

The Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development (SOGE) seeks to accelerate growth in the off-grid energy market to provide 20 million households in sub-Saharan Africa with access to modern, clean, and affordable electricity. Access to capital and cost of capital remains a key market barrier, severely limiting enterprise growth and the household solar sector’s capacity to scale and mature as an industry. USAID has found that small infusions of grant funding can assist early-stage enterprises to achieve investment readiness on accelerated timelines, increasing opportunities for private sector investment.

This call for Concept Papers is aimed at addressing this access to capital barrier. Please note this window is for household solar companies and investors, not mini-/micro-grid companies.

For further details on the grant and its eligibility requirements, please see the opportunity posting.

Any potential applicant referrals or questions can be directed to

International Solar Energy Society (ISES) and Elsevier’s Renewable Transformation Challenge, Deadline April 30, 2017

The Renewable Transformation Challenge will honor outstanding work that contributes to a world powered by renewable energy and with accessible energy for all. The first place winner will be awarded €20,000.

The Renewable Transformation Challenge is open to individuals and organizations in both not-for-profit and commercial sectors worldwide. Applications may present ongoing projects, product ideas, innovative technologies, policy initiatives, programs, research, analyses, or complete solutions targeting either the supply side (energy generation for end-use energy consumption) or demand side (energy efficiency), or both. Innovative ideas will be given preference over incremental improvement projects.

The winning proposal will be the one that best demonstrates the transformation to a world powered by renewable energy and that has potential to widen access to energy, particularly in developing countries.

Submissions will be assessed in terms of applicability, impact, sustainability and scalability. A panel of international scientific experts will review the applications, and the top five will be put forward to an Elsevier-ISES Awards Committee who will make the final decision.

On top of a monetary prize of €20,000, the winner, or one representative of the winning team, will receive a free registration to the Solar World Congress 2017 in Abu Dhabi where the Award will be presented, and one Gold membership to the ISES. The winning proposal will also feature on the Solar Energy journal homepage and on the ISES website.

2018 Rolex Awards for Enterprise, Deadline June 30, 2017

Applications for the 2018 Rolex Awards for Enterprise are now open. Five Rolex Awards will be offered to Young Leaders, between the ages of 18 and 30 years old, who have a ground-breaking proposal or initiative that will help to expand knowledge of our world and improve the quality of life on the planet.

Applications must be broadly in the areas of the environment, applied science and technology, or exploration. The five winners will each receive 100,000 Swiss francs, double the amount of prize money previously offered to young Award winners. They will also benefit from worldwide publicity and receive a Rolex chronometer.

In addition to demonstrating a spirit of enterprise and leadership, candidates must put forward projects or work plans that have a clear purpose, are original and have the potential for significant impact. For more details, visit the application page.

Breakthrough Energy Ventures Launched, Deadlines TBD

In December 2016, the $1 billion Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) fund was announced, with a focus on fighting climate change by investing in clean energy innovation. The fund is made up members of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, with leadership composed of entrepreneurial investors and scientists.

The fund is focused on providing seed, angel and Series A investments to early stage companies in order to get the most transformative ideas out of the lab and on the path to commercialization. The fund will make investment decisions based on four criteria: climate impact, potential to attract capital from outside sources, scientific possibility, and filling the gaps for companies that need BEV’s unique attributes, which include patience and flexible investment capabilities.

Further details on how to apply will be made available on the new BEV website.