AfDB’s SE4All Africa Hub to support green mini-grid developers

16 May 2016, 12:00 am
Financial Nigeria

Summary

The SE4All Africa Hub is developing a programme to scale up investments in commercially viable green mini-grid projects.

Solar-powered system providing power to a small village minigrid

The Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Africa Hub, hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), recently signed a service contract with GVEP International and INENSUS GmbH to provide technical assistance to developers of green mini-grids (GMGs).

The SE4All Africa Hub is implementing a Green Mini-Grids Africa Market Development Programme to support the scaling up of investments in commercially viable GMG projects through a broad range of interventions including to remove market barriers.

Africa is at the forefront of the implementation of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative launched in 2011 by the UN Secretary General. The aim of the SE4ALL is to achieve three goals by 2030, which are to ensure universal access to modern energy services; double global energy efficiency; and double the share of renewable energy in the global mix.

The SE4ALL Africa Hub coordinates and facilitates the implementation of the SE4ALL initiative in Africa. The AfDB said the regional market development programme for GMGs is being funded through the Bank’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA).

“Mini-Grids are a key piece of the puzzle to solving Africa’s energy access challenge and a priority theme under the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa,” said Daniel-Alexander Schroth, SE4All Africa Hub Coordinator at the AfDB. “We are therefore delighted that we could mobilize with GVEP/INENSUS an experienced team to provide support to mini-grid developers.”

GVEP International is a London-based non-profit organisation working to increase access to sustainable and renewable energy, while INENSUS is a German enterprise focused on innovative solutions for decentralized power supply, mini-grids and utility grid connected systems.

In a statement released on Friday, the AfDB said the GVEP/INENSUS consortium will provide business development services to GMG developers, assist them on a wide range of issues ranging from business planning, market development and grid design to project finance, grid operation and maintenance.  

“The technical assistance arrangements that GVEP/INENSUS are designing with the Bank, has the potential to add significantly to the pace of progress in the GMG sector in Africa,” CEO of GVEP, Ben Good, said.

The first phase of the Green Mini-Grids Africa Market Development Programme was launched late last year.  The programme operates alongside five business lines, namely, (1) Market intelligence relative to GMG development at the African country level; (2) Business Development Services; (3) Policy and enabling environment development; (4) Access to financing for GMG project developers; and (5) Technical standardization and quality control of mini-grids (which will be operationalized in a second phase of the progamme).


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