Reeep Annual
Report 2022
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Austria-Nepal Renewable Energy Blended Finance Facility

Combining an innovative blended finance instrument with capacity-building activities for renewable energy projects

Nepal is facing an energy crisis of unprecedented proportions. The electricity generation capacity managed by Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is insufficient to meet demand, leading to frequent power outages. Though the government has been highly effective in expanding energy access – from 28% in 2000 to 69% in 2010 and 94% in 2020 – around 1.7 million Nepalis still do not have access to modern energy, and over 73.5% of the population relies on traditional biomass for cooking (as of 2019).

Addressing the energy crisis by accelerating the deployment of modern renewable energy solutions, both on- and off-grid, is a high priority for the Government of Nepal, as the country aims to achieve universal electrification by 2030. Many communities that remain off the grid are in remote, mountainous areas where small-scale clean energy generation is the only viable solution for electrification.

However, the universal access goal cannot be reached with public and donor funding alone, and the government aims to help the energy sector access new sources of financing through a shift from ‘aid to trade’ and from ‘subsidy to credit’.

The Austria-Nepal Renewable Energy Blended Finance Facility, funded by the Austrian Government and implemented by REEEP in cooperation with SNV and NMB Bank Nepal, supports this shift by establishing a blended finance instrument for renewable energy projects and carrying out capacity-building activities. It is working towards:

  1. mainstreaming commercial lending for renewable energy projects in Nepal;
  2. building capacity among key stakeholders at the provincial level for upscaling renewable energy programmes;
  3. accelerating the transition of the Nepalese clean energy market away from being mostly dependent on subsidies, and help establish a market based on credit to enhance the Nepalese government’s access to and use of international technical assistance and finance.


In addition, the project aims to generate co-benefits such as a reduction of GHG emissions and increased productive end use of energy. It will run until December 2023, with the core period of implementation in 2021- 2023.

Krishna Dhakal displays his contract with with a local farmer. She is one of several farmers in the Surkhet area who sells the animal waste to be turned into biogas and fertilizer.

Reaching Karnali

The project’s activities are focused in the province of Karnali Pradesh in north-western Nepal, one of the country’s most remote and least developed regions. In our drive to reach last mile customers and build on our prior work, REEEP is leveraging the experience gained through the implementation of our previous project in Nepal, which provided credit for improved water mills for the productive use of energy.

Market scoping activities and capacity need assessment in Karnali have been completed by SNV, and a pipeline of potentially bankable, ready-to-be-financed projects in the off-grid sector (solar, mini-grid, micro-hydro, biogas) has been established. Different renewable energy technologies and project sizes will be considered to increase the visibility, awareness and showcase the various uses of the credit guarantee mechanism.

The facility, through NMB Bank, will be financing renewable energy projects via wholesale lending to microfinance institutions, direct lending to communities and vendor lending.  To guide them through the process, we have designed an Operational Manual outlining the framework and structure of the credit guarantee facility in an effective and replicable manner, which will be launched later in 2023.

Farm in Surket in the remote province of Karnali, Nepal.

Working closely with the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) and other stakeholders such as MOPID (the energy unit under the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure Development), we are establishing a renewable energy local capacity development facility which has started capacity-building activities for relevant Nepalese provincial government agencies and renewable energy technology providers.

To conclude the project with sharing best practices and learnings, we are currently developing a handbook for mainstreaming commercial lending in renewable energy projects, which will provide the operational framework for commercial lending through NMB Bank and local financial institutions.

Donors and partners

The project is funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) and implemented by REEEP in cooperation with SNV.


Establishing a women’s energy co-operative as an independent energy service provider to thousands of off-grid households in the state of Bihar

The challenge

In 2005, Indian government data showed that almost 90% of households in the state of Bihar were not connected to the conventional grid. Bihar is also the state with one of the greatest numbers of people below the poverty line, where populations in both rural and urban centres were forced to spend a large part of their income on alternative sources of energy like kerosene and diesel generators.

Since then, there has been extensive focus on rural electrification in India. As per the India Residential Energy Consumption Survey (IRES) 2020, as many as 97% of Indian households are electrified, with 96.7% now connected to the grid and another 0.33% relying on off-grid electricity sources. However, 2.4% of Indian households still remain unelectrified. The majority of the unelectrified households are concentrated in rural areas, including Bihar, where 2.2% of households are without electricity (Agrawal, et al., 2020).

As a driving force in this energy transition, SELCO – supported by REEEP in our 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th programmatic cycles between 2006 – 2015 – has become one of India’s best-known social enterprises, seeking to eradicate poverty by promoting sustainable technologies in rural India.

Where Are They Now?


A man installing SELCO solar panels.

Credit: SELCO India

In its last REEEP-funded project – part of REEEP’s 9th Call in 2013 – SELCO began replicating its successful solar lighting model in the Munger district of Bihar in partnership with SEWA Bharat, a local organisation working with rural women. Its aim was to establish a women’s energy co-operative in Bihar which would become the energy service provider. The co-operative incubated the resulting partnership into an actual cooperative that systematically takes up the energy services business, with a long-term plan for servicing the local communities.

Under this project, SELCO installed 400 home systems financed by Bihar Kshetriya Gramin Bank (BKGB) and other banks/microfinance institutions in the area, for end-user financing through some 40 women’s self-help groups (SHG).

SELCO solar panel on a roof top.

Credit: SELCO India

With a large off-grid population and widespread women SHG networks, India has a huge potential to implement the proposed energy co-operative idea in many areas. This programme not only provided energy service to end-users with a local service guarantee but also created income for the participating households.

At the beginning of the project, energy-poor states – including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh – were far from being able to provide reliable energy access to their people due to their poor infrastructure and remote hilly areas. However, the presence of regional/rural banks and strong women SHG networks in these states provided great potential for replication, particularly with the appropriate capacity building. This acted as a base for implementing the proposed model of an energy co-operative providing need-based renewable energy services while generating income for women.

Long-lasting impact

This project catalysed increased deployment of renewable energy solutions, and it was a first step towards addressing the lack of energy service providers with rural networks. It demonstrated the social and commercial angles to the service providers and bankers, encouraging them to participate in creating a powerful energy service network.

This project established a strong value chain of renewable energy service which includes connecting the equipment supply chain, end-user financing, creating man-power required for service maintenance and processes to use various Government schemes including the off-grid component of the National Solar Mission, through the banking network and in partnership with agencies like the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

The programme has now expanded to many energy-poor states across India, including Odisha, Jharkhand and parts of Karnataka. “The small programme that we started with REEEP has led to a snowball effect. “Today, more than 4500 women entrepreneurs and innovators use solar energy, and that is the result of the replication of the programme we started years ago”, says Harish Hande, CEO of SELCO Foundation.


