Rockefeller and Ikea foundations pledge $1bn for small scale renewables


Clean energy projects in India, Myanmar, Nigeria, Uganda and Ethiopia could be in the front rank of nations to benefit from a new $1 billion funding line pledged by two philanthropic bodies.

The Ikea Foundation linked to the owners of the Swedish furniture brand and the Rockefeller Foundation, set up to distribute some of the historic profits made by the U.S. energy giant, have jointly pledged to allocate another $500 million each to drive the deployment of small scale renewables equipment in developing countries.

With the announcement made yesterday, a representative of the New York-based Rockefeller Foundation told pv magazine the funding package – a mixture of grants, concessional loans, “patient” equity investment and financial guarantees – will be made available this year. The spokesperson said existing Rockefeller Foundation projects in the aforementioned countries would be among the first to benefit, in addition to initiatives in nations with “strong near-term opportunities,” for distributed renewables, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Haiti, and across the Latin America and Caribbean region.

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The two non-profits yesterday said a new entity would be created to distribute the $1 billion fund with the aim of bringing reliable electricity to around a billion of the 2.8 billion people in the world estimated to lack such facilities.

With the press release issued to announce the $1 billion fund mentioning “shovel-ready” projects in India, Africa and Latin America, the Rockefeller Foundation representative told pv magazine the partners hope their investment will help trigger up to $20 billion in funding for distributed renewables over the next decade.

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