Brussels, 29-30 September 2014 – As a leader in the global drive to support universal access to modern sustainable energy services, the European Commission launched a profound examination of a new financial instrument with a particular focus on rural electrification. The new Electrification Financing Initiative (ElectriFI) aims to accelerate sustainable access to clean rural energy in developing countries by boosting the private sector to yield business opportunities and takes into account a number of points relevant for the industry.

The innovative and close-to-the-market concept addresses gaps created by market failures in rural electrification finance in developing countries. ElectriFI aims at leveraging available public financial resources by attracting private sector investments in sustainable business models as well as by reinvestments in new projects in case investment projects will be successful.

After the two day EuropeAid Workshop in Brussels on 29-30 September 2014 with about 300 attendees from all stakeholders groups relevant to advance rural electrification, the Alliance for Rural Electrification organised an Energy Access Seminar, hosted by the Embassy of Portugal in Brussels, where 90 private sector players shared experts’ experiences from already existing and future business models for rural electrification as well as lessons learnt on how to best enter still nascent energy access markets through the assistance of existing and planned donor programmes. In this respect, it became evident that future business models will also need to cover more risk mitigation measures. ARE members University of Neu-Ulm and id-eee prepared a new risk mitigation study on rural electrification businesses with an analysis of experiences from practitioners with regard to the handling of risk assessment and risk mitigation for investments in mini-grids. The preliminary executive summary is available to the public.

“The Alliance welcomes the new initiative from the European Commission. ElectriFI will strengthen the strong engagement of the private sector to make universal access to clean energy a reality by facilitating and thus multiplying small and medium scale private investments and operations in sustainable energy projects.” Marcus Wiemann, Secretary General of the Alliance for Rural Electrification.

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For further information or request images please contact:

Ling Ng Communications and Marketing Officer +32 2 709 55 42 l.ng@ruralelec.org

Note to the editor

The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) is an international business association representing the decentralised energy sector working towards the integration of renewables into rural electrification markets in developing and emerging countries. We enable improved energy access through business development support for more than 90 members along the whole value chain for off-grid technologies by targeted advocacy and facilitating access to international and regional funding.