News Details

KfW-sponsored FIRST Initiative dedicated to small and medium renewable energy projects

02/05/2018 AHK Süd-Afrika - News-Hauptkategorie

Johannesburg, 31 January 2018 – The Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce rounded off the first month of the new year with an information session on a topic that is near to many of its members and particularly its Competence Centre for Sustainable Energy. This event was made possible thanks to KfW Development Bank.

FIRST (Facility for the Investment in Renewable Small Transactions) is sponsored by KfW Development Bank and supported by Rand Merchant Bank. This ZAR 1.35Bn fund was established to provide loan financing to small and medium sized renewable energy projects in South Africa.

Clean energy alternatives being close to many hearts, this event drew more than a casual interest. Among those in attendance were a number of representatives from the likes of Africa Energy Indaba, the Free State Development Corporation, and the Embassy of Greece.

FIRST seeks to assist with the development of renewable energy projects by providing funding that would not be available from commercial banks. The technologies that FIRST is looking to fund includes Solar PV, battery storage, wind energy, and biomas. These technologies, in turn, would serve markets, which include Government, municipalities, large corporates, and commercial and industrial users and developers.

Mr Jan Martin Witte, the Director of the KfW Development Bank’s Pretoria Office, kicked off the event by introducing KfW and its role in the FIRST fund. His colleague, Mr David Johnson, a manager of the FIRST fund, went on to introduce FIRST to a packed room of business professionals working in and around the renewable energies sector. KfW founded the initiative in response to a need to provide funding that is not available from commercial banks. Aside from providing the funding for medium and small projects, FIRST also assists in a developmental capacity, assisting in the commercial structuring of each project. Mr Johnson, and Mr Greg Ansermino lead a group of EWF partners, made up of experienced utility bankers, to manage the fund.

Mr Johnson also gave some insight into what makes the field of renewable energy so attractive: decreased price volatility, grid price parity, security of supply, and the environmental contribution of “green” power.

The presentation was followed by an engaging question and answer session, which rounded off the information given in the presentation. Thereafter, guests were offered a light dinner and took the opportunity to network amongst themselves. Many guests commented that they found the event very beneficial and went home with much to consider about this remarkable funding opportunity.

Should you have any further questions about the funding initiative, please do not hesitate to contact

Mr David Johnson
E: davidj(at)
C: +27 083 297 0567

Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been operating in Southern Africa for over 65 years. Bringing together potential business partners is one of our key service offerings. We foster business links between Germany and Southern African companies through comprehensive and target group oriented researches, workshops, seminars and business delegations that bring you in contact with competent business partners in your industry. Contact the Chamber to get connected with German and southern African businesses at info(at); or call +27 11 486 2775.