When UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launched the International Solar Alliance last October, he applauded the goal of mobilizing about $1 trillion dollars towards the deployment of some 1,000 gigawatts of solar energy by 2030. “It is clear,” he said, “that we are witnessing a global renewable energy revolution.” That revolution is also taking place under the leadership of the African Development Bank (AfDB) which has embarked on a highly ambitious solar project to make Africa a renewable power-house, titled “Desert to Power (DtP) Initiative”.
This project is expected to stretch across the Sahel region by tapping into the region’s abundant solar resource. The Initiative aims to develop and provide 10 GW of solar energy by 2025 and supply 250 million people with green electricity including in some of the world’s poorest countries. At least 90 million people will be connected to electricity for the first time, lifting them out of energy poverty. Currently, 64% of the Sahel’s population – covering Senegal, Nigeria, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea – lives without electricity, a major barrier to development, with consequences for education, health and business. The AfDB has rightly pointed out that lack of energy remains a significant impediment to Africa’s economic and social development.
Organized by the African development bank, the forum, dubbed a market place for Africa, for the second time expects to bring together project sponsors, investors, borrowers, lenders, policy makers, public and private sector investors to promote Africa's investment opportunities for a total deal of USD 67 billion transactions. More than 32 billion dollars transactions were made in the last year's forum.
In addition to the transactions expected, key reports are also to be launched such as the Africa energy outlook 2019 of iea, 2019 Electricity Regulatory Index and the first comparative Electricity Tariff Study report for west Africa region.
Ethiopia is represented by its ambassador in South Africa this year. Last year was attended by President Sahle-work Zewde making USD100 million deal for the energy sector.
The press release at the official launch of the program reads that Energising Development (EnDev) launched a new programming cycle at the beginning of 2019. Based on the outcome of that programming cycle, EnDev Ethiopia, together with the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy of Ethiopia, started the implementation of phase III from July 2019 to run until December 2022 with additional 9.4 million EUR.
The new phase will focus on the policy support and development of financial systems. The support will be directed towards developing and growing the market for modern renewable energy technologies and services as well as energy efficiency solutions in Ethiopia.
The Nordic countries, which have vast experiences on the utilization of renewable energy, offered energy solutions to assist Ethiopia in harnessing renewable energy resources. The Nordic countries expressed their commitments to share their rich experiences to Ethiopia in a seminar held on Thursday at the Addis Ababa Radisson Blu Hotel. The Embassies of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland organized the consultative meeting in collaboration with Nordic Energy Research aimed at heightening the security of the energy supply in Ethiopia by applying successful and sustainable energy solutions from the Nordic countries.
In her key note address Unnur Ramette Ambassador of Iceland pointed out that only 35 percent of the African population has access to electricity and African countries’ prospect of expanding their electricity network is challenging. Ambassador Ramette expressed the Nordic countries commitment through the “Nordic Energy Solutions”, an initiative launched by Nordic Prime Ministers, to assist the development of renewable energy resources in Ethiopia. “Nordic Energy Solutions is committed to share Nordic innovations and technologies to address energy challenges,” she said. “We have a family of Nordic financial institutions Nordic Development Fund, Nordic Environmental Facility Cooperation and the Nordic Investment Bank,” she added.