WEST AFRICA: First Watt Renewables wins AfDB WAFCCEF Award

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WEST AFRICA: First Watt Renewables wins AfDB WAFCCEF Award©BAD

The Canadian company First Watt Renewables won the 4th edition of the West African Clean Energy Financing Forum (WAFCCEF) competition. The competition is organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and several other development partners.

The results of the 4th edition of the Forum on Clean Energy Financing in West Africa (WAFCCEF) award are now available and it is First Watt Renewables that has risen to the top of the podium with its innovation. Based in Canada, this company is “a private producer of clean energy technologies and a provider of sustainable energy solutions using an innovative mix of photovoltaic systems,” explains the African Development Bank (AfDB).

It was above all his SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) project that caught the jury’s attention. It is in fact a financing vehicle created as part of a securitisation transaction. It works with the “take-or-pay”, i.e. a power purchase agreement (indexed to the dollar). Electricity is thus provided as a service to the company or household that provides lump sum monthly payments.

Other companies on the podium…

Ghana was honoured at the WAFCCEF, thanks to Sweep Ghana, a company that wants to transform waste into electricity. The residues collected in the city of Accra will be incinerated to produce 15 MW of electricity that will be fed into Ghana’s national electricity system.

The project of Dutch and Company also drew the attention of the WAFCCEF jury. The Ghanaian-based company wants to equip households with solar kits and LED bulbs to reduce their electricity consumption. “There was good work from the candidates and their coaches. There have been projects at different stages of maturity. But for us, the question was: which project is most likely to receive funding in the short-term? We had several favourites, several types of technologies in several countries and we had to make a choice,” explained the jury.

The WAFCCEF is jointly organised by the AfDB, the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CEREEC) and the Climate Technology Initiative – Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI P-FAN).

“WAFCCEF plays a crucial role in training the next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs on the African continent and serves as a link between investment initiatives led by the AfDB and other financial institutions,” said Daniel Schroth, Acting Director of the AfDB’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Department. For this 4th edition, eight projects were in competition. They were supported by start-ups based in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Cameroon and Nigeria.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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