Dubai-based Phanes Group, an international end-to-end solar provider, today (August 7) announced the 2nd edition of its Solar Incubator programme, aimed at identifying PV projects of potential in sub-Saharan Africa by providing support to funding, and commercial and technical knowledge.
The initiative held under the theme, “Your Project, Our Expertise, For a Sustainable Future”, will be held in collaboration with Hogan Lovells, responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding, RINA and Solarplaza, and invites PV developers to submit proposals for projects based in sub-Saharan Africa that have a clear corporate social responsibility (CSR) component, said a statement from the company.
Candidates are asked to submit their proposals by September 27 (11.59 pm CET) via the process established on Phanes Group’s website. Those who are shortlisted will be invited to present their projects to an expert panel comprised of the Solar Incubator partners at the “Unlocking Solar Capital: Africa 2018” conference in Kigali, Rwanda, on November 7 and 8, where the industry’s key players will hold extensive discussions on solutions for Africa’s solar energy requirements and bridging the bankability gap, it said.
It comes as part of Phanes Group's core strategy to collaborate with Africa-focused counterparties, such as local project owners, governments, and developers on projects that seek to create a sustainable future for urban and rural communities across the sub-Saharan African region, it added.
Martin Haupts, chief executive officer, Phanes Group, said: “The majority of our business focus lies in electrifying new markets in sub-Saharan Africa.”
“With CSR at the heart of our business model, we launched this initiative with the goal of bringing bankability to projects that stand to provide clean energy to economies that need it most. The incubator programme is an example of this.”
“Entering our Solar Incubator means creating the opportunity to not only win, but the possibility to gain further exposure to key industry players through the evaluation panel. We have already seen great success from last year’s projects, and we are confident that as this initiative continues to grow, more and more businesses across the continent will be able to effectively address local needs for clean and affordable energy,” he added.
Christopher Cross, partner of law firm Hogan Lovells, who will be part of the evaluation panel at the event, said: “We are delighted to be invited again this year to take part in such an exciting and on-the-ground initiative such as this. I had a great experience last year and very much look forward to seeing what is in store for us in Rwanda.”
“As stated previously, the incubator seeks to foster both local innovation and investment to bring potential opportunities to fruition for the social and economic benefit of the region and its people,” he added.
With almost 700 million people in sub-Saharan Africa living without electricity, the Phanes Group Solar Incubator aims to enable solutions by supporting developers not only during the funding phase, but throughout the project development and delivery, said a statement.
Phanes Group, along with its partners, will provide PV developers with access to the expertise that will support them in reaching bankability. During the initial phase, extensive mentorship and access to the right network will enable this year’s winner(s) to roll out a sustainable energy solution for their community and develop a long-term CSR concept, it said.
Wilfred van den Bos, head of investments, responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding, said: “We are proud to be participating in the Phanes Group Solar Incubator once again this year.”
“It is important to ensure that energy projects within the solar sector start and remain financially viable, and we hope that our continued partnership will foster successful entrepreneurship that will benefit communities across sub-Saharan Africa,” he added.
Lee Smith, sector manager, RINA, said: “Our company is proud to partner with Phanes Group again for the incubator programme, which produced some interesting projects in 2017.”
“It was encouraging to see the emergence of strong CSR propositions in line with the vision of the initiative. We look forward to this year’s proposals and helping to shape the winner’s future,” he said.
Similar to last year, the developer(s) of the winning project(s) will be invited to join Phanes Group for an intensive workshop at its headquarters in Dubai, UAE. This will help lay the foundations for delivering a bankable and sustainable project, it stated.