The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) approved a US $842,000 grant to dVentus Technologies - a technology-based and knowledge-driven company focused on the development of innovative and energy efficiency products for the energy sector - to support their corporate expansion in the energy efficiency equipment segment. The grant will help establish a local manufacturing facility of smart meters in Ethiopia to realize the national and regional market opportunity, while also harnessing the availability of highly skilled and trained young Ethiopian engineers.
Specifically, the SEFA grant will finance a market and bankability study as well as product validation and certification with the aim of mitigating part of the technical development risks and catalysing the financing required for the transition and expansion plan. The grant will also be instrumental in crowding-in investments in an industry of key importance for enabling investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Once operational, the dVentus manufacturing facility will provide competitive, reliable and energy efficient products that will lead downstream to an improvement in power distribution and generation, and in energy management that will help address Ethiopia's current and projected energy shortfall. Smart electric meters will have a direct impact in efficient billing, load management, tariff management, and theft control resulting in smaller power losses, fewer power outages and better customer service. It is estimated that savings up to US $66 million per year and a 50% reduction in distribution losses could be achieved if the two million connected clients in Ethiopia were to use this technology. The project is also expected to contribute to technology transfer of high-tech engineering and to the creation of up to 150 jobs during construction of the manufacturing facility and another 150 jobs during operations, out of which 80% are expected to be highly-skilled jobs.
The project will help demonstrate the viability of indigenous high-tech suppliers for the growing clean energy sector in Africa. It aligns with the Ethiopian Climate Resilience and Green Economy Strategy and the vision expressed in the Ethiopian Growth and Transformation Plan 2011-2015 to support the creation and promotion of an industrial sector that plays a leading role in the economy.
SEFA support to dVentus Technologies fits within AfDB's broader cooperation with Power Africa - a United States of America Presidential initiative aimed at supporting economic growth and development by increasing access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable power in all of Sub-Saharan Africa, including in Ethiopia.
About the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA): SEFA is a multi-donor facility to unlock private investments in small to medium sized clean energy projects in Africa, operating through three components: (i) grants to facilitate the preparation of renewable energy generation and energy efficiency projects; (ii) equity investments to bridge the financing gap for renewable energy generation projects and; (iii) support to public sector in improving the enabling environment for private investments in sustainable energy. SEFA is endowed with US $60 million from the Governments of Denmark and United States. The Fund is hosted by the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department of the AfDB.