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The Climate Finance Accelerator

Preparing projects that are attractive to investors is challenging. Low carbon projects are often perceived as higher risk as new technologies and business models are not widely understood. Regulatory and policy barriers can also create blockages in accessing capital at scale.

The Climate Finance Accelerator (CFA) is a global technical assistance programme funded by the UK government to directly support climate projects to access finance. The CFA partners with emerging economies with the aim of encouraging the flows of finance required to deliver on countries’ ambition to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

The CFA is a global technical assistance programme, funded by the UK Government which will:

  • Work closely with eight middle-income countries
  • Work across Mexico, Colombia, Nigeria, Peru, Turkey and South Africa; and launching in another two countries shortly
  • Support them to develop a sustainable pipeline of bankable, low-carbon projects
  • Identify suitable financing options, working with financiers in-country and from the City of London
  • Contribute to embedding a permanent CFA process in each country to identify financing for low-carbon projects to support countries’ efforts in implementing their NDCs

There are 3 priority stakeholder groups for the CFA to engage:

Project proponents

Project proponents

Finance community

Finance community

Policy makers

Policy makers

The CFA has 5 core aims:

  • Strengthen the capacity of project proponents to design low carbon, investable projects
  • Establish networks between climate finance participants
  • Improve participants’ understanding of climate finance
  • Increase policymakers’ awareness of barriers and enablers in the enabling environment for climate finance
  • Plan for CFA process is fully developed and owned by relevant stakeholders

There are 6 core phases:

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1. Scoping

  • Climate finance demand and supply mapping
  • Stakeholder mapping
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2. In-Country process

  • Selection of projects
  • Capacity building of project proponents
  • Event for project proponents & financiers
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3. London event

  • Selection of projects
  • Capacity building of project proponents
  • Event for project proponents & financiers
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4. In-Country follow up

  • Follow up with projects
  • CFA process evaluation
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5. CFA conference

  • Conference hosted in London for all CFA countries
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6. Ongoing CFA implementation

  • Contribute to embedding a permanent CFA process in each country

The CFA recognises key climate finance challenges and works to address the following:

  • Insufficient pipeline of bankable projects – with the CFA offering support to project proponents to make their projects more bankable.
  • Climate projects struggling to access finance – with the CFA providing a convening function between project proponents and financiers.

The CFA also recognises that there are enabling environment challenges that can be addressed through that convening power which includes policymakers, but the CFA offer focuses on providing recommendations on ways to address these barriers. 

Through its hands on work with projects, the CFA identifies common barriers to finance that project proponents face, and ways which the enabling environment could be improved to remove these barriers. Part of the CFA process involves making recommendations to policy makers to address barriers to finance.

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What groups are involved in the CFA?

The CFA Team in SA

The global programme is delivered by PwC, in collaboration with Ricardo. The National Business Initiative (NBI) in partnership with GreenCape have been appointed as the national delivery partners for the CFA South Africa.

Delivery Partners

Delivery-Partner
  • Leading the CFA on the ground in South Africa
  • Responsible for day-to day coordination of the capacity building
  • Key point of contact

Core Team

Core-Team
  • Coordinating the CFA across all countries
  • Developing templates and materials to use in South Africa
  • Coordinating international and technical experts for capacity building

UK Government

UK-Government
  • Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) funds and oversees delivery of the CFA across all countries
  • Ian Callaghan, the originator of the CFA concept, works with BEIS as a CFA advisor
  • The High Commission ensures the CFA is tailored to the South African context, and promotes synergies with other programmes

The value/benefit of the CFA

By engaging with the CFA programme, project developers can benefit from:

  • Access to investors
  • Coaching and best practice insights
  • Networking opportunities
  • Increased visibility
  • Achieving low carbon project objectives
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The CFA in South Africa

The CFA is a practical and deal-oriented programme that supports climate projects to improve their bankability and appeal to financiers. 

In South Africa, the CFA brings together the key actors in the climate finance ‘supply chain’: project proponents & developers, finance providers (private and public, national, regional & global) and policymakers. The CFA also seeks to deliver several co-benefits, such as supporting a just transition and green recovery efforts from COVID-19 through inclusive approaches to sustainable development, improved gender equality, and building resilience to climate impacts.

The CFA provides a package of support to project proponents:

1. Project assessment

We will work to assess projects, establish how the CFA can be of most value, and then develop a tailored package of CFA support.

2. Capacity building

3-4 months of bespoke capacity building, including:

  • Sessions with financial experts
  • Tools & templates for project financing
  • Technical support group sessions

3. Multi-day event

We bring together projects and investors for a series of pitch opportunities, as well as shared learning sessions.

