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Africa Energy Transition: Catalyst Programme for Renewable Energy

As the world grapples with mounting climate challenges, Africa is pioneering its pathway towards a cleaner, sustainable future with the Africa Energy Transition Catalyst Programme. The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) funds this initiative with a substantial $7.88 million grant, positioning it to significantly bolster renewable energy generation across the continent and herald a new era of environmentally responsible and equitable growth for African nations.

Accelerating Just Energy Transition in Africa

Defined as a low-carbon, fair, and inclusive pathway, this Africa Energy Transition Program reaffirms the African Development Bank’s steadfast support for Africa’s Just Energy Transition (JET). This strategic transition is geared towards creating valuable employment opportunities, fostering social equity, and is committed to leaving no one behind. The programme operates on both national and regional platforms, integrating large-scale renewable energy projects to revolutionize the continent’s energy landscape. It encompasses not only the technological aspects but also the socio-economic dimensions of energy. Educating communities about the benefits of renewable energy, engaging in policy advocacy for sustainable energy solutions, and fostering partnerships between governments and private sector stakeholders are key strategies.

Mega Solar Initiative and Regional Collaboration for Africa Energy Transition

Central to this programme is the 2-5 GW Mega Solar Initiative—a beacon of sustainable development and regional collaboration. It involves Power Africa, the governments of Botswana and Namibia, the African Development Bank, AUDA-NEPAD, and key international financial institutions. The initiative’s first phase zeroes in on procuring 300-500 megawatts of solar power in Namibia and Botswana. Once regional transmission lines are constructed, this ambitious plan will ignite further procurement of renewable energy to supply neighboring countries at a lower cost.

This initiative is not only about energy production; it symbolizes a commitment to substantial, collaborative solar development that sets a precedent for other African nations. It plays a part in regional economic development, job creation, technology transfer, and building the capacity of local industries.

Shaping Energy Futures: Continental Strategy and Local Impact

The Africa Energy Transition Catalyst Programme extends beyond mere energy generation—it is a comprehensive blueprint for the continent’s sustainable future. In collaboration with the African Energy Commission, it formulates a Continental Energy Transition Framework and Roadmap, charting a course towards a greener Africa. In Tunisia, the programme is earmarked to significantly support the execution of the country’s JET Strategy (2035) by financing feasibility studies for an offshore wind site (250-500 MW) with integrated energy storage at identified potential coastal zones.

These efforts represent a move towards renewable energy that is not solely solar, embracing wind and other resources. Additionally, the initiative is actively working to develop a robust energy transition investment plan for Senegal, a process that is currently under strategic discussion. Senegal’s plan under this programme could become a benchmark for other nations, reinforcing Africa’s broader ambition for a just and sustainable energy transition.

Dr. Daniel Schroth, African Development Bank Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, accentuates the significance of the AETC: “This programme provides vital upstream support on Africa Energy Transition in planning and project preparation, aiming to trigger the essential downstream investments. It serves as a beacon, highlighting SEFA’s role as Africa’s paramount energy transition facility and exemplifying how strategic action can fuel transformative change.

Feel free to contact the Energy Transition Centre today with questions. 

·  Julius Moerder, Head of Energy Transition Centre [email protected]

·  Oneyka Ojogbo, Head of Energy Transition Centre, Nigeria & West Africa [email protected]

·  Leon van Der Merwe, Head of Energy Transition Centre, South Africa [email protected]

Author: Memoona Tawfiq