Category Archives: Renewable energy

Category Sustainable Biomass > Renewable energy

Realizing SDG 7: bridging financial challenges

Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) stands for access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Last Friday (5 April), Partners for Innovation was present at the national event for companies, financiers, NGOs and other parties working on the realization of this goal. An important topic was bridging financial challenges for project developers.

A billion people have no access to modern means of electricity, and another 3 billion people still use heavily polluted fire wood an charcoal for cooking. The Dutch government therefore aims to provide 50 million people with access to sustainable energy by 2030. During the meeting, organized by RVO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the attendees discussed how to reach this goal as quick as possible.

Access to financing to contribute to SDG 7

Developers of sustainable energy projects often face financial challenges. During the meeting a number of companies therefore had the opportunity to pitch their project for public and private financiers. Several policy instruments have also been presented, including:

  • The GET.Invest program, the follow-up to RECP, for which Partners for Innovation implements the Finance Catalyst facility.
  • Access to Energy Fund, a fund that invests in and provides loans to projects that realize energy generation, transmission and distribution in developing countries.
  • The new SDG 7 Results facility program, aimed at stimulating access to renewable energy in developing countries. As of April 5th proposals can be submitted for this new subsidy.

More information

Does your organization, company, NGO or financial institution want to contribute to access to renewable energy in developing countries? Partners for Innovation can help you in this process, and in finding suitable financing and submitting an application. For more information about these instruments, contact Stan van den Broek or Emiel Hanekamp.

Renewable energy in Zambia: looking for Dutch companies

RVO and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs have commissioned a market study into the opportunities for Dutch renewable energy companies in Zambia. Expected publication/presentation date for this study is early April, with a view to a possible trade mission to Zambia and Zimbabwe later in the year. We would like to get in touch with Dutch renewable energy companies that are interested to further expand their activities to the Zambian market. These companies will be invited to an informative networking meeting on doing business in Zambia, and their input will be used to determine the contents of the trade mission.

So, is your company working in the field of sustainable energy and potentially interested in doing business in Zambia?

Please fill out your contact details in this form or click here to send an e-mail. We will then contact you as soon as possible.

Why Zambia?

Zambia is a politically stable country, endowed with a wide range of renewable energy resources and rated very highly in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of doing business’-monitor. At the same time, both the population’s access to electricity and electricity tarrifs are low, while blackouts frequently leave businesses and higher-income residential areas to secure their back-up energy requirements with expensive diesel gensets. However, electricity prices have recently increased with 75%, economic growth is strong and stable, and in coming years Zambia will receive a lot of support and funding from international programs focussed on renewables.

Trade mission Vietnam

Minister Kaag (Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) is leading a trade mission in Vietnam and Malaysia this week together with Hans de Boer (chairman VNO-NCW) and about 45 companies. The economic mission is focused on urban growth and societal challenges. Partners for Innovation and CREM conducted a scoping study of the opportunities for circular economy in Vietnam, of which the results are presented during the trade mission.

On behalf of RVO and the Dutch Embassy in Vietnam, Partners for Innovation and CREM carried out a scoping study on circular economy in Vietnam. The study focuses on the state of play of circular economy in Vietnam and social-economic and environmental challenges and circular solutions. Besides that, the report provides opportunities for Dutch – Vietnamese cooperation on CE.

Read more about the study in the presentation of the results.

Training: incorporating gender-sensitivity in energy practices

Partners for Innovation and MDF West-Africa organize a “train-the-trainer” session on gender mainstreaming in energy projects. The training focuses on promoting equality between men and women in ECOWAS-countries by providing organizations with the tools to strengthen the position of women in the energy sector. The three-day course will take place from 28 February to 2 March in Accra and will be held in both English and French.

Two types of training will be given. One is aimed at policymakers of energy policy in each of the 15 ECOWAS-countries. The other one is aimed at NGO’s working in these countries in the fields of energy and the emancipation of women. The policymakers will be trained to translate the regional ECOWAS-policy in these fields into their own national energy policy. The NGO’s will be educated to help other organizations in the energy sector (public or private) to implement gender-sensitivity in their daily work.

For more information on the project, please contact Stan van den Broek or Emiel Hanekamp.

Manufacturing small wind turbines in Benin: is it feasible?

On November 30th and December 1st, over 40 stakeholders gathered in Cotonou to discuss the role small wind turbines can play in the electrification of Benin. Partners for Innovation presented its feasibility study and outlined an action plan for sector development.

The government of Benin is looking for ways to provide its population with the energy needed for socio-economic development. Especially in rural areas, electricity provides a clear pathway to expanded and sustainable energy access. Renewable energy technologies can play a key role in this. Small wind turbines are part of this renewable energy technology.

