EEP Africa has launched a new cohort of 26 clean energy projects which promote productive use of energy and circular economy.
This latest portfolio of companies stems from a 2020 competitive call for proposals on Clean Energy Powering Green Growth. The 26 companies were chosen from 357 applications submitted.
A total of €8,3million was awarded in financing to projects implemented in 12 countries across Southern and Eastern Africa. The new grantees are mainly start-up companies (81%) with a significant share of them being locally led (62%) and women-led (38%) businesses.
Jussi Viding, EEP Africa fund manager, said they see many clean energy start-ups developing sustainable solutions to stimulate green growth in rural communities. “However, it is a well-known fact that there is a severe lack of flexible and early-stage financing for such innovators, especially for local and women-led companies. EEP Africa is proud to be one of the leading funders willing to take risks and catalyse investment in new technologies and business models.”
This new portfolio of companies demonstrates a growing trend in integration energy services along the entire agriculture value chain. It includes projects that are bringing solutions to market in solar irrigation and cooling, agro-processing, waste-to-energy and e-mobility.
Grant funding is needed to test and demonstrate new products and business models in these areas. It also allows the companies to expand asset financing and financial inclusion, which increase the uptake of produce use asses in last-mile communities.
Clean energy investment at EEP Africa slanting towards stand-alone projects rather than utility scale
The new projects aim to enhance access to energy for both domestic and productive uses purposes. Collectively, the projects expect to create 2,600 new jobs (43% for women) and should result in €7,7million in annual savings on energy-related expenses.
The 2020 call primarily attracted applications for stand-alone appliances and services, rather than large-scale power plants. Even so, the new projects are projected to generate 25,000MWh of clean energy every year and to reduce 105,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
Henrik Franklin, director of portfolio origination and management at the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), which hosts and manages EEP Africa with funding from Austria, Finland and NDF, said these new grantees join businesses funded under earlier calls, resulting in a combined portfolio of 67 companies in 14 countries.
“The portfolio collectively reflects the incredible diversity of technologies, products and business models being utilised to advance a just clean energy transition in Africa,” said Franklin.
More details about the 26 companies are available online in the EEP Africa New Portfolio 2021 booklet.