The ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) has said it would accept submissions for its third annual West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF) business competition until December 12, 2016.
A statement from ECREEE indicated that up to 10 winners will be selected to present their business plans to investors, industry specialists and business executives interested in funding clean energy in November 2017 when the competition would have finally drawn down.
These private sector judges, according to ECREEE would finally select the top three projects to receive the West African Clean Energy Financing awards.
Renewable projects needing up to $1 million initial capital funding are however eligible to put in their proposals.
“During ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Week held in Accra, Ghana (17-19 October), the Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN) launched its third annual West Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (WAFCEF) business competition.
“The competition is open to all businesses and entrepreneurs operating and registered in any of the ECOWAS countries as well as foreign individuals and entities with projects in those countries,” said the ECREEE statement.
In addition to ECREEE’s backing, the statement further disclosed that the competition has support from the President Barack Obama-backed Power Africa, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN), the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA).
It stated: “Only clean energy proposals requiring an initial capital investment in excess of US$1million are eligible.
“Shortlisted projects will attend a project development and financing workshop and will receive free individual professional mentoring to further develop their business plans. Submissions are due Monday, 12th December 2016.”
“During the final event that will take place in November 2017, up to ten winners will present their business plans to investors, industry specialists and business executives interested in funding clean energy. These private sector judges select the top three projects to receive West African Clean Energy Financing awards,” it added.
Accordingly, the first edition of the WAFCEF was held in 2013 and Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Fundamentals – Green Energy and Biofuels (SMEFUNDS GEB), a Nigerian start-up and the first cooking fuel production facility to produce bio-ethanol gel cooking fuel from waste products emerged winner, getting a SEFA grant of US $580,000 to support advisory and technical studies for business expansion.
Also, the second WAFCEF competition in 2015 had Ivoire Hydro Energy, a project developer in Côte d’Ivoire as winner, proposing the design, construction and operation of a 44 megawatt hydropower plant on the country’s Bandama River.