The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved a significant equity allocation of USD 50 million to REPP 2, a newly established debt fund geared towards catalyzing investments in Sub-Saharan Africa's burgeoning renewable energy sector.
REPP 2, conceived by climate and impact fund manager Camco, is structured as a USD 250 million fund with a dual mission: generating substantial climate, economic, and gender-related impacts while ensuring sustainable returns for its investors.
Recent research has highlighted a pressing issue in Sub-Saharan Africa, where an estimated 590 million people still lack access to electricity. To address this challenge, the International Energy Agency has projected that an annual investment of USD 22 billion is needed to provide reliable energy access across the continent by 2030, in alignment with Sustainable Development Goal 7. Additionally, African nations require approximately USD 2.8 trillion by 2030 to fulfill their Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement.
REPP 2's innovative approach involves blended finance, combining public, private, and commercial funding to support small-scale and decentralized renewable energy projects in Sub-Saharan African countries.
Over the fund's lifespan, it is anticipated that REPP 2 will:
- Facilitate 35-40 investments, contributing to the development of decentralized renewable energy solutions and enhancing the resilience of national grid infrastructure. This will promote economic development, with a particular focus on Least Developed Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Extend access to clean, reliable, and affordable electricity to 7.7 million people across Africa. This access will not only increase economic opportunities but also enable greater access to productive energy uses.
- Mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, reducing approximately 12.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over the lifetime of the projects.
- Allocate USD 70 million to projects aligned with the gender lens investing criteria of 2X.
- Mobilize a substantial USD 786 million in third-party funding, furthering green growth initiatives in the target countries.
REPP 2 signifies an evolution from the earlier USD 120 million REPP facility, which was fully funded by the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO).
This development follows the signing of an indicative term sheet for a junior equity investment of up to USD 50 million from REPP into REPP 2. The combined junior equity investments, totaling up to USD 100 million from the GCF and REPP, are aimed at safeguarding capital while generating appropriate returns for REPP 2's commercial investors.
Ben Hugues, Investment Director at Camco, expressed optimism about this new initiative, which builds on the successes and lessons learned from REPP. It promises to attract substantial commercial investment into Africa's renewable energy sector, thereby supporting the continent's potential for green growth. Hugues emphasized the capacity to deliver sustainable financial returns and multiple developmental, social, and environmental benefits.
Peter Coveliers, REPP Board member and one of the founders of the REPP initiative, underscored the pivotal role of blended finance in enticing private sector funds to back a transition towards clean energy and green growth in Africa. He highlighted REPP 2's potential to unlock significant additional investment capital for climate-related projects on the continent, building on the impressive legacy of achievements set by REPP.