ARE Members AFD & ADEME support 10 innovative actors to promote access to sustainable energy in Africa
27 April 2020 – ARE Member ADEME and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) today announced the results of the call for projects "Innovative solutions for off-grid sustainable energy access" (SolInAE). Launched in September 2019, with companies and civil society organisations with local partners, the call for projects identified and supported 10 innovative initiatives for sustainable energy access in Africa, which will receive up to EUR 1.6 million technical and financial support.
This call for projects aims to highlight and support innovative proposals that generate sustainable economic activities and have a strong social impact to promote access to energy, by meeting electricity needs but also heat and cold production. Following the jury's deliberations, 10 projects were selected for a total budget of around EUR 6 million, to which ADEME and AFD contributed EUR 1.6 million. The winners will receive support for the implementation of their project, have access to financial aid and technical assistance to help them finalise their financing plan and evaluate their impacts.
The award-winning initiatives propose different solutions to address energy vulnerability. Examples include:
- nano-grids built by progressively connecting small autonomous photovoltaic units (won by ARE Member Solergie),
- equipment for the thermal recovery of agricultural by-products,
- multi-service activity zones electrified by solar energy,
- simple, robust and high-performance technologies for crop preservation,
- productive electrical equipment offers and associated financing solutions for rural customers,
- the setting up of resource centres and training services for village communities, economic actors and public services.
Co-constructed with local actors, these projects strengthen the capacities of the beneficiaries through skills transfer and training. In this way, local artisans and entrepreneurs will be supported by project leaders to establish their activities in an efficient, robust and sustainable manner.
This call for projects is a continuation of a first edition on the same theme that was launched in 2017, with the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition.
"We were very impressed by the quality, diversity and innovative nature of the selected projects. I hope that the financing made available by ADEME and AFD will enable these projects to go to scale, as access to energy in rural areas is a powerful driver of development", said Jean-Pierre Barral, Director of AFD's Energy and Digital Transitions Department.
"This second call for projects confirms the great capacity for innovation of start-ups, SMEs or NGOs in the off-grid energy access sector, with a sustainable economic and social impact in Africa. It also demonstrates the usefulness of this type of financial support for this sector, which is characterised by projects that struggle to pass through more traditional windows," says Philippe Masset, Deputy Director Europe and International at ADEME.