African Development Bank’s SEFA approves $5 million in grants to set up super energy service companies in three countries
By Ologunaye Johnson Sola
The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) of the African Development Bank has approved a technical assistance grant of $5.03 million to implement the Africa Super Energy Service Companies (ESCO) acceleration program in Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa.
SEFA is a bank-managed multi-donor special fund that works to unlock private sector investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Super ESCOs are vehicles that channel funds into public sector energy efficiency investments such as hospitals, schools, and street lighting, paving the way for private investment. The acceleration program catalyzes private sector investments in energy efficiency by operationalizing Super ESCOs, thus stimulating the transition toward more sustainable and greener economies.
The grant will support the training of a team to operate Super ESCOs and support private ESCOs in the three countries to develop their Energy Performance Contract services. Private ESCOs provide services to energy users to design and implement energy efficiency options. The funding will also underwrite the development of harmonized regional certification schemes for ESCOs and energy service professionals, including energy auditors, managers, and energy savings measurement and verification professionals.
“This innovative program will enable Senegal to establish its Super ESCO and boost the energy efficiency market for increased energy performance in the public and private sectors,” said Mr. Saer Diop, Director-General of Senegal’s Agence pour l’Economie et la Maîtrise de l4Energie (AEME), which promotes energy efficiency.
Mohamed Chérif, African Development Bank Senegal Country Manager, said: “Super ESCOs are an efficient tool that governments can draw on to leverage private sector resources to improve the energy efficiency of public facilities and other key energy-consuming sectors. I am pleased that Senegal will be one of the first countries to benefit from the Africa Super Energy Service Companies Acceleration Program.”
The acceleration program is paving the way for a successful implementation of downstream energy efficiency investment programs in which the African Development Bank, the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa, and other stakeholders will invest.