Announcing new investments into off-grid energy markets

A new wave of investments has recently been approved as part of our five-year combined $42 million partnership with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Power Africa, helping to scale enterprises with the potential to significantly increase access to affordable renewable energy for off-grid households in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Scaling Off Grid Energy Markets (SEAM) partnership aims to improve the lives of 25 million people through five million energy connections by 2021.

The new investments support technology innovation, de-risk market entry into countries considered high risk/high potential, and help to reduce the barriers to acceleration of energy access, including access to finance and regulation. 

Investments support private sector enterprises and market enablers that accelerate the number of people with connections to sustainable and affordable energy, with matched funding helping with specific initiatives:

The Global Off-Grid Lighting Association 
$1.1m funding, with matching contributions by SF and The UK Department for International Development (DFID) 
Continuing to support GOGLA in its three key activities: Strengthening the business and policy environment in which its 100+ members operate; attracting investment into the sector by providing market intelligence and bringing together investors and industry at events; promoting universal regulations that protect the quality of products and promotes business innovation. 


$500,000 funding, adding to existing $250,000 commitment from SF
Funding research and development that will see SparkMeter help operators to manage grid performance using advanced data monitoring and remote communications and control software, and provide a more reliable and consistent energy supply to 50,000 new households.

Calvert Foundation
$1m funding, matching contributions by SF and DFID
Providing leverage collateral to Calvert Foundation that can be used to attract long term local currency debt in the region of $45m for social enterprises working in the energy sector in order to accelerate their scale and impact.
$100,000 funding, matching contributions by SF and DFID
Supporting BBOXX to expand its PAYG solar home system business into the Democratic Republic of Congo, where 63 million people do not have access to energy, making it one of the world’s least electrified countries. 

$1.5m funding
Enabling d.light to scale-up its solar home system business in Ethiopia and enter Sierra Leone as an additional geography via a licensing model, aiming to provide energy access to 650,000 people within the next two years, and impact more than 3 million people over the next five years.  

SEAM is being managed as part of a wider collaboration between SF, DFID, the African Development Bank, USAID and Power Africa, called “Scaling Off-Grid Energy: A Grand Challenge for Development”. The challenge has just released its one year performance review.


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