Signing Launches New Phase for EEP Africa

 The new Energy and Environment Partnership Trust Fund covering Southern and East Africa goes live with a combined commitment of EUR 25 million from Finland and NDF


 NDF hosted a delegation from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA Finland) today for the signing of a EUR 15 million financing commitment to the new Energy and Environment Partnership Trust Fund covering Southern and East Africa (EEP Africa).

 The new financing commitment from Finland will support clean energy access and sustainable and inclusive green growth in 15 countries in Southern and East Africa and complements an additional EUR 10 million approved by NDF’s own Board of Directors at the end of 2017. A second signing with the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) for an additional contribution is expected soon to follow.


 “Finland is a founding owner of NDF,” said Pasi Hellman, NDF Managing Director, “and we are very proud that today Finland acknowledges the growing capacity and reach of this institution, entrusting us with the legacy of this highly effective program and with additional resources to continue to deliver climate impact, clean energy access and green growth on the ground in our partner countries.”


 EEP was first launched in Southern and East Africa in 2010 under the leadership of MFA Finland with co-financing from Austria and since 2011 the United Kingdom. It has been a leader at the forefront of efforts to fast track clean energy access and sustainable and inclusive green growth across the Southern and East Africa region.


 “EEP has been a flagship programme for the Ministry, not only due to its size but especially due the results that it has achieved,” said Leena-Kaisa Mikkola, Director General for the Department of Africa and the Middle East at MFA Finland. “EEP has been a true driver in the renewables sector in Southern and East Africa, and the transition to a Trust Fund setting under NDF will open up a whole new range of opportunities related to financing of innovative renewable energy technologies in the region. We see that EEP fits in extremely well with other renewable energy sector activities of NDF and it can also serve as a pipeline for entities such as Finnfund and the Finland-IFC Blended Finance for Climate Program.”


 EEP has channelled more than EUR 57 million to more than 200 pioneering projects leveraging innovative clean energy technologies and energy access business models to transform lives and livelihoods with particular focus on the very poor. EEP projects have improved energy access for more than 900,000 households, roughly equivalent to the population of Finland, and contributed to more than 8,000 new jobs, of which more than 3,000 accrued to women. EEP financing has also triggered direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions of more than 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent and leveraged more than €150 million in additional investment.

Now under NDF leadership, EEP Africa transitions from a fixed term programme to an open-ended multi-donor trust fund and climate finance facility, fully aligned with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. This new chapter combines the strong EEP Africa brand and proven results-based delivery channel for blended finance and green growth together with a dynamic evolution of the facility, bringing on board new financing instruments and closer engagement with the downstream investor community.


 “It makes good sense for us at NDF to take the lead with EEP Africa,” explained NDF Vice President and Deputy Managing Director Leena Klossner. “We can provide a sustainable base for longer-term planning and resource mobilization combined with in-house capabilities to deliver a mix of instruments to match the real needs of projects on the ground.”


EEP Africa will operate as an open, competitive challenge fund providing early stage grant and catalytic financing to innovative clean energy projects, technologies and business models. The first open call for proposals is now in planning to be launched in May 2018 during Africa Utility Week in Cape Town, South Africa.

 A service provider team sourced from KPMG Finland was recruited through an open, international competitive selection process during the course of 2017 and is now in place and providing implementation and coordination support from regional service hubs in South Africa and Kenya.

 For more information get in touch at


 MFA Finland

Finland’s ODA budget is administered by the MFA. Improving access to clean energy is one of the priorities of the Finnish Development Policy. The EEP Trust Fund is part of the climate funding reported by Finland. Finland’s share of the EEP Trust Fund will be among the most important initiatives in the fight against climate change, funded from development cooperation appropriations.

 For more information, please contact Jan Koivu, Desk Officer, Unit for Southern and Western Africa at


Nordic Development Fund (NDF)

NDF is the joint development and climate finance institution of the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. NDF finances and facilitates climate investments in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In addition to managing EEP Africa, NDF finances clean energy development in Africa through a mix of innovative and complementary blended finance facilities with a range of other bilateral, multilateral and private sector partners.

