US$200 million close for African Renewable Energy Fund

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US$200 million close for African Renewable Energy Fund

The African Renewable Energy Fund (AREF) has reached final close with investment from European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF), among other investors.

The dedicated renewable energy fund focused on sub-Saharan Africa successfully reached its final close at its hard cap, with US$200 million of committed capital to support small to medium scale projects.

African Development Bank (AfDB) is the fund’s lead sponsor, bringing US$55 million an equity investment package from its statutory resources as well as climate finance instruments such as Sustainable Energy for Africa (SEFA) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to leverage commercial and institutional investment. SEFA has additionally committed a US$10 million Project Support Facility (PSF), which will provide resources to be deployed at an early stage to structure bankable deals.

The fund which is headquartered in Nairobi held its first close of US$100 million in March 2014 and since that time has been investing capital in grid-connected development stage renewable energy projects including small hydro, wind, geothermal, solar and biomass.

AREF is managed by Berkeley Energy, a fund manager focused on developing and investing in renewable energy projects in emerging markets.

The final investor group also includes West African Development Bank (BOAD), Ecowas Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), FMO, Calvert Investments, CDC Group, BIO, OeEB - the Development Bank of Austria, Wallace Global Fund, Sonen Capital, Berkeley Energy, ABREC and now the European Investment Bank, the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund, and a number of other private investors.

Berkeley Energy’s Partner and Co-Founder, Alastair Vere Nicoll said:

“We are very pleased to have reached our target fund raising and look forward to continuing our work focusing on the technical delivery of our projects with our project partners from concept to generating reality.”

Alex Rugamba, Director of Energy and Climate Change Department, stated:

“AfDB is pleased to see that AREF is now fully capitalised to deliver on its pan-African mandate. We are also equally excited that SEFA and GEF participation have been catalytic in mobilizing 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.”

Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President, commented:

“As one of the world’s largest investors in renewable energy the European Investment Bank is committed to ensuring that new projects can be implemented around the world. This engagement is demonstrated through our support for the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund, GEEREF. Our combined backing for the African Renewable Energy Fund will provide both financial support and share technical experience essential for smaller renewable schemes being implemented for the first time.”

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