The Central African Republic (CAR) is one of the poorest nations in the world. According to the 2015 UNDP Human Development Report (HDR), CAR is ranked 185th in the Human Development Index, out of 187 assessed countries. CAR is a Landlocked Least Developed Country (LDC). The country has faced several civil wars and political instability. The total population of the country is estimated at 5 million inhabitants (2014), and its surface at about 623,000 km2. 39% of the population lives in urban areas, against 61% in rural areas.
The main sources of energy are biomass and fossil fuels. Non-renewable biomass represents 93% of the energy balance. Biomass is mainly used as firewood or charcoal for cooking. Wood consumption is estimated in CAR at 1.6 million tonnes per year. Petroleum products account for 6% of the energy balance, mainly used for transport and electricity generation. CAR has one of the lowest electricity access rates in the world. Only 2.5% of the population have access to electricity. This is a national average and the rate varies considerably between regions. The access rate is 19% in Bangui (the capital), about 1% in other regions/provinces, and virtually zero in rural areas. With 61% of the population living in the rural areas, rural electrification is almost non-existent in Central African Republic.
In order to increase the rural electrification rate, the UNDP-GEF project, “Promotion of small hydropower based mini-grids for better access to modern energy services in Central African Republic” intends to promote investment in decentralized small hydropower (SHP) based mini-grids in CAR. The proposed project has four components.
The first component seeks the preparation and adoption of a comprehensive policy framework for the promotion of SHP-based electrification. The framework will complement existing policies on power sector development and rural electrification by putting explicit emphasis on, and providing more favorable conditions for, SHP. Such policy frameworks will include specific timeframes and targets for development of SHPs. The SHP policy framework will also establish a cornerstone policy instrument (e.g. a financially-viable tariff for SHP-based mini-grids) and supporting policies and regulations, including, but not limited to, harmonized and simplified concession regimes and licensing rules for SHPs, standardized PPAs, and land and water use rights for SHP projects.
The second component will help to provide capacity building for hybrid mini-grid system management. This component will address technical barriers to the implementation of hybrid mini-grids. The aim is to help the power utility ENERCA, ACER (the agency for rural electrification) and potential service providers to upgrade their capacity for delivering turnkey solutions for hybrid systems.
The third component will be showcasing a viable business model for SHP-based mini-grids. The project will aim at facilitating the roll-out (preparation and implementation) of staggered batches of commercial SHP-based mini-grid systems for a total of up to 2 MW of SHP-based capacity.
The final, fourth, component will address investment promotion.
Overall, the project will result in the improved confidence of communities, developers and potential investors in the technical and economic viability of SHP-based mini-grids for rural electrification and local socio-economic development; and SHP as an alternative solution to centralized grid-expansion schemes.
The proposed project received a Project Preparation Grant (PPG) approved by the GEF Secretariat to prepare a Full-Sized Project (FSP) document, based on the approved project proposal concept (PIF). The PPG phase will need to support various data collection efforts and undertake validation of the indicative outcomes and outputs contained in the PIF; the development of a full M&E plan including appropriate indicators and baseline; and the development of a participatory plan to involve communities and government stakeholders as well as agreed on implementation arrangements and co-financing. The final output of the PPG phase will be a UNDP-GEF project document and GEF CEO Endorsement Request ready for submission to UNDP and GEF, with all required supporting annexes, tracking tools, Social and Environmental Screening Procedure (SESP) and background information.
A separate consultancy contract will be advertised to manage the overall development of the GEF project and its associated documentation. The contract described in this TOR relates to a specific element of the PPG work, focused on the design of financial instruments and incentive schemes for SHP-based mini-grids in CAR.
Duties and Responsibilities
The PPG phase will include four interrelated components:
Component A: Technical review
Component B: Institutional arrangements, monitoring and evaluation
Component C: Financial planning and co-financing investments:
Stakeholder consultations during Component C:
Component D: Validation workshop
Under the overall supervision of the UNDP Country Director in collaboration with the Resilience and Natural Resources Management Analyst program, the Consultant will have approximately 40 days of total work throughout the duration of the PPG process (various tasks are expected to be done concurrently), the overall purpose of the consultancy is the preparation of a UNDP-GEF compliant full-sized project. The consultant will be expected to provide lead quality assurance as regards of all activities under the preparation. The consultant will be the leader of a team consisting of another international consultant (who will be focused on the design of financial instruments to support SHP) and some local consultants (energy engineer, gender specialist, economist, policy and strategy, Environmentalist etc.). More specifically, the consultant is expected to:
GEF Project Formulation
Small hydropower based mini-grids
In summary, the final expected products are:
Required Skills and Experience
Successful applicants are expected to possess more than one of the following areas of expertise on the ground and proven experience in the respective areas of specialization in addition to the minimum qualifications specified above.
Evaluation criteria :
Applications will be estimated on base of the following methodology:
In adequacy with the terms of reference of the mission;
Duration of the mission:
The women applicants are deeply encouraged to apply.
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.