DFC Announces Call for Applications for Distributed Renewable Energy Projects

Media Release


The agency seeks opportunities to catalyze private sector investment ahead of President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate


WASHINGTON – U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) today announced a Call for Applications from private companies seeking financing for distributed renewable energy (DRE)-related investments. Climate change and lack of reliable energy access both impact economic growth and livelihoods in developing countries around the world, and investments in DRE offer an opportunity to address both of these pressing problems. In support of President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad and the administration’s Leaders Summit on Climate starting on April 22, the Call for Applications is one of the new climate and climate-focused investment initiatives the agency is pursuing to help developing countries reduce emissions, increase renewable energy usage, protect ecosystems, and enhance resilience.

“DFC is committed to combatting the climate crisis, and distributed renewable energy offers an important path forward to mitigate climate change and help bring electricity to hard to reach communities, supporting development and economic growth,” said DFC Chief Operating Officer David Marchick, who announced this new opportunity in his keynote address at the Investor Voices Day of Power Africa’s Partners Week. “The Call for Applications will allow us to identify private sector-led projects in need of financing tools to increase access to reliable and affordable electricity in developing countries around the world. We are excited to leverage our partnerships with The Rockefeller Foundation and Shell Foundation to advance this important work.”

DRE investments bring energy to remote and rural locations that currently lack adequate energy access. DRE projects include but are not limited to micro and mini-grids, solar home systems, and distributed power generation. DFC aims to expand electricity access to at least 10 million people by 2025, as included in its inaugural development strategy, the Roadmap for Impact.

“DFC financing is a critical tool in the U.S. Government’s Power Africa toolbox,” said Power Africa Coordinator Mark Carrato, “and we’re excited that our Beyond the Grid team and other partners like the Shell Foundation can help generate potential deal flow from companies that traditionally have relied mostly on grants from donors, but that now are ready for financing. Our hope is to help shape the DRE market and demonstrate its commercial viability.”

The impacts from climate change, along with the health and economic impacts from COVID-19, could reverse the significant economic gains made in developing countries over the past several decades. DFC is utilizing its financing tools to facilitate increased private sector investment that addresses climate change and drives climate-focused investment in developing countries while reaching communities that lack sufficient access to sustainable and reliable electricity. DFC will work collaboratively with The Rockefeller Foundation, the Shell Foundation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Power Africa team on DRE projects supported through the Call for Applications.

"The Rockefeller Foundation is pleased to partner with DFC to take strong steps to support private sector-led climate solutions in developing countries, while we all work together to achieve the Paris Agreement's emission reduction goals," said Raj Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. "DRE investments offer electricity solutions that provide a higher level of service, expanding access to electricity and increasing economic growth."

DFC seeks to commit $100 million in support for DRE-related investments in DFC-eligible countries within one year of launching this Call for Applications. Investments can be used for business expansion, working capital, and growth capital. Special consideration will be given to projects that provide energy solutions related to the COVID-19 response, such as those projects that will provide needed electricity to healthcare facilities, and those that advance DFC’s 2X Women’s Initiative by promoting women’s economic empowerment.

Opportunities will be evaluated as part of a rigorous evaluation process upon the discretion of the DFC, and applications are due on June 18, 2021.

For questions about the Call for Applications, email energyaccess@dfc.gov.




U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is America’s development bank. DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. We invest across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.