Significant Investment Needed to Transform Africa’s Energy System

IRENA and UNDP’s Africa Centre for Sustainable Development have outlined why significant investment is needed to transform Africa’s energy system.

Investment Transform Africa's Energy System

Falling technology costs have made renewable energy a cost-effective way to generate power in countries all over the world, which would drive further development and improved economy. Despite the tremendous efforts that have been deployed at national and regional levels, 580 million Africans still do not have access to modern sources of electricity. IRENA and UNDP’s Africa Centre for Sustainable Development have now outlined why significant investment is needed to transform Africa’s energy system.

The strategic partnership between IRENA and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is working to solve this challenge by unlocking the capital necessary to help Africa realise its full renewable energy and economic potentials.

IRENA’s ‘Scaling Up Renewable Energy Deployment in Africa’ shows that the continent has the potential to install 310 gigawatts of clean renewable power—or half the continent’s total electricity generation capacity—to meet nearly a quarter of its energy needs by 2030. It is, therefore, crucial for it to step up its efforts to generate significant investments and business opportunities to boost the growth of renewable energy in the continent.

Working together, IRENA and the UNDP through its Africa Centre for Sustainable Development (ACSD) co-presented the case for unlocking the renewable energy potential in Africa through increasing investments flows, during the 12th Africa Energy Indaba in Cape Town in February 2020.

IRENA estimates that Africa requires an annual investment of USD 70 billion in renewable energy projects until 2030 for clean energy transformation to take place. The clean energy access would increase energy security, create green jobs, and support key developing outcomes such as improved healthcare and education. Additionally, renewable energy deployment would curb rising carbon emissions and enhance Africa’s resilience to climate change impacts.

It further used the occasion of Africa Energy Indaba as an opportunity to share further insights on ways to support Africa in its energy transition journey, which includes the Climate Investment Platform (CIP) – an initiative that is now open for registrations from project developers and partners. CIP is designed to scale up climate action and catalyse the flow of capital to clean energy initiatives. The platform will add significant value to Africa’s efforts to increase the share of renewables in its energy sector, as it serves to facilitate the matchmaking of bankable projects with potential investors, as well as to enable frameworks for investment by promoting multi-stakeholder dialogues to address policy and regulatory challenges.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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