Our Support

REEEP worked together with SELCO to develop innovative financing mechanisms and technologies that better met the needs of the very poor, and in the process, represented potential models for projects in other countries. By 2018, SELCO served more than half a million household and business customers through its network of 45 energy service centres in India. With the funding REEEP proovided, the project was replicated in many states across India. “REEEP has helped SELCO and its affiliates to prove that once you use women as a catalyst, the scaling up and replication can happen faster”, says Harish. “It has led to replication in more than 7 to 8 states, including two states in the South, which would not have happened if that risk-taking resources were not available”.

One of the main challenges SELCO encountered was establishing financing between local bank managers and very poor clients. “Trust needs to be built with each head of a local bank, and that trust emerges when a bank has started to loan to very poor people on recommendation of SELCO, and they really pay back regularly,” says Harish. The risk capital from REEEP has helped SELCO overcome those barriers with the local financial institutions as they were more confident that poor women were going to pay back the loan.

“The hesitations from the bank were removed after we put up guarantees in the banks and used the philanthropic capital of the REEEP programme”, he continued. This has now led to numerous banks across the country, especially in the poorer parts, to finance women, even for less than USD 1000. All in all, Harish explained that the “overall objectives [of the project] were met, and the flexibility of resources enabled us to change some of the programme deliverables over the period of the project timeline”.

“Using the success of this programme, which got replicated in other states [in India], our next goal is to have more than 10,000 women entrepreneurs and innovators by 2026 and 15,000 women and girls, champions of sustainability”, Harish shares.

Two boys sitting under a SELCO solar panel

Credit: SELCO India


Innovative Clean Energy Finance for Cambodian Farmers

A blended finance approach providing affordable loans to Cambodian farmers to purchase clean energy technology

In 2021, Cambodia had an estimated population of 16.6 million people, including 10 million people in rural areas. The country’s agricultural sector, which employs 37% of the Cambodian labour force, is highly dependent on monsoon rains and the annual flooding of the Tonle Sap Lake and therefore extremely vulnerable to climate change as well as dam building projects upstream on the Mekong River. In recent years Cambodian farms have had difficulty competing internationally, partly because grid electricity is expensive, unreliable and not universally accessible.

Clean energy technology offers a reliable and affordable alternative, but the absence of flexible finance instruments for renewable energy technology investments coupled with low levels of end-user knowledge and trust in renewable energy caused low-adoption rates across the country for decades.

The Clean Energy Revolving Fund (CERF) was created by Nexus for Development to tackle this challenge. The innovative financial model began with an initial investment from REEEP with support from the Austrian Government and the Blue Moon Fund. It ran from 2016 to 2019 and offered affordable loans to farmers and small and medium agri-businesses (SMAs) for the purchase of clean energy technologies which increase farmers’ productivity, resilience and regional competitiveness by helping them to manage electricity costs and contribute to climate change mitigation. This in turn reduced CO2 emissions, encouraged an early shift away from fossil fuel-based energy, and increased food processing productivity.

How it worked

CERF’s financing conditions were truly innovative in the Cambodian context, as financial institutions previously only provided SMAs and farmers with expensive and fully collateralized loans (usually with land titles serving as the preferred form of collateral). CERF provided SMAs and farmers with unique and flexible financial terms (whereby both loan tenors and repayment schedules were structured to fit agricultural cycles), accompanied by technical assistance and capacity building. The renewable energy technology was used as collateral, and low financing fees were charged.

This dynamic mechanism allowed the fund to learn, adapt and respond quickly to agricultural market realities, and the results exemplify these successes. CERF borrowers or farmers reported that they would not have made the RE investments without CERF, while technology providers, who had previously struggled to match their offer with a financial product, highlighted CERF’s role as trust brokers with their target clients.

When given access to renewable and affordable energy technologies, CERF SMAs and farmers significantly reduced on farm and agricultural processing costs and improved the resiliency of their businesses. CERF enabled SMAs and farmers to capitalise on energy cost savings by reinvesting this as funding to scale their businesses. As the payback period of RE investments for SMAs and farmers was typically realised within three to five years, businesses could expect to see further growth in the medium and long-term.


The results

Over the three-year project life, CERF provided 15 loans with a value of approximately $250,000. These loans enabled the installation of 85.76 kilowatts of solar energy and produced 115,264 kWh of clean energy, which is equivalent to a reduction of 168 tonnes of CO2e pollution each year.

On average, SMAs saved $3,200 per year by switching to the CERF-financed renewable energy source, making a significant difference in their business. The fund focused on productive use of renewable energy for agriculture (PURE), with most loans used to purchase solar-powered water pumps and small on- and off-grid solar for SMAs growing fruit, vegetables and pepper and livestock farms. CERF loans funded up to 90% of the technology cost, with the remainder co-financed by the investees.

By providing flexible financing terms, CERF encouraged an early shift away from fossil fuel-based energy and increased food processing productivity, helping producers, processors, and distributors to compete in the regional economy.

To share learnings from managing CERF, the project implementation partners produced a handbook which provides background on the history of the design and set-up of CERF, CERF due diligence processes, lessons learnt, case studies, and to objectively review the challenges that were met in managing CERF.

Farmers in a longan farm. Credit: Jeremy Meek for Nexus for Development

Interview with Nexus Development

Michelle Lowery, Communications Manager, Nexus for Development

How did working together with REEEP help the fund succeed?

The fund wouldn’t have been possible without the financial investment and strategic support of REEEP, it allowed us to drive the pilot forward and aid farmers in Cambodia to make the pivot to sustainable, clean energy. REEEP also brought their expertise in advancing market readiness for clean energy solutions in emerging markets to the investment committee, which enabled us to make joint strategic decisions on the most appropriate allocation of funds.

Nexus for Development created the Clean Energy Revolving Fund (CERF), to provide affordable, unsecured loans to small and medium-sized agrifood businesses to enable them to purchase clean energy technologies, primarily solar-powered water pumps and small on- and off-grid solar systems.

Our belief is that the best way to deliver value for the funders and end users is through a blended partnership approach. This approach allows us to address the most pressing needs facing our partners in the field and ensures that investor funds are being directed to where they will deliver the most impact. By working together with Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), the Austrian Government and the Blue Moon Fund we were able to prove this approach is a success.