 For more information, please contact Charles Wetherill, Manager, EEP Trust Fund at


 Photo by NDF: From left Leena Klossner (NDF), Leena-Kaisa Mikkola (MFA) and Pasi Hellman (NDF) 

Innovative Business Model by SunCulture

SunCUlture Rainmaker Sept-1 - Copy

EEP grantee SunCulture  manufactures and finances solar-powered water pumping and irrigation systems for smallholder farmers across Africa. SunCulture’s goal is to provide cheaper and more sustainable way to grow high quality vegetable by replacing expensive and environmentally harmful fuel pumps with efficient solar pumps and by offering a wide range of affordable irrigation solutions.

Very few tailored products for the masses of smallholder farmers are available in Africa, and the lack of access to tools, knowledge and financing keeps the productivity of these farmers low. Besides the pumping and irrigation products, SunCulture supplies installation, soil sampling and other services. SunCulture’s financing platform “Pay-as-You-Grow” aims to close the financing gap which is major barrier for development of the farmers.  Switching from rainfed agriculture to using irrigation system can lead to over ten times higher income for the farmer.


With a range of products SunCulture can easily scale up and down the product ladder to serve customers cultivating a small 1/8 acre plot up to 200 acre farms. SunCulture products are easy to use, maintain and acquire. The cutting-edge pump controller automatically optimizes solar pump’s performance and battery charging based on cloud cover.

According to SunCulture the EEP funding has been catalytic for their success.  With the EEP grant  SunCulture has been able to optimise their business model and reach more than 570 farmers. Read the full Innovative Business Model story here and take a look at the five previously published EEP IBMs.

EEP supports project developers through videos

 EEP supports Project Developers by producing a series of videos featuring some of the most interesting EEP funded projects. The videos provide a visualization of the achievements and work by these Project Developers. They can be used to increase the visibility of the project and thus support the Project Developer in marketing and raising interest from potential investors and wider public. All videos are shared through EEP social media channels and they have already reached substantial audiences.


The first EEP video presents a unique project where South African company Mean Sea Level is constructing a 1MW demonstration plant which utilizes wave power to generate electricity. The energy converter is being built in Hermanus, South Africa with support from EEP S&EA and it aims to generate 2,628 MWH/year. It will be Africa’s first commercially viable ocean wave energy converser.

Kitobo videoEEP Project Developer Absolute Energy has constructed a 230kWp solar PV plant on Kitobo Island in Lake Victoria, Uganda. In addition to benefits the households gain from lighting, the improved access to electricity helps the local fishermen to produce ice for storing fish and creates other valuable income opportunities. See from the video how this project has changed the lives of the islanders!


GBE_shotThe EEP Project of the Year 2017  Green Bio Energy is featured in the video which presents GBE employees manufacturing energy-efficient Briketi cookstoves and eco-briquettes in Kampala, Uganda. Enjoy the great vibes at GBE and learn about their important social and environmental impacts!




In this video  you can visit Ugastove – the company behind the first modern cookstove factory in Uganda. With EEP funding Ugastove has optimized its processes in the factory and is expected to produce yearly 240,000 energy-efficient charcoal stoves, woodfire stoves and rocket metal stoves, employing 175 local workers.





NDF encouraged discussion on blended finance at COP23

Leveraging public financing to scale up progress on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) was the theme of a COP23 side event and panel discussion hosted by the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) on Tuesday 14 November in Bonn. Pasi Hellman, NDF’s Managing Director, kicked off the event at the Nordic Pavilion where Nordic finance institutions showcased their work: “We are actively leveraging NDF’s wide array of financing instruments to support delivery of the SDGs and NDCs in our partner countries”.

The conversation was anchored around a presentation of results and vision for the next phase of EEP S&EA as a concrete case study illustrating precisely the role of well targeted donor commitments catalysing private sector engagement on the SDGs and NDCs. The phase III of EEP S&EA will be launched in January 2018 as a multi-donor trust fund under the overall leadership of NDF and fully aligned with the SDGs and NDCs for the countries of the region.

