Oliver Kazunga, Acting Business Editor
THE African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved an equity investment of up to $25 million in ARCH Africa Renewable Power Fund (ARPF) for renewable energy projects across Sub-Saharan Africa.
ARPF will provide equity for the development and construction of 10 to 15 greenfield renewable energy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, adding an estimated 533 megawatts of installed energy generation capacity from renewable sources in the region.
This will provide both base load and peak load power in underserved markets.
Zimbabwe is one of the countries in the Sub-Saharan region which has of late been calling for investment in renewable energy sources. “ARPF projects will focus on mature technologies including wind, solar photovoltaic, small to medium hydro, geothermal and biomass.
“These would include grid-connected independent power producers (“IPPs”), and decentralised energy projects (commercial and industrial solar, mini-grids and solar home systems companies). “The fund’s strategy is to prioritise projects with a clear timeline to financial close, with emphasis on de-risking early stage greenfield projects,” said the regional financier.
It is hoped that the bank’s presence is expected to act as a catalyst for other investors to commit a further $ 60-75 million equity from non-development financial institution sources.
The Bank would also ensure that the highest environmental and social standards, together with climate change and gender considerations, are applied to the ARPF’s projects. — @okazunga.