The African Development Bank (AfDB) is closing the financing of its Covid-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform (CRP) dedicated to off-grid clean energy providers. Several investors have raised $20 million for this emergency facility.
Good news for off-grid clean energy providers operating in Africa. Less than a year after its launch, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has secured funding for its Covid-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform (CRP). The funding, worth $20 million, was raised from fund managers Lion’s Head Global Partners, Triple Jump, and Social Investment Managers and Advisors, following the AfDB Board’s approval in December 2020 of a $20 million concessional investment from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa) to establish the platform.
This $50 million facility will be active for 5 years. During this period, the CRP will support companies that install green mini-grids, solar home systems, clean cooking systems and other renewable energy access solutions. The aim is to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and ensure a robust commercial recovery of the off-grid sector.
An emergency mechanism
“The Covid-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform (CRP) comes at a critical time for early-stage energy access companies affected by Covid-19 and allows the Energy Entrepreneur Growth Fund to continue to release flexible capital into the sector at a time when venture capital is increasingly scarce,” says Jan-Henrik Kuhlmann, Triple Jump’s head of sustainable energy.
The platform was launched in the wake of Sefa. This special fund provides catalytic financing for renewable energy. According to its manager, the AfDB, Sefa’s overarching objective is to contribute to universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy services for all in Africa, “in line with the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa and Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7)”.
But “the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is jeopardising the immense progress made over the past decade in off-grid electrification across Africa,” says Duarte Cunha, the AfDB’s divisional director for renewable energy. Hence the need for an emergency mechanism such as the CRP.
Jean Marie Takouleu