EBRD to fund US$250mn in renewable energy projects in North Africa

renewables na unsplash pixabayThe European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), along with two partners, will offer US$250mn in debt and equity funding for a private firm’s renewables projects in Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan

The Climate Investment Funds’ Clean Technology Fund (CTF) will provide up to US$35mn for the programme and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) will bring up to a further US$15mn, the EBRD noted. The Union for Mediterranean will act as a policy dialogue partner.

EBRD announced the financing programme this week, saying the first project to be backed by it would most likely be the 120MW Khalladi wind farm near Tangiers in Morocco.

“For the first time in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region the private sector is now able to produce and sell clean renewable energy on a commercial basis competing head to head with gas and oil-fired generation,” said Nandita Parshad, director for power and energy utilities at EBRD.

The majority of projects built under this framework will be onshore wind and solar photovoltaic with the remainder a mix of small hydroelectric and perhaps some biomass, Parshad added.

The bank expects that the funding will support several new business models, from direct agreements between large renewable energy developers and corporate consumers, such as cement firms and hotel groups, to small-scale generation in communities.

In Tunisia, direct sales to state-owned single buyer STEG are also eligible for financing.

Morocco passed a renewable energy law in 2010 allowing large industrial consumers to procure power directly from the generators. The EBRD will be working with the governments in Jordan, Egypt and Tunisia to enact similar reforms.

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