Renewable Energy to Drive African Economic Development

The renewable energy sector could drive economic development in Africa and could possibly compete internationally in future, London-based merchant bank NextEnergy Capital CEO Stefano Sommadossi told Engineering News Online

Renewable energy companies and developers in Africa are struggling to get their projects off the ground because they don’t have the right financial backing. Convincing investors to supply capital to this relatively new area of energy product is proving difficult.

Sommadossi further highlights that attracting the right type of capital and guaranteeing the quality of returns are key for local and international investors. He suggested that South Africa should look to, for example, existing capital such as pension funds, to provide returns to local investors. Jannie Retief, NextEnergy Capital’s Managing Director for its UK operations, a veteran of the UK renewable energy industry will be in South Africa in August. He will be presenting to professionals and authorities who have vested interest in alternative and sustainable energy sources in Africa at The Solar Power Africa 2011 Conference.

NextEnergy Capital will join Africa’s leading minds in solar power from companies like Eskom, Nampower, Shanduka Group, Basil Read Energy, Fluor amongst many others that will be presenting at the Summit. The Solar Power Africa2011 Conference will take place at the Holiday Inn Sandton on the 22 – 25 August 2011. The conference will explore the potential of Solar Power in Africa to deliver the next generation of clean energy.