IRENA and the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Power Africa Initiative met on the side lines of the recent Climate Change Conference in Paris and have committed to sustainable development joint initiatives and activities to support developing renewable energy in sub-Saharan Africa.
Currently four-fifths of all electricity in Eastern and Southern Africa is generated from carbon-intensive fossil fuels, and as double-digit growth continues across the region, demand for electricity is expected to at least double by 2030. This regional economic growth in Africa can be sustained by pursuing low-emission pathways, scaling up private finance for renewable energy and shifting away from yesterday’s technologies towards tomorrow’s clean and sustainable energy systems.
IRENA and the Power Africa Initiative will collaborate on projects through IRENA’s Sustainable Energy Marketplace and Africa Clean Energy Corridor, with a goal of advancing Sustainable Development Goal 7, which aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.
Specifically, the new partnership focuses on expanding information-sharing to further renewable energy growth in sub-Saharan Africa through sharing publicly available information on specific project opportunities and IRENA platforms such as the Sustainable Energy Marketplace and Power Africa's Transaction Tracker database. In addition, members of IRENA’s Africa Clean Energy Corridor and Power Africa seek to develop a framework for leveraging their respective financial and technical expertise in supporting transactions.
The objective of the Sustainable Energy Marketplace is to accelerate the scale-up of investments to promote the initiation, development and financing of low-carbon renewable energy projects by bringing together project owners, governments, financiers, and service and technology providers. This marketplace will make investment opportunities visible and easily identifiable for investors and help project developers to identify relevant funding sources and expertise.
IRENA launched the Africa Clean Energy Corridor in 2014, which aims to increase renewable energy deployment in Africa, in order to reduce carbon emissions and support.
US President Obama launched Power Africa in 2013 to leverage private and public sector partnerships to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. Power Africa aims to add at least 30,000 megawatts of new, clean electrical power capacity and 60 million new electrical connections by unlocking sub-Saharan Africa’s substantial wind, solar, hydropower, natural gas and geothermal resources. The initiative is a partnership among US Government agencies, the World Bank Group, the African Development Bank, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the UN Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative, the African Union’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development, the European Commission and approximately 100 public and private sector entities.