In your opinion, what were the main strengths of the fund and its benefits for SMEs?

We were able to launch an initiative that was regionally unique, bringing to the clean energy market an innovative concept based on a blended finance approach.

Through our approach, we could offer unsecured loans and flexible repayment terms adapted to the needs of farmers. CERF addressed a financing gap in the market that MFIs and commercial banks did not have an interest in, to support SMAs, who are often without financing alternatives because of limited credit history and/ or collateral.

We also found that the most effective way to connect with SMAs was through technology providers who were able to promote the use of solar technology through user campaigns and demos. However, until CERF the effectiveness of their campaigns was low as they were not able to then provide fit-for-purpose financial solutions. Nexus was able to help facilitate this and act as an intermediary between the technology providers and the SMAs while also looking at viable financial solutions.

How did the fund contribute to advancing Nexus’ overall strategy on providing affordable loans for clean energy in agriculture, and how did it influence the Pioneer Facility?

It’s been a positive circular contribution, the money repaid by SMAs is being fed into the Pioneer Facility so we can support the growth of other businesses working in the clean energy, water or waste management space in Southeast Asia.

From a greater strategic point of view, it allows us to show that this demo approach works in emerging markets. Our strength at Nexus lies within being able to pioneer new things and test these prior to scale, which is vital for us to do as an NGO, we need to prove that things work.

The Pioneer Facility is another pilot fund that blends development financing with foundations and impact investors and thanks to CERF, supported by REEEP, we have demonstrable evidence this works with our target markets and businesses.

Were there any unanticipated positive outcomes?

There are two unanticipated outcomes that really stand out to us. Firstly, the project really allowed us to explore and deepen relationships with technology providers in the clean energy space. Sourcing potential projects in frontier markets such as Cambodia involves many steps and high due diligence costs. As a financial intermediary, Nexus had to take on the additional role of an advisor and trust broker between business and technology providers. This allows us to expand our network for potential future investment opportunities.

The second unanticipated positive outcome is focused on the business owners in Cambodia. Most businesses are not registered entities and have no financial records. This makes it difficult for them to apply for loans with traditional financial institutions or to attract other investments. The due diligence process of applying for a CERF loan prepares these businesses to apply for future loans and build a credit history that can be supported by the documentation they prepared by working with us. We’re proud to be able to help upskill businesses so they can succeed in the next stage of their development.


Find out more about how the fund works, its success, and its impact on local markets, the environment and the farmers’ lives.


Financing Energy Efficient Street Lighting in India

REEEP supported an innovative financing mechanism which reduced the energy consumption of the street lighting network in the cities of Madhya Pradesh.

The project

Street lighting represents a significant proportion of energy consumption in India, and the burden of providing the service falls on the electricity boards of each state. In several municipalities, the electricity consumed is not metered, and this provides no incentive for municipalities to improve efficiency. Furthermore, utilities have to offer street lighting electricity cheaply, resulting in financial losses, which in turn prevent them from investing in a more sustainable lighting system.

Starting in the mid-00s, REEEP worked extensively in India for several years to integrate clean energy into large-scale infrastructure. In 2005, REEEP, together with municipal corporations and the energy service company, Central Discom, supported the development of a sustainable financing mechanism for the implementation of energy-efficient street light projects in the state of Madhya Pradesh as part of REEEP’s third programme cycle in 2005/6.

REEEP set the goal of a 30-40% reduction in energy consumption for street lighting in Madhya Pradesh as a realistic target figure. To achieve this reduction, we aimed to promote the engagement of national and local investors, financial institutions and capital markets in improving energy conservation, and thus cost savings in street lighting within the state.

Similar projects in Indore and Ujjain reaped considerable benefits, and REEEP believed that the most effective way of obtaining investment to achieve these goals was to bundle projects together, providing more attractive investment portfolios with profits shared among investors.

The model used in Indore and Ujjain saw a private energy service company (ESCO) take over the provision and cost of street lighting with considerable efficiency gains. The utility that provided the power and gained from the savings then reimbursed the ESCO for the costs of the project over a period of 27 months. In this case, the contract used between the municipalities, the ESCO and the Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board (MPSEB) (and now in the DISCOMS) was based on a shared savings model.

REEEP’s financing helped Econoler International, a consulting firm based in Canada, to provide support to MPSEB. The project worked with Sehore and Dewas Municipal Corporations as well as central DISCOM to implement, and a tendering process to identify an ESCO was also launched. Econoler International was able to scale up to five cities with an innovative approach for tendering and implementing energy-efficient street lighting projects in cities developed from a previous technical assistance project financed by the Canadian government involving two cities in Madhya Pradesh. The implementation of three projects in the municipalities and the capacity building of the utilities was completed by October 2006.

The project implemented street lighting projects in cities across Madyha Pradesh, with an evaluated cost of € 1,5000,000, and improved energy efficiency of 13.93 GWh per year; in the cities of Bhopal with 5.25 GWh, Jabalpur with 5.27 GWh, Sehore with 1.26 GWh and Dewas with 2.15 GWh.

“Existing lighting systems were often lacking maintenance and several lamps were burned [out], reducing the safety of drivers and pedestrians. New and efficient lighting systems ensured better lighting coverage not only for cars but also for pedestrians, especially women, in their use of the roads roads at night by improving the security and safety in the streets”, says Myriam LeBlanc, Development Director at Econoler.

The project catalysed long-lasting impact which is still lighting up these regions today. It continues to contribute to creating new jobs and opportunities in the energy sector, as more projects will be developed and implemented based on this model and the lessons learned.




Hotel sector energy efficiency in Fiji

This project with the Greenlight Technology Group (GLTG), which was part of REEEP’s 7th funding cycle, aimed to develop a structured marketplace for energy efficiency and renewable energy services and technologies tailored to Fiji’s hotel and resort sector.

Where Are They Now?

The project

In Fiji, where tourism is the largest industry and estimated to account for a quarter of the nation’s economy, there was strong potential at the end of the 2000s for a sectoral approach that coordinated the efforts of all major tourism stakeholders to achieve collective energy savings and reduce costs.

In 2009, REEEP provided funding to an Australian-based clean technology specialist, Greenlight Technology Group, to develop a structured marketplace for energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) services and technologies tailored to Fiji’s hotel and resort sector and to provide instruction on the financing opportunities available under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the time for small-scale energy efficiency projects.


