EDP supports energy access with investment in Mozambique in SolarWorks!

Monday 01, October 2018

The purchase of a stake in SolarWorks!, a company selling decentralized solar energy solutions, marks the beginning of a new strategy in this area.

EDP has just purchased a stake in SolarWorks!, a company engaged in the marketing of decentralized solar energy solutions for off-grid domestic and business customers in Mozambique. The acquisition of this €2 million minority stake is an important step in the group's strategy for universal access to sustainable energy (A2E). 

The investment is the result of a round of financing led by EDP Renováveis (an EDP Group subsidiary) in partnership with venture building firm Persistent Energy Capital LLC, following a capital increase at SolarWorks!. The investment will boost the international expansion of SolarWorks! in Southern Africa, where the company has operated a pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) business since 2016. Currently employing about 180 workers, SolarWorks! operates in Mozambique and is currently preparing its entry into the Malawian market.

“Over the last decade, EDP has become the world leader in renewable energy and has been actively engaged in developing solutions in this area for emerging economies, where a significant part of the rural population still lacks access to electricity. Since 2009, the Group has invested about €5 million in A2E projects, directly impacting more than 20,000 people. This commitment is also an opportunity for the Group's internationalization strategy. SolarWorks! is a very promising company with a differentiated business model, an experienced management team, and a solid shareholder structure”, says António Mexia, CEO of EDP.

Arnoud de Vroomen, CEO and co-founder of SolarWorks! states that “The potential in the off-grid energy market in Africa is enormous. So far Persistent has proven to be the ideal partner for an early stage company in this sector. EDPR is one of the biggest players in the world in renewable energy and we consider ourselves fortunate to welcome them as a partner to achieve our next phase of growth.”

SolarWorks! and Persistent began their partnership in 2015 and have worked hand in hand ever since. Rodrigo Weiss, Partner at Persistent, says: “We are very proud of SolarWorks! and their development into the most dynamic PAYGO company in Southern Africa. We are delighted that EDPR will be investing and providing their expertise to continue SolarWorks! on its successful growth trajectory.”

This investment marks the beginning of EDP’s new A2E strategy, which includes the commitment to invest €12 million over the next three years with the goal of impacting 200,000 people, mainly in developing countries. In addition to promoting sustainable energy for all, this strategy will enable EDP to become a relevant A2E operator in emerging markets.

EDP has also committed to investing a further €1 million in social responsibility activities, thereby seeking to strengthen the Group's commitment to sustainability - namely by creating a philanthropic fund to mitigate electric exclusion, which still affects more than one billion people.

About EDP Renováveis

EDP Renováveis (Euronext: EDRP) is a world leader in the renewable energy industry and the fourth-largest global producer of wind power. The company recently defined a new strategy for its Energy Access program (A2E), creating a vision to promote sustainable energy for all, while operators A2E in emerging rural off-grid markets. EDP - EDPR's main shareholder - is a global energy company and a leader in value creation, innovation, and sustainability.

About SolarWorks!

SolarWorks! B.V., is a Dutch company that has been active in Southern Africa for ten years, offering a range of quality solar products. Its key product line relates to Solar Home Systems (SHS) which give people access to energy for the first time in their lives and covers needs like lighting, charging mobile phones while larger systems can offer television and refrigeration.

About Persistent

Persistent invests in and builds impact ventures in underserved markets. By providing deep operational and strategic support to exceptional entrepreneurs, Persistent generates attractive financial returns and creates lasting social and environment impact. Persistent operates out of offices in Lagos, New York and Zurich.