Sumario: 11 December 2008, Brussels/Poznań - The Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF) set up by the European Commission to provide clean energy to developing countries and economies in transition has decided on a first set of investments totalling €22 million. Contributing to the fight against climate change, the investments will finance small-scale renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan and southern Africa as well as in Asia.
Today, an announcement was made today by European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas at a presentation of the GEEREF at the UN Climate Change Conference in Poznań, Poland.
"The GEEREF is creating a finance platform to support the global fight against both climate change and poverty," Commissioner Dimas said. "Tackling both these issues together is at the heart of the EU's 'shared vision' for a global and comprehensive international agreement on climate change that we are discussing here in Poznan and which must be concluded by the end of 2009."
The GEEREF Investment Committee has given preliminary approval to investments totalling €22 million in two commercial renewable energy investment funds, one focusing on projects in sub-Saharan and southern Africa and the other in Asia with a primary focus on India. Both funds will invest equity in renewable energy projects such as wind energy generation, small hydro-electric generation, biomass and methane recovery. In the regions where the two funds operate, there is a lack of equity investment available through the market for these types of projects.
"1.6 billion people worldwide still have no regular access to reliable energy services. GEEREF investments will accelerate the transfer, development and deployment of environmentally sound technologies, and thereby help to bring secure and clean energy supplies to people in poorer regions of the world," said Louis Michel, European Commissioner for development and humanitarian aid.
How GEEREF will work
Decided on by the Commission in 2006, GEEREF will primarily invest in renewable energy and sustainable energy infrastructure funds and similar investment structures tailored to regional needs and conditions. With other partners, it will also co-invest in specific projects. The focus will be mainly on investments below €10 million as these are mostly ignored by private investors and international finance institutions. It is envisaged that GEEREF will invest in regional sub-funds for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) region, North Africa, non-EU Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia.
Together the European Commission, Germany and Norway have committed about €110m to the GEEREF over the period 2007-2011 and it is envisaged that further financing from other public and private sources will be forthcoming.
GEEREF is managed by an investment committee of delegates representing its shareholders and industry experts. It is advised by the European Investment Fund and the European Investment Bank.