As 2,000 of the world’s most bankable investors in Africa and emerging markets around the world gather in London for the 18th Africa Energy Forum and Growing Economies Energy Forum, EnergyNet launches the ‘Off The Grid Club’ with backing from the UN Foundation and the Electrification Financing Initiative, to accelerate market ready micro-grid and off grid technologies across the continent.
The Off the Grid Club is a new membership programme developed to bring together credible off grid technology providers, financiers and regional leaders to invest in and accelerate the development of reliable and scalable power solutions for Africa. Members will be given a platform and branding at EnergyNet conferences to show case their products and network with potential investors.
EnergyNet’s Simon Gosling commented, “In emerging markets where economies are growing at a rapid pace, the fact that market ready technologies are not reaching millions of people disconnected from the grid is a major concern. I’m delighted some of the world’s most powerful investors will finance innovative technology companies that are struggling to get to a point where they can say ‘see- it works!’
EnergyNet is using conference sponsorship fees to invest into the ‘Not Just Talking Fund for Energy Access’ which selected members of the initiative will have access to. Gosling noted, “The fund is ideally positioned to do what commercial funders cannot – finance ‘proof of concept’ commercial and sustainable projects of up to £50,000. The simple fact that we’re investing sponsorship money and drawing on our partners’ knowledge to help entrepreneurs succeed is incredibly dynamic, and we fully encourage other conference companies to follow.”
An existing member of the Club ElectriFI commented, “ElectriFI aims to support investments that have potential to add to new and improved connections in a financially sustainable way, but cannot be financed yet by commercial or development banks. We are eager to show what we can offer, and even more eager to learn from actors in the off-grid space. “
Founding Members of the Club, who will also invest into the Not Just Talking Fund and advise members on product launches, include Shake Your Power, PowerTurtle and Solektra International, the company that launched the Akon Lighting Africa Initiative.
EnergyNet first utilised the ‘Not Just Talking Fund’ in South Africa with an initial investment in Ugesi
Gold’s PowerTurtle solar project, which employed technology with the potential to be rolled out to around 400 schools across Gauteng Province.