IRENA and AfDB scale up renewable energy in Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa could generate as much as 67% of its power from indigenous and clean renewable energy sources by 2030. Image credit: IRENA

01 January 2021 – The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) has scaled up investment in renewable energy in Africa.

IRENA) and the AfDB have agreed to jointly support investment in low carbon energy projects, a move expected to advance Africa’s energy transition and to scale up investment in renewable energy in Africa.

The two entities signed a Declaration of Intent to coordinate on a range of activities. This includes co-organising renewable energy investment forums as part of IRENA’s contribution to the  Climate Investment Forum, and collaboration on the Bank’s annual flagship Africa Investment Forum event. The partnership will also focus on enhancing the role of renewable energy in African countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Accord and other sustainable development objectives.

At the forefront of renewable investment

“Driven by the aspiration to harness Africa’s huge renewable energy potential, the AfDB is today at the forefront of investing in renewable energy in Africa. The Bank’s partnership with IRENA will advance this aspiration and support Africa’s energy transition and our goal to achieve universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy in Africa by 2030,” says Kevin Kanina Kariuki, Bank VP for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, who signed on the Bank’s behalf.

Francesco La Camera, IRENA Director-General says that this agreement represents the type of coordinated international cooperation that is the cornerstone of the realisation of sustainable development in Africa and the achievement of Paris Agreement goals. “We will pursue an action-oriented agenda that puts African countries on a path to realising their full renewable energy potential,” says La Camera.

Clean energy will be a boost

Earlier in 2020, IRENA released its Global Renewables Outlook report, which revealed that sub-Saharan Africa could generate as much as 67% of its power from indigenous and clean renewable energy sources by 2030. Such an energy transition, analysis suggests, would boost GDP, improve welfare, and stimulate the creation of up to 2 million additional green jobs in the region by 2050.

“The African continent has some of the most abundant renewable energy resources in the world and the potential to transform outcomes for millions of people through the accelerated deployment of a renewables-based energy system,” says La Camera. “Renewables will increase energy security, create green jobs, advance energy access, including clean cooking, and help build resilient African economies.”

The pact is also expected to pave the way for collaboration on the African Development Bank’s Desert to Power Initiative, which aims to mobilise public and private funding to install 10GW of solar power by 2025 in 11 countries in Africa’s Sahel region.

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