To develop the marketplace, the project created a strategic plan for implementing a range of EE and RE solutions in the Fijian hotel and resort sector and established a local partnership in Fiji to facilitate the project and provide long-term benefits to the community. It also identified key stakeholders and created the Low Carbon Tourism Alliance, a sector-wide alliance of the key players in Fiji’s hotels and resorts sector and local clean technology businesses to widen the uptake of renewable energy.

This resulted in improved awareness of renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions within the hotel and resort sector, and it used CDM as a funding vehicle to subsidise small-scale EE/RE projects.

When GLTG entered Fiji and started building a network, there was a greater demand for a broader project, which they reframed in their initiative with REEEP. Through our intervention, GLTG holistically looked at a low-carbon tourism initiative, which established a broader platform to bring stakeholders in and combine what GLTG was trying to do regarding mobilising finance and technology with support from the government and the tourism sector in the country.

“REEEP gave us the baseline funding to take a risk to a certain extent and trial our model offshore. With that sort of financial support, it enabled us to take a little bit more risk in our approach and be a lot more adaptive”, says Chris Andrew, CEO of Green Light Technology Group.

The partnership with REEEP gave them the confidence that they had the backing of an organisation that was focused on developing the market. ‘’REEEP was supportive of us being exploratory, trialling and erroring and being adaptive to where we were going. It allowed us to step into a market that we hadn’t worked in [Fiji], but we were confident we could work in.”

The project saw success in doing what it ultimately set out to do and in delivering a framework. Regarding the model for low-carbon tourism in Fiji developed by the strategic alliance of key tourism stakeholders, he says, “We had the Ministry of Energy, the Hotel Association, the Minister for Tourism, the Director of Energy, the Reserve Bank and a number of other players sitting at a table discussing clean energy and sustainable energy – I think that model was hugely successful because it brought people with a common goal from different parts of Fiji”.

The project also resulted in unexpected positive outcomes by making certain groups reassess their investments and capacity-building objectives in the Pacific. ‘’REEEP played a key role in catalysing interest in mobilising existing development agencies in the Pacific to think differently, ’’ says Chris.

“REEEP’s invest, learn and share model is a model that is replicable in a lot of other sectors. Here in Australia, it’s easily replicable in not only just the clean energy space but a number of other different initiatives where we need to better mobilise actions to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals”.

An aerial view of Fiji. Credit: Adobe Stock


RETScreen Expert – Decision Intelligence Software Platform

The RETScreen Clean Energy Management Software platform is the world’s leading clean energy decision-making tool, enabling low-carbon planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting.


The RETScreen Clean Energy Management Software platform enables low-carbon planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting. Developed by the Government of Canada in collaboration with government and multilateral organizations, RETScreen Expert, an advanced version of the software, is the world’s leading clean energy decision-making tool. RETScreen Expert incorporates benchmark, feasibility, performance and portfolio analysis for various types of facilities, including commercial, institutional, residential, industrial and power generation, all within one comprehensive platform. By helping to break down barriers to the development of clean energy, RETScreen allows decision-makers and professionals to determine if a proposed clean energy project makes sense and to track facility performance and emission reduction efforts.

As of April 2023, RETScreen is used by more than 800,000 energy, facility and sustainability professionals around the world. The software is available in 38 languages, covering 2/3rds of the world’s population and is used by over 1,400 colleges and universities worldwide.

REEEP’s Support

Over a number of programme cycles, REEEP supported CanmetENERGY throughout the development of RETScreen 4 (9th Call from 2013/15), the RETScreen Performance Analysis module (7th Call from 2009/11) and Benchmark Analysis Tool (8th Call from 2011/13), as well as the creation of RETScreen Clean Energy Legal & Policy Toolkits (6th Call from 2008/10). All of these innovative tools are part of a free clean energy project analysis software suite that helps practitioners and decision makers quickly and inexpensively determine the technical and financial viability of potential renewable energy, energy efficiency and cogeneration projects.

In 2011-2013, REEEP helped develop two new components for RETScreen: a Benchmark Analysis Tool to allow for comparisons of the energy performance of different facilities and energy applications by country, and a Clean Energy Policy Toolkit to aid policy analysis and training. The Benchmark Analysis Tool has become an integral part of project analysis for all types of energy projects and has directly contributed to better quality energy analyses around the world.

The toolkit is currently being used by governments, private firms, manufacturers, and other stakeholders. It has been incorporated in universities, colleges, hospitals, and other institutions in countries such as Canada, United States, France, Ghana, and Mexico to name a few.

Interview with Kevin Bourque

Senior Engineer, RETScreen Software, Energy Efficiency and Technology Sector, Government of Canada

In what way has REEEP’s support helped RETScreen Expert succeed?

REEEP’s support and funding has helped advance many features in the RETScreen software and has helped expand access to the platform globally. For instance, REEEP contributed funding for the development of RETScreen’s Benchmark and Performance Analysis modules, as well as the Clean Energy Policy toolkit. REEEP’s funding was also used for translation, making the software more accessible worldwide.

What are some latest exciting developments and/or updates of the RETScreen Expert?

There have been many additions to the latest update to RETScreen Expert, an advanced version of the software. Version 9 was released in late 2022 and includes many new archetypes, including deep emission reduction, archetypes for water treatment plants, a scaling tool, and an EnergyPlus connector for output results linked directly to the software.

In the Performance Analysis Module, new direct data connectors such as EnergyCAP, Blackstone, Schneider and more have been added. Version 9 now includes an automated energy performance report generator for ISO 50001 and new advanced filtering tools.

In the Portfolio Analysis Module, new automation tools for portfolio creation and management of portfolio-wide feasibility analysis, performance analysis (M&V), GHG reporting, and so on.
Databases throughout the software have been added and updated, including GHG emission factors, cost databases, utility rate databases and more.

These are only some of the many new features incorporated in the latest version of RETScreen Expert. The software is constantly being updated to assure it is the most cutting-edge platform for energy management.

What is the main focus of the RETScreen innovation lab and how did our work help to expand towards that?

The RETScreen Innovation Lab collaborates with government and multilateral organizations such as REEEP to co-fund and develop advanced versions of the RETScreen Clean Energy Management Software platform.

REEEP’s contributions have helped the innovation lab ensure that the RETScreen software is always at the leading edge of the clean energy technology transition, and that we continuously improve our platform to meet the complex needs of our large and rapidly growing global user community.

The innovation lab works to continuously update the platform such that the RETScreen software harnesses advanced algorithms and data to simplify decision making around energy projects, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, cogeneration and transportation.

