AfDB Approves $760,000 for Small-Scale Renewable Energy

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $760,000 grant to Empower New Energy AS (EmNEW) to develop at least eight small-scale renewable energy projects in Africa.

The project, which will be executed through the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), will have a capacity ranging from 1-10 Megawatts.

The grant will support a broad range of project preparation and development activities, including technical feasibility studies, legal due diligence, environmental and social impact assessment, quality assurance and risk management.

According to the bank’s Acting Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Mr Wale Shonibare, the project will not only boost accessibility to energy for the continent but will be environmentally friendly.

“Accelerated deployment of distributed solar power and small hydropower is one of the fastest and most cost-efficient ways to bridge the energy access gap, fight climate change and promote sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.

Reechoing Mr Shonibare’s sentiment, the bank’s acting Director for Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency, Mr Daniel Schroth, explained that AfDB’s support to EmNEW through SEFA was fully aligned with SEFA’s strategy to tackle challenges faced by smaller renewable energy projects in many African countries in accessing financing to cover their initial development costs.

EmNEW’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Terje Osmundse, welcomed the approval and said it would help in taking a faster approach towards the projects.

“We are very excited to be entering into a partnership with the African Development Bank and SEFA. There is a large number of strong small or medium scale projects across Africa that remain unrealised because they can’t access competitive financing.

“Our approach allows us to bridge this gap and working with SEFA will help us to accelerate this process and support more high-quality projects.

“Together, we can bring impactful investment to Africa, while helping the continent to meet its electrification, carbon-reduction, and sustainable development targets,” he said.

Drawing on high-quality local partnerships in Africa, EmNEW invests in renewable energy projects through competitive equity to small and medium scale projects which helps to reduce the time and resources required to finance projects while delivering environmental and social impact.

Through its Empower Invest fund, EmNEW invests in small and medium-scale renewable energy projects in Africa, with a focus on solar power, hybrid, and hydro technologies.

Source: Business post