Market Information
Access to Finance

The Finance Catalyst links renewable energy projects to finance opportunities and vice versa, targeting small- and medium-scale renewable energy (RE) projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. It provides advisory support on project development, project structuring and accessing finance through a team of dedicated experts with extensive experience in renewable energy project development and finance in Africa.

Many of these projects are challenging for financiers due to the relatively small ticket size, and due to their limited experience with these technologies and new business models. Project developers may lack the experience, networks or time to identify appropriate sources of finance, resulting in high transaction costs and few projects reaching financial close.

The team assists private sector driven RE projects, on-grid as well as off-grid. Whether corporate embedded RE production projects or grid-connected independent power producers (IPPs), mini-grids, solar home system businesses, or (decentralized) energy services companies (ESCOs and DESCOs), projects with strong underlying fundamentals can be supported to access debt, equity or grants, aiming to reach financial close. The support is available to the whole range of technologies within the RE sector. The team has dealt with wind, solar, hybrid, hydro, biomass and biogas projects in a variety of business models.

The Finance Catalyst services are fully complementary to other support and financing instruments in so far as they assist market participants in accessing them, and help these instruments towards stronger traction and results.

Paul has over 20 years of experience with investing in the clean energy sector in emerging markets. He has been engaged in investing seed capital and growth capital with entrepreneurs, including in sectors like solar, hydro and biomass and has developed and managed several investment funds in the sector. As a consultant, his themes are financing of innovative businesses in emerging markets. He operates out of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Paul leads the Finance Catalyst team.

Janos has 25+ years broad banking experience in emerging markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America in the field of corporate and project finance, financial institutions finance, and restructuring, work-outs, of which 15+ years specialist (renewable) energy structured finance and project development. He has broad experience and an extensive network in the DFI and commercial banking sector at high level. His specialties are financing private and private/public power sector transactions and RE solutions. Janos has a vast network in the (Renewable) Power Sector in Europe, Africa and Asia. Focus of the network of Janos are DFIs, Commercial Banks, Investors, Developers, Financiers, Specialist Advisors (Legal, Technical, E&S, model/tax reviews). Janos has been in lead roles in structuring of complex finance transactions covering pre-financial close development equity investments (USD 2-3 million transactions) and arranging long term DFI project finance (USD 20-200 mezzanine/senior debt million transactions). He has had advisory roles for developers & financiers. His approach is target driven, high quality, accountability, integrity, team work, bringing parties together, looking for opportunities and solutions, taking challenges in difficult markets. Janos has extensive experience with financing the power technologies in the field of thermal LCO/gas, wind, solar, hydro’s and geothermal.

Marc operates out of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is a seasoned financial expert with more than 26 years of worldwide investment and development banking experience, mostly in the energy sector . Trained and nurtured by ABN Amro, ING Barings and PriceWaterhousCoopers, Marc brings excellent execution skills which were awarded by ING and PwC with responsibility for best practice. As an advisor to EDF, he was involved in Africa’s first wind park in the 90’s. To bring renewable energy to emerging markets he entered the development banking world in 2003. He has been involved in most RE projects on the continent. On behalf of the Atkins-SE4ALL consortium he advised the European Commission in 2013 on ‘an equity instrument for the private market’ which resulted in ElectriFI, a scheme designed to deliver early convertible subordinated debt instruments alongside a technical assistance unit standardising and making bankable project proposals. He is a part-time expert with the RECP-FC.

Jeannetta is energy, public-public private partnership (PPP) and legal consultant based in Kigali, Rwanda. She has over 9 years of experience in advising governments, lenders, donors and private developers on large-scale infrastructure transactions across various sectors and jurisdictions. Jeannetta served as a transaction advisor for Power Africa where she assisted projects and developers across East and Central Africa. She also served as the Lead Transactions Advisor for the PPP unit of the Rwandan Government, where she structured and negotiated over USD 800 million in investments.

In her legal career, Jeannetta spent time as a project finance associate at Shearman & Sterling LLP representing banks, sponsors, Fortune 500 companies and other institutional investors in cross-border transactions, as well as within the legal departments of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the UN.

Jeannetta holds a Juris Doctorate from Boston University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Wake Forest University in Political Science and Japanese.

