The Covid-19 pandemic has hit renewable energy companies worldwide and its effects put at risk what the community has ardently worked for in the past years: affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Recent sector surveys paint a picture of challenges ranging from a decrease in revenue, shortage of working capital, HR concerns and supply chain disruption, to uncertainty about credit risk management. 57% of respondents to a poll amongst clients of the GET.invest Finance Catalyst assumed they would almost immediately face disruption to their business. At the same time, some companies have experienced surges in demand in the short term, reflecting consumer confidence in ensuring their own energy supply based on decentralised systems. Overall, both the challenges as well as the opportunities require adapted business strategies, and revisiting financing structures as well as accessing additional finance.
Virtually all the partners in the sector community have come together to shape up individual or collective responses to this. Programmes are being adapted, and a coalition of actors has come together to provide relief support (see Energy Access Action Network). GET.invest – a programme that mobilises renewable energy investments supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria – is deeply committed to contribute to the best of its abilities to navigating this unprecedented situation.
Companies operating in the African and Caribbean region can now apply for the recently launched Covid-19 window within the GET.invest Finance Catalyst to receive business advisory for acute and critical finance-related problems. Dedicated advisors with extensive experience in renewable energy project, business development and finance provide advice on strategy including business continuity; business and financial structuring as well as financial modelling; access to finance support; and transaction advisory. For instance, advisory topics could include assistance with reviewing of business planning in light of a viability gap caused by Covid-19, understanding and if need be re-negotiating existing financial obligations as well as introductions to available relief and emergency funds.
In collaboration with PFAN, GET.invest has created the Covid-19 Support Database which currently lists about 100 references of business advisory and financial support options offered by associations, impact funds, international associations and programmes across the sector.
In parallel to its Covid-19 response, GET.invest continues its standard services of market information, a funding database, events which will now shift into the online space, as well as regular, long-term advisory support to bring clean energy business opportunities to fruition.
As partners we count on ALER’s dissemination of this window in order to reach more companies in need of GET.invest support.
In the months to come, we will intensify our support to the sector, together with peers and partners, including the donors that fund our work. As a European programme, our short-term focus is on helping to navigate the crisis, towards a “green recovery” of an even stronger decentral renewable energy sector. In the meantime, we hope to see you in one of our upcoming virtual events.
Team Leader GET.invest