The €10 million (US$11.8 million) bond has been issued by Germany-based renewable energy start-up, Africa GreenTec Asset Gmbh.
The goal is to provide up to 250,000 people with clean, cheap and reliable energy via the financing and delivery of mobile solar containers. Currently, around 12,000 villages in Mali have no access to electricity.
The 40 foot containers comprise a mobile 41 kW PV installation and 60 kW of battery storage, which can provide off-grid power to the residents who receive them.
They will be sold to local villagers “at fair prices”, with the proceeds used to cover operation and maintenance costs, and debt service.
Traditional diesel-generated electricity can cost as much as €1/kWh, said GreenTec, while the “solartainer” provides power for around €0.22/kWh.
The containers initially relied on crowdfunding, but as founder and CEO of Africa GreenTec, Torsten Schreiber, who is also co-founder of green crowdfunding platform, bettervest, explained, “…crowdfunding investors expect short project terms of around five years and higher interest rates than are offered by our current project [which offers a return of 6.5%].
“Infrastructure projects such as this one, which must be scalable, are therefore better aimed at institutional investors or family offices.”
The benefits of stable and clean electrification include being able to work or study in the evening, when temperatures are cooler.
The German Government is looking to mitigate the causes of refugee flight to Europe by addressing crises where they occur and, as such, supports Africa Greentec in its mission in Mali, which sees many refugee pathways crossing through.
“The German armed forces are sending soldiers to Mali – Africa GreenTec is sending electricity and clean water,” said Schreiber. “We aim to become Africa’s largest supplier of decentralised energy and water,” he added.
In November, Africa GreenTec announced the commissioning of its first solar container in the Tahoua region of Niger.