In a feasibility study, Partners for Innovation found that potentially more than 30.000, currently unelectrified, households can gain access to electricity generated by turbines in the range of 1 – 10 kW. In addition, we found that within a 5-7 year horizon, more than half of the economic value of the turbines can be created through local assembly, manufacturing and construction taking place in Benin itself. In the manufacturing and construction sector alone this would create 50 to 150 jobs annually.

These results, together with an outline for a small wind sector development roadmap, were presented to over 40 local stakeholders on November 30th and December 1st in the Beninese capital of Cotonou. The participants included ministry representatives, private sector representations, academia and a variety of NGO’s (including NGOs focused on youth and female empowerment). Through this session and the incorporation of feedback from the participants, it will become possible to formulate a clear and thought-through strategy.

Want to learn more?


Mainstreaming gender in energy projects: training

Partners for Innovation and MDF offer a free of charge train-the-trainer course for organizations in ECOWAS countries involved in gender mainstreaming in energy projects. This three day course will be held in Accra, early 2018.  We are looking for NGOs or training institutes that have experience with gender and energy-related capacity building. The course, travel and accommodation will be paid for by UNIDO-ECREEE.

Find more details on the training here: ECOWAS Training announcement – incorporating gender-sensitivity in energy practices.

For more information on the project, please contact Stan van den Broek.


First prize won by Senegal youngsters on agroforesty entrepreneurship

On March the 28th  three young Senegalese entrepreneurs have been awarded a prize of 5,000e by the French Embassy in a   competition in which 72 projects were submitted. The three entrepreneurs participated in the  Senegal Youth Forum organized by the French Embassy in November 2016 and were under training by Partners for Innovation. 

Creating business opportunities

Saga Africa offers young African entrepreneurs, project leaders and operators in the informal sector the opportunity to submit project proposals aimed at  improving social economy and solidarity. Their goal is to “make the journey together and learn by sharing their mutual experiences, networking and creating business opportunities.” Submitted proposals are examined by a jury composed of investors and partners of the HUB during the HUB AFRICA Pitch.

More information

RECP Finance Catalyst

Partners for Innovation has been assisting renewable energy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa to reach financial close through implementation of the RECP Finance Catalyst since 2016. By providing support and advice on project development, project structuring and access to finance, project developers are enabled to make their business bankable and create concrete investment opportunities. Building on the success of the past 1,5 year, these services are extended into 2018.

When starting a new renewable energy business in Africa, many entrepreneurs run into challenges that inhibit their project from materializing. Due to the relatively small size of the project or limitations in the developer’s network or experience, it can prove very difficult to identify the sources of finance that the project needs before it can be realised. Vice versa, investors can experience difficulties in identifying and connecting with promising projects, preventing them from optimizing their impact.

The project
The RECP Finance Catalyst provides support and advice on project development, structuring and finance to small- and medium-scale renewable energy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. For over 1,5 year, the Finance Catalyst has been assisting numerous private sector-driven renewable energy projects to access debt, equity or grants in order to reach financial close. In doing so, a variety of technologies and business models are being covered, including grid-connected hydro and waste-to-energy plants as well as standalone solar home systems and cookstoves.

Project proposals can be submitted online through the website of the RECP Finance Catalyst. The advisory support is available to all proposals that meet a number of criteria, listed here. For example, only projects with a cumulative generation capacity between 0.5-50 MW or aggregated investment in the range of € 1-70 million are eligible (which can include distributed generation). For more information, have a look on the RECP website.

Read more:

The RECP Finance Catalyst is a service of the RECP (the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme), a multi-donor programme that supports the development of markets for renewable energy in Africa. It was launched by more than 35 African and European Ministers and Commissioners under the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP).

Stan van den Broek

Peter Vissers

Opportunities for sustainable growth in Ghana

The Ghana Climate Innovation Center (GCIC) aims to establish local  institutional capacity to support Ghanaian entrepreneurs and new  ventures  involved in developing profitable and locally-appropriate solutions to climate  change mitigation and adaptation.
One of the services that the GCIC will  provide is access to finance. With its partners MDF and Tjasker, we help the  GCIC to develop a pipeline of climate technology project opportunities for the  Ghana Climate Venture Facility (GCVF).
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Biogas in South Africa: a feasibility study

Partners for Innovation is conducting a feasibility study and design of a pilot biogas installation as part of a Waste  Water treatment plant for the Blue Karoo Trust Fish Farm in Graaff-Reinet,  South-Africa. This project is part of the USAID Low Emissions Development  program, managed by Chemonics International Inc.
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