USAID invites applications for funding off-grid solar projects in Africa
USAID said it will award a $4 million purse to multiple innovative, off-grid solar businesses working in Africa.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced a new funding opportunity designed to increase private-sector investment in the household solar market. The funding window is designed under the Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development of the USAID.
The U.S. government agency said it will award a $4 million purse to multiple innovative, off-grid solar businesses working in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Estimated grant awards would range from $500,000 to $1.5 million.
Eligible businesses for the grants are early stage or early-growth stage companies that can demonstrate a 2:1 private investor match. That is, applicants must demonstrate a financial commitment from a private investor (equity or debt) that is at least twice the funding requested from USAID. For instance, if an investor commits $1 million in funding, USAID could award $500,000. However, preference will be given to higher ratios of demonstrated investor commitment to the requested funding.
USAID said it designed the funding opportunity specifically to address the barrier many off-grid entrepreneurs face in terms of accessing capital.
An off-grid solar market report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Lighting Global, a joint initiative of IFC and the World Bank, shows that off-grid solar is advancing rapidly beyond just lighting and phone charging. Research has shown that pay-as-you-go off-grid solar companies alone could serve up to 30 million households in off-grid markets by 2020.
Renewable energy sources are now ripe for investors and USAID aims to catalyze investment across the household solar value chain in SSA with the new funding.
Interested applicants are expected to send concept papers to the Scaling Off-Grid Energy team between February 2017 and April 30, 2017. Eligible enterprises must have operations in one or more markets across sub-Saharan Africa. Applicants should also be developing and scaling innovative solutions that will have broad reach across the region's household solar market with the potential for high market impact.
The Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development is a global partnership between the USAID, Power Africa, the U.K. Department for International Development, and the Shell Foundation.
With the investment in Rensource, I&P plans to expand its footprint in Anglophone Africa.
A key finding from the Lloyd’s Register survey is that low-carbon generation technologies are cost-competitive.
The Kathu Solar Park will provide clean and reliable energy to 179,000 homes in South Africa.
- AfDB launches record-setting $3 billion Social Bond for Covid-19 response
- Rise and Lead hosts summit to promote women in leadership roles
- Vodacom expands data access to the poor, slashes prices by 30 per cent
- Paxful launches list of Africa’s top women in blockchain, bitcoin market
- European recycling markets reel from coronavirus
- Current locust outbreak underscores need for pest control preparedness in Africa
- China charges higher interest rates on loans than World Bank - CGD report
- Access Bank sustains support for HIV/AIDs, NTDs interventions during Lagos marathon
- Access Bank ranks as best CSR and sustainability company in Nigeria
- Healthy food choices during COVID-19 pandemic