Summary

Launched
2007
Estimated duration
7 Years
Estimated total value
$210,000,000
Locations
BOLIVIA; BRAZIL; CAMBODIA; CHINA; COSTA RICA; EL SALVADOR; ETHIOPIA; GHANA; GUATEMALA; HONDURAS
Partners
Citi Foundation; Selco Solar Light Pvt. Ltd.; Grameen Foundation; Shell Foundation; E+Co., Inc.

Energy for Development and Environment

Approach

E+Co’s commitment is to create a means by which small and medium clean energy businesses are supported, financed and expanded on a scale sufficient to meet the massive energy needs in developing countries in a manner that is financially, socially and environmentally sustainable.
To achieve this, E+Co must:
– Continue and expand its enterprise-centered model of delivering services and capital to small and medium energy companies;
– Expand its partnership relationships to increase the scale and impact; and
– Push the boundaries of its ‘triple bottom line investment ‘ approach until the twin problems of energy poverty and energy waste are eliminated.
Over the next five years, E+Co will invest $190 million of services and capital so that local businesses in Africa, Asia and Latin America can deliver modern energy to 17 million people and offset 16 million tons of carbon. This investment is expected to mobilize over $1 billion of additional capital for local clean energy businesses.
The 17 million people to be served represent about 1% of the people presently un-served by clean, modern energy (and predicted by the International Energy Agency to still be un-served by 2030). It is E+Co’s contention – based on the experience of the micro-finance industry – that reaching 80 to 120 million people (4%-5% of the un-served population) will change business as usual in an unalterable way and pave the way for more specialized, more commercial operations through conventional financial institutions that presently do not allow access to capital by small, local enterprises.
An innovative element of this commitment is that E+Co will aggregate and monetize the carbon credits of E+Co supported enterprises, share these monetary benefits with the enterprises, and offer these third-party, independently verified carbon credits for sale to companies and others desiring to achieve carbon neutrality in a way that also promotes development. This is expected to produce $20 million for small, local companies in countries like Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ghana, Tanzania and Cambodia that otherwise may never have seen the benefit of the Kyoto Protocol and the streams of carbon finance now in the marketplace. Sales of the carbon credits are also expected to produce $20 million for E+Co to help support and implement this initiative.
Investing in local small and medium energy businesses is not yet a ‘commercial’ model, nor is it conventional philanthropy or charity; it is a hybrid business model. Fundraising for a hybrid business model on a scale that will make an impact on the energy problem is challenging. E+Co’s approach is premised on there being sufficient private and public sector commitment and resolve in the world to make substantial progress in achieving the goals of bringing clean energy to the energy poor, avoiding more damage to the planet’s atmosphere, and building sustainable, local business capacity.
E+Co’s model offers a ‘triple bottom line’ value proposition to its partners.
Since 1994, E+Co has proven that its enterprise centered model works. To date, it has invested in 138 enterprises, bringing clean, modern energy to 3.6 million people, offsetting 13 million tons of carbon over the life of the investment and mobilizing $150 million of financing. However, the scale of the problem demands a commitment to this model that is greater than E+Co can achieve unilaterally. Our intent is to partner with local entrepreneurs, governments, corporations, carbon buyers and others committed to social enterprise in order to expedite the flow of needed finance and expertise to small and medium energy businesses so that they may lead the way to serving the energy needs of people and the planet. The Clinton Global Initiative provides a unique opportunity to connect this work with partners and resources.
E+Co is a global organization of 38 men and women professionals who operate through seven local offices in Ghana, South Africa, Thailand, China, Costa Rica, Brazil, and Bolivia, with management, finance and operations support from offices in the Netherlands and United States. The locally based staff are responsible for identification, nurturing, due diligence, monitoring, evaluation and asset management of the E+Co investment pipeline and portfolio.
E+Co’s policies and activities are governed by a Board of Directors that brings to E+Co a broad range of financial, legal, management and marketing skills, as well as a rich familiarity with clean energy, sustainable development and working in developing countries. This is supplemented by an advisory board committed to the enterprise centered model and its scale-up.
Implementation Strategy:
E+Co has in place the human, financial, legal and organizational infrastructure to deliver on this level of commitment.
E+Co will implement the commitment via its two main demand-side products: Enterprise Development Services and Investment.
Enterprise Development Services include: market assessment; business plan development; risk identification and mitigation; determination of carbon finance’s impact on cash flow; financial modeling and/or securing of next stage financing; organizational/ownership structuring; creation of legal agreements, regulatory/central bank compliance; operational problem resolution; assessment of financial, social and environmental returns, and completion of environmental impact assessment checklist.
Investment, in the form of debt or equity, is made subject to local laws and conditions.
Timeline: Five-Year period (2008-2012)
Anticipated Launch: November 2007
First Milestone(s): Closing on multi-year purchase of verified emission reductions (VERS); $10 million funding partnership.
January 30, 2008
To launch the Energy for Development and Environment Commitment, funding must be secured for both E+Co’s investment and enterprise development services. The E+Co system has a healthy and vibrant pipeline of investment opportunities.
Measures of Success:
– $190 million invested in small and medium enterprises that provide clean, modern energy to households, businesses and communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
– 370+ investments.
– 17 million people receiving access to clean energy.
– 4.3 million households served.
– 15 million tones of carbon offsets.
– 5 million tones of carbon monetized.
– $20 million of carbon finance to local entrepreneurs; $20 million to E+Co to support investments.
– $1.4 billion dollars of additional capital mobilized.

