Tag Archives: solar

Ghana Capital Partners 28MW solar PV project awarded runners-up at 2nd West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF 2) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Sidney Yankson (right), founder of Ghana Capital Partners with Akinwumi Adesina (left), President of African Development Bank, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire     Sidney Yankson (left), founder of Ghana Capital Partners receiving his award from senior members of the African Development Bank, namely Mulu Ketsela, Ronald Meyer, Rafique J. Mahomed, Abidjan, Côte d'IvoireSidney Yankson, Ghana Captial Partners (right) at WAFCEF-2 with Albert Boateng (left) of CTI-PFAN, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire        Sidney Yankson, Ghana Capital Partners presenting to the judges and delegates at Africa Energy Week, African Development Bank, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

 

Finalists of WAFCEF-2, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Ghana Capital Partners (“GCP”)  was awarded the runners-up prize in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire on 17 September 2015, at the West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF-2).

Jointly organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) / Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and the Climate Technology Initiative – Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI P-FAN), the second West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF-2) business plan competition took place at AfDB Abidjan headquarters, September 17, 2015 as part of the ECOWAS Sustainable Energy & Investment High Level Forum.

The GCP project was the only project from Ghana to be included as a finalist. The other projects were from all over West Africa, including Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria.

Founder of GCP, Sidney Yankson said, “It was a great honour to represent Ghana at this event. Yesterday at the Energy Week Forum we heard Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank, the Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, the Prime Minister of Benin  and the Prime Minister of Democratic Republic of Congo all share their support and vision for renewable energy as a key part of Africa’s future. It was great to be a part of that.”

GCP’s ground mounted 28MW solar PV project will provide much needed electricity to Ghana and will produce enough power annually to power 200,000 homes. This will raise one million (1,000,000) people out of energy poverty. The project will also reduce green house gas (carbon offset) emissions by 18,900 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per annum for the 25 years of the plant.

Alex Deprez, regional director of USAID said that together with Power Africa, USAID was happy to support clean energy projects in the region.

For more information, see:

WAFCEF-2

Energy Week, Abidjan, 14-18 September 2015

About SEFA

SEFA is a USD 90 million multi-donor facility funded by the governments of Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States. It supports the sustainable energy agenda in Africa through: grants to facilitate the preparation of medium-scale renewable energy generation and energy efficiency projects; equity investments to bridge the financing gap for small- and medium-scale renewable energy generation projects; and support to the public sector to improve the enabling environment for private investments in sustainable energy. SEFA is hosted by the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department of the AfDB.

About ECREEE

ECREEE is a specialised agency of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which acts as an independent body, within the legal, administrative and financial framework of ECOWAS rules and regulations. The overall objective of ECREEE is to contribute to the sustainable economic, social and environmental development of West Africa by improving access to modern, reliable and affordable energy services, energy security and reduction of energy-related GHG emissions and climate change impacts on the energy system.

About CTI PFAN

CTI PFAN is a multilateral, public-private partnership initiated by CTI in cooperation with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Expert Group on Technology Transfer.

 

Ghana Capital Partners shortlisted for second West Africa Clean Energy Finance Forum (WAFCEF-2) in Accra, Ghana, 25 March 2015

CTI-pfan

Ghana Capital Partners was shortlisted from 50 applicants to participate in the second West Africa Clean Energy Finance Forum (WAFCEF-2).

The WAFCEF-2 partners include the Climate Technology Initiative Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI PFAN), Regional Clean Energy Investment Initiative (RCEII) together with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), Banque ouest africaine de développement (BOAD), and the African Biofuels and Renewable Energy Company (ABREC), which is affiliated with the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID).

The purpose of the forum is to reach out and attract potential start-ups and existing companies with promising clean energy projects. West African businesses selected through the Business Plan Competition will receive free mentoring to help them polish their business plans, develop convincing investment pitches, and formulate a commercially, financially, socially and environmentally viable growth strategy that in turn will significantly enhance the possibility of obtaining financing.

Albert Boateng, regional co-ordinator for West Africa, opened the session in Accra today and said the standard of applicants was high.

GCP founder Sidney Yankson presented GCPs 28MW solar PV project to the workshop. The GCP project once constructed will provide much needed power to the Ghana electricity distributor, Electricity Company of Ghana, for 200,000 homes.

The project is set to provide 42 GWhr/year of energy and create at least 20 jobs.

Sidney Yankson of GCP said, “We are keen to get the project off  the ground. The rolling blackouts in Ghana are probably reducing the countries output by 1% of GDP per ann.”

About the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA): SEFA is a multi-donor facility to support the sustainable energy agenda in Africa, operating through three components: (i) grants to facilitate the preparation of medium-scale renewable energy generation and energy efficiency projects (ii) equity investments to bridge the financing gap for small- and medium-scale renewable energy generation projects and; (iii) support to public sector in improving the enabling environment for private investments in sustainable energy. SEFA is endowed with US $60 million from the Governments of Denmark and United States and hosted by the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department of the AfDB.

