Invitation to 6th EEP Knowledge Exchange Forum in Kampala, Uganda

The EEP S&EA will be hosting its 6th Knowledge Exchange Forum (KEF) on the 11th of October 2017 at Protea Hotel Kampala, Uganda. You are warmly welcome to join the KEF to hear about the recent developments of renewable energy sector in Uganda and East Africa.

The EEP Knowledge Exchange Forum organised since 2014 has been an active event of discussions, sharing of experiences and a place to network with players in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector. The feedback from the previous KEFs has enabled us to develop a highly appreciated event specifically tailored for the needs of EEP project developers. Based on its core idea of networking, the KEF offers ample opportunity to learn and build new business relationships.

The day will be built around a combination of interesting presentations and casual networking. Programme’s highlights include private sector perspectives on investing in renewable energy shared by Patrick Bitature, founder and chairman of the Simba Group of Companies. In addition, the KEF will discuss and introduce various support mechanisms for project developers. The status of EEP Phase III will be shared during the KEF. Towards the afternoon the participants are encouraged to share their successes and challenges in round-table discussions.

The day will reach a finale in the awarding of EEP Project of the Year 2017 so please apply for the prestigious nomination here >>. Three shortlisted projects will be invited to pitch their projects during the KEF and the lucky winner will gain an opportunity to participate in the world’s leading startup event Slush Helsinki.

See the KEF agenda here >>

The agenda is preliminary and subject to change. The final programme of the day will be updated on the EEP website.

Register latest on 30 September >> 

Please note, that participation in the event is open for all and free of charge but a registration is compulsory. There is a limited number of seats so make sure to reserve your place soon!

We sincerely hope you will be able to join us in KEF Kampala and look forward to meet you there. Welcome! 


Nordic Climate Facility to launch a new CfP in August 2017

Nordic Climate Facility (NCF) is a challenge fund providing grant support for innovative climate change projects in developing countries. NCF’s seventh Call for Proposals, open from 28 August to 29 September 2017, carries a theme of Climate as Business—Testing innovative green business concepts with a focus on climate-related business ideas with potential to become commercially viable. NCF is fully financed by the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), a joint development financing institution of the five Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

The eligible projects should be implemented through partnerships between local organizations in one of the Nordic countries and in one of the 21 NCF countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America. African countries included are Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

More information about the requirements and the application process as well as descriptions of the 72 previously funded projects can be found on the NCF website.

EEP project developers are strongly encouraged to create new partnerships and apply for NCF funding to test their green business concepts.

Renewable Energy Market Landscape Study highlights the unique value and need of EEP’s flexible early-stage funding in Southern and East Africa

As part of preparations for EEP Phase III the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in association with the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) have commissioned and published a market landscape study on renewable energy, covering the current 13 EEP S&EA countries as well as Malawi and Zimbabwe. The report highlight’s EEP’s unique value in a combination of flexibility, much needed early stage financing, knowledge exchange and investor networking.

The study reviews the current status of energy access in the EEP S&EA region and analyses the sector’s challenges and opportunities related to institutional framework, technology and stakeholders, particularly reflecting on the needs of private sector actors in the off-grid markets. The report reveals that there is a great need for mechanisms such as EEP due to the substantial funding gap for mini-grid and off-grid technologies as well as for clean cooking technology. To support this, a clear message from the EEP project developers is that the greatest obstacle they face is access to finance.

Fast growth rates of solar market particularly in East Africa demonstrate that major opportunities in renewable energy business exist. In terms of different sectors and technologies, the potential of biogas and small-scale wind farms is particularly highlighted in the report. The report also calls for more serious recognition of energy efficiency issues and upscaling of quality cookstove manufacturing in order to effectively improve the access to clean cooking.

The importance of introducing renewable sources in the energy mix is commonly acknowledged as the rural electrification rates across Africa remain very low. However, the sparse population with limited purchase power causes reluctance from companies with market-based approach to expand to rural areas and anchor loads or subsidies to households are needed until the critical mass is reached.

Please find here the three components of the study: Volume I) Full Report of the Market Landscape StudyVolume II) Country Profiles and Stakeholder Maps for the 15 Southern and East African countries included in the study; and Volume III) Energy Sector Donor Mapping. Feel free to distribute this report with your relevant contacts and please share your thoughts about these topics on our social media channels.

