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IFC and E+Co Launch Sustainable Energy Fund


In Washington DC:
Lucie Giraud

Phone: +(202)458 4662

Email:
lgiraud@ifc.org

E+Co (in Bloomfield, NJ):

Gina Rodolico

Phone:+ (973) 680 9100

Email:
gina@energyhouse.com
www.energyhouse.com


Washington, DC, December 6, 2005— The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, launched today a $14 million fund that will finance sustainable energy projects, such as hydro energy and efficient lighting, in Central America, Brazil, China, and Southeast Asia. The fund will be managed by E+Co, a public purpose investment company based in Bloomfield, New Jersey, which specializes in the financing of small-scale energy projects in emerging markets. The fund, called Sustainable Energy Facility (SEF), will use donor funds from the Global Environmental Facility and leverage financing from other lenders.

E+Co will serve as the sole fund manager and will focus the fund towards debt and equity investments in enterprises requiring seed capital and growth funding. E+Co is expected to commit 25% of the fund for early stage investments and 75% for more mature, later stage investments. IFC will grant E+Co an additional $2.6 million for technical assistance to provide business development services to enterprises.  


“The E+Co model of energy enterprise development is unique in its combination of business development services and catalytic capital. SEF will allow E+Co to expand the impact of its model. We expect to leverage additional funding and demonstrate the role small and medium businesses can have in delivering modern energy in developing countries, with significant social and environmental impacts,” said Philip LaRocco, E+Co’s founder and Executive Director.


Rachel Kyte, IFC’s Director for Environment and Social Development, commented, “IFC’s commitment to sustainable energy leads us to explore innovative ways to finance projects in emerging markets. I hope the SEF will provide a model for others.”


SEF will finance the following types of investments:

  • Grid-connected renewable energy projects, including wind, biomass, run-of-river hydro, geothermal, and solar less than 15 megawatts, with projects ranging from $1-2 million per megawatt;
  • Off-grid, distributed generation projects including solar home systems and small central stations; and
  • Energy service companies (ESCOs) as they implement energy efficiency investments in areas such as industry, lighting, and heating.

The Global Environment Facility helps developing countries fund projects and programs that protect the global environment. Established in 1991, it is the designated financial mechanism for international agreements on biodiversity, climate change, and persistent organic pollutants. It also supports projects that combat desertification and protect international waters and the ozone layer. Its activities, funded by member countries, are implemented largely through the World Bank, UNDP, and UNEP. IFC acts as a private sector interface for the GEF, operating through the World Bank as a GEF implementing agency. To date, IFC has developed $174 million of GEF-eligible projects.


The mission of IFC (
www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications fro 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries, IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.

E+Co is the leading provider of services and capital to modern energy enterprises in developing countries. Organized as a not-for-profit, public purpose investment company, E+Co has invested more than $12 million in more than 110 clean energy small and medium enterprises in 35 developing countries. These enterprises are now providing triple bottom line results including: over 2 million people with energy services; displacing 76 million kilograms of firewood for cooking; and, annually offsetting 911,000 tons of greenhouse gases. Over $111 million has been leveraged from third parties around the globe, including foundations, governments, corporations and individuals. Over the next five years, E+Co will invest $80 million in more than 200 clean energy businesses, leveraging $900 million of additional capital and serving 7.5 million people currently lacking clean, affordable energy.