UK crowdfunders rush to support large-scale solar energy in Africa

In a partnership between Energise Africa and Solarise Africa, crowdfunders in the UK have raised over £1 million (approximately $1,32 million) in just days to fund eight large-scale solar energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

“We are humbled by the support we’ve received from the Energise Africa investor community,” said Jan Albert Valk, CEO and Co-Founder of Solarise Africa. “In our second funding round, we raised £550,000 (about $726,830) practically overnight, something that would have taken weeks, if not months if we followed traditional avenues.”

“Access to working capital finance in the region is hindered by high collateralisation and interest rates,” Valk continued, speaking on why funding of large-scale solar is sorely needed in Africa. “Energy Africa’s innovative model offers an attractive alternative to traditional financing models, which benefits investors as well as lenders. With a targeted 6.75% interest on debt raised so far, our partnership with Energise Africa has provided crowdfunders with a potentially attractive investment opportunity.”

Solarise Africa, a pan-African energy-as-a-service company with roughly 10MW of operational solar plants across sub-Saharan Africa, has raised a total of £1,050,000 (about $1,387,590) to date. The funds will enable the company to install and lease approximately 1.35MWp of solar panels and 156kWp of batteries to eight commercial and industrial (C&I) customers in sub-Saharan Africa. Additional debt raises will follow in the new year.

“The increase in social and climate awareness in the UK this year has led to investors seeking projects that support a bigger purpose rather than just looking for financial gains,” said Lisa Ashford, CEO of Energise Africa. “We’re proud that the investment opportunities offered through our platform, like these recent raises for Solarise Africa allows individuals to invest to create a positive impact while targeting a financial return. We look forward to working with Solarise to offer investors more opportunities in 2022.”

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