Renewables developer Berkeley Energy has raised €130 million (US$157.5 million) in the first close of the Africa Renewable Energy Fund II (AREF II).
The fund, which has a final target of €300 million, will target investments in hydro, wind and solar projects across sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa, and aims to back mid-sized grid-connected projects of between 10-100MW.
Engaged in the development and operation of clean energy projects across emerging markets, Berkeley hopes AREF II will provide clean and accessible energy whilst stimulating local economies through employment opportunities.
AREF II demonstrates that Berkeley’s “technically orientated approach resonates with our investors and makes a material difference for the communities in which we operate,” said managing director Luka Buljan.
The fund’s financing structure incentivises commercial private capital to invest into sub-Saharan Africa and follows the previous deployment of the first AREF, which also invested in renewable energy in the region.
Sub-Saharan Africa’s population rates and GDP is rising, with electricity demand set to more than double by 2040. This requires around US$100 billion in power infrastructure investment, according to the International Energy Agency.
AREF II investors included seven development finance institutions – CDP, CDC, FMO, Proparco, Swedfund, Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa – and the Clean Technology Fund.