responsAbility joined COP 23 side event on “De-risking Renewable Investments in Africa”

responsAbility contributed its expertise to a panel on the main barriers to the deployment of renewable energy in Africa and access to affordable financing at COP 23, the UN Climate Change Conference that was held in Bonn, Germany, in November 2017. The panel was part of the side event “NDC Implementation and Renewable Energy in Africa: De-risking Renewable Investments for Productive Uses” organised by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.

Joseph Nganga, Executive Director of responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding Company, reports about his takeaways from the debate that focused on the role of climate finance in the deployment of clean, decentralised energy generation and the strengthening of local financial institutions.

What were the hot topics on the panel?

The main topics debated included the need for more early-stage project development capital and financing solutions to help overcome the bottleneck of bankable renewable energy projects in Africa. For example, we discussed such solutions as facilities that guarantee payments from offtakers and the privatisation of utilities.

How can responsAbility help to tackle the most pressing issues?

responsAbility plays a key role in addressing the need for early-stage project development equity. By working with local developers, responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding Company ensures that projects are bankable. And with the Global Climate Partnership Fund, responsAbility provides local-currency debt financing for renewable energy investments through local banks.

What is your key takeaway from the panel?

I was particularly impressed by the commitment of the German government to help solve the electrification problem in Africa. Specifically, the German Environment Ministry engages with private sector players like responsAbility to understand how public money can be used to overcome bottlenecks such as the limited bankability of offtakers, deficient transmission and distribution infrastructure and an inconsistent/unclear regulatory framework for renewable energy investments.

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