Nine clean energy projects that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions across Africa by ca. 500,000 metric tons a year, the equivalent of taking 85,000 cars off the road annually, were presented to investors in Johannesburg at the CTI-PFAN Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (AFRICEF) on 15 September 2010.
More than 140 financiers, clean energy experts and representatives of financial institutions from across Africa and overseas participated in the Forum, which was organized by the Climate Technology Initiative’s Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI PFAN), a global multilateral initiative dedicated to “bridging the gap” between clean energy project developers and investors, with multiple rounds of coaching and guidance for the projects.
REEEP has recently funded a project that expanded PFAN coaching activities to Mozambique and Uganda, countries which accounted for four of the nine projects presented. The projects showcased at the Forum, with a total investment value in excess of USD 110 million, included biomass, small hydropower, solar, wind and bio-fuels initiatives developed by entrepreneurs and companies from those two countries as well as South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana. Two projects were selected by an international panel of judges as winners of the CTI PFAN Clean Energy Financing Award 2010.
The first was the 8 MW Kakaka mini hydropower project in western Uganda, which benefited from REEEP-funded PFAN coaching. The plan was promoted by a Ugandan-registered company, Greenewus Energy Africa Ltd. With an investment total of US$18 million this greenfield project is looking for US$6 million in equity and US$12 in long-term debt and was promoted by Chief Executive, Mr. Conrad Nkutu.
The other winner was Barefoot Power Company which distributes solar charged LED lights and electrical products to the rural poor in Africa. Barefoot Power has already reached over 100,000 households with clean, efficient lighting and phone charging systems, with the majority of these in Africa. Barefoot operates in Kenya and Uganda and is expanding rapidly across Africa. The company is seeking US$ 1 - 3 million equity and up to $4 million in debt to fund dynamic growth.
"We are delighted to see the effects of our helping REEEP to fund the expansion of CTI PFAN to Mozambique and Uganda,” noted John Gormley, Ireland's Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, who made a video address to the AFRICEF gathering, “matching up clean energy project developers from these countries with potential investors injects life to projects that might otherwise have little chance of raising equity."
By bringing together project developers and investors from around the region, this forum can increase national markets for clean energy,” said Peter Storey (CTI PFAN Global Coordinator) “At the same time, developers from different countries can exchange knowledge and experience to see what works, and REEEP has helped us expand our reach into Mozambique and Uganda.”
The AFRICEF event concluded a long process that was initiated by CTI PFAN in February 2010 through a regional call for proposals targeting businesses and entrepreneurs in African countries. More than 65 businesses submitted their proposed business plans for review by an expert committee, and the select group of nine finalists were chosen for expert coaching from professional advisors, clean energy investors and development banks on:
- the key elements of a business plan and growth strategy
- expectations and requirements of investors and bankers
- how to prepare and present an investor pitch
- how to target and select investors
The Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing was sponsored by the Climate Technology Initiative (CTI), the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the International Center for Environmental Technology Transfer (ICETT) of Japan and was organised in cooperation with numerous local partners in southern Africa.