• 1.4 Total investment leveraged (USD billion)
  • 46 Total projects which mobilised finance
  • 413.27 Clean energy capacity added (MW)
  • 166 Projects provided PFAN support
  • 820 000 Potential CO2eq reduced per annum (tonnes)
Total projects supported by technology 2016-2023
    Total number of projects supported by country 2016-2023

    Market developments and PFAN’s response 2016-2023

    The South Asia region of Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka has seen different market trends throughout each of the countries, relating to four key areas – access to electricity, access to finance, presence of partnerships and networks, and policy evolution.

    With a significant increase in hydropower projects in Nepal in the last decade, the country aims to become self-reliant by 2026, no longer dependent on India for electricity imports. Although changing political discourse has led to challenges in attracting investments, a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank to support hydro expansion will pave the way for investment.[1] The country’s hydropower trends are reflected in PFAN’s pipeline, with 19 projects supported in Nepal since 2019.

    Sri Lanka is fully grid-connected; however, having suffered political and economic upheaval in 2020/21, the country has faced a severe power crisis with regular power outages and a lack of financing to solve the issue. As the capacity of thermal power plants decreases, there is a growing need for renewable energy, which has sparked interest in the rooftop solar space and the possibility of foreign exports. However, political risks have led to a lack of investment. This has not deterred PFAN from the market, as we have continued to support projects in the country, helping companies develop their business models and navigate the changing economic and financial circumstances throughout the past decade.

    Bangladesh is also steering for an increase in clean energy sources – aiming for the clean energy sector to be at 40% by 2041, which requires an annual investment of 1.7 billion.[2] Over the past years, new avenues have been explored, with novel financial structures for small-scale investments, larger projects and the growth of rooftop solar players. With a new finance guarantee scheme under discussion, there is likely to be a resurgence of requirements for project preparation and investment facilitation support services, especially for debt transactions, as well as an overall increased funding requirement.

    The landscape in India has changed drastically over the last decade, with almost 100% of the population now having access to electricity,[3] leading to a changing discourse of “quality of electricity” rather than “connectivity”. India is transitioning from a pure coal-based to a renewable energy-powered economy, setting targets to install 500 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030 to ensure that 50% of the country’s energy supply is renewable.[1] PFAN has supported this transition since 2017 with a portfolio of almost 100 projects in the country in various sectors, from biomass to solar.

    Overall, the region exemplifies the global trend of electrifying vehicle fleets, with several E-mobility projects receiving PFAN support over the past decade. Furthermore, the transport sector and clean-cooking initiatives have been looking towards carbon finance as an additional funding source to typical revenue streams in recent years.


    The region has seen an increasing focus on renewable energy, climate mitigation and adaptation over the past years, which is opening new fields of opportunity for PFAN. As South Asia calls for trillions of US dollars to transition to renewable energy, it creates a space for PFAN to leverage domestic and foreign investments into vastly growing renewable energy projects.

    More recently, the South Asia market, especially but not limited to India, has proved an important testing ground for PFAN to explore new approaches and develop new financial structures, going beyond conventional renewable energy projects and business models (e.g. wind and solar generation). We have seen the pioneering of solar C&I and utility (OPEX) model distributed generation approaches, development of commercial scale bio-energy models, mesh grids and flash grids, cooling, water treatment and supply, waste treatment and recycling. Moreover, with countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka lacking mature equity markets to support climate tech development, PFAN has had a role in supporting financial institutions with the co-creation of clean energy funds, green bond issues and credit lines for SME end-users and micro-finance institutions to improve access to clean energy solutions and help meet the Nationally Determined Contributions.


    PFAN’s activities and highlights

    In the initial years, the PFAN portfolio focused on generating energy and electricity from renewable energy sources. However, the changing policy and funding ecosystem has helped to expand our portfolio to include adaptation, electric mobility and circular economy projects in South Asia under the UNIDO/REEEP hosting structure.