What are the main benefits of RETScreen Expert to global economic development as well as energy security?

As the world’s leading software for clean energy, RETScreen Expert provides decision-makers with the tools they need to help reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. There has been a rapid uptake by energy, facility and sustainability managers at public and private sector enterprises, who are using RETScreen Expert for portfolio-wide energy management and greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting.

How is the Monitoring, Targeting & Verification Tool for RETScreen software integrated into the current version of RETScreen?

The Monitoring, Targeting & Verification Tool is part of RETScreen’s Performance Analysis Module. This module helps the user monitor, analyze, and report key energy performance data to facility operators, managers and senior decision-makers.

Implementing an energy monitoring, targeting and reporting (MT&R) system can be a powerful way to better manage energy project investments as well as identify additional project opportunities. In addition, the measurement and verification (M&V) of actual savings (or production) achieved by a clean energy project is an important final step in the energy decision chain.

To help address this need on a global basis, RETScreen, in collaboration with REEEP and the NASA Langley Research Centre, developed the RETScreen Performance Analysis Module. This energy management software tool, which integrates near real-time satellite-derived weather data from NASA for the entire surface of the planet, can be used worldwide to track a facility’s actual energy performance versus predicted performance.

Were there any other positive outcomes you would like to share with us?

In addition to continued global uptake and ongoing development, all Canadian federal departments are required to use RETScreen as part of the Government’s Greening of Government Strategy. We also provide data onboarding services on a cost-recovery basis for our enterprise customers to help them with their portfolio-wide deployment of the RETScreen Clean Energy Management Software platform.

In January 2023, the RETScreen World Conference was hosted by Energy Manager Canada and featured many speakers from different industries who shared their experiences and best practices in using the software. Recordings of every session, including the live Q&A sessions, is available on the conference website:


Check out their growing library of videos and training material on their YouTube eLearning channel. If you have any questions about RETScreen, please send an email to


Solar Irrigation in Kenya

The majority of Kenya’s smallholder farmers largely rely on rainfall to irrigate their crops, as only six percent of farmland in the country is irrigated. Futurepump manufactures and sell a range of products that meet their needs.

The challenge

As the population grows and the climate changes, these farmers will need to meet the growing demand for food while building their resilience to changes in rainfall patterns. Irrigation can provide this resilience while increasing farmers’ incomes, as it allows for growing high-value, nutritious vegetables such as tomatoes and cabbage. The expansion of irrigation capacity in Kenya has thus far been dominated by traditional pumps powered by diesel or petrol. These cause pollution and leave farmers vulnerable to fluctuations in the price of fuel. Irrigation in general – and Solar Powered Irrigation Systems (or SPIS) in particular – can provide substantial benefits to local prosperity in regions that adopt them. The most direct benefit is the increased revenue and income that comes with the greater yields of irrigated cropland vis-à-vis rain-fed land. Stable water supplies allow additional growing seasons per year, massively increasing output.

Drip irrigation (a central, although not unique, element of SPIS), leads to substantial water savings compared to current practices, and improves crop quality thanks to a more stable supply, often improving real yields by over 300% . In addition, SPIS offer significant cost savings over time on labour, fuel and fertilizer, a total value to smallholder farmers estimated at around $14,000 per acre annually. Economically, the benefits of increased use of SPIS translate into local opportunities beyond the agricultural boundaries, as small businesses arise to meet demand in manufacture, assembly, repair and sales of SPIS.


A Sunflower solar powered irrigation pump.

Credit: Futurepump

Futurepump has developed a new model to enable smallholder farmers in Kenya to adopt sustainable irrigation solutions with a proprietary solar-powered irrigation pump, combined with an end-user finance programme that allows for flexible payments at a time when the farmer is gaining the economic benefits from irrigating their lands.

With this innovative model, Futurepump is able to reach even very low-income farmers with less than one acre of land – which constitute the majority of the agricultural sector in Kenya. By addressing a key barrier in up-front cost and targeting the market segment accounting for the majority of production (yet is most difficult to reach via conventional sales models), Futurepump’s model holds great potential for transforming the sector in the country.

During REEEP’s engagement with Futurepump in 2013, they were in their early-stage development of field testing, setting up their manufacturing and learning about the product market. Since then, they have gradually grown and are in the scaling-up process. Now with over a decade of experience, Futurepump is at the stage where they manufacture and sell a range of products that meet the needs of small-scale farmers.

Water flows freely from one of Futurepump’s solar-powered irrigation pumps.

Credit: Futurepump

“REEEP’s funding for us came at a critical early stage for our business, allowing us to begin the manufacturing process, find out where we wanted to be manufacturing and start it out, and scale up our field trials, which both the field testing and manufacturing form the basis of what we still do today”, shares Helen Yapp, Marketing and Communications Manager at Futurepump.

Futurepump was a part of REEEP’s 10th Call which helped them test finance plans and decide whether they wanted to be financing their products or focus on manufacturing. Through our support, they had the opportunity to discover their strengths and hone their optimal business model.

“We had a lot of different options and ways we could have taken the business – it could have been that we were trying to do too many things at once. With the funding from REEEP, we were able to test this and focus on what we have now scaled into the business today”, says Helen. The outcome showed that they would rather focus on their expertise in manufacturing and work with partners in the financing and distribution of the products.

Futurepump is now selling pumps globally through over 28 different distributors, including in sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia. These distributors have networks of stores nationwide across the countries of operation, bringing Futurepump’s solar irrigation pumps to hundreds to thousands of farming communities. Due to the direct link to the factory, Futurepump is constantly gathering feedback from customers and distributors and is able to make necessary improvements quickly.

The next step for Futurepump is to show that a business in the productive asset and renewables sector can break even and sustain itself financially. They are looking to expand their product range by bringing in both bigger and smaller pumps. Helen explains further, “The bigger pumps are to continue the mission of ridding the world of petrol/diesel-powered pumps. Smaller pumps are more affordable and support the mission to get irrigation to even more low-income customers”.

Where Are They Now?


iin 20xx REEEP produced a brochure on how solar pumps can improve lives and livelihoods in rural Kenya featuring Futurepump.


Southern African Renewable Energy Investment and Growth Programme (SOARING)

Productive Use of Energy (PUE) is one of the most relevant challenges in agricultural value chains to improve smallholder farmers livelihoods and increase the resilience to climate change contributing to GHG emissions reduction.

