Top Stories – May 2017

Microgrid Investment Accelerator launched

The Microgrid Investment Accelerator (MIA) is a first-of-its-kind blended capital finance facility that provides catalytic financing directly where it’s needed most: to microgrid project developers bringing clean energy solutions to un- and underserved communities around the globe.

MIA seeks to mobilize ~$50 million between 2018-2020 to expand clean energy microgrids to communities in India, Indonesia, and East Africa. Supporting organizations include founding partners Allotrope Partners, Facebook and Microsoft, and implementing partners cKers Finance in India, CrossBoundary Energy in Africa, California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), Electric Capital Management, Morrison & Foerster LLP, and GivePower.

MIA will test the commercial opportunity for microgrids and demonstrate how concessionary finance can unlock progressively larger proportions of private capital as risks are discovered, priced, and mitigated. The MIA Facility will open important doors for U.S. businesses, family offices and entrepreneurs seeking access to new markets and investment opportunities by de-risking private sector investment into microgrids in target emerging markets.

As part of the facility design process, a high-level Advisory Committee was convened with experts and practitioners from across the globe, who have contributed their perspective and expertise.  MIA will issue its first solicitation to developers for pilot projects in 2017, with the facility disbursing funds at scale in 2018.

 Shine: New campaign led by faith and philanthropic partners to support energy access for all

An emerging global campaign on energy access, Shine: Investing in Energy Access for All, was revealed during the final day of the Sustainable Energy for All Forum last month, focusing on diversifying the sources of finance to support energy access.

The campaign will unite partners from the faith, development and philanthropic sectors to commit to mobilizing new forms of capital, scaling resources and generating momentum to achieve universal access to clean, affordable and reliable energy by 2030 and support Sustainable Development Goal 7.

It was also confirmed that World Council of Churches – which brings together churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories throughout the world, representing over 500 million Christians – committed to join the campaign. Shine will now work to recruit more leading voices and organizations to join, with a goal that major commitments will be announced one year from now that all work towards and support the historic opportunity of ending energy poverty.

Shine will scale investments in distributed clean energy solutions, while partnering with communities to realize powerful benefits for health, education and livelihoods that will support work towards ending energy poverty and unlocking new opportunities for billions of people. “

Partners to the campaign pledge aggressive and sustained action on energy access, through programs, grants and investments. By championing distributed energy solutions, advocating for enabling policies, increasing the flow of financial resources, and strengthening the capacity of communities, Shine will catalyze distributed clean energy development at scale to meet universal access.

Early supporters of the campaign include Sustainable Energy for All, GreenFaith, Wallace Global Fund, World Council of Churches, American Jewish World Service, Ashden Trust, CAFOD, Church of Sweden, Oxfam USA, the Hanley Foundation, Global Catholic Climate Movement, Power for All, ActionAid.

For more information, visit the Shine website here.

AFD Launches African Renewable Energy Scale Up Facility

The French Development Agency (AFD) and its subsidiary for the private sector Proparco have launched the African Renewable Energy Scale Up Facility (ARE Scale Up). ARE Scale Up’s objective is to stimulate private investment in the renewable energy sub-sector in Africa.

Both the networked and non-networked solutions will be taken into account by the project, which received €24 million from the EU. The creation of this facility is an extension by the AFD Group of the ElectriFI initiative of the EU which pursues the same objective with a focus on the populations of rural areas and areas difficult to access.

Through this, the agency will support innovative upstream projects in the field of electrification, with particular attention to solar energy. This support will take the form of a technical assistance facility, with a budget of €12 million and a guarantee facility with an equivalent amount.

The guarantee facility will be used for equity investments in private companies that specialize in off-grid technologies. The medium-term objective of the initiative is to enable access to the energy of one million African households over the next five years and a 50 MW increase in the continent’s energy capacity from renewable energy sources.