A new investment project is looking to get renewable projects over the financing hump in the region of North Africa and the Middle East (MENA). Called the Renewable Energy Development and Investment Vehicle for MENA (REDIMENA), the proposed fund would provide $1 to $5 million in risk capital to help renewable energy projects reach the construction phase.
The project is the brainchild of the Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii) and was announced in conjunction with the group’s recent forecast that renewable energy capacity will double in the MENA region by 2015 — from 1.7 to 3.3 gigawatts. To help that move along, Dii is aiming to set REDIMENA up with initial funding of $40.5 million.
“North Africa and the Middle East are at the beginning of an impressive energy transition based on wind and sun,” said Dii CEO Paul van Son. “A well-developed, shovel-ready project then builds the basis for the much larger amounts of private sector investment necessary for constructing a renewable energy power plant.”
As of the early 2000s, almost 90 percent of the MENA region’s electricity generation was projected to come from oil and natural gas through 2030. Electricity use in most countries was anticipated to at least double by that same year. In terms of poverty, MENA is doing better than some, but remains a region of the world struggling its way into development. The number of people living on $2 a day or less was just shy of 40 million in 2010, or about 12 percent of the population. All of which would make the introduction of more renewable energy welcome in terms of both combating climate change and reducing energy poverty.
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