The Energy and Environment Partnership Programme with Southern and East Africa (EEP-S&EA), with a budget of €10-million, has made its first call for proposals from companies, research institutions and other public and private sector institutions, seeking financial assistance for renewable energy projects.
The EEP-S&EA is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, which has contributed €8,5-million, and the Austrian Development Agency, which has contributed €1,5-million, and is also open to funding from other sources.
It is hosted by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and aims at addressing barriers that hinder the promotion of renewable energy technologies, as well as promoting the more efficient use of traditional energy sources, and the adoption of innovative business models for the provision of energy services, in the region.
Projects located in South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya, were invited to submit project proposals for consideration.
The EEP-S&EA said that the programme would not give priority to any specific renewable energy technology, and would support options including solar thermal and photovoltaic systems, small hydropower plants (an installed capacity of less than 15 MW), wind power, geothermal energy, biofuels and the use of other modern bioenergy sources.
In achieving its objectives, the programme had three specific ‘results' areas, namely: to enhance market understanding, institutional support and knowledge management; to provide project and business development assistance for renewable energy; and to provide reliable and affordable solutions for renewable energy.
To this end, the EEP-S&EA would conduct seminars and workshops for training and capacity building to disseminate the concept of energy services and innovative business models that have been proven in the urban and rural context, as well as facilitate access to databases of estimated market sizes.
EEP-S&EA would also act as an intermediary organisation by financing project prefeasibility and feasibility studies to support project and business developers to search for further finance for project implementation.
The programme would also finance the implementation of national or regional pilot and demonstration projects.
Based on the experience gained from the design and execution of the EEP in Central America, the EEP-S&EA would support demand-driven energy solutions and activities tailored to the context of the country-specific energy system.
The project hoped to significantly reduce barriers that constrain the development and application of modern energy and clean technologies since the project design provides scope for local participation and human resource development.
Promoted solutions would have to be sustainable in an economic, social and environmental view.
The maximum amount available to a single project from the programme fund was €200 000, and would be available over a three-year period. The DBSA hoped to open a second call for proposals in October 2010.
Unlike the Renewable Energy Market Transformation project, which also offered assistance through the DBSA, the EEP-S&EA did not require a matching grant requirement, or a dollar-for-dollar match contribution from the project developer.
The deadline for proposal submissions was April 14.