New Tools & Resources – December 2015

United Nations Foundation Investment Directory and online portal showcase a billion dollar investment opportunity through funding needs of its Practitioner Network members

The recently released Investment Directory published by the United Nations Foundation highlights a range of financing opportunities presented by the growing number of companies and organizations in the decentralized renewable energy sector, including mini/micro grids companies. Sector funding needs as reported by the 210 member respondents for the next 12-24 months collectively amounted to a total of more than US $1.3 billion of which approximately $500 million of funding needs were attributed to mini/micro grid companies and projects. A copy of the report is available here and the interactive investment portal can be accessed here.

 IFC Launches Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program in Tanzania

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a Power Africa partner, recently launched the Scaling Renewable Energy Program-supported mini-grid program in Dar es Salaam. The broader SREP program in Tanzania seeks to catalyze the deployment of renewable energy and diversify the energy sector. A specific project focused on mini-grids being implemented by IFC aims to increase access to modern off-grid energy services in rural Tanzania. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will begin to collaborate actively with the SREP program as it will work closely with the Renewable Energy Agency, where Power Africa has a Transaction Advisor. 

A New Crowd-funding Platform for Africa

A new crowd-funding platform for small and medium sized business (SMEs) operating in sub-Saharan Africa was launched by the African Biofuel and Renewable Energy Company (ABREC). The new platform ABREC.FinanceUtile, developed jointly with FinanceUtile, is intended to support entrepreneurs, as well as the private sector by facilitating the transfer of know-how and technology and access to reliable electricity generation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Unlike traditional crowd-funding platforms, ABREC.FinanceUtile will provide more than just access to project finance as it will be supported by a team of specialists who will evaluate the commercial and technical merits of projects submitted for project financing, consider the levels of project finance required, and provide project management expertise to SMEs to facilitate delivery of their projects.

Applicants which are selected to raise project finance through ABREC.FinanceUtile will be able to seek crowd-funding for an amount between €500,000 and €5 million. Additionally, successful applicants will also be able to draw on advice and support from ABREC.FinanceUtile, including how to structure their financial and business models and receiving general project management/project delivery support. Successful applicants will also be given access to ABREC’s and FinanceUtile’s commercial networks with a view of assisting successful applicants to explore future opportunities in Africa and Europe.