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Benin: Results-based finance facility now open for minigrid projects

The Universal Energy Facility, a results-based financing facility managed by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), has now opened a new window of financing for minigrid projects in Benin.

The Benin window of the Universal Energy Facility is funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

As of 28 January 2021, companies seeking results-based finance for minigrid projects in Benin can apply for pre-qualification to the facility. In Benin, the Universal Energy Facility will disburse grant payments to deliver over 7,000 electricity connections based on a results-based incentive of $433 per connection.

The opening of the facility in Benin is the next step in SEforALL’s push for catalysing faster progress on Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) through results-based financing. In October 2020, the facility opened to support minigrid projects in Sierra Leone and Madagascar.

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“A paradigm shift to results-based financing models can help put the world on track to achieve universal electrification and clean cooking access,” said Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy.

Speaking about the Benin opening, BMZ said, “The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development proudly supports, through its initiative Green People’s Energy for Africa, the Universal Energy Facility results-based finance facility in Benin, which will bring affordable and sustainable electricity access to thousands of people.”

The Benin window falls under the facility’s first set of countries, where it focuses on accelerating electricity connections through mini-grids. By tackling one of the most challenging energy technologies in its first phase, the Universal Energy Facility will demonstrate the effectiveness of results-based financing for making energy projects viable. The facility will expand in its next waves to include solar home systems and clean cooking solutions, with a goal of catalysing 2.3 million energy connections by 2023.

SEforALL, in collaboration with several donors and partners, including The Rockefeller Foundation, Shell Foundation, Power Africa, Good Energies, UK aid, Carbon Trust and Africa Minigrid Developers Association (AMDA), established the facility in response to growing demands from the energy access sector for results-based financing.

Pre-qualification for the Universal Energy Facility in Benin will close on 4 March 2021. The review of applications is expected to be completed by 19 April 2021.

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.

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