Renewable energies have been on the rise in Africa in recent years. Many institutions feel more concerned with preserving the environment. This is the case of the African Development Bank, which announced on September 23, 2019 at the United Nations Climate Action summit that it will no longer invest in coal. Coal is a resource that she believes represents the past.
Africa is teeming with renewable energies, providing opportunities to boost its social and economic development. Nowadays, some of these are already used as a solution to supply remote areas not connected to an electricity network at a lower cost. On the other hand, the use of renewable energies mitigates the adverse economic consequences resulting from the risks associated with unstable fossil fuel markets. In addition, the development of this sector is favorable to job creation.
Grants for renewable energy projects
There are many opportunities for investing in renewable energy in Africa. Several possibilities are possible when thinking of investing: it can be solar energy, hydroelectricity, wind power or even geothermal energy … Unfortunately (or fortunately) these cannot be achieved without no support. During the Africa-UK Investment Forum, the AfDB released $ 600 million for renewable energy investments in Africa.
In addition to financial grants, the FEDA (Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa) includes advisory activities and the implementation of legal, regulatory and political regimes. This is done with the aim of establishing clear and concise rules in order to better plan the development and implementation of projects in this sector of activity. However, a limit on the size of projects is imposed.
Through FEDA, the AfDB supports small and medium-scale projects in the field of renewable energies. The aim here is to promote Africa’s sustainable economic growth through the private sector.
Concrete examples of grants:
- Moroccan solar projects: they appealed to the German development bank, the EU, the European Investment Bank as well as the Saudi energy group ACWA.
- Mutemwa Project: This is a tripartite partnership between the government of Zambia, the Climate Investment Fund and the World Bank.
The sources of funding mentioned above offer wide options for both grants and loans, depending on the nature of the projects. As other actors distributing grants and loans, we can cite:
- The Japanese Development Agency
- The United States Agency for International Development
- Danish International Development Agency
- UK Department for International Development
- The Canadian International Development Agency.
Programs set up for the development of renewable energies
Several programs are set up to promote the development of renewable energies on the African continent. A concrete example: the Africa-EU (European Union) cooperation program in the field of renewable energies (RECP). This, through its 2020 strategy, offers avenues of innovation to strengthen the use of renewable energies in Africa. It presents the shared vision of Africa-EU cooperation that will guide activities over the period of 2020.
The importance of investing in renewable energy in Africa
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the installed capacity for producing electricity from renewable sources could increase by 290% between 2015 and 2030 in Africa, compared to 161% in Asia and 43% in Latin America. IRENA also estimates that the economically profitable potential of renewables on the continent stands at around 310GW by 2030.
International cooperation (bilateral or multilateral) plays an important financial and technical role in renewable energy projects. Africa therefore has the opportunity to benefit from technical, technological and financial resources at a lower cost. This allows it to make great strides in terms of sustainable development.
The renewable energy sector is no longer a mystified sector, several countries like Egypt, Morocco and Senegal are getting involved. They are Africa’s energy future. So if you have a renewable energy project, don’t hesitate, waste time and get started! You will not only invest in a profitable project, but also participate in the development of the African economy, as well as the creation and development of jobs in the renewable energy sector. So when do you start?