Sweden and NEFCO kick off new initiative on clean cooking financing solutions

Sida, through the Swedish Embassy in Zambia and together with the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO), is now commencing a new initiative, the Scaling of Clean Cooking Solutions programme. The first phase is to carry out detailed scoping in Zambia, looking into ways to test the use of Results-Based Financing (RBF) to incentivise the development and sales of innovative clean cooking solutions at scale. This phase will be followed by a design phase. Sida has allocated a total of SEK 5 million (EUR 480,000) to the programme.

The focus will be on accelerating the use of higher tier clean cooking solutions such as (bio)ethanol / liquid biofuels, biogas, solid sustainable biofuels (e.g. pellets, briquettes), LPG and solar (electric) cooking, and how to make this market reach scale.

Antonia Grönvall, Program Officer at the Swedish Embassy in Zambia states, “The initiative forms an important new contribution to the Swedish Bilateral Development Cooperation in Zambia, which aims to create new and innovative opportunities for Zambians to improve their living conditions. It has already been proven that the use of effective and clean cooking solutions has clear positive impacts on the daily lives of women and children by reducing indoor air pollution, and easing the workload of collecting wood. At the same time, it reduces deforestation and soil degradation. Now, we want to take this to the next level and accelerate the use of better, cleaner and more effective cook-stoves as a part of Swedish efforts to reach Sustainable Development Goal #7 on access to modern, clean and affordable energy for all.”

During the first phase, NEFCO, with the support of a consultant, will carry out a market assessment of the present clean cooking market in urban areas of Zambia, together with an outlook on the situation in Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Existing project economics for each principal technology will be assessed to ensure affordability and overcome financial barriers for customers.

The second phase will include proposals for the detailed design of publicly financed instruments to incentivise the clean cooking sector to offer higher tier cooking solutions whilst mobilising private financing sources. The programme forms part of Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa, a facility also managed by NEFCO and funded by Sweden through Sida.

Ash Sharma, Head of the BGFA and Project Lead for the initiative at NEFCO states “The BGFA seeks to accelerate the creation of sustainable markets for distributed and stand-alone off-grid energy services in rural and peri-urban Africa. The main issue we are trying to address with this initiative is to explore how donors and financial institutions can play a catalytic role in helping project developers in the clean cooking space to get to scale and mobilise additional investments accordingly.”

For further information

Ash Sharma, Head of BGFA, NEFCO
Ash.sharma@nefco.fi, M: +358 50 471 2850

Antonia Grönvall, Program Officer Environment and Climate, Swedish Embassy in Zambia
antonia.gronvall@gov.se, M: +260 971 118 100

Josefin Hoviniemi, VP Communications, NEFCO
josefin.hoviniemi@nefco.fi, P: +358 10 6180 643

About Sida

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) is the Swedish government agency for development cooperation. Sida strives to reduce world poverty by allocating resources and knowledge with the goal of making a difference for people in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. To achieve this, Sida collaborates with actors from civil society and universities as well as the public and private sectors. Sida’s activities are funded through Swedish tax revenue. See also www.sida.se.

About BGFA

The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa facility is established and managed by the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) www.nefco.int/bgfa, an international financial institution focused on environmental and climate investments. The Scaling of Clean Cooking Solutions is a new programme under the BGFA umbrella. A funding round called BGFA1 with the aim to incentivise the scale-up of clean off-grid energy solutions in Burkina Faso, Liberia, Mozambique and Zambia is about to start in autumn 2020. Additionally, work is underway on market scoping for Uganda with a view to launching a similar window there in 2021. BGFA is currently financed by Sweden through Sida and its embassies in target countries, and Power Africa supports the initiative with in-kind contributions. The facility is also open to other like-minded donors. Read more at www.beyondthegrid.africa.

Photo: Jason Mulikita

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