The Challenge

The agricultural sector still plays a major role in Southern African economies, representing up to 27% of GDP and 13% of export earnings. Southern African countries face a considerable challenge in financing their climate change mitigation and adaptation plans. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the backbone of Southern African economies, in the renewable energy and agricultural sectors however SMEs are facing substantial challenges in accessing finance through financial institutions locally.

Local development and commercial banks are increasingly gaining access to climate/green funds but are lacking the capacity and tools to build an investment pipeline to finance SMEs in these fields.

SOARING is currently focusing on two African countries:

  1. Tanzania
  2. Zambia

Our Solution

To overcome these market barriers, REEEP, in partnership with RENAC, is implementing the Southern African Renewable Energy Investment and Growth Programme (SOARING) programme, which is taking a prototype approach to enable SMEs working with clean energy and productive use technologies leveraging renewable energies to access finance from the local financial sector.

Market scoping studies were completed in 2020 in Namibia, Tanzania and Zambia, which confirmed that while the combined financing requirements of Southern African SMEs are huge, their individual asks are far too small for existing climate finance instruments and for most investors that require large ticket sizes. At the same time, SOARING identified existing concessional credit lines earmarked to energy access that have been untapped by local financial institutions for years.

The conclusion of the market scoping exercise also indicated that there was an opportunity to (i) focus the programme on Zambia and Tanzania, mainly due to the size of the markets and the absence of suitable local finance to the target sector, and (ii) use blended finance instruments and green finance tools to unlock local currency financing to the sector via the existing infrastructure of national development banks and local financial institutions (participating LFIs), which provide the required penetration and capillarity to reach green SMEs and their end customers.

The SOARING programme is taking an ecosystem approach and is focusing on Tanzania and Zambia. The main pillars of SOARING consist of the following activities and interventions:

  1. Credit Enhancement Facility to de-risk “First mover” Financial Institutions and enable Project Developers to meet over-collateralization requirements.
  2. Climate Finance Capacity Building to improve renewable energy sector knowledge of financial institution’ stakeholders and to co-design risk assessment methodologies and market-fit financial solutions.
  3. Pipeline Origination and Development to match demand of renewable energy SMEs with supply of climate funds from local financial institutions.
  4. Platforms for Market Change for institutionalized stakeholder engagement on renewable energy finance.


With SOARING, REEEP and its partners are simultaneously supporting (a) SMEs to provide clean energy solutions in rural areas and for agricultural value chains, (b) countries to advance the NDC targets by displacing fossil fuels, and (c) rural communities through improved resilience with access to clean and reliable energy.

The learnings from this pilot will be published under a ‘Renewable Energy Financing Pathway’ report, which will facilitate replication of the programmes’ achievements in other sectors and countries.

Donors and partners

SOARING is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) as part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) and implemented by REEEP in cooperation with the Renewables Academy (RENAC).

Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia

The Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia (BGFZ) reached its successful conclusion – the delivery of energy service subscriptions to over 1 million Zambians.

One MIllion Lives Lit Up

The Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia (BGFZ) reached its successful conclusion – one million lives lit up. Launched in 2016, the pilot programme was funded by Sweden and implemented by REEEP as an ambitious results-based financing multi-year programme aiming to increase energy access, accelerate private-sector growth in energy generation and distribution in the country, improve livelihoods and catalyse economic activity in rural and peri-urban areas.

BGFZ’s objective was to bring modern affordable energy services to at least 192,000 households – translating to one million Zambians – by 2021. This target was achieved in September 2021, and the results were acknowledged by public and private stakeholders at an acknowledgement event in Lusaka in March 2022.

Building on the success of this pilot, the programme was expanded into the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) in 2019, which brings the concept to five additional countries along with more financing to further improve energy access in Zambia.


BGFZ had four companies in its portfolio including two offering services through solar home systems – Fenix International Zambia Limited (currently part of Engie Energy Access) and VITALITE Zambia Limited, an improved cooking company – Emerging Cooking Solutions Zambia Limited (ECS) and a micro-grid company – Standard Microgrid Initiatives Limited (Zambia). Programme implementation began in July 2017, and by the end of 2022 all companies had concluded their contracts with encouraging results – the BGFZ programme target was overall exceeded, and 71% of the total contracted connection targets were delivered by the four energy service providers.

The EUR 20 million fund was financed by the Swedish Government through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and designed as well as managed by REEEP on behalf of the Swedish Embassy in Zambia. BGFZ was comprised of three pillars: i) incentivizing and procuring affordable, sustainable high-quality energy services, ii) the platform for market change executed through the national Off-Grid Task Force that enables close cooperation with the government of Zambia and iii) real-time and data collection and analysis that was handled through REEEP’s custom-built Edison platform.

A SupaMoto sales agent at a demonstration of their clean cookstoves in Lusaka, Zambia.

Credit: Jason J. Mulikta

Young boys watch educational TV powered by their VITALITE solar home system in Kafue, Zambia.

Credit: Jason J. Mulikta

Data from the Edison platform automated much of the key reporting and analysis supporting the results-based payments, including data for business performance and impact monitoring. It allowed for cost-effective real-time snapshots of the market and analysis of market dynamics and trends, as well as understanding customer behaviour over time including sustainability of the energy service provision by the supported companies. The companies would only be compensated for sustained energy services and with the daily data collection enabled by Edison, so the programme was able to ensure that the companies received incentives only for the portion of their portfolio with active sustained service.

The data on improved energy access has also been leveraged for investor engagement and government planning as well as design of additional market-supporting measures in Zambia. Edison is now open source since 2022 and is scaled as a revised version (Prospect) with funding from Sida and GIZ and continues to contribute to improved energy access.

BGFZ Results

BGFZ reached a successful completion and provided quality clean energy access to over one million Zambians by connecting 194,000 households by 31 December 2022 with >50% of the customers living in rural areas and 30% of the primary customers being women. The four companies in the portfolio reached 72% of the total contracted energy service subscriptions, despite considerable disruption and negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic during 2020 – 2022 which disrupted supply chains, sales activity and increased risk-aversion of funders, particularly in challenging markets such as Zambia. By enabling access to clean energy, the programme also contributed to GHG mitigation with an estimated total annual mitigation of 12,300 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

Through de-risking, incentivizing and promotion of successful business models for scale-up, BGFZ facilitated long-term sustainable operations and contributed to market development and improvement of sector standards and gender equity. By the end of 2022, Sida had released 91.5% of the allocated BGFZ funds to the four companies which has leveraged a total of USD 50.4 million of finance from the companies themselves as well as from over 25 third-party financiers.

