Nefco-managed fund supports the scale-up of off-grid energy connections in Africa. Plus BII backs India’s electric car venture, and Cornwall Pension Fund launches local impact portfolio
The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) programme has signed four further agreements with off-grid energy service companies in Burkina Faso, Liberia and Zambia to support the expansion and scale-up of mini-grid connections and sales of high-quality solar home systems.
BGFA is managed by Nefco, the Nordic Green Bank, and since its launch in 2019, it has developed into a multi-donor programme, with additional funds from Germany and Denmark.
The BGFA programme has now contracted ten projects from its first funding supporting the establishment of over 580,000 off-grid energy connections to provide energy access for people living in rural and peri-urban areas in Burkina Faso, Liberia and Zambia. Its second and fourth founding rounds opened last year in Mozambique and Uganda
A fourth funding round was launched in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) last month, and applications can be submitted until 29 August.
Read Impact Investor’s recent profile on the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa below
BII banks Indian electric car venture
The UK’s development finance institution British International Investment (BII), will invest up to $250m (€248m) in a new passenger electric vehicle venture to be launched by India’s automotive group Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M).
The new business will develop four-wheel passenger electric vehicles for Indian consumers and other markets around the world. It will contribute towards 2.1 million tonnes of C02 equivalent emission avoidance and lead to the creation of around 8,000 skilled jobs – a quarter of which is expected to be women.
BII’s investment is designed to significantly accelerate the availability and adoption of electric vehicles in India and other markets served by M&M which will be M&M will be unveiling its EV design philosophy and product line-up in an event on 15 August at its site in Oxfordshire, England.
Cornwall Pension Fund launches local impact portfolio
UK local authority pension scheme Cornwall Pension Fund has launched a local impact portfolio to invest into affordable private rental housing and renawbles in the county.
Cornwall Pension Fund is a member of the Brunel Pension Partnership, a group of eight local government, which as been been responsible for the design and implementation of the new portfolio.
The new portfolio is divided into three mandates. One will invest in affordable rental housing in Cornwall and will be manage by PGIM Real Estate. The remaining funds are evenly split across the other two mandates: a UK renewables mandate invested in the Greencoat Renewable Income fund; and a Cornwall-focused mandate, ‘Greencoat Cornwall Gardens’, a newly-formed fund that will target new renewable assets in the county.
“We have worked closely with Brunel to ensure that pooling delivers not just scale advantages – but local impact, too,” said Councillor Jayne Kirkham, chair, Cornwall Pension Fund Pensions Committee, presenting the new initiative.
“The new Cornwall Local Impact portfolio, as part of our social impact allocation, enables us to combine our fiduciary responsibilities to our members with delivering positive social and environmental outcomes in our county, where our members have worked and lived. More than that, we hope it provides a framework for others to follow.”