EU supports Africa’s renewable energy and solar development with €300 million

Mali's solar generation capacity is currently represented by small-sized PV installations.

The European Commission (EC) has announced it will provide the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) with €300 million in funding. The EC said that the funds will be used to leverage approximately €4.8 million ($5.0 billion) in new investments and to help finance 19 renewable energy projects totaling about 1.8 GW. The EC has not specified how much of these funds will be devoted to solar projects.

The funds will be provided through existing financial mechanisms such as the Africa Investment Facility (AfIF) and the Electrification Financing Initiative (ElectriFI), and new instruments like the External Investment Plan.

The EU stressed that its funding for renewable energy development in Sub-Saharan Africa for the period 2014-2020 amounts to approximately €2.7 billion.

The AREI is an initiative of the African Union, a Pan-African organization which promotes cooperation among the independent nations of Africa. The AREI aims at installing up to 10 GW of new renewable energy generation capacity by 2020.

The organization promotes all kinds of renewable energy technologies, in particular solar, wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal and marine power, and the full range of renewable electricity applications from grid-connected to mini-grids to small stand-alone systems.

The initiative is now in its Phase I (2017-2020), during which assessments, preparations and critical enabling activities will be implemented. Phase II (2020-2030) is expected to see the roll-out of nationally determined policies, programs and incentives.