The Energy for All Investor Forum Nepal provided energy enterprises the chance to pitch their business plans to investors interested in the renewable energy sector. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre Nepal (AEPC) organized the workshop on February 8 to promote more private sector investment in Nepal’s renewable energy sector.
Nine enterprises, 10 investors and 150 representatives from government and development partners participated in the event. Enterprises gaining investor interest became eligible for the Energy for All’s Mentoring Program and Investment Facilitation Services. These programs help enterprises to get their project ready for financing.
“Providing access to renewable energy creates new business and livelihood opportunities”, stated ADB’s Country Director Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama. “It relieves women of hours of labor, collecting fuel, and then hauling it back home from great distances. Clean, renewable energy is a solution to stimulating economic growth and reducing poverty without adding to the global problem of climate change.”
Yokoyama explained that ADB was assisting Nepal to access more resources to invest in renewable energy. Nepal will receive $40 million from the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) and matching funds from ADB to start the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program with a view to leveraging an additional $160 million from other partners. “Through SREP, Nepal can take promising steps towards achieving the country’s goal of providing modern energy access to 100% of its population, by mobilizing much needed public and private sector investments.,” said Mr. Yokoyama.
Executive Director of AEPC Prof. Dr. Govind Raj Pokharel stated that, “AEPC shares the goals of Energy for All and other complementary initiatives like the Energy plus and Sustainable Energy for All. He further said that instead of relying on its own resources to support energy access projects, AEPC is adopting a new strategy and is seeking to leverage private sector capital and expertise to generate more impact. “AEPC is collaborating with ADB’s Energy for All Program to provide enterprise-level support to energy access enterprises in Nepal,” added Dr. Pokharel.
These workshops are part of the Energy for All Program launched by ADB in 2008 to increase its investment in the energy access sector. The Energy for All Partnership was formed in 2009 to extend ADB’s support to like-minded organizations and form a coalition that shares the objective of providing modern energy access to 100 million people by 2015. The Energy for All Program is being supported by various partners including the Governments of Japan, Austria, Australia, Norway as well as Denmark and Switzerland. Australian government support through Australian Aid is specifically focused on development of mini grids in Asia and the Pacific.