A US-based public investment company, the E+CO, announced the creation of Persistent Energy Partners LLC, a subsidiary firm, to expand financing of clean energy businesses in East Africa.
"We at the E+CO and Persistent Energy Partners are excited about the opportunities to invest in clean energy businesses in Tanzania and throughout the East African region," remarked Mr Christopher Aidun, the Persistent Energy Partners LLC's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in Dar es Salaam.
The decision to streamline E+CO is aimed at enhancing efficiencies in harnessing better opportunities to benefit the kind of business investment with the ultimate goal of bringing clean energy to the needy rural people. Currently E+CO has a portfolio of over 30 investments with largest part based in Tanzania, Ghana and Uganda. Globally, E+CO has over 150 investments in 90 companies in 20 countries on three continents.
Persistent Energy Partners will concentrate on investing and growth in Africa. It is one of the largest lenders to solar power companies in the country - others are Ensol, Rex Investment, MasterVolta and Zara Solar. The E+CO has been investing in clean businesses in the country for over ten years particularly in renewable energy like solar power systems for homes, schools, institutions, selling cleaner fossil fuel products including cooking stoves and the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for cooking.
The substantial investment in clean energy business has further promoted trade on equipment like stoves, solar systems and gas tools. Similarly, thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions have been avoided from burning wood fuel and kerosene. The Rural Energy Agency (REA) Director of Technical Services Eng Bengiel Msofe said increased investment in clean energy was welcome as only about 15 per cent of the country's total population have access to electricity.
Mr Msofe said apart from environmental benefits, clean energy business has proved important in the government efforts to address abject poverty. "In most areas where renewable energy has been established, the livelihood of the people has improved significantly," said Mr Msofe. He urged E+CO and its subsidiary company, Persistent Energy Partners to work together with all stakeholders in the clean energy subsector to ensure the rural population have access to affordable power source.