The Nairobi-based African Renewable Energy Fund (AREF) has hit its fundraising target of $200 million (R2.7 billion), which it plans to use for investing in grid-tied renewables in sub-Saharan Africa (not including South Africa).
AREF, which is managed by Berkeley Energy, plans to add 200MW and 250MW of electric generating capacity in the reegion. This generating capacity will come in the form of solar, hydro, wind, geothermal and biomass projects and developments, and is spent in amounts between $10 million and $30 million (R400 million).
The largest investor in AREF is the African Development Bank which has invested $55 million (R761 million) in the AREF project. The African Development Bank has also made climate finance tools such as Sustainable Energy for Africa and the Global Enviroment Facility (GEF) available for use. The hope is that this investment will encourage other commercial and institutional investors.
Sustainable Energy for Africa has also committed to provide a Project Support Facility worth $10 million. This support facility will be deployed at an early stage and will provide resources to projects looking to create profitable deals.
Speaking to PV Magazine about the African Development Bank investment Alex Rugamba, director of African Development Bank, said, “African Development Bank is pleased to see that AREF is now fully capitalised to deliver on its pan-African mandate. We are also equally excited that SEFA [Sustainable Energy for Africa] and GEF participation have been catalytic in mobilising significant amounts of commercial capital into AREF over a short time-frame; this is key for accelerating deployment of modern, clean and affordable energy in the continent.”
Next week, Cape Town will play host to the sixth International Renewable Energy Conference, where the subject of alternative power supply in Africa will be the theme of discussion.