A total of EUR 13.6 million has been allocated to clean energy companies in 11 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. The new portfolio has a strong focus on productive use of energy, e-mobility and mini-grids.
The EEP Africa Investment Committee met at Nordic Development Fund (NDF) headquarters in Helsinki, Finland on 26-27 September to approve funding for projects submitted under the 2023 Call for Proposals. A total of EUR 13.6 million was committed to 32 new grantees from 11 countries.
The Investment Committee meets annually after a Call for Proposals is conducted and consists of at least three members, typically appointed by the donors to the fund. This year the Investment Committee was chaired by Isabel Leroux, Program Manager at the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), with additional members Marko Saarinen, Counsellor at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA Finland) and Cyprien Hauser, Programme Manager at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
“It is great to see how EEP Africa is attracting high quality proposals from project developers with innovative business models and approaches to address local challenges,” said NDF Program Manager and Investment Committee Chair, Isabel Leroux. “In line with current trends in green energy, we are particularly excited to have interesting and innovative e-mobility and productive use of energy projects, as well as women-led initiatives in line with EEP Africa’s objectives and principles.”
The new portfolio is technologically diverse with focus on productive use of energy, e-mobility, mini-grids, clean cooking, residential electricity access, power generation and energy efficiency and storage. This year there has been an increase in e-mobility grantees, with a total of six being approved for financing. Of these 32 companies, 40% are piloting their innovations while just over 50% were seeking to scale-up their operations. The remaining two grantees will conduct feasibility studies.
“The results of this Call for Proposals show the variety of locally-rooted innovative solutions, addressing a vast array of clean energy development needs in Southern and East Africa. The selected projects are also a good fit with the Finnish development policy priorities in climate change mitigation, in access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy, as well as in supporting job creation through private sector innovation and female entrepreneurship,” said Marko Saarinen, Counsellor at MFA Finland “EEP Africa support will help in de-risking and validating the innovative business ideas and support the growth of the selected companies. I look forward to the impact these new partnerships will have in the targeted communities.”
This competitive call attracted 411 applications for projects in 13 countries in Southern and Eastern Africa, with EUR 178 million in total financing requested. In line with the new selection process, 80 applicants were interviewed, and 41 project proposals were shortlisted and submitted full proposals.
“The submitted applications reflect current challenges in green growth and access to energy, like reaching small holders or investing in rural regions of Sub-Saharan Africa.,” said Programme Manager at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Cyprien Hauser. “I am pleased that the Investment Committee selected promising clean energy projects needing de-risking grant financing. This is in line with the objective of the Swiss international cooperation to contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable development.”
Further insights from this call for proposals on clean energy market trends will be published later this year. Detailed information about the specific projects funded through this call will be shared in the coming months as contracting is completed.
The Energy and Environment Partnership Trust Fund (EEP Africa) is a clean energy financing facility hosted and managed by the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) with funding from Austria, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, NDF and Switzerland. EEP Africa provides risk tolerant early-stage grant financing for locally driven innovative clean energy projects and businesses in Southern and Eastern Africa. Since 2010, EEP Africa has committed more than EUR 60 million to over 270 pioneering projects, creating over 11,600 jobs, improving energy access for more than 5 million people, and avoiding 1.8 million tonnes of CO2e.