Brussels, 28th January 2020 – Seven months after the launch of the renewAfrica Initiative in June 2019, leaders from the European renewable energy sector gather in Brussels to take stock of progress made and outline the way forward. The half-day meeting, hosted by RES4Africa Foundation, counts the presence of representatives of the European Commission, the European renewable energy industry, international financing institutions, academia and think-tanks.
The demographic and economic growth, urbanisation and digitalisation trends that Africa is experiencing come with an increased energy demand; yet, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) forecasts that in 2030 over 600 million Africans (36% of the whole population) still will not have access to electricity. Bridging this energy access gap will require unlocking private sector investments, as public financing will not suffice to provide the $32bn per year of investment needed. Mobilizing the investments necessary for this transition is a common challenge for both Europe and Africa. With the Paris Agreement and its own Green Deal, the EU has taken a decisive stance as a global champion of climate action, in which a partnership with Africa plays a fundamental role.
“The renewAfrica Initiative’s mission to boost European renewable energy investments in Africa perfectly matches the ambitions of A European Green Deal and of A Stronger Europe in the World, set out by the EU Commission” explains Antonio Cammisecra, President of the renewAfrica Initiative and CEO of Enel Green Power, “To deliver on its stated effort to build Green Alliances abroad and use development cooperation to advance climate action, the EU will need to undertake concrete steps and measures: renewAfrica can be one of these”.
Currently, as resulted from a RES4Africa Foundation study, a multitude of European schemes supporting renewable energy investments are in place; however, the great level of fragmentation and the discontinuity of the support offered in the different stages of the project cycle hamper the effectiveness of such schemes. The study suggests that a new instrument, which would include a combination of policies, regulations, financing and de-risking measures, would enhance the support offered to investors and scale-up investments. The renewAfrica Initiative seeks to be this end-to-end solution; through its comprehensive approach, the new programme would stimulate a pipeline of bankable projects at a scale that single European instruments have not been able to do so far.
“Glad to meet and discuss new opportunities under the European Green Deal with the renewAfrica network” declares Koen Doens, Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), “We want to double down on our efforts to unlock Africa’s renewable energy potential. This is a precondition for its inclusive and sustainable growth, and we look forward to working with all stakeholders committed to scale investment in Africa’s green energy transition”.