We are hosting two online roundtable meetings (from 12h30 GMT on 16 March 2021) looking at the challenges of scaling-up Africa’s solar home systems and how to attract commercial finance mini-grid sector.
12h30 to 13h30 GMT, Accelerating growth in solar home system (SHS)
- What do the SHS companies participating at the meeting see as the biggest challenges to scale?
- What is required to reach the SDG 7 target (ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all) by 2030?
- What data is available on the region’s established SHS and what do recent findings tell policy-makers and investors.
- Unlocking receivables-backed financing and other innovative financial solutions and improving access to local finance
Participants include: Birgit Edlefsen, Senior Investment Manager, Norfund; Mansoor Hamayun, Chief Executive Officer, Bboxx; Laura Fortes, Project Manager Investor Outreach, GOGLA; Avi Jacobson, Investment Director, SunFunder; Bill Lenihan, Chief Executive Officer, Zola Electric; Andrew Reicher, Independent Adviser and Investor; Falk Reimann, Head of Funding SHS, Engie Energy Access; Ashwin West, Investment Director, AIIM
14h00 to 15h00 GMT, Mini-grid investment roundtable
While Africa’s mini-grid sector has observed strong development in recent years, cost-effective commercial financing for mini-grid projects remains hard to obtain with few projects or companies accessing funding, particularly debt, on purely commercial terms. The roundtable will explore this challenge, and will address the roles of the following potential barriers to commercial finance (and any approaches to mitigate them):
- Unclear or inadequate government policies and regulatory frameworks
- The small size of transactions
- The lack of data on customers, and the role of productive uses of energy
- The mismatch in design of donor and government subsidy programmes
- The lack of commercial financial products available for mini-grids
Participants include: Dafe Akpeneye, Commissioner, NERC; Cliff Aron, Principal, GreenMax Capital Group; Chinua Azubike, Chief Executive Officer, InfraCredit; Gabriel Davies, Head of Energy Access, CrossBoundary; Hizkyas Dufera, Senior Advisor to the Minister of Water Irrigation and Energy, Ethiopia; Shaun Githuku, Business Development Manager, Gridworks; Harry Guinness, Managing Director, Lion’s Head Global Partners; Anita Otubu, Head of Project Management Unit, REA, Nigeria; Daphne Pit, Founder, Pit Pure Power; Bahaa Samy, Chief Investment Officier, Renewvia; Jessica Stephens, Chief Operating Officer, AMDA; Yann Tanvez, Infrastructure Lead West and Central Africa & Head of Mini-Grids Africa, IFC Upstream, World Bank Group; Marie Testard, Head of Investment & Advisory Mini-Grids for ENGIE PowerCorner; Andrew Tipping, Technical Director, ECA; Nicholas Wrigley, Chief Executive Officer, Winch Energy
Other registered participants include representatives from: Actis, AEE Power, AfDB, African Frontier Capital, Arch EM Partners, Bracewell, CDC, FMO, Gaia Impact Fund, Herbert Smith Freehills, IFC, JBIC, Konexa, Multiconsult, NewAfrica Impact, Oikocredit, Siemens, Societe Generale, SunFunder, Trinity International, University of Cape Town