Funding & Investment – May 2017


Request for expressions of interest for African Development Bank mini-grids consulting services, Deadline May 31

The African Development Bank (AfDB) invites consulting firms to indicate their interest for the implementation of specific activities under the Green Mini-Grid Market Development Program (GMG MDP).

The first phase of a Green Mini-Grids Market Development Program, with funding from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) was launched by the SEforALL Africa Hub in 2015, while phase two is scheduled to begin in Q3 2017. The Program aims to remove or reduce market barriers at regional scale and strengthen the ecosystem for the emergence of a thriving GMG sector in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Program supports the efforts of relevant stakeholders, such as governments and project developers, in creating a favorable environment for scaling up mini-grid investment on the continent and expanding energy access to underserved communities through GMGs, thus contributing to the universal energy access objective of the New Deal on Energy for Africa. The GMG MDP has successfully positioned itself over the last two years at the center of the mini-grids movement in Africa. Phase 2 of the GMG MDP envisages transforming the MDP into the “go to” one-stop-shop for mini-grids in Africa.

The MDP is implemented through five business lines: (i) Market Intelligence; (ii) Business Development Support; (iii) Policy and Regulatory Support; (iv) Quality Assurance and (v) Access to Finance.

To learn more about the expressions of interest and how to apply, please follow the links to Access to Finance; Market Intelligence; and Quality Assurance business lines.

UN DESA Energy Grant 2017: Powering the Future We Want – Recognizing Leadership and Innovative Practices in Energy for Sustainable Development, Deadline June 15

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) has announced its call for applications for the 2017 UN DESA Grant on Energy for Sustainable Development. The thematic focus for the 2017 Grant is “Sustainable Energy for Eradicating Poverty and Promoting Prosperity in a Changing World”, reflecting the multiple roles that energy plays in the eradication of poverty through advancements in health, education, water supply, industrialization and combating climate change.

The 2017 Grant seeks to advance sustainable development by encouraging scientific and technological innovations and fostering leadership initiatives and innovative actions that improve sustainable energy for eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity, while addressing economic, social and environmental sustainability. Applications are open to individuals, institutions or partnerships based on past and current achievements. Successful recipients should be able to demonstrate leadership and innovation in sustainable energy for eradicating poverty, as well as willingness and ability to implement knowledge transfer through capacity building activities aimed at replicating and scaling up successful experiences and lessons learned.

The Grant carries an award of one million US dollars to fund such capacity building activities.

Applications are accepted online only. To access the online application form, please see here. For eligibility requirements and selection criteria, please see here. For queries and additional information, please send emails to

 WISIONS SEPS Call 2017 for Projects and Exchange Activities now open, Deadline June 23

WISIONS’ first Sustainable Energy Project Support (SEPS) call of 2017 is offering support for the introduction of small-scale renewable energy technologies as well as for knowledge exchange activities. The countries considered for this call are those within the Caribbean, South and Central America, as well as Southern and South East Asia, according to UN definition.
See details on criteria and SEPS project application procedure: SEPS Projects
See details on criteria and SEPS exchange activities application procedure: SEPS Exchange Activities
To date, SEPS has supported 110 projects and exchanges across the world and these are all featured on our website, illustrating the lessons learned in the field: SEPS – Project List. The application forms and supporting documents must be submitted in English. Applications written in other languages will not be considered.

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.

US-India Clean Energy Finance Initiative Opens Call for Applications

The newly launched US-India Clean Energy Finance (USICEF) initiative is currently seeking applications from project developers and project proponents in India’s distributed solar power sector, who could benefit from project preparation services and funding for early stage project development.

USICEF aims to drive access to energy in underserved regions of India, by supporting early stage development of distributed solar power projects. A partnership formed at COP21 in Paris between the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and a consortium of US foundations, USICEF provides project preparation support that will catalyze long-term debt financing for distributed solar power from OPIC and other international financial institutions. Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) serves as the Program Manager.

To find out more about eligibility criteria, project preparation services, and how to apply, visit You can also get in touch with CPI at

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.