Calls for Applications

RfP: Renewable Energy Challenge Fund Uganda — Solar Window

  • December 11, 2017

  • Calls for Applications


Deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest
12 December 2017 at 17:00 (EAST AFRICA TIME)


The Renewable Energy Challenge Fund (RECF) is looking to co-invest in commercially driven business ideas that can lead to breakthroughs in the uptake of decentralised solar PV solutions by households, businesses and communities across Uganda.

  • Is your company active in Uganda? Or planning to enter the Ugandan market by May 2018?
  • Is your company already working on an innovative business idea that can hit the ground running in June 2018 in Uganda, and start generating new sales by early Q3 2018?
  • Is your company willing to invest its own money to make this project happen but is in need of a co-investor to reduce its risk exposure?

If so, we are interested in hearing more about your project.

Key Characteristics of the Fund

  1. Target market: UGANDA With a focus on underserved, low-income customers in rural and peri-urban areas – At least 50% of product sales (with RECF support) must be in rural areas.
  2. Acceptable solar PV solutions: The RECF Solar Window aims to support the deployment of decentralised solar energy solutions, which include both stand-alone off-grid solar PV systems of various sizes and solar mini-grids.

    The RECF will support projects using a broad range of solar PV technologies, for a variety of applications (e.g. residential, institutional, commercial, community, industrial, agricultural) and uses (e.g. lighting, phone charging, solar irrigation, productive uses such as haircutting, refrigeration or entertainment, etc.).
  3. Type of funding: Cost-sharing grant, paid upon achievement of milestones.
  4. Grant Size: US$100,000 up to US$500,000.
  5. Project duration: 24 months starting in June 2018.
  6. Number of proposals: Applicants can submit more than one EOI (one per EOI form) but these must be for distinct business ideas.

Application & Selection Process

  • Two-stage application process (1. EOI and 2. Full Proposal) with real-time assistance available from UNCDF.
  • Shortlisted EOI applicants will be asked to submit a full proposal in consultation with UNCDF.
  • An independent Investment Committee (IC) will make decisions on both successful EOIs and proposals through a competitive process.
  • Successful applicants will be asked to sign a Performance-Based Financing Agreement (PBA) with UNCDF, which will outline the disbursement schedule and mutually agreed upon milestones.

If you have any queries or require assistance please e-mail UNCDF will accept inquiries related to the EOI until December 5th.

Interested applicants are encouraged to:

  1. Join the RECF team during the virtual information and Q&A session on Friday, Nov. 10th from 3-5 EAT. Registration can be found here:
  2. Schedule a virtual consultation with the RECF Technical Assistance (TA) team, available until December 5th:

Read before applying:

  1. Download the general information and specifications:
  2. Download the frequently asked questions:

About the Renewable Energy Challenge Fund (RECF)

The goal of the RECF is to increase access to renewable, efficient energy for domestic, productive and social uses amongst underserved poor households, businesses and communities, especially in rural areas.

By the end of 2020, RECF aims to support 153,000 low-income Ugandans to transition to renewable energy, and create 1000 new jobs. To this end, the RECF will fund a portfolio of renewable energy SMEs/value chain companies and/or financial institutions.

The RECF is managed by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and funded by the Embassy of Sweden in Uganda.

For more information on UNCDF and CleanStart visit:

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