Ad is a senior sustainable energy consultant specialized in small- and medium scale renewable energy projects, with an engineering and economics focus. In his 20 years of work in the region, he was engaged by e.g. European utility companies, World Bank and Power Africa. He has a wide experience in project preparation, capacity building and developing lending components of projects, all to accelerate renewable energy investments. Recently Mr. Dankers served as the executive director of Energy Access Partnership, a not-for-profit company that worked to increase energy access in Southern Africa, including the implementation of a rural electrification program (combined grid extension and solar home systems) that covered a service area of 10,000 people. Mr. Dankers is a Netherlands citizen, working out of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Michael is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has accumulated over 20 years experience in VC and infrastructure finance and focusses his work on assisting RE developers with reaching financial closure. Michael has been instrumental in the financial closure of the first commercially viable (4.6MW) biogas plant in South Africa. He has also acted for the French Development Agency (AFD) assisting in the disbursement of €120m in long-term loans to RE and EE projects (SUNREF I) via three South African banks. Michael has conducted training in RE project finance in Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia for bankers and developers. He has also advised a multitude of RE projects in Southern Africa through his long standing affiliation with the Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN). Michael holds an MBA in Finance from Erasmus University in The Netherlands.

Daniele operates out of Cortona, Italy. He is an economist with a wealth of experience in sustainable energy and energy access, mostly focusing on market uptake and policy aspects, serving private sector as well as institutional clients. He acquired profound expertise in RE project investment feasibility analysis, business planning, due diligence, finance structuring and facilitation, technology transfer, export management, and M&E. He has worked on solar, biomass, biofuel, waste-to-energy, and energy efficiency projects. He advised on rural electrification planning and uses and linkages between sustainable agriculture and renewable energy. Daniele designed and supported rural energy development in 13 countries in Africa and has been collaborating with the PFAN network since its early days: scouting ventures, coaching clean tech entrepreneurs, inducting financiers and taking part in pipeline selection panels. He holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics & Policy, a Masters degree in Environmental Policy (Tufts University) and a BSc degree in Economics.

Emiel is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He has over 20 years experience in the sustainability and renewable energy sector, specifically biomass and bioenergy. He has been working in the field of renewable energy in emerging and developing countries since 2004 and has advised and assisted many businesses. He has been involved in several renewable energy market and feasibility studies and supported international and local businesses getting access to funding and finance. Emiel has field experience in Cape Verde, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria and South Africa. He obtained two MSc degrees: one in environmental policy and management and one in physics, both at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Emiel is founder and shareholder of Partners for Innovation BV.

Gregor Paterson-Jones is a independent fund establishment expert in the Renewable Energy and Development Finance sectors. He acts as a Board member, investment committee member and advisor with clients including the European Investment Bank, the European Union, the UNCDF, Mergence , The African Development Bank and a number of Sovereign Wealth Funds. With a robust career that spans over 23 years and many proven successes as a principle investor in renewable energy funds and infrastructure investment banking sectors, he now focusses on advising development banks, governments and international organisations on fund establishment and deal execution across several key industries. He was previously managing Director the UK Green Investment Bank, and CEO of Sterling Waterford.

Maurice is a consultant on renewable energy (RE), business development and development aid. He has over 12 years of technical and project management experience in solar PV, hydropower and biomass projects. He is a shareholder in two RE companies and has worked as an expert advisor and consultant to GIZ, KfW, the World Bank, BTC, the Government of Rwanda and other clients. The focus of his work is the development of private sector support programmes and public-private partnership frameworks. Recent country experience includes Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Namibia, Mozambique, Afghanistan, Tanzania and South Africa. Maurice holds a Masters in Mechanical Engineering (MEng) from Imperial College, London and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the Open University, UK.

Peter is based in Helsinki, Finland. He is a seasoned financing professional, specialised in developing countries and transition economies with significant expertise in renewable energy as well as other infrastructure sectors. He has held senior positions with major European banks and project developers and has over 20 years experience of working on multi-disciplinary advisory and financing mandates and of structuring and developing projects. Peter is a Global Coordinator of the Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN). PFAN is a multilateral public-private partnership which connects Clean Energy projects with investment in developing countries.

Stan is a consultant with over a year of experience in the fields of renewable energy and sustainable use of resources. He has conducted renewable energy market studies in sub-Saharan Africa, and analysed renewable energy support programs and regulations worldwide. Stan has up-to-date research experience in Benin, working on a project to assess the techno-economic feasibility of local manufacturing & installation of small wind turbines, and also develop an action plan for the kick-start of a small wind sector. In addition, he has worked on a study for the Dutch government to identify renewable energy business opportunities in Zimbabwe, focused on the strengths of the Dutch private sector. Stan has a Bachelor's engineering Degree in Technological Innovation Sciences (specialization track Energy) and a Master's Degree (cum laude) in Innovation Sciences (specialization track Energy Policy).

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