Category Archives: Africa

IRENA and State Grid Corporation of China Team-Up to Expand Regional Renewable Capacities

Technical experts from SGCC to support IRENA’s activities in Africa, Central America and Southeast Asia

A new agreement signed today between IRENA and the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany will see technical expertise from the world’s largest utility support the Agency work on integrating more renewables into grid systems.

Efforts undertaken by the state-owned enterprise over the past decade have sought to improve its ability to accommodate higher shares of variable renewable energy sources, and this partnership will enable IRENA to leverage the established knowledge of the SGCC for the benefit of developing countries.

China is the world leader in installed renewable energy capacity, having in 2016 added almost half of all new solar capacity worldwide, and also the largest provider of renewable energy jobs, with the latest figures showing 3.64 million people are working in the Chinese renewables sector. The country’s knowledge in grid integration can be useful for other countries undertaking ambitious plans to scale-up the share of renewables in the power mix, particularly in Africa, Central America and South East Asia.

Under the agreement, technical experts from SGCC will be seconded to IRENA for one year. The experts will work closely with IRENA’s programmatic teams, particularly on IRENA’s Clean Energy Corridor initiatives in Africa, Central America and Southeast Asia, and capacity building activities related to integrating renewables into electricity systems.

The agreement follows a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the organisationsin June to increase the integration of high shares of wind and solar, grid integration, interconnection and smart grids. The MOU also strengthens cooperation related to IRENA’s Clean Energy Corridor initiatives.

Ministers: ‘IRENA/ADFD Plays Key Role Advancing Renewables in Developing Countries’

At IRENA’s seventh Assembly, held in Abu Dhabi in January 2017, renewable energy projects from the Marshall Islands, Niger, Seychelles and the Solomon Islands were selected to receive a total of USD 44.5 million in funding through the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility. The Facility is a unique partnership between the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), set up to identify and partially finance promising renewable energy projects in developing countries.

At the Assembly, energy ministers from the four selected countries explained how this partnership will bring about a positive change in their respective countries.  Continue reading Ministers: ‘IRENA/ADFD Plays Key Role Advancing Renewables in Developing Countries’

Pay-As-You-Go Solar Systems in Rural Senegal Give Access to Electricity

In the rural village of Salémata, located in the Kédougou region of southern Senegal, 10-year old Omar and his parents used to spend money on costly kerosene and low quality solar torches for basic lighting needs in their house. The kerosene and torches did not provide light for the whole evening, making studying at night a challenge for Omar. Omar’s parents then purchased a pay-as-you-go solar system in hopes that it could solve their lighting and energy problems. Since then, Omar is able to complete his homework every night and has improved his performance at school. And when his homework is done, now he can even watch some football games on TV.

The pay-as-you-go system Omar’s family purchased is made by Touba Solar Rama, a company that is supported by an Entrepreneurship Support Facility established by IRENA and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. Based at the International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering in Burkina Faso, the facility provides advisory assistance to small and medium-sized renewable energy entrepreneurs in West Africa. Continue reading Pay-As-You-Go Solar Systems in Rural Senegal Give Access to Electricity

IRENA Convenes Ministers at COP22 to Address Renewables for Africa

Ministers and senior officials from government, international organizations, development institutions and civil society gathered at COP22 in Marrakech on Monday to discuss the pathways to meet African climate objectives with renewable energy.

Building on concrete experiences, the high-level event, organized by IRENA and Environnement et Developpement du Tiers-Monde, gathered government representatives, climate finance institutes, development partners and civil society to discuss how African countries can reap the potential of renewable energy through NDC implementation while advancing their national development priorities. The side-event highlighted the key features of tools and climate finance resource to support NDC implementation. Continue reading IRENA Convenes Ministers at COP22 to Address Renewables for Africa

Renewable Energy in Burkina Faso: Improving Living Conditions and Alleviating Poverty

Burkina Faso’s economy is heavily reliant on energy imports. In 2013, 92% of the country’s electricity was imported or produced from imported oil and the country’s economy is particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in the price of oil. Burkina Faso is simultaneously facing challenges of energy access, energy security and climate change mitigation.

With no growth in electrification rates over the last few years, less than 5% of the rural population have access to electricity and many schools and hospitals lack supply. Rural communities rely on expensive and harmful kerosene, batteries, and candles to meet their basic energy needs and have no access to electricity to meet these needs or support income generating activities. Continue reading Renewable Energy in Burkina Faso: Improving Living Conditions and Alleviating Poverty

Sustainable Growth: Boosting Renewables in Africa

Africa accounts for just 3% of today’s global power consumption – but the continent’s energy needs are huge. More than 600 million people in Africa do not have access to electricity, and many others face high prices and unreliable supply – often from dirty backup diesel generation. What’s more, energy demand in Africa is predicted to soar 77% by 2030.

Hundreds of actors from the public and private sectors gathered in Addis Ababa last week to tackle this issue. The second annual African Climate-Resilient Infrastructure Summit brought together private, public, national and regional actors to help Africa build a climate-resilient infrastructure through strategic partnerships. Continue reading Sustainable Growth: Boosting Renewables in Africa