The Rockefeller Foundation (RF) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have teamed up to de-risk and mobilise up to USD 2 billion (EUR 1.65bn) of private sector investment in distributed renewable energy in emerging markets.
RF will contribute up to USD 150 million of catalytic capital to be deployed in blended finance with the aim of unlocking private investment.
Announcing the partnership today, RF and IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, said they will initially prioritise countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where 70% of households are not electrified.
The partners will start with the rapid deployment of USD 30 million in blended concessional finance and grant capital towards an active pipeline of projects developed by IFC. These include IFC's prototype scaling mini-grid programme, as well as distributed renewable energy generation, battery energy storage and other innovative clean energy technologies.
"Investing in renewable energy infrastructure in communities that have not had access to reliable power will ensure that the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis is both green and equitable," said Rockefeller Foundation president Rajiv Shah.
The announcement cites data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), according to which the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt progress on energy access, with the number of people lacking electricity in Africa rising by 13 million to more than 590 million in 2020 from the previous year.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.825)
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