Employment by gender over a six-year BGFZ implementation period (01 July 2017 – 31 December 2022)


BGFZ enabled the creation of new income-generating opportunities. Within six years, the total number of people employed by the BGFZ companies increased by 555% from the beginning of the programme in July 2017 to December 2022. Special attention was paid to improving the gender balance during recruitment, which increased the share of female employees in direct employment at the companies (full and part-time) from 27% in 2017 to 40% in 2022.

The share of women in management positions of the companies was also improved throughout the BGFZ programme, increasing from 31%  in July 2018 to 41% as of December 2022, while the rise of women in other roles has been slowly but steadily increasing from about 33% to 36% over the course of BGFZ.

Many people have the opportunity to also earn an income as agents for the BGFZ companies by selling solar home systems, improved cooking stoves or Power Time packages to households powered by a micro-grid. Agents typically earn a commission for each sale made as well as for maintaining steady payments from their customer portfolio along with sales training and opportunities for skills and career development.

An aerial view of Bisanti Village, Katcha LGA, Niger State Nigeria. PFAN supported Green Village Electricity (GVE) provides 7,400 households in thirteen rural communities including Bisanti with reliable access to electricity.

Credit: ARDA for REEEP


A 60 dB verification and customer survey published in May 2020 shows that the companies in the BGFZ portfolio are reaching underserved and low-income population of Zambia with 60% of customers living below USD 3.1/person per day. BGFZ has proved to be addressing a gap in the market as 86% of the surveyed customers reported that they could not easily find a good alternative to the companies’ products and services while 85% of the customers were accessing the service for the first time with candles and torches being the most common prior sources of lighting.

BGFZ companies with their products and services have contributed to improving the livelihood of the Zambian people with 96% of the customers responding to have had experienced an improvement in their quality of life while 83% of the respondents said that their life has “very much improved”. The services provided have also created some income-generating opportunities with 9% of customers indicating that the services enabled them to generate income. 95% of these customers make additional income at their homes, and others in shops, bars, poultry and a hospital.


The platform for market change was designed to amplify learning between stakeholders in the off-grid energy market and coordinate with relevant stakeholders such as government, donors, financiers and private sector actors to promote synergies and avoid duplication of efforts, provide market information, coordinate capacity and awareness building and meet specific needs of the private sector providing off-grid energy solutions to rural and peri-urban areas in Zambia. With support from REEEP, the platform for market change in Zambia was formalised as the National Off-grid Task Force (OGTF) in February 2018 to provide a focus for coordination and oversight of initiatives designed to raise the profile of the potential of the off-grid sector in Zambia and deliver increased energy access, particularly in rural areas, in line with the objectives of the Zambian Government.

The Task Force aims to ensure that investments – both public and private – achieve transformational change in the lives of the rural populace by expanding access to clean and sustainable energy and growing the markets. It serves as a hub for the exchange and dissemination of experience and information from programme implementation, policy developments and a forum in which participants come together to share information on interventions, opportunities and barriers to market growth. Furthermore, it is action-oriented and helps ensure that the various activities of government and the donor community are properly coordinated and that private sector investments are optimally targeted and structured, to leverage the available resources and increase the growth of the market and promote investment opportunities. The Rural Energy Agency (REA) in Zambia was also supported by REEEP to adopt Edison for programme monitoring and data management as it has increasingly cooperated with the private sector towards increasing energy access. Pilot implementation is now being continued by the Prospect team.

In 2022, the Zambian OGTF serves as a model for the eventual replication of the concept in all countries of operation for the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA), with the implementation partner NIRAS launching the stakeholder engagement activities this year towards structuring similar platforms in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Mozambique and Uganda. We expect the Zambian government to stand as a role model and be able to share their experience and best practice with peers in other countries in the coming years.

BGFZ Verification & Customer Insights

60 Decibels, a global, tech-enabled impact measurement company conducted an independent verification of the Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia (BGFZ). In April 2021, the team completed over 600 phone surveys with randomly selected customers of four participating Energy Service Providers (ESP) across Zambia. In addition, for 12% of the total sample, 60 Decibels commissioned in-person surveys through a partner. The objective was to verify the Energy Service Subscriptions (ESS) offered by the providers under the fund and to capture customer insights, including profiles, feedback, impact, satisfaction and experience.


Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa

Establishing up to 1.44 million energy connections by 2028 to benefit more than 6.5 million people in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia.

Clean energy access in Zambia: VITALITE

About BGFA

Over 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live without access to electricity. The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) aims to reduce this gap by stimulating and accelerating new business models to incentivise the private sector to offer affordable and clean energy access at scale to people living in rural and peri-urban areas. BGFA was established in 2019 as an initiative of the Swedish Government – building on REEEP’s successful, award-winning pilot in Zambia, the Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia (BGFZ) – and is facility managed by the Nordic Environmental Finance Corporation (Nefco).

Today, BGFA is a multi-year funding facility aimed at expanding BGFZ’s approach into new sub-Saharan African countries and kick-start markets for clean off-grid energy. By enabling the scale-up and greater deployment of energy access solutions in different markets, the programme aims to create long-lasting change. It works through a combination of an innovative results-based financing mechanism for energy companies, close cooperation with governments and real-time data collection and analysis. The BGFA programme aims to establish up to 1.44 million energy connections by 2028, benefiting more than 6.5 million people.

It is currently operating in six African countries

  1. Burkina Faso
  2. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  3. Liberia
  4. Mozambique
  5. Uganda
  6. Zambia


In 2022, 13 companies were contracted in 4 sub-Saharan countries. Their projects are expected to establish 953,000 new energy service subscriptions in the coming four years, which have the potential to provide clean energy access for 4.8 million people in rural areas of Burkina Faso, Liberia, Uganda and Zambia. The BGFA programme has committed EUR 25 million in results-based financing to these 13 investees, which in turn are seeking to mobilise EUR 80-100 million in additional funding over the lifetime of the agreements, scheduled to end in 2027.

REEEP’s work on BGFA

REEEP’s work on the BGFA programme falls primarily under the five mandates of market scoping, window design, shadow evaluation, due diligence and technical assistance

John, who works VITALITE Headquarters in Lusaka, speaks with, a VITALITE sales agent and customer in the rural area of Kafue, Zambia.

