The African Development Bank (AfDB) has said that it achieved a 100% investment in renewable energy in 2017, a development the organisation considers a major landmark in its commitment to clean energy and efficiency.
The body said in a statement made available to EnviroNews on Thursday, December 28, 2017 that power generation projects with a cumulative 1,400 megawatts exclusively from renewables were approved during the year, with plans to increase support for renewable energy projects in 2018 under the New Deal on Energy for Africa initiative.
AfDB President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, was quoted as saying: “We are clearly leading on renewable energy. We will help Africa unlock its full energy potential, while developing a balanced energy mix to support industrialisation. Our commitment is to ensure 100% climate screening for all bank financed projects.’’
According to the organisation, the share of renewable energy projects as a portion of it’s portfolio of power generation investments increased from 14% in 2007-2011, to 64% in 2012-2016.
The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) whose goal is to deliver 300 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy in 2030 and 10 GW by 2020, is now based within the AfDB, as requested by African Heads of State and Government. The G7 has promised to commit $10 billion to support the initiative, which came out of COP21 in Paris, France and subsequently approved by the African Union.
On November 8, 2017, the African Bank Group approved its Second Climate Change Action Plan, 2016-2020 (CCAP2) as a clear message of its commitment to helping African countries mobilize resources to support the implementation of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) of Regional Member Countries, in ways that will not hinder development.
The approval of the action plan echoes discussions at COP23 in Bonn, Germany to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change and achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping global temperature rises to 1.5C.
The CCAP2 is designed to incorporate the bank’s High 5 priorities in the Paris Agreement, the 2030 development agenda, the bank’s Green Growth Framework and the lessons learned in the implementation of the first climate change action plan (CCAP1), 2011-2015.
As part of its wider mandate under the New Deal on Energy for Africa, the Board of Directors of the AfDB on December 15, 2017 approved an investment of $20 million in the Evolution II Fund – a Pan-African clean and sustainable energy private equity fund.
AfDB says its investment in Evolution II Fund reflects the company’s High 5 development priorities, the agenda to light up and Power Africa, and its commitment to promote renewable energy and efficiency in Africa.
The Evolution II Fund is expected to contribute to green and sustainable growth by creating 2,750 jobs and building on the track record of the Evolution One Fund (which created 1,495 jobs, of which 20% were for women, and generated 838 MW of wind energy and 87MW Solar PV energy). It is estimated that the Evolution One Fund achieved 1,190,469 of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission savings annually.
In line with its commitment to renewable energy and ongoing institutional reforms, in the first quarter of 2017, AfDB disclosed that it appointed Ousseynou Nakoulima as the Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. Nakoulima, says the bank, brings global experience in developing and managing programmes and partnerships for driving renewable energy from his work at the Green Climate Fund (GCF).