Bringing small and medium sized hydropower projects to bankability in Africa

Bringing small and medium sized hydropower projects to bankability in Africa
Introduction

Africa’s hydropower potential remains mostly untapped. Small and medium sized projects (few MW to a few dozen MW), in particular, are still underdeveloped even when they would contribute to much of the decentralised socio-economic development needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There is a growing appetite from some of the largest investors for infrastructure projects that provide clean energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating employment opportunities and improving overall air quality. Yet, if experts agree there is no shortage of globally available capitals for such projects in emerging countries, a number of factors still hold back investments. Among these factors, bankability or rather the lack of bankable projects is often mentioned as one of the key challenges.

The interest of the Energy Project Facilitator (EPF) lies precisely in the fact that it helps bring promising renewable energy, including hydropower, projects to bankability. Set up in 2017 by R20, BG and Alpiq, the EPF is an innovative financial mechanism that enables project developers and local authorities in Africa to perform the feasibility studies required by investors.

This paper was published in the framework of the AFRICA 2019 conference, held in Namibia from April 2 to 4, 2019 and featured in the Issue 3 of Hydropower & Dam, 2019.

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