“Money is not a problem, there is plenty of it,” said Angeles Toledo, manager of Triodos Groenfonds, one of the investment funds of Triodos Investment Management. “The real challenge is to find reliable sponsors with investment projects that we know will have a real impact. If we rise to the challenge, we will have results we can be proud of.” A quick look at some of the projects in the fund’s impact portfolio, which focus on renewable energy in emerging countries.
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Electricity for 13 million households
Climate Investor One is a blended finance fund that invests in solar, wind, and hydro projects in emerging countries. The fund is active in the development and construction of some 30 projects in countries such as Uganda, Tanzania, Nepal, India, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Myanmar.
The projects in the portfolio are expected to generate more than 5,100 GWh per year of clean electricity, enough to power approximately 13 million homes with renewable energy each year. The total expected reduction in CO2 emissions is 1.9 million tons per year. Climate Investor One comprises several funds and financing instruments, each of which finances a specific phase of project development and construction.
Focus on women
The Danish private equity fund Frontier Energy invests in renewable energy projects in Africa. It manages about 20 hydro, solar and wind projects under development. What makes this concept special, according to Angeles Toledo, is the emphasis on gender equality. “About 30% of all project employees are women. So this project goes far beyond the simple production of renewable energy. The women in the regions involved are becoming more independent by earning a salary and being able to take care of their own families. This is a precious help, especially since the situation of women in these regions is often still very precarious. So this fund has an impact on many levels.”
The 365 wind turbines on Lake Turkana in northern Kenya together form the largest wind farm in Africa. This represents about 17% of Kenya’s total energy supply. “This makes a substantial difference to energy production in Kenya,” says Angeles Toledo. “But the impact goes further: the 500 or so employees have benefited from better housing, and local roads and infrastructure have been completely renovated during the construction of the park. Here, too, the fight against global warming goes hand in hand with social improvements in the community.”
A hydroelectric plant in a river
The San Martin hydroelectric plant in Nicaragua was financed by both Triodos and the Belgian development bank BIO. This hydroelectric plant operates on the run-of-river principle and does not affect the ecology of the riverbed. The electricity produced by the plant supplies about 43,000 households. “The production of renewable energy is not at the expense of the local fauna and flora,” Angeles Toledo continues. “In addition, the local population is involved in the project. This not only increases their participation, but also creates additional jobs. Everything is intimately connected.”
25% renewable energy by 2035
Yavoriv, a large solar panel project in northwestern Ukraine, contributes to the country’s goal of increasing the share of renewable energy in its total energy production to 25% by 2035.
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First published in L’Echo, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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