Lab instrument GreenStreet Africa was featured in an ImpactAlpha focus piece on the severe energy access gap for the majority of frontline public health clinics in sub-Saharan Africa, which don’t have electricity for refrigerators and medical devices, to charge phones and laptops, or even to provide lighting so doctors, midwives and other health workers can see at night. An issue made more urgent by the COVID crisis.

From ImpactAlpha:

“This week’s Agents of Impact Call No. 24 is bringing together practitioners around an innovative finance challenge: light every clinic. “There is a real urgency around leveraging the awareness that COVID has raised around the importance of power to the provision of healthcare,” says Sustainable Energy for All’s Jem Porcaro. “When COVID-19 disappears, we are at risk of finding ourselves back in the same position we were in.”

The new health clinic financing initiatives borrow elements already working in adjacent sectors. Power Africa, through USAID, awarded grants to companies using service models to turn high initial capital costs into affordable operating expenses. GreenStreet Africa, recently added to the portfolio of the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, is developing a model to aggregate small healthcare-related solar projects into portfolios that can attract local investors in commercial bonds. Norway-based Differ Group adds provisions for operations and maintenance to ensure that systems continue to generate power for the life of the financing. The UNDP’s Solar for Health initiative is seeking to leverage donor funding to create guarantees and other mechanisms to backstop commitments from country-level health ministries. “The business case for health clinic electrification is tough,” says USAID’s David Stonehill. With blended capital, new technology and energy-as-a-service, he says, “we can start to move the needle and make a difference.”

Keep reading, “Inside the scramble for solar financing as frontline public health clinics confront COVID,” by David Bank on ImpactAlpha.

  • Agents of Impact Call No. 24: Solar financing for frontline health clinics. The World Bank’s Raihan Elahi, Sustainable Energy for All’s Jem Porcaro, UBS’s Phyllis Costanzaand Liebreich Associates’ Michael Liebreich join We Care Solar’s Laura Stachel and ImpactAlpha‘s David Bank and special guests to explore financing solutions for clean, affordable and reliable solar power for frontline public health clinics, this Thursday, Oct. 8, at 9am PT/ 12pm ET/ 7pm Kampala. RSVP now.