Agence Française De Dévelopment (AFD) and the Energy Commission (EC) of Ghana have signed a Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) under the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance (SUNREF) programme, which consists of a €30million fund to support renewable energy projects
TAF is aimed at supporting local banks and other key stakeholders toward the development of Energy Efficiency (EE) and Renewable Energy (RE) projects, with the finance coming directly from AFD to the partner banks.
Executive Secretary-EC, Dr. Alfred Ofosu Ahenkorah said: “SUNREF will be the first comprehensive green finance project to be deployed at such a large scale in Ghana and focuses on three pillars: credit lines financed by AFD of up to €30million with local banks; TAF with support from the European Union Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU-AITF) of €2million; and an investment grant scheme of €2.4million to provide additional incentive for green investments”.
In addition, SUNREF will also offer a platform under the TAF to build the capacity of EC, key stakeholders and partner banks with advanced technologies and methods, allowing them to offer better advice and products to their customers.
Present at the signing ceremony were the European Union (EU) Ambassador, Her Excellency, Mrs. Diana Acconcia, and the French Ambassador to Ghana, Her Excellency Mrs. Anne-Sophie Avé, who highlighted the SUNREF programme’s main features
Her Excellency Mrs. Diana Acconcia reiterated the EU’s commitment to ensuring sustainable energy efficiency and renewable energy across the globe, through policies and backing them with funding
“It is part of the EU’s top strategic priority to ensure sustainable energy efficiency and renewable energy, by financing energy sector projects that are rated green.
“We held a business forum last week in Ghana, where we explained to the business and local banks the green idea and the potentials in renewable energy; and we hope they will see the business potential and come on board for this project,” she said
French Ambassador, H.E Mrs. Anne-Sophie Avé said: “We are happy to accompany Ghana through the Energy Commission to go on the path of sustainable energy efficiency and renewable energy. We did not impose this policy; it is Ghana’s own policy and we are only providing support.
“The banks who want to partner the programme must know that this is not going to give them direct money, but will decrease the use of energy, cost of energy to the business and wastage of energy – which will save them money.”
The SUNREF programme was established in 2007 to increase green investments by providing dedicated credit lines through local financial institutions.
The credit lines are often below-market rates, and thus serve to make green projects such as RE and EE installations more financially viable for project sponsors and developers.
Ghana was part of the ten (10) sub- Saharan countries mapped for prefeasibility studies with funds from AFD in 2015 and 2018 respectively, and the study’s conclusion highlighted among others the urgent need for investment in the RE and EE sector of Ghana.
The Board Chairman-EC, Prof. George Panyin Hagan, indicated the signing is the kind of agreement that will sustain the partnership existing between Ghana and the European Union
“I was overwhelmed by the amount of money that is being committed to this SUNREF programme; so, I have to take my time and make sure we scrutinised the agreement very well in order not to find ourselves wanting in the long run.
“The EC is committed to developing renewable energy resources. 85 percent of the country has access to energy, but the remaining 15 percent are remote areas and it will take up to half a century to get power to those areas; so renewable energy is the way to reach such areas especially by the use of solar energy,” he explained.
The SUNREF’s TAF is a three-year programme jointly developed by the AFD and EC with the support of European Union funds to reduce the impact on climate change
Signatories to the agreement are: the EU Ambassador, French Ambassador, The Country Director of Agence Française De Dévelopment Jildaz Evin, and Dr. Alfred Ofosu Ahenkorah, Executive Secretary of the EC.