Africa-focused infrastructure investment company, Harith General Partners, and African power developer, Anergi Group, have partnered to establish the Pan-African Renewable Energy Fund (PAREF) – a $300 million fund that seeks to invest in renewable energy and energy access projects in Africa.
In an announcement this week, the two companies said the fund will be key to bridging the energy access gap across the continent, will help contribute to Africa’s energy transition and help accelerate Africa’s move to low-carbon economies in a socially responsible manner.
“PAREF is an important and urgent response to climate change – by accelerating Africa’s race to net zero, transitioning to a low carbon future and connecting millions of Africans to sustainable, green energy. Of the 770 million people without access to electricity, 75% live in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Harith CEO, Sipho Makhubela.
“Coal, oil and biomass continue to play a significant part in Africa’s energy supply chain and the continent remains extremely vulnerable to climate change. PAREF will aim to take Africa’s energy supply into the 21st century to enable the transition to a low-carbon future,” Makhubela added.
Estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA) show that closing the energy access gap in sub-Saharan African countries will require an estimated annual investment of $28 billion from now until 2030, including $13 billion for mini-grids; $7.5 billion for grid investments and $6.5 billion for off-grid investments.
Fund to focus on less carbon intensive investment options
According to Harith and Anergy, PAREF will invest in renewable energy projects on the continent through innovative development and financing mechanisms targeted at greenfield and brownfield projects. The fund will also aim to convert high carbon-emitting sources of power supply to less carbon-intensive options, and will accelerate the adoption of value-enhancing power production and storage technologies.
The fund will build on the strong track record established by Anergi, a Harith-backed energy investment vehicle, in developing, financing and executing some of the largest independent power projects in Africa. Anergi’s portfolio comprises five operating assets and a total installed renewable and thermal capacity of 1 413MW, supplying up to 23 million customers across Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
““The objective of the Fund is fully in line with Anergi’s strategy and mandate to be a key player in the implementation of the energy transition across Africa. We are fully committed to utilising our project development experience, expertise and resources to convert our pipeline of renewable opportunities into operational assets that provide secure, affordable and lower carbon sources of power supply to individuals and industries across the African continent.,” said Anergi Group Acting CEO, Neil Hopkins.
“Our commitment to accelerate the energy transition across Africa is complementary to and equally matched by Harith. We are pleased to be able to work with Harith on establishing this Fund, which unlocks greater synergies, provides value to investors and builds on a long-term partnership between our firms that has been running for over 13 years,” Hopkins concluded.