CTI-PFAN WAFCEF workshop - Accra, Ghana - 25 Mar 2015      CTI PFAN workshop, Accra, Ghana - 25 March 2015

 

Why Impact Investments will ensure a brighter future for Africa

Identifying the worlds most pressing issues can be a challenge. At GCP Solar we focus on providing safe and sustainable light solutions to the 400 million people living in Africa without light. The Head of Impact Investing Initiatives at the World Economic Forum (May 2014), Abigail Noble discussed the challenges of impact investments. Currently the average private equity deal is around US$36m and the average investment impact deal is around US$2m. For private equity firms to fully engage in impact investing it costs more to do. There is the bottom line measuring their fiscal performance financial profit, and then the second bottom line measuring the performance in the terms of positive social impact. Moreover, as the size of the deal is smaller, more consideration is needed in the terms of fee structures and due diligence.

Should impact investors anticipate market returns? Yes – a range of returns can be expected such as patient capital, whereby an investor will be willing to make a financial investment in a business with no expectation of turning a quick profit, substantial rewards will come further down the road. The Acumen Fund, a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of poverty, are cautious about stating that they’re opting for the long-view, some investors only make 0-1% returns. Impact private equity firms like LeapFrog make +20% quartile of returns. Leapfrog invests for the NextBillion, investing in high-growth companies in Africa and Asia, as well as delivering financial services to emerging consumers. These investors need to consider their priorities in the terms of social impact and legacy; are there equity needs in the short-term? Or can a longer perspective be taken?

One could then argue that if impact investments focus more on financial returns, could less profitable investments with strong social impacts be left behind? Noble argues that there is a risk. Given positive selection bias impact investment deals that target the highest returns will receive the most capital and the most effective investors in juxtaposition with those with lower returns. Noble describes how philanthropic capital and development is integral, once investors start to realise that targeting social and environmental returns can actually boost and make more long-run, stable, financial returns. For example, when looking at climate change, the Arab Spring, social unrest, youth unemployment or social inclusion, these can all affect the financial market. By the by, the more stability in social or political institutions, the better the business climate. Noble indicates that the “real way” to create a stable market economy would be to focus on social and financial returns in the long-run. GCP and GCP Solar’s basic focus towards Africa and African investments identifies that investments are long-term opportunities as well as a socially responsible and ethical investments.

GCP Solar’s Pilot Project in Tamale, Northern Ghana

In conjunction with Just Shea, GCP Solar distributed 384 solar lanterns to two off-grid lighting communities in Northern Ghana. These are rural areas with no current access to safe light or electricity.

GCP Solar is a distributor of the market leading Nokero® suite of solar products, such as hand-held solar lights and mobile phone chargers. A majority of the population currently use candles or kerosene to produce  light, these can have detrimental affects to their health as well as the environment.

Sidney Yankson (CEO, GCP Solar) ran one-to-one or group sessions teaching the Shea women, with an interpreter, about how to use their purchased solar lanterns. The solar lanterns were a part of their safety kit provided by Just Shea. After returning at nightfall, the feedback was already highly positive. Not only does this provide a safer and sustainable solution to bad lighting, the women actually saved extra money through buying the product. Many of them were pleased that their children could now do their homework after sundown.

The shea women collect shea nuts in remote areas in Northern Ghana. Shea butter is a popular type of moisturiser exported all over the world. 1 million women a year get bitten by snakes when picking the nuts, however now, thanks to their safety kit and solar lanterns, this figure may now be curbed. The Government of Ghana is hoping for 5GW of total power in the country in the years to come. Furthermore, they anticipate that a high proportion of this will come from renewable energy sources.

Bloomberg Philanthropies $5m impact investment into Little Sun, creators of solar-powered lamps

The former New York Mayor, Mike Bloomberg announced Bloomberg Philanthropies would make its first ever impact investment of $US5m into Little Sun, creators of solar lanterns in the off-grid lighting population in Africa. The ‘Little Sun’, is a solar-powered LED lamp developed by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson and created by engineer Frederik Ottesen, it provides safe and affordable light and hopes to replace kerosene as the favoured light source in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The impact investment will be by way of a low interest loan to enable Little Sun to expand its efforts to distribute its portable solar-powered lamps.

The Little Sun is an artistic looking light, the flower-shaped lamp that includes a 6cm by 6cm single cell mono-crystalline solar module, and when utilized in substitution to kerosene lights it also helps keep the environment safer.

Kerosene is not only expensive, costing about 20% of the average person’s income to maintain, but also demonstrated to have highly negative affects to users health and the environment. Incidentally, inhaling four hours worth of kerosene fumes is equivalent to smoking forty cigarettes.

The Little Sun lamp is currently available to be purchased in Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal, South Africa and Zimbabwe. 

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving.

To read more about little sun please press here, or Bloomberg Philanthropies press here.

PV solar start-up opens in Durban

Durban is now home to the first locally owned photovoltaic (PV) solar panel manufacturing plant in South Africa and the most advanced facility of its kind in Africa.

Click here for further details.