4. Ongoing relationship 

We will agree on how the CFA can best support your project going forward – through regular follow-ups, or a second round of CFA support.

Selected project developers will benefit from:

Access to potential investors

Access to potential investors

Coaching & technical guidance

Coaching & technical guidance

Networking opportunities

Networking opportunities

Increased national visibility

Increased national visibility

Achieve climate mitigation objectives

Achieve climate mitigation objectives

The CFA in South Africa

The CFA launched a Call for Proposals on 3rd June 2021, to identify ~10 high quality climate mitigation projects, strengthen their technical and commercial propositions, and connect them with suitable investors

The CFA is looking for projects that:

Will achieve measurable climate outcomes

Will achieve measurable climate outcomes

Will require over US$10M* of finance

Will require over US$10M* of finance

Are at least at the pre-feasibility stage

Are at least at the pre-feasibility stage

Will generate commercially viable returns in the long-term

Will generate commercially viable returns in the long-term

Will have positive impacts on gender, inclusion and Just Transition

Will have positive impacts on gender, inclusion and Just Transition

We received over 120 project proposals with a combined funding requirement of over $10bn.

We conducted three stages of project review to select the most impactful and feasible projects:

1

Prerequisite review

2

Detailed review

3

Project review

We selected 13 projects to make up the CFA SA cohort for 2021.

Cohort of sectors/projects supported under the CFA South Africa

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energy
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  • Black Soldier Flies Breeding South Africa – Providing black soldier fly larvae that can be grown by anybody and used to produce products such as protein meal, insect oil, biodiesel, and soil enhancer.
  • Go-Lectric – Providing electric scooters to middle and low-income urban commuters as well as the growing short-distance delivery market. Also developing solar powered battery charging infrastructure.
  • The Green Cab – Setting up a Cab Division where women owner-drivers will operate electric vehicles on a national e-hailing app under The Green Cab brand plugged into corporate services.
  • Greenline Africa aims to revolutionize the way industrial processing produces their heat and steam by transitioning away from fossil fuels to a powerful renewable source – a dynamic solar thermal concentrator. This will reduce manufacturing costs and create sustainable jobs.
  • MOTU – The installation of cloud-based metering and renewable energy equipment in new developments and retrofit buildings. Energy use is monitored in real time with artificial intelligence optimising the use of energy over time.
  • RBN Fund Managers (PTY) Ltd and GFA Climate and Infrastructure (PTY) Ltd – New instruments to address funding climate infrastructure in Southern Africa by streamlining project financing into a single blended finance instrument through a partnership between commercial banks and institutional investors.
  • Renewco – Cutting edge Biogas and other renewable energy solutions for small-medium scale operations, with a positive impact on the natural environment through waste stream management and recovery of water to use for irrigation.
  • Restore Africa Funds – Promotes climate-smart conservation and regenerative agriculture at scale by supporting farmers to adapt to climate change while mitigating agriculture-based emissions and increasing soil carbon sequestration.
  • SANERGY – Applies a circular economy approach to safe waste treatment and reuse, while addressing critical food security and environmental challenges in fast-growing cities. Sanergy’s Nairobi facility has the capacity to transform 72,000 t/yr of waste into insect-protein for animal feeds, organic fertilizers for horticulture, and biomass fuel for industry. Now scoping out expansion to South Africa.
  • Spark Plaid Solar – A solar rooftop marketplace that manages and streamlines the fragmentation of solar installers, product suppliers and financiers to make solar simple for homeowners and businesses.
  • Ukuqala Okusha – The first industrial Black-owned organic fertilizer company to enter the agricultural arena. Sewage is treated using black soldier flies, from which fertilizer protein oil and water are extracted. The profits from the fertilizer are then reinvested into the community.
  • Wetility  – Enabling clients to generate and store solar energy, automatically release the stored electricity to power homes and businesses, stay shielded from grid outages and save on energy costs.

Media Releases:

British High Commission together with the NBI and GreenCape launch Climate Finance Accelerator in South Africa and open call for proposals.

A new innovative Climate Finance Accelerator (CFA) programme was launched today, which supports South Africa’s efforts to implement its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by bringing…

Climate Finance Accelerator South Africa: First Cohort of Projects Announced

The Climate Finance Accelerator (CFA) South Africa has announced 13 innovative lowcarbon projects that it will support to access finance from investors following a call for proposals that attracted 120 applications…
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