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AfDB to develop small-scale renewable energy projects

The aim is to develop renewable energy sources across the region. (Image source: andreas160578/Pixabay)

The African Development Bank-managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has approved a grant of US$760,000 to Empower New Energy (EmNEW) to develop small renewable energy projects across sub-Saharan Africa

The grant aims to support eight small renewable energy projects, each of which will have the capacity of one-10MW. These projects are expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 320,000 tonnes, by producing 585GWh of clean electricity, thus creating 20,000 jobs.

The funding is expected to start a broad spectrum of activities, under project preparation and development, such as technical feasibility studies, legal due diligence, environmental and social impact assessment, quality assurance and risk management.

Terje Osmundsen, EmNEW CEO, said, “There are numerous small or medium scale projects all across Africa that remain unrealisd for the lack of competitive financing. Our approach allows us to bridge the gap and accelerate the process, as well as support many high quality projects.”

Daniel Schroth, acting director for renewable energy and energy efficiency at African Development Bank (AfDB), said that the bank’s recent endeavour is in line with their patent strategy of supporting smaller renewable energy projects in various African countries, which are devoid of ample financial resources to cover their initial developmental costs.

EmNEW invests in renewable energy projects through high-quality local partnerships in Africa, which enables competitive equity to small and medium scale projects. This helps reduce the time and resources required to finance a project which has a high environmental and social impact.

“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,” said Wale Shonibare, AfDB’s acting vice-president for power, energy, climate and green growth.