- Does this project sponsor one 1 pilot project per country?We will be supporting pilot projects per country. We have grant funding available per country for up to USD 300K, and depending on the level of maturity of the captive solar PV market, we can support up to 2 projects per country.
- Can you share a copy of the presentation to participants who could not attend on time?
Yes. We will upload the recording of the webinar and all documentations on our website.
- Is this available for start-ups?
This depends on the eligibility criteria as mentioned in the Frameworkd document, as long as your firm (including start-ups) can fulfill the prerequisite conditions, you are welcome to apply.
- What are the differences among the 3 projects? Can you clarify?
We’ve classified the requests of funding as follows:
1. Transaction costs: this could be anything that is relevant to provisional advisory services, financial modelling assistance, structuring agreement support, etc.
2. Financing vehicle: this is in relations to the creation of a financing vehicle/ instrument. If your project requires funding to support the development of such instrument, you can apply for grant support as type 2 project.
3. Capacity building: this is only relevant to capacity building projects. If your firm is deemded to benefit significantly from capacity building training, which later can enable the implementation of projects within the captive RE scope and beyond, we will be happy to support and provide funding.
It should be noted that one applicant can only be granted with one type of funding.
- What is the turn around time for review and feedback?
The entire duration from the time of launch of webinar until announcement of grant funding would take around 4 months.
- For a finance pilot project, are we able to develop (business model) proposal of the back of an existing solar PV deployment?
It is possible; however, it needs to be clear on how “doable” the existing solar PV would NOT be WITHOUT the support from the CCI project. In other words, the proposed project needs to prove why the funding from CCI is “additional” (a new twist to the business model, technology development, scaling etc.)
- What are the biggest challenge for EPC companies is trade finance facilities? How do you plan to address these?
Yes, it could be. However, the program is structured in a way that relies on project developers with the specific approach application. There is no specific mechanism to support trade finance as such. But if any EPC has a specific demand, the CCI support could be applicable. In principal, applicants are welcome to apply if there is something we can support with and share the risk of high upfront transaction costs.
- Can you talk a little more about what you consider as "innovative" business models? What does UNEP believe are the greatest barriers to C&I projects?
From our side, we do have our idea on what an “innovative” business model would be, as we have studied the market intensively. However, we would not further disclose this to the public our understanding, as the program is structured in a way that we would receive different applications justifying their business models in terms of innovation. The questions we are asking are “Why is this business model eligible for support?” “What is the difference from what is already existing out there?” “Why would we use the grant to support your project?”.
There are numerous barriers in the market, but we do not think all the barriers would be too big to prevent the business from scaling. Quite obviously, access to finance might be considered a problem, or another big barrier is licensing of large projects (>1megawatt), etc. Thus, our approach helps overcome the upfront costs to share risks and help projects moving forwards.
- Am I correct in understanding that this grant is for structure/Transaction advisory/ SPV or training and not for any equipment costs that would be incurred in an actual project?
Yes. We will not support for the CAPEX, equipment costs for the projects. All the details are included in the frameworks document.
- In light of the COVID-19, how many proposals do you expect per country?
With regards to COVID-19, we are aware of the impact it brings to the sector. But we do hope that the project development activities can continue to some extent. We believe that this project underlines the distributed energy at the right time. The number of proposals is however, hard to predict. We hope that the structure of the project as broadly defined can attract any developers/ companies to apply; but to put out a number on how many would be difficult.
- For the C&I space most projects are between 100k-$1m, the cap of $100k(in Kenya) is (I assume) only for development work? We would already need to have the financial /financier in place, is this correct?
The cap is indeed for development work/ transaction work. Any legal costs related to transaction (e.g, corporate PPA or leasing structure, EPC contract) is also considered. Whether or not any financier in place, this would not be the case here. While we would want to see that the projects are happening when we are supporting them, any commitment/ banks on how the projects should be financed is helpful, but not a requirement.
- Is this grant a one-off or will it be an annual/periodic occurrence? Will there be a 2022 edition, 2023, 2024, etc.?
The grant of up to USD 100k will be disbursed into 2-4 tranches based on the results of agreed milestone, over a period of 18 months. This amount is a one-time availability, but will be disbursed through tranches.
- What comes next after the pilot projects have been executed? Will there be any fund set up to support other eligible projects?As of now, we would with our support try to help the businesses to scale – as the sole purpose of the project. We are trying (with the funds available to us) to help them gain attraction, create lessons learned. Depending on whether the approach results help the sector, there will be potential funders for the sector. Thus, we would say there is no second-round funding available in any of our partner countries, but the focus is on scaling business models from existing players in the country.
- All models/biz plans that are created under this grant would be public information, correct?
As part of the CCI project, our aim is to increase the uptake of RE within the C&I sector. We plan to disburse the knowledge accumulated through the project. Except for sensitive information within the pilot projects will not be disclosed, other information that would help with increasing the uptake in the market will be fully published through our website.
- Is your grant support only to German businesses in Africa?No. Our objective is to help local players in our partner countries (Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa) that are developing projects and proving what is working. We are not necessarily looking at German businesses, but rather on players who know about the businesses, including local firms, international companies, etc.
- What type of applicants are eligible?
C&I customers focusing on clean captive installations. As long as the criteria is fulfilled, CCI will accept the application.
- How many projects does CCI want to fund for each country and what’s the total amount of the projects?
Up to 300k USD per project matched with at least 25% contribution from the applicant. The total amount of projects that will be funded depends on the total amount of requests CCI will receive and the ranking of the applicants.
- Who is eligible to apply? If a donation agency, or non-profit company can apply? Does CCI involve some community organizations?
We encourage and welcome anyone to apply provided that they meet the eligibility criteria and given that the call applies to clean captive installations for commercial and industrial clients.
- Should the 25% matching contribution be in cash or kind?
CCI accepts both. Cash is appreciated however, considering the Covid-19 Pandemic CCI is flexible.
- Your eligibility criteria talks about track record of minimum 2 projects – relevant for type 1 and type 3 applications. Who is our target group? Are we targeting at customers or installers?
The target group could be both customers and installers and the specific requirement for them is demonstrated in the framework document. If the eligibility criteria doesn’t support your type, please contact CCI for further assistance.
- Is the grant amount used for the project execution itself?
Yes. The grant is used for the project execution. It could be used in feasibility, project preparation and execution. It should be in line with the 3 types we described.
- What is the assumed social discount rate? Do you have a standard SD rate or is it based on country’s macroeconomic parameters?
There is no standard social discount rate and it changes depending on countries and specific considerations. The proxy that has been used by utilities or public organizations in several countries is around the expected future inflation rate as the minimum rate of return, which is specifically around 2% in USD. The discount rate will be in line with the cash flows, if they are in nominal or (limited) real terms, and the currency that is being used.
The higher the social discount rate is, the lower the attractiveness and the profitability of the project will be. From the social perspective, a relatively lower social discount rate would be given to renewable energy projects rather than traditional energy projects to help a country speed up the energy transition.
- Is the financial model available on the website?
All the tools could be found on the website. For the financial model, applicants can reach out via email.
- This is for the second presentation on Best Tools. There was a mention of a device called the Hybrid System Controller in the second presentation. We know that a few solar equipment manufacturers have proprietary solutions for this device. But we are not aware that independent manufacturers have more of a generic model. Could you share with us any manufacturer who has a generic Hybrid System Controller?
The Hybrid System Controller and its uses are introduced in the BAT Tool (accessible on the website). A generic hybrid system controller depends on the system design and the equipment use. Its development is based on the overall system components selected by the installer/ company.