How it works

IRENA carries out its project screening and recommendation process as per IRENA Assembly document A/4/13 and as outlined below which is also in the Guidelines for Applicants, Background Information Note and In Focus.

IRENA carries out its project screening and recommendation process through two bodies. The first is the Advisory Committee, appointed by the IRENA Assembly annually. The second is a Panel of Experts, formed from a list submitted to the Advisory Committee every cycle by IRENA’s Director-General, taking account of the IRENA Secretariat’s contacts with experts in the field as well as recommendations from IRENA’s membership.

The project selection process – both during the first stage, with executive project summary proposals, and later, at the full project proposal stage - involves two levels of consideration.


Consideration by the Panel of Experts involves scoring and commenting on each project in terms of:

  • technical merit, including appropriate design, management capability and project deliverables;
  • economic/commercial viability, including an appropriate business plan, demonstrated economic feasibility;
  • socio-economic and environmental benefits, including addressing development goals, e.g., equity, health and gender empowerment.
Projects shortlisted must, to the extent possible, be:
  • transformative (expected to have a significant positive impact on the energy landscape, society, environment and/or business situation);
  • replicable/scalable (show an effective, efficient business model for the given technologies that can be replicated or scaled up, and/or involves a solid and tested approach); and
  • innovative (i.e. an innovative business model that is financially viable and technically sound).
Projects must also:
  • improve energy access (expressed in number of people to gain new access to clean energy, new connections to the grid or megawatts added to the power supply); and
  • address energy security issues (expressed in terms of how the project contributes to the diversification of energy supply, saving scarce energy resources, or reducing grid outages and/or in the number of people or systems with reduced reliance on traditional biomass, diesel, etc.).


The second level of consideration involves the Advisory Committee, which selects and recommends projects based on their strategic importance in terms of national priorities and expected impact, as well as based on the scores, ranking, shortlisting and comments from the Panel of Experts.

Strategic considerations by the Advisory Committee include:

  • geographic spread, to ensure that the projects selected represent different regions;
  • diversity of technologies, such as solar photovoltaic (PV), wind power, solar PV hybrids, mini-grids, small hydro, small-scale waste-to-energy, etc.; and
  • alignment with government priorities.


ADFD selects projects for funding from the recommended list received from IRENA.

Thereafter, ADFD loan terms and conditions apply.

  • Government guarantee requirement: Applicants are encouraged to initiate contact with their respective governments on this ADFD requirement at the early stages of the application process. For further details, please view ADFD funding.
  • Economic feasibility: Projects must be both financially and economically feasible. This is required to be demonstrated at the Full Project Proposal stage. Please View ADFD Feasibility Study requirement.
guide apply

NEW! Expert Nomination Form - Sixth Cycle
(Deadline 30 October 2017)

Please fill in form accessed here and send to

IRENA Evaluation Considerations
Evaluation by experts (Weights) Advisory Committee selection and recommendation
Applications Technical feasibility
Economic/commercial sustainability
Socio-economic & environmental benefit
Overall project characteristics
Executive Project Summary – applicants submit 11 Nov 2016 to 15 Feb 2017 -Objectives
-Project cost
-Revenue sources
-Business plan
-Social, economic & environmental benefits
-Stakeholder engagement


-Improve energy access
-Address energy security

-Geographic spread
-Diversity of technologies
-Alignment with government priorities
Full Project Proposal including full feasibility study –
shortlisted applicants submit early May to end June 2017
-Detailed project design and output
-Resource assessment
-Implementation plan and operational arrangements
-Technical risk mitigation measures
-Organisational and management capabilities
-Monitoring and evaluation
-Full economic/financial model
-Co-finance agreements
-Economic/ financial risks and mitigation options
-Stakeholder engagement details
-Job creation
-Energy security
-Environmental / health
-Other/ gender/ transformation/ replicability/ scalability/ innovation
-Risk mitigation
Full feasibility study: The feasibility of the project is established by methods such as CBA, EIRR, NPV, sensitivity analysis etc. The review would also cover the financing plan, expected cash flow and the evaluation of the technical and social data in order to characterize the uncertainty associated with the project.

© 2016 IRENA