Call for Expression of Interest for Powering Opportunities Partnership (POP) – Local Value Addition and Employment Creation (VA&EC) demonstration projects in sub-Saharan Africa

April 2019

Expression of Interest (EoI) submission deadline extension

Please note that the original EoI submission deadline has been extended by one week. 

EoI submission deadline is now Friday 24/05/2019, 1700 BST. 

We welcome any submission ahead of time, and we will also accept any withdrawal and re-submissions (as long as they are before the EoI submission deadline Friday 24/05/2019, 1700 BST).

About the partnership 

The Powering Opportunities Partnership (POP), a component of the UK Department for International Development (DFID)’s wider Transforming Energy Access (TEA) programme (, is aimed at exploring how the off-grid sector can better stimulate local jobs and drive economic development in sub-Saharan Africa.

The second competition window under POP, is a call for demonstration projects related to Local Value Addition and Employment Creation (VA&EC) in the upstream off-grid energy sector.

Competition description

This competition aims to provide grant support to projects and partnerships which meet the following requirements: (a) operate in the off-grid energy sector, (b) test new or enhanced business models in the ‘upstream’ segments of the value chain, (c) are focused on growing the local share of value in the off-grid energy sector and/or local employment creation, and (d) are located in any Sub-Saharan African country, excluding South Africa.

For this call we define off-grid energy as:

  • Solar lanterns and other home solar products;
  • Solar home systems;
    • Small – basic lighting, phone charging, etc.
    • Large – multi-lighting and basic appliances (including cooking appliances)
  • Mini-grids; and
  • Highly efficient productive use technologies such as refrigerators, pumps and processing machines.
  • Call is also open to applications involving major components in the above, for example solar modules, inverters, batteries, control & instrumentation, compressors and/or pumps.

The upstream elements of the off-grid energy value chain, include the following:

This call intended for organisations (including innovative partnerships and joint ventures between organisations) that propose locally situated, high potential, replicable and scalable opportunities in upstream off-grid energy segments described above.

Projects proposed should actively involve a partnership of businesses and development actors engaged in the off-grid energy sector value chain, with the aspiration to:

  • Grow the local share of value in the off-grid energy sector ;
  • Reduce costs and/or improve delivery of energy access products and services; and
  • Demonstrate the viability of such opportunities for additional economic and social benefits (local employment and economic value creation).

A total budget greater than £1 million has been made available in this round for grants to successful applications. This Competition seeks to fund 2 to 6 projects. Funding to be requested from TEA-POP for each project should not exceed £250,000. Smaller expressions of interest are welcome.

The applicant must provide matching funds on at least a 1:1 basis. This means if an applicant is requesting £50,000, it must be prepared to put in £50,000 of its own or from another source towards the project, making a total project size of £100,000.

Competition timeline

StageDescriptionDate (if applicable, time)
 EoI  EoI submission period opens09/04/2019
First round of EoI questionsLast questions to be received by: 24/04/2019Carbon Trust’s response to be expected by: 26/05/2019
Second round of EoI questionsLast questions to be received by: 06/05/2019Carbon Trust’s response to be expected by: 17/05/2019
EoI submission deadline1700 (BST)1  24/05/2019
EoI Clarification Interviews In the week commencing 27/05/2019 
Notifications to successful/unsuccessful EoI applicants22/06/2019

1 BST is British Summer Time