New funding available to help stimulate clean energy generation in sub-Saharan Africa

Energy 4 Impact and the Carbon Trust are pleased to announce the launch of the Powering Renewable Energy Opportunities (PREO) Programme, which aims to promote renewable energy in sub-Saharan Africa to boost long-term job creation and reduce poverty through economic growth and empowerment of women.

Co-funded by IKEA Foundation and UK aid and delivered by the Carbon Trust and Energy 4 Impact, PREO will support energy projects and partnerships that use a market-led approach to promoting productive use of energy (PUE), and support revenue growth in the companies involved.

While a reliable and affordable energy supply is vital for people living in rural sub-Saharan Africa to power their homes and businesses, energy access alone is not enough to transform economies. To be effective rural energy programmes need to consider the social and economic context for each local area to ensure the right enabling environment exists to build partnerships that give access to finance, technology and markets.

PREO promotes direct collaboration between energy users and power suppliers to realise the potential of energy access to improve livelihoods and boost economic growth. It therefore supports locally-relevant productive use of energy initiatives through:

  • grant funding to stimulate investment and income-generating activities;
  • partnership building support to bring various actors together for specific projects and programmes;
  • offering advisory services to companies involved in PUE, including market intelligence, partnering and financing advice.

In addition, PREO aims to create a globally significant centre of PUE expertise in the sector, by developing a platform to support, direct and communicate market and project learnings, which will be key to achieve wider impact.

PREO is expected to create 3,500 jobs, empower 1,000 women and benefit more than 11,000 rural households.

By supporting PREO, the IKEA Foundation can effectively work together with other partners and investors to make renewable energy accessible to many communities more quickly, reducing carbon emissions and enabling people living in poverty to afford a better life,

says Jolanda van Ginkel, Programme Manager for Renewable Energy ,the IKEA Foundation.