The Africa Renewable Energy Fund II (AREF II) has raised $180 million from seven investors. The fund, managed by Berkeley Energy, will finance renewable energy in sub-Saharan Africa.
The $180 million fund will focus on the development, construction and operation of renewable energy assets and technologies across sub-Saharan Africa.
AREF II’s investor base includes seven development finance institutions including CDP, CDC, FMO, Proparco, Swedfund, Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA, managed by the African Development Bank) and the Clean Technology Fund (CTF, part of the Climate Investment Funds).
Benefiting from a substantial proprietary pipeline and experienced team, AREF II has a final target fund size of $416,5m and will primarily target run-of-river hydro, wind and solar projects, as well as battery storage opportunities, across sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa).
With strong growth population rates and rising GDP, Sub-Saharan Africa’s electricity demand is set to more than double by 2040 requiring approximately $100bn investment in power sector infrastructure per annum. AREF II is primed to address this market opportunity by backing mid-sized grid-connected projects, typically between 10MW and 100MW each.
Through its internal sustainability capabilities, Berkeley Energy will implement best-in-class management of environmental, social and governance considerations. AREF II will deliver meaningful and measurable impact regionally and locally, through the provision of clean and accessible energy whilst generating substantial local economic development and employment opportunities through infrastructure projects.
Luka Buljan, Berkeley Energy managing director: “The successful first close of AREF II sends a clear sign of confidence that our hands-on, asset-first, technically orientated approach resonates with our investors and makes a material difference for the communities in which we operate. Our track record of delivering projects and strong investment returns means we are well placed to serve sub-Saharan Africa’s growing demand for clean, affordable and reliable energy.”
AREF II’s innovative financing structure, supported by SEFA and CTF catalytic funding, provides benefits and incentives to commercial private capital backers in order to encourage their investments into sub-Saharan Africa. AREF II follows the successful full deployment of Berkeley Energy’s Africa Renewable Energy Fund (AREF), which invested in hydro, geothermal and solar projects in sub-Saharan Africa.