Five PFAN-supported projects meet potential investors at the first PFAN Cooling Investment Forum
Electricity used for cooling is a major contributor to climate change and the impacts are set to increase as many of the more than 1 billion people globally who lack access to energy will need some forms of cooling as well. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to provide lower-carbon, more effective cooling and refrigeration with vastly reduced climate impacts.
To address these challenges, PFAN joined forces with the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) in 2019 to scale up efficient and clean cooling projects and businesses in developing and emerging economies, being the first thematic programme (i.e., focusing on a sub-sector) in PFAN’s history. Together, we held the first PFAN Cooling Investment Forum which took place in a two-day virtual event on 24 and 26 March 2021, where five PFAN-supported projects on clean and efficient cooling solutions were showcased to potential investors.
The two-day event was joined by 318 participants from 66 different countries. The main participants were project developers and others from the private sector, and a number of representatives from NGOs/civil society, investors, governments and academia were also in virtual attendance.
Investors stated the need to demonstrate the scope and profitability of the project to raise investors’ interest. Jim Maguire, from Sustainable Development Capital Limited, advised project developers to focus on existing technologies: “There is plenty of proven technology. Focus on the technology that you can strengthen to make sure that the technology angle is more appealing to investors”.
The forum’s first day started with remarks by Mr. Alois Mhlanga, Chief of the Climate Technologies & Innovations Division at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Mr. Dan Hamza-Goodacre, Non-Executive Director at the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Programme (K-CEP). They both emphasised the importance of the cooling sector in the context of climate change mitigation and adaptation, highlighting that, beyond energy benefits, clean and efficient cooling is critical for achieving a number of development goals including for storage and transport of food, shelf life of medicines, overall health and livelihoods.
The first session on “Cooling Technology, Delivery Models and Key Sectors for Investment” was held by Mr. Toby Peters, Professor in Cold Economy at the University of Birmingham, who presented the opportunities of agricultural and vaccine cold chains as a key sector for investment. Mr. Peters highlighted that sustainable cold chain is a holistic solution that will contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement and the Kigali Amendment.
Ms. Carla Della Maggiora, from the Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy (BASE), introduced the ‘Cooling-as-a-Service’ (CaaS) delivery model as an example of market transformation of the cooling industry towards its servitisation. Ms. Della Maggiore underlined that “CaaS is a key element to a circular economy” and that “CaaS is going to revolutionize the industry as renewables did”, highlighting the key role of these kinds of business models.
A panel discussion on investors’ interests in the cooling sector ensued with representatives from the investment institutions Sustainable Development Capital Limited, Acumen East Africa, Clime Capital and Oikocredit West Africa. Investors individually shared the key aspects they focus on when assessing cooling projects to invest on. Yves Komaclo, from Oikocredit West Africa, stated that “prior donor support is an asset” and that “there is strong potential for the use of well-established technologies to de-risk these kinds of projects”. Some of the investors mentioned their interest in early-stage projects, while others are keener to support projects on a more advanced stage, thus covering the whole spectrum.
During the second day of the forum, five PFAN-supported cooling projects were pitched in front of the audience and the potential investors, followed by a Q&A session with the investors, which covered both financial and technological aspects.
The following companies presented, please click the links to access their Project Teasers:
- Inficold India Pvt Limited (India) focuses on solar cooking for industrial applications.
- Koolboks (Nigeria) has a patentable technology based on off-grid solar energy and ice storage.
- Sokofresh Agri Innovations East Africa Ltd (Kenya) integrates cold storage and market linkage activities into smallholder farmer value chains through an as-a-service proposition.
- Oorja Energy Engineering Pvt Ltd (India) offers an energy efficient structure cooling system for buildings.
- ACI Agrolink Limited (Bangladesh) intends to develop a climate resilient sustainable shrimp value chain.
Watch the full PFAN Cooling Investment Forum on Youtube:
PFAN is hosted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).
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