NDF highlighted that EEP has established a strong brand for delivery, impact and effectiveness and committed more than EUR 50 million in direct financing to more than 200 pioneering projects leveraging clean energy technology and innovative energy access business models to transform lives and livelihoods and support the growth of a vibrant green economy in the region. EEP Programme Director Wim Jonker Klunne participated in the events and provided background on the results achieved by EEP. He also highlighted the role of young entrepreneurs within the portfolio and the partnerships formed with other initiatives to advance the sector.

The event was moderated by Charles Wetherill from NDF and brought together representatives from EEP donors MFA Finland and ADA as well as a group of panelists including Sheila Oparaocha from the ENERGIA International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy (ENERGIA), Mahua Acharya from the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Monojeet Pal from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Naeeda Crishna Morgado from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The importance of blended finance arrangements and risk sharing between the public and private sector for scaled-up impact was emphasized by the panelists throughout the event as well as the need for linking youth and women to capital. Wetherill closed the event pointing out the annual USD 2 trillion gap (see OECD report) between actual public financing flows and what developing countries need to achieve the SDGs and commitments from the Paris Climate Agreement. “We quite simply have no choice. To close this gap and achieve these goals, we must blend our financing with other stakeholders.”


Photos: NDF/Joel Sheakoski

EEP Project of the Year Award topped off KEF Kampala

More than 90 enthusiastic EEP project developers, investors and other professionals in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency gathered on 11 October in Kampala to meet peers and exchange new ideas. The 6th EEP Knowledge Exchange Forum was built around inspiring presentations and discussions, encouraging participants to active networking and sharing of experiences. The intense day reached its climax with the announcement of the EEP Project of the Year 2017 Award winner.  

Private sector’s potential must be harnessed effectively


Esther Nyanzi from UNREEEA kicked off the day by speaking about their important mission to improve business environment for renewable energy and energy efficiency companies in Uganda and contribute to sustainable development. After that, the invited keynote speaker, Chairman of Simba Group Patrick Bitature gave a powerful speech about investments in renewable energy in Uganda. Mr. Bitature praised EEP as a true partnership and urged local companies to show their innovations and bravely search for funding opportunities. He also encouraged African and foreign companies to collaborate, in order to facilitate skills transfer. According to his words “Private sector should start with what they have got, fail, get up and start again. We cannot depend on donors forever”.

EEP Grant Manager Fred Eklund shared the current status of the project portfolio, highlighting the excellent results and the life-changing impacts the projects are achieving across sectors, countries and project types. Variety of the projects has proven to be one of the greatest strengths of EEP, making the programme stand out in the region. EEP Programme Director Wim Jonker Klunne continued with presenting hydropower projects in the EEP portfolio and the panel on hydro shared their thoughts about barriers and possibilities in the African hydropower sector.

Partnering and knowledge sharing throughout KEF

After the lunch GOGLA and EUEI PDF (sharing on RECP and ElectriFI) provided brochuresinteresting insights into supporting mechanisms for renewable energy projects and highlighted the need for early-stage funding through EEP as well as the added value in partnering and sharing information on funding opportunities.

In addition to several networking breaks, the round-table discussions offered the participants a chance to share their own experiences about innovations in the business model; challenges and lessons from product distribution; regulatory and policy framework; productive use of energy; and ideal team composition for reaching best results in energy projects. The participation in the round-tables was very active and room was full of discussion.

EEP Project of the Year Award 2017

For the fourth time since 2014, EEP selected the Project of the Year among the three shortlisted projects who were invited to give a presentation at the KEF. The competition was very tough as 15 successful project developers had submitted an application for the award. The Project of the Year title was finally awarded to the Kampala-based company Green Bio Energy. The winner convinced the EEP jury with the remarkable results that they have achieved with their energy-efficient cookstoves and eco-friendly briquettes.  Green Bio Energy has up to date affected the lives of 750,000 Ugandans, reduced 265,000 tons of CO2 emission and created permanent jobs for over 250 people. GBE’s annual growth in sales is forecast to be 25 %, and the company is poised to continue its expansion in Kampala and Mbale areas. Green Bio Energy hoped that this award would support them in achieving even better results and a greater impact.


