Top Stories – October 2016

GCF Board approves Deutsche Bank’s Universal Green Energy Access Programme

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved USD 745 million worth of funding proposals at its October 14 meeting. The 10 approved projects and programs have a total value of USD 2.6 billion and will help 27 countries across the globe reduce their emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Among the projects and programs that were approved is Deutsche Bank’s Universal Green Energy Access Programme, which aims to contribute to universal access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa over the coming 15 years by scaling up the available capital from local financial markets and international private sector investors for investments in renewable energy. The program was awarded USD 80 million to be used with a focus on three categories of investment:

  • Off-grid green electrical energy, such as solar home systems.
  • Green energy supply for mini- and micro-grids electrifying communities and remote villages.
  • Green electrical energy supply to businesses, e.g. in the industry and service sectors and selected on-grid projects.

Further details can be found in the project proposal.

The GCF Board also expanded the Fund’s group of partner institutions by accrediting eight more organizations, including Practitioner Network member GIZ.

African Development Bank Launches Green Mini-Grid Help Desk

The AfDB-hosted Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Africa Hub launched a Green Mini-Grid Help Desk for renewable energy mini-grid project developers during the 3rd International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference (IOREC) on October 1 in Nairobi.

The GMG Help Desk provides on-line technical assistance on the myriad of activities important to the business cycle of developing and operating a clean energy mini-grid.  The portal provides knowledge products and tutorials on setting up a mini-grid business, site selection, legal and compliance issues, mini-grid business models, technical system design, community and stakeholder engagement, financing, procurement, installation and commissioning, operation and maintenance. The portal includes country-specific information for much of the above. Project developers can apply through the portal for bespoke support on their projects. The GMG Help Desk is part of the larger Green Mini Grid Market Development Program (MDP) implemented by the SEforALL Africa Hub and funded through the AfDB’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA).

Click here for more information and to register any requests for assistance.

MCC Requesting Feedback for New Compact with Government of Nepal on Off-Grid Electrification

The Government of the United States, through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), is developing a compact with the Government of Nepal (GON) involving Nepal’s electric power sector.

In order to inform the preparation of the compact, MCC and its partner, the Office of the Millennium Challenge Nepal (OMCN), invite interested parties and organizations from around the world to submit information and brief project concepts regarding potential projects that would improve viability, sustainability and reliability of off-grid electrical power systems in Nepal.

MCC and OMCN will use the information to determine whether and how to design a facility that could help fund such energy projects in Nepal. Such projects could potentially involve cost sharing with proposers. Final project selection decisions would be determined at a later date through a separate, open solicitation and/or potentially through a separate, open and competitive grant process, both of which may be launched following the signing of the proposed MCC compact with Nepal. Please note that these plans are subject to successful compact negotiation by the Government of Nepal and MCC, as well as MCC Board approval.

All interested stakeholders are invited to submit your project concepts to MCC and OMCN by 5pm, Washington D.C. local time, November 30 , via Any further questions may be sent to the same email address. The Call for Ideas and answers to queries are posted here. 

Power Africa Announces More Than $1 Billion in New Commitments

At the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, the U.S. Government and its Power Africa partners announced several new milestones across dozens of energy projects and transactions. These commitments – totaling more than $1 billion worth of debt and finance – will advance deals that aim to provide access to electricity across sub-Saharan Africa.

Three years after the launch of Power Africa, the United States is on track to fulfill its initial $7 billion commitment over five years, and several departments and agencies have announced that they have expanded Power Africa commitments as detailed in the 2016 annual report. Power Africa partners, including African governments, multilateral and bilateral partners, and more than 130 private sector partners are helping to maximize impact and accelerate private sector investment in renewable energy.

The U.S. Government’s initial $7 billion commitment has mobilized more than $52 billion in additional external commitments, including more than $40 billion in private sector commitments to invest in power generation and distribution across sub-Saharan Africa. 

USTDA Revitalizes Kenya Program with Six Power Africa Grants

During the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) launched its largest single investment in Kenya’s power sector to date. At a ceremony with the Deputy President of Kenya, the Honorable William Ruto, and Power Africa Coordinator Andrew Herscowitz, USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak announced support for six projects that will identify U.S. solutions that can help increase access to affordable, reliable electricity across Kenya and help diversify the country’s energy mix.

Together, these projects make Kenya the largest country in USTDA’s portfolio in sub-Saharan Africa – one year after the Agency relaunched its program during President Obama’s visit to the country. They also support the goals of Power Africa, a U.S. government-led initiative to increase electricity access across the continent.

U.S. companies interested in contract opportunities made possible by the USTDA projects announced during the Forum should follow for notification of open solicitations.

Memorandum of Understanding Signed for Micro-Energy Promotion in Mozambique

In July, the Electricity of Mozambique (EDM), the Energy Fund (FUNAE) and the National Company of Science and Technology Parks of Mozambique (ENPCT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase access to modern energy services through the promotion of micro-energy projects.

Currently, only 25% of the Mozambican population has access to the grid. However, the nation’s energy sector is committed to achieving universal access to energy by 2030, an international goal set by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). To achieve this, it will require not only an extension of the national grid, but also a concerted effort of individual off-grid and grid-connected projects.

EDM is developing a three- to five-year action plan that will help guide the country’s transition towards a permanent and sustainable micro-energy program. The action plan focuses on five areas of intervention: 1) institutional and organizational development; 2) financing and tariff mechanisms; 3) standards, criteria, and technical regulations; 4) partnerships and knowledge transfer; and 5) market development. EDM’s requirements for the development of micro-energy and concrete initiatives to meet specific targets have also been identified. The sector hopes to see effective coordination between both on- and off-grid electrification efforts as it moves towards a future of utilizing micro-energy as an alternative energy solution.