German business school empowers renewable energy projects across Africa
To revolutionise clean energy solutions throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, the Clean Captive Installations for Industrial Clients (CCI), has provided crucial support to innovative companies across the continent.
The initiative implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme and the FS-UNEP Collaborating Centre, aims to support renewable energy businesses to overcome initial hurdles they may face and promote their scalability.
Speaking on the programme, Deputy Head of the FS-UNEP Centre at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Tobias Panofen, in a statement, said the first phase of the CCI has been highly successful in providing crucial grant support for innovative and scalable captive generation business models that serve the commercial and industrial sector.
“High transaction costs are often a significant barrier in rolling out such models, which is where the CCI provides cost-sharing support to portfolio companies. The project has been organised into four components namely: baseline studies and awareness raising, tools and assessments, realisation of pilot projects and knowledge dissemination.
Panofen explained that a competitive procurement process and strong due diligence process have been established for selecting beneficiary companies. He said these companies have received targeted grant support co-financing initial transaction costs, adding that this highlights the pivotal role that the CCI has played in scaling their businesses and rolling out their captive generation approaches in respective markets.
The deputy head pointed out that Ghana and Nigeria, in particular, have emerged as success stories within the programme.
According to him, in Nigeria, the CCI extended its support to PowerGen, and facilitated the creation of a low transaction-cost fund, which enables developers to utilise existing projects as collateral, thereby recycling capital and monetising their accounts receivables. “This approach has provided a much-needed boost to the development of clean energy infrastructure in the country, “ he said.
In Ghana, Stella Futura, a beneficiary, established a Special Purpose Vehicle to cater for the energy needs of hospitals. The initiative has not only ensured a reliable electricity supply to rural medical facilities, but has also significantly reduced overall energy costs through a ground-breaking lease-to-own model, transforming the healthcare landscape of the area.
To facilitate knowledge sharing and celebrate the achievements of Futura and PowerGen Renewable Energy, workshops have been conducted in Ghana and Nigeria. Hosted by the Ministry of Energy in Ghana and the Energy Commission of Nigeria, these workshops served as platforms for the companies to showcase their projects and emphasize the role played by the CCI program in delivering clean and innovative energy solutions. Beyond Ghana and Nigeria, CCI has lent support to three companies in Kenya and one in South Africa, each bringing unique solutions to the renewable energy landscape.
According to Panofen, the pilot phase of the project has revealed the demand for CCI from various markets and countries alike.
“However, mainstreaming captive generation approaches at scale continues to require targeted support to showcase the commercial viability of different business models.
“The CCI has a catalytic function enabling innovation and providing support to companies in developing marketable, clean captive solutions. The Ministry of Energy of Kenya has highlighted that utilities are under significant pressure to deliver clean and affordable power, and the CCI has played an exemplary role in furthering decentralization and captive generation. Consequently, the question arises as to how the CCI can be scaled to accelerate this paradigm shift,” he said.
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