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Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program in Low Income Countries (SREP)

The Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program in Low Income Countries (SREP) is funded by the Strategic Climate Fund (SCF), one of the two Climate Investment Funds (CIF). SREP aims to scale up the deployment of renewable energy solutions and expand renewable markets in the world’s poorest countries. It pilots and demonstrates the economic, social, and environmental viability of development pathways that do not exacerbate global warming.  

Current SREP pledged resources amount to approximately USD 318 million. SREP is active in six pilot countries worldwide, including three in Africa: Ethiopia, Kenya and Mali.

The AfDB is supporting each of these nations as they coordinate with their respective private sectors, civil societies and other communities to develop SREP investment plans. To further enhance investments, the AfDB expects to co-finance approved SREP projects from its own resources in addition to channeling SREP funds.

SREP can provide policy support and techni¬cal assistance to develop national renewables strategies. It can also underwrite additional capital costs and risks associated with renewable energy invest¬ments and other instru¬ments for reducing risk to investors. Eligible investments include:

  • RE technologies: solar, wind, bio-energy, geothermal and small hydro <10 MW
  • RE deployment applications: electricity generation, thermal applications, mechanical operations
  • Technology modes: national/regional grid connected, off-grid, stand alone or distributed generation
  • Interconnection improvements related to RE scale up programs


With just 2% rural access to electricity but enormous potential for hydro, geothermal and solar energy generation, Ethiopia was selected to become a SREP pilot. Experts indicate that the country stands to benefit largely from hydro development and geothermal exploitation, which can draw on Kenya’s experience in the subsector. Off grid solar photovoltaics (PV) potential has been demonstrated and could be unlocked with access to financing and minor regulatory improvements.


Kenya has been selected as a SREP pilot to serve as a regional model for others to follow. While the nation has only 5% rural access to electricity, its private sector is active in all RE subsectors and is expected to respond positively to new incentives geared towards scaling up RE. Kenya has growing IPP experience, especially in geothermal, and a large unsubsidized solar PV market.


Mali has less than 4% rural access to electricity; however, its sound institutional base for RE implementation, particularly in solar, and positive track record in developments to date make Mali a viable SREP pilot. Mali demonstrates potential for the productive use of RE in agriculture and small commercial entities, and sustainable biomass and biodiesel programs are in place.

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