Save the date for next KEF in Uganda and apply for EEP Project of the Year 2017 Award

The 6th EEP Knowledge Exchange Forum will take place in Kampala, Uganda on the 11th of October. Winner of the EEP Project of the Year Award will get an opportunity to participate in the world’s leading startup event Slush, Helsinki.

All project developers and other actors in the renewable energy sector are invited to join the 6th KEF event in Kampala. More information on the venue and detailed agenda will be published soon.

EEP Project of the Year 2017 will be selected and announced during KEF Uganda. Since 2014 ECO has nominated one outstanding project as the EEP Project of the Year.  Previously, the EEP Project of the Year title has been awarded to DevergyEco-Fuel Africa and iSmart Kenya.  Application for this year’s award is now open and three shortlisted finalists will be invited to present their projects at KEF Uganda where the winner will be announced.

The Project of the Year 2017 will be awarded an exclusive opportunity to join Slush Helsinki! EEP will fund travel, accommodation and associated costs for one representative of the winning project to participate in the world’s leading startup event.

If you are EEP project developer with excellent performance and interested in showcasing your innovation to the top global audience, including a full range of investors, take part of the EEP Project of the Year 2017 competition. Read the instructions in the invitation, fill out the application form and submit it by 15 September.

What is Slush?

Slush is a unique start-up event founded in Helsinki that has grown to be the leading one in Europe and spread globally to Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore. The very core of Slush is to facilitate founder and investor meetings, and to build a world-wide startup community with extraordinary energy and enthusiasm. Slush has remained a student-driven, non-profit movement that aims high at bringing together the leading actors of the global tech startup scene and change attitudes toward entrepreneurship.

In 2016 Slush Helsinki attracted 17,500 people including 2,300 startups, 1,100 investors and 600 media representatives from over 120 countries. Emerging markets are also present at Slush as every year a group of impact-driven startup entrepreneurs from emerging countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America is selected through local pitching competitions to participate in a boot camp with Slush Global Impact Accelerator.

Read more about the Slush phenomenon and get ready to apply for the EEP Project of the Year award!


EEP encourages projects to join Slush Singapore to expand their horizons

Slush Singapore is the East Asian sister of the world’s leading startup event Slush Helsinki. Aligning with the goals of EEP, one of this year’s five themes at Slush Singapore is “Redefining Gaia – Building a Sustainable Planet” which invites innovative and effective startups to deliver long-term solutions for the environment.

If you are an EEP project developer interested in meeting around 200 startup investors and celebrating entrepreneurship, you should join Slush Singapore. EEP offers 20% discount to our project developers in collaboration with Slush Singapore . If you are interested in joining please contact EEP for the promotional code. Get your ticket now, as the applications for highly popular Demo Booths are still open. The Demo Area offers a fantastic platform for 80 startups to showcase to over 3,000 attendees including investors and the media!

Feel the Slush vibes through this video and find out more about Slush Singapore here >>

The third EEP In-Depth Study addresses the role of women and girls in renewable and energy efficiency projects of the EEP portfolio

Women and girls are important consumers of energy, and they benefit the most from the availability of sustainable and affordable energy sources. Women’s participation in the value chain of renewable energy solutions has been recognised as indispensable to realising the sustainable development goals.

Gender equality is a cross-cutting theme in EEP and the new EEP In-Depth Gender Study essentially seeks to understand the role of women and girls in renewable and energy-efficiency projects of the EEP portfolio. The study is based on a survey of EEP projects, and interviews with a sample of project developers. It presents a variety of gender-differentiated approaches the projects have adopted as well as the gender-related challenges and outcomes they have identified. The aim of the report is to share lessons learned from gender-related activities within the projects, and to provide recommendations to project developers on how they can maximise the benefits to their business and the development impact from a gender-differentiated approach.

Based on the survey, 12% of project developers considered their projects to be particularly ‘gender targeted’ while 48% considered their projects to significantly contribute to gender equality and/or women’s empowerment, but as a secondary objective. These projects are well positioned to generate substantial development outcomes and real impact on the daily lives of African women and girls. Additionally, in many of these projects the gender-differentiated approach was also considered an important factor in improving financial results.

