The Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, approved $175 million in financing for two new investment funds that will bring the latest renewable energy technologies to emerging markets in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, helping to lay the foundation for the sector’s growth in those regions for years to come.
The Board approved $125 million in financing for TPG Alternative & Renewable Technologies Partners (TPG ART). TPG will invest in companies matching the best renewable technologies from the United States and Europe to markets in Latin America and Southeast Asia. TPG will also support the adoption of renewable technologies that will have a lower environmental impact than the traditional methods of energy generation used today.
“Taking the latest renewable energy technologies and applying them to emerging markets is one of the great development challenges of the coming years. Be it converting local biomass to high-value products, improving energy storage, or making use of state-of-the-art building materials, the technologies invested in by this fund will represent an important step toward meeting that challenge,” said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield.
The Board also approved $50 million for the GEF Africa Growth Fund, which will invest in environment-related energy infrastructure across Sub-Saharan Africa in order to improve the efficiency of energy and agribusiness production in the region. The fund will target investments in clean electricity generation; energy management systems; distribution infrastructure; energy efficiency technologies and services; and companies which promote sustainable management and harvesting of timber and agriculture. The fund has a target capitalization of $150 million.
GEF’s investments in clean and renewable forms of energy will help offset the increased demand for fossil‐fuel power generation in the subcontinent. Rapid economic growth across Africa has resulted in a significant electricity shortage that requires a dependence on costly diesel generators or improvised kerosene lighting. Similarly, the expansion is prompting higher levels of food consumption, which is expected to grow by 2.6 percent annually through 2018.