Principal Renewable Energy Specialist – AfDB

Principal Renewable Energy Specialist – AfDB

Full vacancy title: Principal Renewable Energy Specialist

Location: Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Nairobi, Kenya; Johannesburg, South Africa

Position Grade: PL4

Position Number: 50108940

Posting Date: 01-Jun-2023

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Closing Date: 30-Jun-2023


Established in 1964, the African Development Bank (AfDB) is the premier pan-African development institution, promoting economic growth and social progress across the continent. There are 81 member states, including 54 in Africa (Regional Member Countries).  The Bank’s development agenda is delivering the financial and technical support for transformative projects that will significantly reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable economic growth. In order to sharply focus the objectives of the Ten Year Strategy (2023 – 2032) and ensure greater developmental impact, five major areas (High 5s), all of which will accelerate our delivery for Africa, have been identified, namely: energy, agro-business, industrialization, integration and improving the quality of life for the people of Africa.


The Vice Presidency for ‘Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth’ is a Sector Complex focusing on the Bank’s Ten Years Strategy, High 5s priority of “Light up and Power Africa”. The complex’s objectives are (i) to develop policy and strategy; (ii) to provide deep sector technical expertise to the Regions by gathering pool of experienced individuals who can be consulted for their expertise on complicated transactions; (iii) to develop new financing instruments; (iv) to act as spokesperson to represent the Bank with external stakeholders on all aspects of “Light Up and Power Africa”. The Complex will focus on areas of Power systems, policy and regulation, renewable energy; and, Climate and Green Growth.


The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) is a multi-donor Special Fund managed by the African Development Bank. It provides catalytic finance to unlock private sector investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. SEFA offers technical assistance and concessional finance instruments to remove market barriers, build a more robust pipeline of projects and improve the risk-return profile of individual investments. The Fund’s overarching goal is to contribute to universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy services for all in Africa, in line with the New Deal on Energy for Africa and Sustainable Development Goal 7.Established in 2011 in partnership with the government of Denmark, SEFA has since received contributions from the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Germany, and also from the Nordic Development Fund and the Global Energy Alliance for the People and Planet.

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SEFA in anchored in the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Department (PERN). The department has the broad objective of promoting the development of renewable energy – both large and small scale – and promoting energy efficiency along with clean cooking. More specifically, the department is mandated to (i) function as a one-stop source / hub for renewable energy programmes/projects, energy efficiency and clean cooking (ii) focus on “enabling market development” with an emphasis on developing new approaches / areas (e.g. mini-grid programmes, thematic or country focused funds) and play a lead role in establishing region- or country-specific programmes (iii)  mobilise concessional resources as part of the structuring of blended finance solutions for projects and programmes.


The Principal Renewable Energy Specialist will support and assist across a range of activities linked primarily to the origination, design and implementation of renewable energy-related grants, and also concessional investments (as required) – with a focus on grid-connected renewable energy generation, as well as energy storage and grid infrastructure – for the purpose of facilitating the implementation of SEFA’s private sector activities and initiatives. The job holder will focus on (i) the identification, preparation, and implementation of technical assistance (with public sector entities) and project preparation support (with public sector and private sector entities); (ii) support to the implementation of SEFA blended finance transactions;  and (iii) portfolio management of projects under the responsibility of PERN and SEFA; and (iv) support to any other priorities assigned by management.


Under the overall supervision and guidance of the Division Manager – Renewable Energy Funds, the Principal Renewable Energy Specialist will perform the following:

Support the identification and development of a robust renewable energy project pipeline for grant funding, encompassing primarily technical assistance (public sector) and project preparation (both public and private sectors), with a focus on grid-connected renewable energy generation, as well as energy storage and grid infrastructure. In regard of project preparation support, preference will be given to projects that have the potential to play a catalytic role in the development of transformative, sector-wide technical assistance programmes.

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As and when required, the identification and development of renewable energy project pipelines will include concessional investments (e.g. debt and investment grants) for private sector-led projects.

Lead the preparation, due diligence/appraisal, approval, negotiation/signing of grant agreements, and supervision of eligible technical assistance and project preparation support, for the purpose facilitating private sector-led investments in grid-connected renewable energy generation, as well as energy storage grid infrastructure.

Develop appropriate technical assistance projects to enhance sector planning, regulatory and institutional frameworks, to facilitate enabling conditions for private sector-led investments in grid-connected renewable energy generation, as well as energy storage and grid infrastructure.

Build and maintain strong relationships with clients, notably government ministries, regulatory authorities, utilities, renewable energy sponsors, corporates, banking and multilateral partners to develop specific investment opportunities.

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Supervise technical and project preparation support projects, ensuring strong synergies with Bank activities at the country and project levels, including co-financing opportunities for projects that proceed to financial close.

Lead/Participate and manage project teams, mentor and develop junior staff, advise management, share knowledge and ideas, compile internal and external reports, as well as ensure strong and effective internal cooperation and delivery of results.

Perform any other duty assigned by the Division Manager or Director.

COMPETENCIES (skills, experience and knowledge)

At least a Master’s degree in Engineering, Economics or Business Administration or related fields;

Have a minimum of six (6) years professional experience in the power sector, inclusive of work assignments related to utility-scale grid-connected RE generation. Experience or knowledge of key issues related to energy storage and grid infrastructure will be an advantage

Experience in facilitating and/or supervising key technical assistance and project development activities, as well as portfolio management. Examples include market assessments; development of policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks; stakeholder management; feasibility and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) studies; and supervision of approved projects.

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Experience in engaging with government counterparts in relation to renewable energy generation programmes and/or projects in developing country contexts.

Experience in Multilateral or Development Bank / Development Financial Institutions operations, preferably in an African context.

Experience in climate finance mobilization and blended finance structures.

Full knowledge of the principles of project cycle and project implementation;

Strong interpersonal and client orientation skills, with proven experience in leading teams.

Ability to communicate orally and in writing effectively in French or English, with a good working knowledge of the other language.





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Simon Tyrus Caine

Simon Tyrus Caine is a solar energy expert with more than 10 years experience in the solar sector. Simon has worked and lived in more than 5 countries. Simon has been involved in solar installations, solar project development, solar financing as well as business development in the solar sector. At SolarEyes International, Simon manages content development and day to day operations of the organisation.

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