This year’s winner GBE will be seen in the world’s leading startup event Slush Helsinki in November, where they will get a valuable opportunity to create contacts with international investors and mingle with other startup companies.

The other two great finalists were Absolute Energy with a solar PV mini-grid project electrifying a remote island of Kitobo in Lake Victoria, and BioLite whose innovative cookstove solution addresses multiple energy needs (ie. cooking, phone charging and lighting) simultaneously. All the finalists have shown great business potential, and we can be sure to hear more about them in the future.


Towards EEP Phase III

The last Knowledge Exchange Forum of the second phase of EEP was closed with the donors’ insights into the achievements of EEP Phase II and introduction to the future of the new EEP Multi-donor Trust Fund starting its operations in the beginning of 2018. The donors humbly thanked all project developers for their committed efforts in advancing the goals of EEP.


More presentations from KEF Kampala will be added soon.



REDAVIA Innovative Business Model: Rent the Solar Farm, Own the Future

EEP introduces another Innovative Business Model from the portfolio of EEP projects.

REDAVIA’s pre-configured, containerized solar mini-grids demonstrate the essence of an Innovative Business Model. The unique element in the business model is that REDAVIA rents the mini-grid and delivers 360° service including engineering, manufacturing, assembling, testing, deployment, maintenance and redeployment. The high-quality solar farm can be set up on average in four days and the communities and other customers save the high upfront investment required for a “traditional” mini-grid solution.

The Innovative Business Model illustrates the benefits of REDAVIA’s innovative system in two Tanzanian villages. The results of the system and provided electricity have been very tangible for the local communities and businesses including schools, hospitals and farmers. From a financial perspective, the rental model gives the villages significant flexibility to scale their solar energy capacity. By simply adding new containers of solar panels when the demand for electricity increases is a solution that enables faster uptake of the system.

REDAVIA is expanding its footprint in Tanzania and other parts of East and West Africa. The German-based company is poised to roll out enhanced solar technology with more intuitive features and begin scaling its mini-grid operation. REDAVIA maintains a close collaboration with each village by fully operating the mini-grid and also plans to create new job opportunities by transferring the control to the local villagers. REDAVIA is committed to using solar power as a key driver to sustainable social and economic impact.

REDAVIA Innovative Business Model >>

Read stories of other EEP Innovative Business Models >>

EEP results demonstrate excellent progress in the renewables sector

EEP is proud to present the latest EEP M&E results by mid-2017 which show that EEP Programme continues on the right track with great performance.

The published EEP S&EA semi-annual M&E Programme report 2017 highlights positive progress in terms of reaching rural and urban beneficiaries with almost 800,000 households benefitting from improved energy access through EEP.

Some of the greatest results were achieved in reduction of CO2 emissions where the end of Programme target has been substantially exceeded. So far a reduction of 473,000 tonnes of CO2 has been achieved against the final target of 113,000 tonnes. The three best performers in CO2 reductions of the monitored projects during the first half of the year 2017 were Green Bio Energy in Uganda, GCS Tanzania and Sollatek Kenya.

Similarly, the amount of energy generated, 234,000 MWh/year by June 2017, has clearly exceeded the target of 81,000 MWh/year.

During the six-month period from January to June 2017 29 completed projects were monitored and evaluated, and their contribution has been included into the cumulative Programme results. With 132 projects monitored and 62 still in implementation, EEP has by June 2017 already exceeded 16 of the 22 end-of-the-programme targets of December 2017.

See more results in the EEP semi-annual M&E Programme report 2017, which includes an updated overview of the EEP portfolio. In 2017, EEP continued to interact as an active regional partner engaged in different RE/EE initiatives and provide technical support to project developers.  In the M&E report you can also find highlights of EEP activities in Business Development Support, Knowledge Management and Research.