Solar Power Incubator Program for Africa Launched

Solar Power Incubator Program to Boost Energy Supply (GBNA)

Cote d’Ivoire – Dubai based Phanes Group, an integrated end-to-end solar provider, has launched its first solar power incubator program, aimed at identifying solar PV projects with potential in sub-Saharan Africa by providing access to funding, and commercial and technical knowledge.

Phanes is running the program, called ‘The PV Solar Incubator, Your Project, Our Expertise, For a Sustainable Future,’ in partnership with Hogan Lovells, Proparco, responsAbility, RINA Consulting and Solarplaza.

The program is inviting soalr PV developers to submit proposals for projects that are based in sub-Saharan Africa, and have a clear CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) component.

The deadline for candidates to submit their proposals is October 1, 2017, and they can do so via Phanes Group’s website.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to pitch their projects to a panel of experts drawn from the incubator’s partner organizations during Solarplaza’s “Unlocking Solar Capital Africa” conference to be held in Côte d’Ivoire between 25 and 26 October 2017.

The conference will showcase the solar PV industry’s biggest players discussing extensively about solutions for Africa’s solar energy funding gap.

The solar power incubator program comes as part of Phanes Group’s core strategy to collaborate with Africa-focused counterparts, such as local project owners, governments, and developers on projects that seek to create a sustainable future for urban and rural communities across the sub-Saharan region.

“Clean energy has the potential to transform sub-Saharan Africa for years to come, but successfully implemented PV solar projects require a diverse mix of expertise and knowledge to bring them to financial close,” said Martin Haupts, CEO, Phanes Group. “We believe the Phanes Group Solar Incubator -in collaboration with our partners- will leverage untapped local PV potential, and create more opportunities for local projects. Combined with our strengths in developing bankable solutions for clean, affordable energy and efforts in CSR, the incubator initiative can help to address local needs that haven’t yet been met.”

Christopher Cross of law firm Hogan Lovells, who will be part of the evaluation panel at the event said, “We are both honoured and excited to be invited to take part in an on-the-ground initiative such as this. The Solar Incubator seeks to foster both local innovation and investment to bring potential opportunities to fruition for the social and economic benefit of the region and its people.”

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which works to ensure global access to reliable, affordable and clean energy, there are currently more than 620 million people in sub-Saharan Africa living without electricity.

Phanes Group, along with its partners, will provide solar PV developers with access to a reliable partner that will support them in reaching bankability.

This will ensure developers get support, not just in the funding phase, but throughout the project development and delivery phases, to ensure important, CSR-focused projects are brought to financial close.

Joseph Nganga, Executive Director, responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding, another participating partner, said, “We aim to finance ideas with growth potential and strong entrepreneurial spirit, that successfully serve broad segments of the population. This is why we are excited to be collaborating with Phanes Group on this incubator, and looking forward to our continued partnership with the solar sector in sub-Saharan Africa going forward.”

Developers of winning project(s) will be invited to join Phanes Group for an intensive 4-day workshop at its headquarters in Dubai, UAE, to help them lay foundations for delivering a bankable and sustainable project.

“RINA Consulting is keen to assist Phanes Group in this ingenious initiative to unlock solar potential on the continent. We look forward to helping projects find their way to implementation in this challenging but exciting market” said Lee Smith, Project Manager for Africa, RINA Consulting.

Also remarking on the solar power incubator program, Edwin Koot of Solarplaza said, “As dreamers of a future where everybody can have access to electricity for a fair price, initiatives focused on long-term success like the Phanes Group’s Solar Incubator are always dear to our hearts.”

“Renewable energy infrastructure projects result in myriad benefits. We wish participants the best in bringing forth this ripple effect to their communities, and look forward to meeting them at the “Unlocking Solar Capital Africa” conference this October,” Edwin Koot also added.