USAID offers $4m to off-grid solar startups in sub-Saharan Africa

USAID revealed it will finance a $4 million funding initiative focused on helping 8 innovative solar firms across sub-Saharan Africa. It will donate $500,000 to each household solar start-up in the region which can prove a 2:1 private investor match, for example to demonstrate they have collected $1 million from private sector investors.

This is a unit of the USAID’s Scaling Off-Grid Energy: A Grand Challenge for Development, which is a global cooperation between the U.S. Agency for International Development, Power Africa, the U.K. Department for International Development, and the Shell Foundation. The fund is meant to help innovators who are extending their inventions. These firms are transforming household solar power across Africa. The Enterprise Awards are supposed to bring up to 120,000 new connections in off-grid communities.

Renewable energy sources are waiting for investors – during the last few years, they have become more reasonably prices, effective and realizable for industry to conduct. Investments and help from USAID and other like-minded public/private collaborations have enabled development and fast emergence of off-grid and mobile pay-go household solar energy service providers and fast growth of an aiding commercial environment.

To be more detailed, USAID wants to intone collaborations and help fund: solar home system producers and distributors; service providers and technical integration providers supporting the household solar market to develop; financial intermediaries and other service providers which raise access to financing for the household solar market; peculiar investment structures; advanced end-user payment solutions. What is more, favoritism will be granted to locally owned and handled companies, and also to those owned and handled by females. Firms, which deliver pico-solar solutions (solar lanterns, and mini- or microgrids) are not entitled. Concept documents will be admitted between February and April 2017.

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