news - FMO and GCPF invest USD 20 mln in Starsight Premier Energy Finance for East Africa Solar Projects


FMO and GCPF invest USD 20 mln in Starsight Premier Energy Finance for East Africa Solar Projects

July 17, 2023

FMO and the Global Climate Partnership Fund (GCPF) are investing USD 10 million each in renewable energy company Starsight Premier Energy Finance (SPEF). The two investments will support commercial and industrial solar projects in East Africa and thus reduce CO2 emissions.

In Kenya, industrial and commercial enterprises pay high grid tariffs ranging from USD 13-20 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity. Thanks to its innovative lease to own model, SPEF offers commercial and industrial clients in East Africa the opportunity to lease a solar photovoltaic system for 12-15 years after which the system is transferred to the client. The monthly lease payment includes the lease amount for the system, maintenance, insurance, and spare parts. This allows the client to generate their own electricity for about USD 6-8 cents per kilowatt hour.


Cutting electricity costs by up to 60%

For manufacturers SPEF also offers an Asset Finance structure which allows clients to take advantage of certain investment allowances and further reduce the cost of their own generated power to as low as USD 4 cents per kilowatt hour. Rupesh Hindocha, CEO, SPEF says: "Thanks to our financing models, our customers usually save 35-60% in electricity costs compared to their local electricity provider. We are honoured to have received this investment from GCPF and FMO which will help us scale up our C&I solar PV business across the region. Together we are driving the energy transition in East Africa."

GCPF empowers sustainable energy in East Africa

GCPF's investment in SPEF is an important milestone in promoting sustainable energy solutions in East Africa. Peter Page, Investment Officer, responsAbility says: "Supporting solar PV projects for commercial and industrial applications will provide affordable and reliable access to energy for businesses in the region, spur economic development in East Africa and reduce CO2 emissions. GCPF mobilises private capital with public money to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in emerging markets. The aim is to mitigate climate change.

FMO committing USD 10 million

FMO, via the Building Prospects Fund, is investing USD 10 million in SPEF. FMO manages Building Prospects on behalf of the Dutch government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the aim to strengthen local economies and create jobs in the private sector. Robert Voskuilen, Manager Energy says: "We are proud to partner with SPEF to advance sustainable energy systems in East Africa, as well as social and economic progress."


About responsAbility Investments AG

responsAbility Investments AG is a leading impact asset manager specializing in private market investments across three investment themes to directly contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Financial Inclusion, to finance the growth of Micro & SMEs; Climate Finance, to contribute to a net zero pathway; and Sustainable Food, to sustainably feed an ever-growing population. All responsAbility investment solutions target specific measurable impact alongside market returns.  Since its inception in 2003, responsAbility has deployed over USD 13 billion in impact investments. With over 200 employees collaborating across seven offices, as of 1 March 2023 the company manages USD 4.8 billion in assets across approximately 280 portfolio companies in 74 countries. Since 2022 responsAbility is part of M&G plc, the international savings, and investments business, and contributes to enhancing M&G’s capabilities in impact investing.

Starsight Premier Energy Finance (SPEF) is part of the Starsight Premier Energy Group (SPEG) and was incorporated as an asset company to finance, own and operate Commercial and Industrial (C&I) solar assets in East Africa. With a focus on providing solar rooftop and ground mount solutions, SPEF aims to reduce energy costs for businesses while promoting the adoption of renewable energy sources. To date, the group has delivered 23 projects in Kenya, totalling 12,700 kWp, of which 7,670 kWp were financed either by an operating lease or asset finance. A further 9 projects, totalling 11,690 kWp, are currently under construction or license applications of which 10,055 will be financed either by an operating lease or asset finance. For more information, visit

About Global Climate Partnership Fund (GCPF)

The Global Climate Partnership Fund is a Luxembourg-based fund managed by the Swiss asset manager responsAbility Investments AG. The Fund is an innovative public-private partnership dedicated to mitigating climate change through a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in emerging and developing markets. It focuses on financing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, through local financial institutions or directly. Only projects that generate significant energy savings and pledge to reduce projected greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% are eligible for funding. GCPF was established by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), KfW Entwicklungsbank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in 2009 as a public-private partnership. Junior catalytic capital is provided by BMU, the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) of the UK, Denmark’s development cooperation (Danida). Other private and public investors include ASN Bank, Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe, FMO, OeEB, Sparkasse Bremen, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Heilsarmee.

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