The report highlights, for example, that women have had particular success in the sales and distribution of solar products and cookstoves, and in many projects female sales agents have been outperforming male counterparts. However, there are still challenges and constraints to women’s involvement in the renewable energy projects more broadly. Safety issues, burden of household chores as well as cultural and societal norms were mentioned as causes that prevent women’s full participation in the workforce.

The report indicates that nearly half of projects were actively following the progress and results of gender related activities and outputs. However, there is still potential to further strengthen the project design process and improve the monitoring in order to ensure prospective benefits to women both as employees and end-users of renewable energy, and to the organization itself.

Read more results of the EEP In-Depth Gender Study (Full Report and Summary) and feel free to share these results to your network.

EEP would like to thank all the project developers who participated in the gender survey and contributed to the results of the study by sharing experiences and interesting insights from the field.  Special thanks to the following organizations who were interviewed for the study: LivelyHoods Kenya, Improved Cook Stoves for East Africa/Ugastove, Envirofit International, GCS Tanzania, Greenlight Planet Kenya, Nuru Energy East Africa, Norges Vel, BioLite, Renen Energy Solutions, Emerging Cooking Solutions and NewLight Africa.



Innovative Business Model: EEP project developer SimGas turns manure into energy and fertilizer

The fresh EEP S&EA Innovative Business Model publication features a rapidly growing biogas company SimGas. Currently operating in Kenya and Tanzania, SimGas manufactures, sells and installs domestic off-the-shelf biogas digester systems for rural farming households. Fed with water and manure from livestock, the digester produces both biogas for daily cooking, and fertilizer slurry which can be used to improve crop yields. A full GesiShamba package includes the digester, stove and other accessories as well as installation, piping, end-user training, 5 year service agreement and a warranty.

The benefits of SimGas digesters are reduced energy expenditures, increased farm revenues from improved yields and shift to clean energy from fossil fuels that cause health hazards, CO2 emissions and deforestation. The tailor-made financial solutions are based on an upfront payment combined with set monthly payments for a specified duration. Another innovation in the business model is the carbon credit programme, which enables customers to get a 200 USD discount through SimGas’ carbon credit sales.

SimGas’ growth has been supported by EEP S&EA at two different stages of project development. To date SimGas has sold more than 1,000 biogas systems and the expansion plans include establishing new SimGas hubs in Rwanda, Ethiopia and Uganda.

Read the SimGas Innovative Business Model and take a look at the other four previously published EEP IBMs.

Investors and Projects highlighted the value of the successful EEP Investor Forum

EEP organised the second Investor Forum in Nairobi, Kenya on 30 May

The EEP Investor Forum was again highly successful in bringing EEP project developers who are looking for post-EEP investment in contact with potential investors. The event grew slightly from the first EEP Investor Forum as there was growing interest from projects and need for additional investments in the EEP portfolio that is moving forward. The event in Nairobi was attended by 18 investors ranging from impact investors to development financing institutions and 26 EEP projects that have demonstrated potential for scaling-up.

The interest from project developers was clear as the first participants arrived well before the start of the registration. All projects had the opportunity to pitch their project, future plans and investment need to the investors in the beginning of the event to entice the investors present for further discussion. Similarly, the investors presented their organisations and funding appetite to the Forum.

The focus of the Investor Forum was on the one-on-one meetings between the projects and investors, which started after the networking lunch. The one-on-one matchmaking was facilitated by the EEP team prior to the Forum based on the input from the project developers and the investors to ensure valuable meetings and interactions.

In addition to the organised meetings countless informal meetings took place during the day. The opportunity to meet several investors and projects in just one event has proved to be the added value of the EEP Investor Forum. The day was rounded off with drinks and networking that continued the active discussions of the day.

The feedback received from both the EEP project developers and the investors has been very positive and highlights the demand for the EEP Investor Forum. The Forum was thanked for the diverse range of investors, the quality of projects and opening doors for more detailed discussions.

“It would be impossible to meet these people all in one place without the event – this is a huge benefit.”
-Project Developer

The Investor Forum has demonstrated to be a successful concept and will surely be continued. Please ensure to follow us through our newsletter and social media to stay informed on future Investor Forums.

“The event was highly informative and a great way to connect with many potential (and existing) partners in one room!”

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