AFRICA – responsAbility Investments, a Swiss impact asset manager, announced the launch of a US$3 million Technical Assistance Facility linked to a responsAbility-managed climate finance fund targeting the financing gap in the effort to provide universal access to clean power in developing countries.

Initial funding to the Facility is provided by Good Energies Foundation and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

The recently launched US$200 million private debt fund addresses the lack of access to clean power globally with a strong focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia.

Incorporated in Luxembourg as a 10-year closed-ended structure, the blended finance vehicle targets companies that provide solutions to households without access to electricity and to businesses looking for cleaner, cheaper and more-reliable energy.

Over the lifetime of the Fund, portfolio companies are expected to provide clean power to more than 150 million people, add 2,000 MW of clean energy generation capacity and reduce CO2 emissions by 6 million tonnes.

Given the nascent nature of the Fund’s investment universe, responsAbility has launched a donor-funded Technical Assistance Facility to support market building.

A variety of projects will help portfolio companies to enhance their operations by following best international practices, for instance in managing ESG risks.

Over the five years of its existence, the Facility expects its projects to reach 66% of the Fund’s portfolio companies while also addressing companies in the investment pipeline at large.

The newly launched Technical Assistance Facility targets US$3 million in donor contributions. Initial funding is provided by Good Energies Foundation and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

“To bridge the financing gap towards universal access to clean energy in underserved markets, both funding and know-how building will be required,” Eva Tschannen, Head of responsAbility’s Technical Assistance Management, said.

“Having launched the first investment fund of this scope to address both the home solar and the commercial and industrial (C&I) solar sectors, we are excited to receive the support of Good Energies Foundation and SECO for a new Technical Assistance Facility which will help us to further develop this high-impact investment universe.”

“SECO’s contribution to this climate-focused Technical Assistance Facility will facilitate private investments in climate-friendly companies,” Massimo Bloch, Program Manager, Private Sector Development at SECO, said.

“Co-financed Technical Assistance will strengthen the operational capacity of invested or potential portfolio companies, improving investment opportunities and building up the market.

With this project SECO continues its engagement in scaling-up the renewable energy sector in emerging markets, contributing to a lower carbon economy.”

“We look for ways that our grant funds can influence larger flows of capital such as commercial investment, to increase social impact, for example in this case building the distributed renewable sector as a whole,” said Good Energies Foundation, Programme Manager for the Energy Programme Stephanie Jones.