Call for Expression of Interest for Productive Energy Use action research projects in sub-Saharan Africa

The Powering Opportunities Partnerships (POP) is one of the constituent projects of TEA’s Supporting Clean Energy Partnerships programme. POP aims to demonstrate how the off-grid energy sector can stimulate local jobs and create local economic value in Sub-Saharan Africa, via a challenge fund supporting proposals that demonstrate innovation, partnerships and the potential for scalability and impact.
Application Deadline in 11 days

This program is aimed at demonstrating how the off-grid sector can stimulate local jobs and create local economic value in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Powering Opportunities Partnerships (POP) is one of the constituent projects of TEA’s Supporting Clean Energy Partnerships programme. POP aims to demonstrate how the off-grid energy sector can stimulate local jobs and create local economic value in Sub-Saharan Africa, via a challenge fund supporting proposals that demonstrate innovation, partnerships and the potential for scalability and impact.

Our experience shows that the growth in small business activity which follows new electricity supply into a rural area, can often be disappointing.  This of course impacts the financial attractiveness, and hence scalability, of any investments to provide rural areas with higher levels of power supply. This competition is looking to support well-defined action research and learning projects, which propose novel, viable, replicable and scalable productive use interventions to drive productive energy demand to increase local economic benefit. Gathering and socializing evidence which proves that access to energy results in sustainable local development, value/incomes and job creation is key to catalysing growth in the off-grid energy sector.

A total budget of at least £675,000 has been made available in this round for grants to successful applicants. A minimum of 50% co-funding (either financial or in-kind) is a prerequisite for proposal consideration. This competition seeks to fund 3 to 4 projects. Funding to be requested from TEA-POP for each project should not exceed £300,000. Smaller expressions of interest are welcome.

The program would like to support partnerships in this field. Due to the action research and learning objectives, the proposed project should demonstrate physical activity taking place in local areas, preferably in rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.  

Some examples partnerships could include:

  • A large retail supplier sees the opportunity for increasing quality/reducing wastage by introducing local primary processing capacity, facilitated through the new electricity supply. The retailer forms a partnerships with equipment providers and finance institutions to pilot ways to support its network of small-holder farmers and aggregators to access and use the equipment needed
  • A Solar Home System provider partners with an internet service provider and a manufacturer of low-cost computers to provide affordable rural internet access for on- and off-line educational content for off-grid schools
  • Off grid energy companies coming with franchise-type “business in the box” type models that create and realise value downstream from them  (e.g. community WiFi provision amongst others).

EoI submission Deadline: 28th February 2019.

Source: Carbon Trust

Illustration Photo: Off-grid solar panel systems installed in Africa (credits: Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

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