    Building resilience is key to ensuring development and attracting investments across Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

    The harsh terrains and the stretches of coastal areas have made it imperative for these countries to focus on adaptation efforts while trying to mitigate the damage already caused. Funding for adaptation has been challenging, creating the need for alternate funding mechanisms for climate change SMEs.

    Given these challenges in developing a clean energy ecosystem, our focus has moved towards offering support to adaptation projects – since 2017, PFAN has supported 20 climate adaptation projects in the region and has mobilised approximately USD 54 million.

    As seen through PFAN’s support to companies such as New Leaf Dynamics, which is enhancing cold chain markets in India, Radix Lifespaces, generating bio-compressed natural gas from organic waste, and Swajal Water, whose innovative solar-powered water purification and distribution machines are found all across India, we have accelerated investment in a variety of innovative ideas tackling the challenges of climate change.

    As a result, PFAN has been focusing on building partnerships with the local private and public lending institutions to drive regional investments in these various sectors, which has led to a dynamic diversification of our development pipeline and the need to constantly expand and enhance the skill sets and experience base of our advisor network.

    Since hosting PFAN’s first investor forum in Asia in 2009, the region has been a key player in both attending and organising events to support project developers in meeting their investment needs. For example, India, one of PFAN’s most active countries, was a crucial player in leveraging the finance raised over the years. A strong network in the country helped PFAN partner with the Confederation of Indian Industries to develop a series of webinars to reach out to climate mitigation and adaptation businesses.

    Despite the challenges encountered as a result of Covid-19, the Asia region continued to grow with the inception of the Pakistan Private Sector Energy Project (PPSE), a PFAN sub-programme, and an increasing number of projects interested in PFAN – leading Southeast Asia and South Asia to split into two regions. In 2021, Pamli Deka became PFAN’s first female Regional Coordinator and has since strengthened the network of clean energy and adaptation projects while reaching out to new stakeholders to develop partnerships in South Asia.

    With our advisors, who bring strong technical experience from the industry and experience in sector-specific fundraising, PFAN ensures that entrepreneurs receive support based on their projects’ specific requirements and are guided throughout their business development process. For example, PFAN Advisor Abhay Nalawade has been working with Indian company Atomberg Technologies, which develops energy and cost-efficient ceiling fans and other home appliances since its early days and assisted them in closing multiple funding rounds. Abhay continues to add value by providing advice on new market segments and products for continuing their business growth, along with scouting for fresh investors. To date, Atomberg Technologies has raised USD 127 million in eight funding rounds, the most recent in 2023.

    Pamli Deka Regional Coordinator, South Asia

    With more than 17 years in the energy and development space, Pamli Deka has worked with global organisations, leading diverse multicultural teams, developing funding proposals, co-authoring reports, liaising with investors and donors, managing experts and supporting entrepreneurs with the final objective of creating sustainable long-term impact which leads to development through innovation.

    She has been working with a team of Country Coordinators and PFAN Advisors in South Asia as the Regional Coordinator for PFAN South Asia since 2021. 

    Pamli Deka shares insights into PFAN’s impact in South Asia



    Regional developments

    In 2023, new policy announcements were made across the region, including the decision of the Nepal Electricity Authority to restart the process of purchase price allocation (PPA) for run of the river projects and a Memorandum of Understanding being signed between Bangladesh, India and Nepal for power export, which has created an opportunity for hydropower players to meet the 10,000 MW power trade agreement. [1] In Sri Lanka, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a USD 3 billion package to improve the liquidity situation, which has allowed interest rates to come down since then.[2] The power tariff rates were hiked, and the Government’s target to generate 70% of energy from renewable energy sources by 2030 in Sri Lanka resulted in renewed interest in the sector.[3]

    The 2023 state budget in India allocated USD 1.22 billion for the renewable energy sector. With an outlay of USD 2.8 billion (INR 24,000 crore) for manufacturing solar equipment – the associated Production Linked Incentive scheme supports existing solar players. The ministry plans to invest USD 2.3 billion in a seven-year green hydrogen mission, and the government continues to promote electric vehicles.[4] This was seen in 2023 with many deals in the electric vehicle space in India and fund flows of USD 600 million.[5] In Bangladesh, the EV market is also set to expand, with new policies taking effect in the coming years.