Background

E+Co is a global organization of 38 men and women professionals who operate through seven local offices in Ghana, South Africa, Thailand, China, Costa Rica, Brazil, and Bolivia, with management, finance and operations support from offices in the Netherlands and United States. The locally based staff are responsible for identification, nurturing, due diligence, monitoring, evaluation and asset management of the E+Co investment pipeline and portfolio.
E+Co’s policies and activities are governed by a Board of Directors that brings to E+Co a broad range of financial, legal, management and marketing skills, as well as a rich familiarity with clean energy, sustainable development and working in developing countries. This is supplemented by an advisory board committed to the enterprise centered model and its scale-up.

Progress Update

April 2011
Through a partnership with Goldman Sachs, E+Co completed its first sale of carbon credits in 2010. To date, it has sold over 93,000 Gold Standard carbon credits (equal to 93,000 tons CO2e).
The Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM) signed an agreement with E+Co in 2010 to expand E+Co’s financing resources to invest in enterprises providing clean energy services, thereby contributing to poverty reduction, economic development and environmental sustainability. E+Co will use SIFEM’s facility to invest in clean energy enterprises through its ‘market-based, enterprise-centric’ model.
In 2010, E+Co joined forces with SELCO and the Grameen Foundation to form The Alliance for Energy Enterprise Initiative (AEEI). This initiative established an energy business incubator in India that used standardized processes and on the ground training to train clean energy entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs were recruited, screened, trained in energy business basics and allowed unrestricted access to explore SELCO’s model, processes and operations. As a result, four enterprises have been incubated and are in the advanced stages of creating their business plans to present to investors. The partnership will expand during the coming years.
E+Co developed a strategic plan in 2010 to expand its online distance learning platform, formally known as the Invisible Schoolhouse. Learning from the experiences on the ground through AEEI, this platform converts local learning into global capacity building for socially and environmentally minded energy entrepreneurs. Its decentralized, online nature creates the conditions for an exponential increase in pipeline development and investment opportunities for both the commercial and catalytic investing pillars. Additionally, its role as a central hub for the institutionalization and sharing of knowledge across global emerging markets, and between clean energy technologies, leverages the lessons learned from E+Co’s 16 years of experience and presents it to the world through an accessible and practical medium.
The entrepreneur rests at the core E+Co’s work. Recognition of the benefits and innovative steps clean energy entrepreneurs have made in local communities indirectly furthers E+Co’s mission to increase energy access in the developing world. In 2010, Several E+Co investees have received recognition for their innovative work increasing energy access in their local communities.
Toyola Energy, a fuel efficient cookstove manufacturer and distributor in Ghana that has served over 35,000 households offset 140,000 tons of CO2, was awarded the Africa Energy Award. Entrepreneur Suraj Wahab – also received the partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA) ‘2011 Special Achievement Award in Developing Local Markets’.
Tanzania’s Rural Energy Agency (REA) granted ten awards amounting to almost US $1 million to ten companies that were winners in the Lighting Rural Tanzania Competition. Four E+Co investees were award recipients: Intra Professions East Africa, Zara Solar, ENSOL and L’Solutions.
Across the Atlantic, Tecnosol, a solar enterprise in Nicaragua that has completed 40,000 installations to date, providing solar energy to 240,000 people, was one of three winners of the Inter-American Development Bank Microenterprise Awards. Tecnosol was also recognized as the Latin American Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010 by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. Finally, Tecnosol was a finalist for the 2010 Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy 2010.
The large amount of time and human capacity needed to effectively train clean energy entrepreneurs represents one of E+Co’s greatest challenges to achieving the target goals of this commitment. In an effort to address this challenge, E+Co is in the process of completing a core clean energy entrepreneur training curriculum based on information extracted from its 16 years of experience conducting enterprise development services on the ground, and lessons learned from the intensive face-to-face training conducted through AEEI.

Partnership Opportunities

SEEKING: financial resources, implementing partners, media and marketing assistance.
OFFERING: implementing partners, best practice information. E+Co has built significant expertise in clean energy enterprise in the developing world, and has always been willing to share that knowledge and expertise with interested stakeholders.

NOTE: This Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action is made, implemented, and tracked by the partners listed. CGI is a program dedicated forging new partnerships, providing technical support, and elevating compelling models with potential to scale. CGI does not directly fund or implement these projects.