Renewables

GGF holds board meeting in North Macedonia, reaffirms support for SEE region

GGF board meeting North Macedonia reaffirms support SEE region

Photo: National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia / Facebook

Published

October 25, 2023

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Published:

October 25, 2023

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The GGF board meeting in Skopje served to reaffirm its commitment to the energy independence agenda in North Macedonia and throughout the region. The fund’s top officials also met with local and regional partners including the Governor of the National Bank of North Macedonia Anita Angelovska Bezhoska.

The Board of Directors of the Green for Growth Fund (GGF), an impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, held its most recent  meeting in Skopje, North Macedonia. In the readout, it highlighted the country’s position in the heart of Southeast Europe, one of its core regions.

The fund’s leadership visited the Bogoslovec wind farm, the fund’s first equity investment in renewable energy infrastructure. Once complete, it will power over 20,000 households in North Macedonia and result in 80,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions reductions annually.

Building green finance capabilities

Since its inception in 2009, the GGF has invested more than EUR 1.5 billion in its target markets, including more than EUR 50 million in North Macedonia with key partner institutions, including local banks, to help drive the country’s sustainable energy transition forward. Investments facilitate the funding of energy efficiency measures for businesses and private households, as well as renewable energy projects.

The GGF Technical Assistance Facility provided support to 72 projects, of which 26 are ongoing, specifically in building green finance capabilities at the sector and lender levels. GGF investments have so far resulted in estimated primary energy savings of more than 230,000 MWh and emissions reductions of over 65,000 tons of CO2, both annualized.

The GGF invested more than EUR 50 million in North Macedonia so far

Bogoslovec is a greenfield wind power investment with eight turbines, envisaged with 36 MW in total capacity. It is the first privately developed wind project in North Macedonia. Once complete, the wind farm will be directly aligned with GGF’s sustainable investment objective of simultaneously supporting the country’s – and the region’s – broader goal of accelerating the climate transition and achieving energy independence through renewables, the statement adds.

“Our investment came at a pivotal juncture and demonstrates GGF’s agility as a highly innovative blended finance vehicle, underscoring a key pillar of our strategy to serve as a platform for collaboration, where 2+2 equals 5. Bogoslovec is a lighthouse project for utility-scale renewable energy infrastructure, showcasing what is possible when the public and private sectors come together,” Chairperson of the GGF Christopher Knowles said.

Central bank sets its first medium-term climate risk strategy

The fund said that, with the support of its advisor Finance in Motion, it remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering energy security, environmental sustainability, and innovation in North Macedonia and the region. The board also met with the Governor of the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia Anita Angelovska Bezhoska, which is increasingly emphasizing climate risk management within the financial sector.

Governor Anita Angelovska Bezhoska: Green loans doubled in the past four years in the country

“We have adopted our first medium-term climate risk strategy to set a comprehensive and consistent framework and drafted guidelines for banks, which are currently being discussed with the banking industry. As our green finance statistics reveal, banks have significantly amplified their support, with green loans doubling in the past four years. While this surge is noteworthy, it is equally essential to recognize the pivotal role played by global institutions, particularly the Green for Growth Fund. For emerging economies with high investment needs and limited domestic savings, the path to sustainability relies heavily on such strong support,” Angelovska Bezhoska pointed out.

Opportunities for direct, indirect financing

The Green for Growth Fund invests in measures designed to cut energy use and CO2 emissions and improve resource efficiency in 19 markets across Southeast Europe, the Caucasus, Ukraine, Moldova, the Middle East and North Africa. It provides such financing directly to renewable energy projects, corporates and municipalities, or indirectly, via selected financial institutions.

The fund was initiated as a public-private partnership in December 2009 by Germany’s KfW Development Bank and the European Investment Bank, with financial support from the European Commission, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Austrian Development Bank (OeEB).

Its growing investor base comprises donor agencies, international financial institutions and institutional private investors, including the International Finance Corp., Dutch development bank FMO and German ethical bank GLS.

The GGF’s advisor Finance in Motion is a global impact asset manager focused exclusively on sustainable development in emerging markets and developing economies. The company structures, manages, and advises impact investment funds that bring together public and private investors to address climate change, strengthen biodiversity conservation, foster the sustainable use of natural resources, improve livelihoods, and promote economic opportunities.

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