Renewable energy in Africa gets lift on EUR40m investment from European Commission

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The African Development Bank has announced a EUR 40 million investment from the European Commission for the Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI), a new platform for financing small-scale renewables in Africa.

The announcement was made to energy sector stakeholders at a sideline event held during Africa Energy Forum, which took place in Lisbon, Portugal in June. The Bank, the European Commission, in partnership with Lion’s Head Global Partners and Fieldstone and the Lusophone Renewable Energy Association presented the Facility to participants at the Forum.

FEI is a $500 million financing platform spearheaded by the African Development Bank to catalyse financial support for innovative energy access solutions. FEI On-grid, a targeted USD 400 million funds, supports improved energy access through the development of small-scale renewable energy generation and mini-grids across Africa, while the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (OGEF), a targeted USD 100 million funds support off-grid energy distribution companies and boost their long-term capacity to access capital markets at scale.

Joao Cunha, manager for Renewable Energy Initiatives at the African Development Bank said FEI had been developed to offer debt instruments, including in local currency, to companies providing affordable, clean and sustainable access to underserved communities in the Sub-Saharan region.

“Through FEI, we aim to increase co-financing and private sector investment in innovative on-grid and off-grid clean energy access solutions, and consequently move faster on our “Light Up and Power Africa priority to achieve universal energy access in Africa by 2025,” said Cunha.

The event was attended by the renewable energy investor community, including representatives from various Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), international and African commercial banks, project developers and sponsors.

During the event, the FEI fund managers guided project sponsors and developers in attendance through project selection criteria, and financing terms of the specific FEI windows.

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Nigeria missing as SA, Ghana top African Power, Energy, Water Industry awards

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A South African leader in renewable energy, a former influential Ethiopian government minister, the Ghana Grid Company and a range of renewable energy projects were among the winners at the annual African Power, Energy and Water Industry Awards announced in Cape Town, South Africa, recently.
The awards ceremony honours the leading utilities, projects and people in the water and energy industries on the continent and forms part of the African Utility Week and PowerGEN Africa conference and exhibition.
BioTherm Energy CEO Jasandra Nyker won the Outstanding Contribution Award: Power. The South African businesswoman has grown BioTherm Energy from having 4mw of secured power purchase agreements (PPAs) to more than 450mw of secured PPAs.
“It has been eight years since we started building BioTherm Energy into a renewable energy investment and development platform. I dedicate this award to my team because it is very much a team effort. We’ve built an amazing business and we have expanded into the rest of Africa,” Nyker said.
BioTherm Energy has built a pan-African business by winning projects in Zambia, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Iviore and Ghana, and has also secured large-scale projects with some of the leading global mining companies.
Meanwhile, the Kathu Solar Thermal Power Plant, a 100mw concentrated solar power project based in the Northern Cape, won the Grid-Tied Renewable Energy Project of larger than 10mw.
“What is very unique about this type of project is firstly the clean technology,” Siyabonga Mbanjwa, Southern African MD for SENER, one of the construction partners on the project, said. “It also offers production during peak periods. We are using molten salts as a storage mechanism and that allows us to continue to produce electricity even when the sun has set,” he said during the awards evening. He said he was also
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Study identifies 5 fiscal incentives to aid FG’s clean energy targets

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A new study commissioned by All On, an off-grid energy impact investment firm seeded by Shell, and carried by leading professional services firm, PwC Nigeria has identified five strategic fiscal incentives that if applied to all categories of clean energy producers and off-grid developers in Nigeria, could assist the Federal Government meet its target of 30% renewable energy sourcing by 2030.

While some of these incentives have been used to encourage the development of other sectors in Nigeria such as the gas sector, the report, titled Strategic Fiscal Incentives to Unlock the Off-Grid Clean Energy Sector in Nigeria: Opportunities & Recommendations,’  proposed alterations to their implementation and comes complete with a strategy to make it work.

Import duty Exemptions

The report recommends complete import duty exemption on the importation of machinery and equipment for use in the generation of off-grid power using renewable energy sources.

Apart from items already in the Customs Schedule, it calls for inclusion of PV panels for power generation, Control systems for PV panels and renewable energy powered generators working with direct current, control systems for PV panels and renewable energy powered generators working with direct current, hydroelectric generators 5 Static DC to alternating current (AC) converters for PV systems.

Others are Inverter batteries, DC electronic equipment for use with PV panels, wind and hydro generators, materials used in building equipment for renewable energy use, measuring instruments related to renewable energy variables, such as: temperature gauges, pressure gauges, solar radiation meters etc. and smart meters.

VAT Exemption

The report called for VAT exemption on importation of equipment and spare parts for use in renewable energy generation, services rendered in relation to the development and deployment of off-grid technologies and manufacturing, importation, sale or development of renewable energy technologies/equipment.

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