The US-Africa Clean Energy Finance (ACEF) programme has reached its initial investment target of $20 million in support of early stage projects boosting the renewable energy sector in sub-Saharan Africa.

ACEF programme launched in 2012 and backed by the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the US Government’s development finance institution, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). The USTDA and OPIC have since ACEF’s inception, ‘committed funds to 30 renewable energy projects across 10 African countries’, according to Businesswire

The $20 million has the potential to develop into 400 MW of power being generated on the continent and raise additional project capital of a possible $1.5 billion. The funding is intended to provide the necessary financing for feasibility studies and cover technical start-up costs.

Projects currently in the pipeline include a 150 MW Senegalese wind farm and a 12 MW run-of-the-river hydroelectric power facility in Rwanda.

OPIC’s president and chief executive officer, Elizabeth Littlefield said: ‘Empowering private investors to lead the way in overseas development is at the heart of OPIC’s mission, as well as that of president Obama’s Power Africa Initiative, in which we also effectively partner with USTDA.

‘ACEF is a forerunner is realising the potential of these private investors, and has helped innovative developers of clean, renewable energy in Africa advance their ideas to receive the financing they need.’