Nigeria, others eligible to tap from IRENA’s $50m clean energy projects fund

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Nigeria, and about 119 other developing countries will have a fresh opportunity to tap into a $50 million funding pool available to support the building of multiple renewable energy projects to provide clean electricity to people within the beneficiary countries, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has disclosed.

IRENA, on Thursday announced it has opened up the seventh funding cycle of the funding initiative it set up with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD). Nigeria is one of the 159 member countries of IRENA, and so eligible to support projects of clean energy operators to apply for the funding.

It noted that more than 120 developing countries will be eligible to apply in the new cycle to support replicable, scalable and transformative renewable energy projects in them.

It explained that ADFD committed $350 million in concessional loans, over seven annual funding cycles, to renewable energy projects recommended by it, adding that proposals for projects would be accepted by it through November 2018 and February 2019, and from which selected projects would enjoy funding support of between $5 and 15 million covering up to 50% of the total project cost.

How it works

According to IRENA, applicants are first asked to submit an executive project summary between mid-November and mid-February of each annual cycle. The applications are then evaluated by an independent, international panel of experts that shortlist projects based on technical feasibility, economic or financial viability, and socio-economic and environmental impacts.

It added that the proponents of shortlisted projects are then asked to submit full project proposals, including a full economic feasibility study, in May of each annual cycle, after which the advisory committee appointed by IRENA members, assesses the projects to ensure alignment with national development priorities, geographic spread and diversity of technologies.

ADFD, it explained then makes the final selection of projects from IRENA’s recommended list by December of each year, and after this, signs bi-lateral agreements with government officials for the selected projects.

To be shortlisted, IRENA equally noted that projects must be transformative; replicable and scalable; economically feasible; and must also have a positive development impact; improve energy access; address energy security; as well as have government support.

The ADFD sovereign loans, IRENA explained, cover up to 50% of the project costs with the remainder needing co-financing.

It said co-financing can come from any sources including government, development funds and the private sector.

Similarly, IRENA stated that it can share the application with other funds for co-finance projects, if requested, while applicants can also register on the IRENA Sustainable Energy Marketplace to explore co-financing opportunities.

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