Supporting sustainable and clean energy projects in remote rural areas
EDP is launching today an energy access fund that will allocate about €500,000 per year to renewable energy projects that will promote the environmental, social and economic development of rural communities in developing countries. Applications for the first edition are open from October 22 to November 25. The fund is aimed at organizations from all over the world, both profit and non-profit, which seek to develop projects in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi.
This initiative is part of EDP’s new energy access strategy (A2E), launched earlier this year, and reaffirms the Group’s commitment to sustainability while prioritizing the mitigation of electric exclusion, which still affects over 1 billion people.
In addition to the creation of this fund, EDP’s new A2E strategy includes a €12 million investment over the next three years for the acquisition of companies with sustainable energy access solutions. The first step in this direction has been taken in October with the purchase of a stake in SolarWorks!, a company that sells decentralized solar energy solutions in Mozambique. The choice of the four countries covered by the first edition of the EDP fund was determined by the strategy set out this year, which prioritizes investments in East Africa due to the region’s greater political stability and dynamic economic development.
Recently, the Group has also deepened its commitment to the A2E area by acquiring a stake in SOLshare, a startup operating in Bangladesh which is developing a new solution that will simplify the creation and management of electric microgrids in order to bring solar energy to areas without electricity access, in an affordable and sustainable way. The stake was purchased through EDP Ventures, EDP’s investment tool for innovation.
“Access to energy must be a concern and priority for all of us. As part of our energy access strategy, iniciated in 2009, which aims to benefit more than 200,000 people over the next three years, we have launched an investment fund for renewable solution projects with a relevant impact in developing countries”, says EDP Group CEO António Mexia.
The fund will focus on five areas in which energy plays a crucial role: education, health, water and agriculture, businesses, and community. The projects will be selected according to criteria such as: social impact, partnerships, sustainability, scalability, and the number of beneficiaries. The funding for each project ranges from €25,000 to €100,000.
The project selection process will be concluded on December 21. The allocation of funds will be formalized in January, and all projects must be implemented over the next year.