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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

AfDB approves $7.88m grant to boost renewable energy in Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group’s Board of Directors has approved a $7.88 million grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) for the Africa Energy Transition Catalyst (AETC) Programme.

Daniel Schroth
AfDB’s Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, Dr Daniel Schroth

The bank, in a statement, said the programme is aimed at increasing renewable energy generation across the continent.

The AETC consolidates the bank’s support for the acceleration of a Just Energy Transition (JET) for Africa, defined as a low-carbon transition that is fair, inclusive, creates decent work opportunities and leaves no one behind.

According to the bank, the programme works at national and regional levels, by facilitating the large-scale integration of renewable energy generation, thus increasing its share of the energy mix.

The bank said the AETC consolidate six identified energy transition projects that would be implemented in two phases.

It said the AETC programme aimed to accomplish multiple objectives.

“These include conducting a Regional Market Study to facilitate the export of renewable energy from Botswana and Namibia as part of the 2-5 GW Mega Solar initiative.

“Additionally, it aims to advance the ZiZaBoNa regional transmission interconnector development by updating feasibility and ESIA studies while providing project structuring advisory support.

“The Mega Solar initiative is Southern Africa’s largest solar power programme and the first of its kind on the continent,” it said.

The bank also said the first phase of the Mega Solar initiative centred on the competitive procurement of 300-500 megawatts of solar power in Namibia and Botswana.

It said: “Once regional transmission lines are constructed, this will catalyse the procurement of additional generation that can supply low-cost renewable energy to neighbouring countries.

“The mega solar initiative is a commitment to large-scale solar development collaboration between Power Africa and the governments of Botswana and Namibia.

“It collaborates with AfDB, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the International Finance Corporation.”

The bank said the AETC include collaboration with the African Energy Commission to develop a continental Energy Transition Framework and Roadmap.

It said the programme would also play a pivotal role in supporting the implementation of Tunisia’s JET Strategy (2035), through financing feasibility studies for an offshore wind site (250-500 MW) with integrated energy storage.

The bank said the AETC would support Senegal in its just energy transition through the development of a just energy transition investment plan.

It said this is accompanied by essential preparatory studies and capacity-building efforts.

AfDB’s Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, Dr Daniel Schroth, said: “The AETC provides critical upstream support on energy transition.

“This is in terms of planning and project preparation with a view of mobilising the required downstream investments.

“AETC further underscores the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa’s role as Africa’s leading energy transition facility.”

By Lucy Ogalue

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