NEoT Capital announces a new partnership signed with EDF and Meridiam to launch its new investment platform: NEoT Offgrid Africa. The objective of the platform is to invest hundreds of millions of euros over the next five years in distributed renewable energy projects in Africa. The platform provides a solution to the challenge of replacing traditional, polluting electricity generation methods (oil lamps, diesel engines, etc.) with clean solutions (solar power + batteries).
The market is estimated to be worth several billion euros, and has become more accessible thanks to some recent technological advances, in particular in batteries and the digital economy (mobile payment technologies in particular). NEoT Offgrid Africa will invest in projects that serve both consumers and businesses (industrial facilities, telecom towers, commercial buildings, hotels, etc.). Indeed, the facts are striking:
· Several hundreds of million African homes have little or no access to electricity, and solar solutions (like solar home systems and accessories) that are accessible and appealing to the general public are now financially viable, paid for in instalments over a period of years
· African companies use dozens of GW of diesel capacity to cover their own needs for electricity. It has now become competitive to cover part of this production with renewable energy solutions, in particular the solar solutions that are a sound choice on a continent with so many hours of sunshine. Integration of batteries, which becomes more and more competitive, can allow in some cases to switch 100% of these needs to renewable energies. As an added bonus, those solutions will bring a massive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and local pollution.
NEoT Offgrid Africa will invest in projects delivered in partnership with developers of projects and technologies. In addition to financial support, it will also provide strategic support, working closely with its leading investors:
· EDF brings its technical expertise, network, and decades of operational experience in Africa
· Meridiam brings its network, investment capacity, and experience in funding and delivering projects in Africa
NEoT Offgrid Africa will be up and running before the end of 2017, as soon as regulatory authorization is obtained.
Pierre Devillard, CEO of NEoT Capital, has this to say: “Distributed renewable energies have a major role to play in Africa, as they will both provide electricity access to millions of homes, and accelerate the transition to renewable energy solutions. With partners of this calibre, we hope that NEoT Offgrid Africa will have a major impact on this market by providing the right tools to technology and project developers so that they can scale their development”.
Mathieu Peller, Director of West Africa for Meridiam, states that, “We are delighted with this partnership that provides inroads into the development of distributed solutions, while benefitting from the full expertise of EDF Group. This new project, financed by our Africa fund and perfectly in line with Meridiam’s ambitions on the continent, provides yet more proof of the attention Meridiam pays to the impact of its infrastructure investments”.
Emmanuel Sellier, Director of Services, Access to Energy and Development in EDF’s International Department, believes that, “The launch of NeoT Offgrid Africa is a key component in our strategy for rolling distributed energies in Africa. We will be doing all we can to help it grow, seeking out as many synergies as possible with our operational work in Africa, an initial example of which can be seen in ZECI, our joint venture with Offgrid Electric in Côte d’Ivoire”.