The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) is opening the pre-qualification stage for its second Call for Proposals (BGFA2) today with the aim to accelerate the provision of off-grid energy services in Mozambique. BGFA2 invites interested energy service providers (ESPs) to compete for results-based financing under a funding window geared specifically towards developers of micro-grid solutions in Mozambique.
Successful applicants are invited to deploy innovative technology and strong business models to supply energy services tailored to customer needs and ability to pay. Interested ESPs are now invited to register for the online application tool, available on BGFA’s website: www.beyondthegrid.africa/register/ and submit their applications at the latest by 29 March 2021.
The BGFA Country Programme for Mozambique, the related Funding Window and this specific Funding Lot have been designed in close cooperation with the Mozambican Energy Fund (FUNAE), which has contributed substantially to off-grid energy access over the last 20 years. The roll-out is expected to be implemented under a pilot licensing framework focusing on the provision of off-grid energy services within specified energy service areas. The energy services are to be implemented during a four-year period with total funding of EUR 6.7 million provided by the Swedish government.
Ash Sharma, Head of BGFA stated: “We are pleased to announce our Call for Proposals in Mozambique, to support private sector operators in addressing this nascent segment. Our focus on mini-grids recognises the important role that such decentralised systems can play in providing clean electricity to rural communities and businesses, supporting both households and local economic development.”
BGFA was set up by NEFCO in 2019 on the initiative of the Swedish Government with the goal of incentivising the private energy sector to provide sustainable, affordable, clean and high-quality energy services to underserved people in off-grid rural areas of Sub-Saharan African countries. BGFA is now a EUR 77 million multi-donor facility which builds on the award-winning initial pilot programme in Zambia, the Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia (BGFZ) established in 2016.
BGFA’s first Call for Proposals (BGFA1) targeted at Burkina Faso, Liberia and Zambia was launched in autumn 2020, and the shortlisted companies from this call are currently in the second stage of the application process. BGFA1 has confirmed there is a strong interest in this type of results-based funding. A third call for proposals for Uganda is currently being prepared and is expected to be launched in May/June 2021.
A two-stage application process
The BGFA2 application process is divided into two stages: a Pre-Qualification stage and a Final Application stage. The purpose of the Pre-Qualification stage is to check whether interested off-grid energy companies meet BGFA2 key eligibility criteria and minimum technical and financial capacity requirements.
During the Pre-Qualification stage, applicants are only asked to submit a limited amount of information and documentation to reduce their time and cost to prepare the application. Only applicants that pass the Pre-Qualification stage will be invited to take part in the Final Application stage. During the Final Application stage, applicants will be required to submit a full project proposal, including a detailed business plan, financial model(s) and comprehensive supporting documentation.
The Pre-Qualification stage is open for applications through the SmartME intake system. The application forms in the system will open at 16:00 Helsinki time (UTC +3) on 8 February 2021. The intake system will close on 29 March 2021 for submissions of Pre-Qualification applications. The Pre-Qualification stage, including a review of applications, is expected to be completed by the end of August 2021.
Applicants are requested to send any questions regarding the call and application process through the SmartME intake system at the latest by 1 March 2021. Answers will be published in a generic form and made available to all registered applicants in the SmartME intake system on 10 March 2021.
The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa is a facility established and managed by the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO). NEFCO is an international financial institution focused on environmental and climate investments. BGFA is designed and implemented in partnership with the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an international multilateral partnership based in Vienna, Austria, working to accelerate market-based deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries.
The facility is funded by Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and Swedish embassies in the target countries. Power Africa, an initiative administered by USAID, is providing an in-kind technical assistance contribution worth approx. EUR 4 million (USD 4.5 million) over three years in order to help operationalise the initiative and develop a pipeline of commercially viable projects within the framework of BGFA. Denmark, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, joined the BGFA programme in December 2020 with DKK 37.5 million (EUR 5 million) to support a planned expansion to Uganda. Germany, through its development bank KfW, will join the BGFA1 country programme for Zambia (pending final approval), with a focus on mini-grids. The facility remains open to donors as a cost-effective tool to finance future Calls for Proposals through existing or new country windows and bring access to clean energy to millions of rural Africans.
BGFA supports, in particular, the objective of Sustainable Development Goal number 7, which aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, modern energy for all by 2030, as well as the Paris Agreement on climate change and host country priorities.
For further information
Ash Sharma, Head of BGFA, NEFCO
Ash.email@example.com, M: +358 50 471 2850
Lia Oker-Blom, Communications Officer, NEFCO
firstname.lastname@example.org, M: +358 50 325 6610
Erin Stewart, Communications and Marketing Manager, REEEP
email@example.com, T: +43 1 26026 3643
Photo: Jason Mulikita