Credit: Jason J Mulikita

In 2022, REEEP supported the launch and implementation of EUR 20.7 million funding window in Uganda (BGFA3) by conducting shadow evaluations and due diligence of companies shortlisted for a potential contract. Similarly, REEEP supported the launch of the EUR 15 million BGFA4 funding window in DRC by conducting market scoping, developing the design of the funding window and contributing to the development of the BGFA guidelines and tailoring the awarding process and design appropriate for the DRC market. We also continued the preparation of the EUR 6.7 million BGFA2 funding window in Mozambique by liaising with government stakeholders and identifying mini-grid clusters for bidding under the funding window.

With the additional funding by Norway in 2022 and resulting shortlisting of additional companies for funding under BGFA1 in Zambia, Liberia and Burkina Faso, REEEP conducted due diligence on these companies including standalone, mini-grid and productive use players. REEEP also designed and mobilised the technical assistance component of BGFA and continued to support Nefco on programme advisory regarding various aspects of design, market developments and technical components supporting the implementation of the programme.


The village Headwoman and her husband display their RDG solar home system power unit in Chimombo, Zambia.

Credit: Jason J. Mulikita

Burkina Faso, Liberia and Zambia


Technical Assistance

Last year, REEEP commenced the BGFA technical assistance component by structuring the approach, setting up processes and establishing an institutional framework for the implementation of technical assistance between BGFA partners. BGFA technical assistance (TA) will support the companies throughout the whole implementation period. TA is need-based and adaptive to changing circumstances of the company and the market. The first needs assessments were conducted for ten companies contracted by the end of 2022, and the first assignments focused on gender, environmental management, integrating IFC performance standards into company policies as well as support with improvement of financial models.

Going forward, REEEP will support the companies with, among other things, aspects of strategy, recruitment, performance management, development and implementation of gender action plans, setting up environmental and social management policies and systems (ESMS), fundraising, improvement of operations through SOPs, understanding the policy requirements, implementation of security plans as well to taking on opportunities for productive use of energy. REEEP is also leveraging its capacity as the implementation partner of the Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN) for supporting the ability of companies to secure additional finance for growing their business and assist in meeting the BGFA co-financing requirements.

Due Diligence

REEEP completed the due diligence process for the 21 companies initially shortlisted under the BGFA1 funding window. Twelve of these were successfully contracted by Nefco and are now under implementation. In 2022 specifically, REEEP conducted due diligence for eleven Energy Service Providers (ESPs) with seven ESPs being successful and contracted by Nefco in 2022. Thanks to Norway’s contributions to BGFA, additional resources were made available to undertake due diligence on high-scoring BGFA applicants under BGFA1.



In 2022, REEEP continued the preparatory work for the launch of the mini-grid-focused funding window in Mozambique. In collaboration with Greenlight Africa and FUNAE, REEEP identified clusters of mini-grids that will be available for bidding under the funding window, and the ESPS to be contracted under BGFA2 are expected to be granted a concession license under the new policy for off-grid areas (published in 2021 and expected to be operationalised soon).

REEEP also continued to liaise with other programmes on initiatives and market information as part of the private sector coordination group of the Energy Sector Working Group in the country.



A seller from d.light, one of the two companies in Uganda contracted under BGFA in 2022.

Credit: d.light


Public Sector Engagement

To ensure that the activities and plans of applicant firms to BGFA3 synchronize and complement national-level strategy, REEEP continued fruitful and collaborative engagement with key regulators and governmental bodies in Uganda throughout 2022. As the activities and deployment of mini-grid companies were of the highest priority, REEEP liaised with the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), which was later reformed as the Rural Electrification Program (REP) and re-absorbed under the remit of the Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD).

In addition, REEEP continued communication with the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) in Kampala regarding key intersections of their work with mini-grid planning and rollout and collaborated and communicated with donors, implementing organisations and counterpart programs working across the country.

Due Diligence

Due diligence was undertaken on companies under the BGFA3 funding window in Uganda. This process involved analysis of documentation, discussion with company management and, in some cases, visits to sites or facilities. Eleven applicants to BGFA3 went through most, or all, steps of the due diligence process throughout the course of 2022, with one ESP being contracted by Nefco in 2022.


Although it’s located along on a street with access to the national power grid grid, it is more affordable to use Vitalite solar home systems to light a general store in the 10 mile area of Lusaka, Zambia.



Market Scoping

An in-depth country assessment was undertaken involving interviews with public officials, private sector actors, companies, sector associations, non-governmental actors and international development actors, as well as a hybrid, in-person and online workshop.

The market scoping covered the standalone solar and mini-grid sub-sectors and aimed to identify the level of maturity and readiness of the private sector off-grid players, challenges and opportunities of the market, and an analysis of ongoing and planned market support mechanism to ensure that BGFA activities were complementary and not duplicative. The study informed the BGFA4 funding window design in terms of sector focus as well as programmatic aspects embedded in the programme guidelines.


Window Design

A joint workshop with Nefco was held in Vienna to design the funding window based on the conclusions and findings of the market scoping exercise. This resulted in defining a single funding lot where technologies would compete with each other, in contrast to earlier BGFA funding windows that have separated funding lots. This is expected to offer valuable insights into the maturity, competitiveness and efficiency of the variety of technologies, business models and players on the market as well as direct the use of public funds to those models and technologies offering the best value for money in a market where the potential for impact and need for incentives for all the range of technologies is high.

Call Launch

BGFA4’s Pre-qualification stage was launched in June 2021, and a follow-up launch of the final application stage was held in Kinshasa in November 2022. The mission to Kinshasa in November was also an opportunity to launch the initial conversations to set up an Off-grid Task Force with local market players and governmental authorities.

Supamoto clean energy stove ellers the outskirts of Lusaka, Zambia.

Credit: Jason J Mulikita


REEEP contributed to BGFA with a variety of programme advisory actions including setting up standards and requirements for gender, monitoring, reporting & verification (MRV), market stakeholder engagement, policy advisory as well as sharing lessons learned on setting up institutional frameworks and processes for replicating the Off-Grid Energy Taskforce concept from Zambia in other BGFA countries.

REEEP also contributed to an evaluation conducted on BGFA’s offer to the market as well as on the efficiency of the process from launch to contracting. Furthermore, REEEP participated in the two BGFA Steering Committee meetings held in May and November 2022 respectively, engaging with Nefco, donors and other programme partners on the status, progress and next steps for the programme.


BGFA Annual Report 2022

The inaugural Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa Impact Report highlights the key achievements of the facility in 2022 in accelerating off-grid energy services by providing results-based financing for energy service providers in sub-Saharan Africa.