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EU pumps another €82m into African renewables

TagsEnergy Access, Finance and Investment, Renewable Energy

A €62m Italo-French program will reduce risk for project developers and a €20m Spanish scheme will fund off-grid installations in sub-Saharan Africa.

The European Union has allocated a fresh €82 million for renewables projects in Africa as it signed off €990 million worth of initiatives to round out its latest European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD).

The ten financial guarantee arrangements include two specifically linked to clean energy.

At least €49.6 million of a €62 million European Guarantee for Renewable Energy will reduce the risk associated with renewables projects in sub-Saharan Africa by guaranteeing developers payment for energy they sell under contracts with electricity off-takers.

No more than 20% of the budget provided by French development lender Agence Française de Développement and Italian peer Cassa Depositi e Prestiti can be allocated to projects north of the Sahara and all of the fund could go south of the desert with priority afforded to facilities in what the UN classifies as the least developed nations on the continent, an EU spokesperson told pv magazine. The EU source added, Angola and Mozambique have already been identified for support under the program.

The latest ten EFSD agreements – which it is hoped will trigger total investment of €10 billion – also include a €20 million budget from Spanish development body Compañía Española de Financiación del Desarrollo (COFIDES) devoted to financing off-grid renewables installations in sub-Saharan Africa.

A press release issued by the EU last week to announce the financial-guarantee deals stated the hope the rural scheme with COFIDES would attract total investment of around €80 million and provide power to around 180,000 people in rural areas.

Announcing the funding packages, European commissioner for international partnerships Jutta Urpilainen said: “These agreements will directly support people who face some of the biggest challenges because of Covid-19: small-business owners, the self-employed, women entrepreneurs and businesses led by young people. They will also help to fund a major expansion of renewable energy generation, ensuring that the recovery from the pandemic is green, digital, just and resilient.”