    PFAN’s achievements

    Though capital is flowing in the renewable energy sector throughout the region, 2023 has shown that raising investments for markets in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will require international support and catalytic funding that can trigger initial capital flows into the sector. PFAN continued to play a crucial role in offering investment facilitation services to identify and facilitate such deals, particularly due to our strong local presence. PFAN did just that by supporting a rooftop solar PV project in Colombo, which has now successfully raised financing of USD 135,000 debt – PFAN’s first financial closure in Sri Lanka. To further enhance this process, PFAN rolled out intensified investment facilitation through a specialised transaction advisor in Nepal; this led to two projects in the country, one in hydropower and the other in clean transport, being introduced to international and domestic investors with an expectation to reach financial closure in the coming year.

    During 2023, PFAN focused on actively engaging with investors, creating new partnerships, supporting mature projects to reach financial closure and discussing market changes and prospects with external entities. South Asia saw 12 PFAN-supported projects leveraging USD 185 million, including Wickedride Adventure Services Private Limited. The project secured USD 20 million in equity through private funding to introduce shared electric two-wheel scooters for rental services, operating on a pay-per-kilometre and pay-per-minute basis. The anticipated annual reduction of 155,093 metric tons of CO2 emissions underscores the project’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

    Also, in 2023, PFAN worked with Finovista, the India partner of the UK Modern Energy Cooking Services programme, to provide mentorship to clean cooking start-ups to connect with investors and pitch their projects under the “Investor Pitch and Connect” initiative. This collaboration resulted in extended engagement between PFAN Advisors and clean energy cooking companies and expanded PFAN’s operations in the sector within South Asia. The mentoring support was specifically tailored to developing and presenting pitch decks to investors, demonstrating PFAN’s ability to provide intensified support in various elements of transaction management, not just limited to business plans, financial plan development and fundraising.

    In Nepal, PFAN supported Husk Power Nepal Pvt. Ltd., which offers clean cookstoves to alleviate indoor pollution in impoverished and marginalised households across the country, to raise over USD 340,000 in investment.

    Success Story

    Husk Power Nepal

    • Location Nepal
    • Sector and Technology Biomass / Clean Cooking
    Find out more

    “When we first started this project, there were many challenges. Initially, the banks were not ready to invest in this sector. PFAN has helped us to improve our documentation and provided us with the knowledge to help us succeed.”

    Manoj Kumar Gupta, Managing Director, Husk Power Nepal

    In India, PFAN also partnered with Surge Impact Foundation, which has launched its Climate Action Entrepreneurship Incubation Program to support start-ups. PFAN helped identify the first cohort of companies for Surge Impact Foundation and continues to engage with the selected companies as they design their strategies. Furthermore, the Indian School of Business in Mohali engaged PFAN advisors to provide mentorship support to entrepreneurs participating in their Social Impact Program. This six-month programme supports impact-driven start-ups working in sustainability to solve social and environmental challenges, showcasing PFAN’s nurturing of locally-based renewable energy markets and financial advisory eco-systems, which, in turn, increases the PFAN footprint by expanding and enhancing our Advisors’ interaction with impactful businesses.

    PFAN’s dynamic engagement throughout 2023 in South Asia reflects our unwavering commitment to driving positive change in the climate and clean energy sectors. From navigating evolving policy landscapes to facilitating international support for key markets in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, PFAN has showcased its agility and motivation to address diverse challenges. Successfully helping projects and businesses to mobilise investment with their groundbreaking initiatives exemplifies PFAN’s ability to support and catalyse transformative ventures.

    Furthermore, the expansion into clean cooking start-ups, collaborations with impactful programmes and mentorship initiatives with educational institutions highlight PFAN’s comprehensive approach to fostering sustainability and innovation across entire eco-systems.








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