The UK Government has announced investments worth over £50m into innovative, clean technology as the UK works with African countries to develop sustainable energy sources.
The government announced the winners of the investment packages for the continent’s clean energy infrastructure at the African Investment Summit in London on 21 January 2020, which will go towards projects that aim to provide thousands with clean energy.
The approved projects include solar farms in Kenya, geothermal power stations in Ethiopia and clean energy storage in sub-Saharan Africa. The countries will receive funding and support as UK scientists and financial experts will work with their African counterparts to realise the continent’s significant renewable energy potential. The UK will also assist the countries with attracting investment for innovative renewable projects, such as wind and solar farms.
The Facility for Energy Inclusion’s Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (FEI OGEF) has reached a final equity close with $59 million in committed equity capital and $36 million debt facilities, to support innovative, off-grid energy access companies.
The final close, reached on 18 November 2019, was made possible through a $15 million equity contribution from the European Union (EU), and a further $17 million from KfW, acting on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Additionally, the EU is providing $2 million to fund a technical assistance facility, to enhance local currency financing. Other OGEF equity investors include the Nordic Development Fund and All On Calvert Impact Capital and the Prudential Insurance Company of America.
OGEF expects to raise further debt towards its $130 million target over the next 12-18 months.The African Development Bank is the fund’s anchor sponsor with a $30 million contribution, and $8.5 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
A new IRENA initiative to establish a capacity building programme for young professionals from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), has been launched. The programme provides an opportunity for young professionals from LDCs and SIDS, with the agreement and support of their governments (or institutions), to serve at IRENA Headquarters in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates or at its office in Bonn, Germany, for a period of one to two years. The programme aims to build capacity for addressing renewable energy issues in SIDS and LDCs and to provide experience in an intergovernmental organisation setting.
Young people are key actors of the energy transformation and, as innovators, leaders and renewable energy professionals, their skills and advocacy will be essential for building a climate-safe and sustainable energy future. By engaging with young people from LDCs and SIDS and providing them with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience under the guidance of experts, integrating their contribution into the Agency’s work, IRENA will equip the next generation of leaders with the necessary practical experiences to support their governments in their transition to a sustainable energy future.
GSEP is now accepting applications for the 2020-2021 Education for Sustainable Energy Development (ESED) scholarship program. Outstanding students from developing countries undertaking full time master’s studies in the fields of zero-carbon energy, smart grids, electric transportation, energy storage, advanced electricity technologies, public policy, or other relevant fields, are eligible to apply for the scholarship of a maximum value of 21,000 USD. The application deadline is March 6, 2020.
This year, with the aim of supporting developing countries in building local expertise, GSEP will allocate a share of its scholarships to students pursuing master’s studies in universities based in developing countries.
Since the inception of the program in 2001, GSEP has supported 125 exceptional scholars. Today, the need for globally-oriented practitioners and researchers is growing rapidly. Our one-of-a-kind scholarship program fosters the next generation of energy, climate, and electricity sector specialists who will be prepared to tackle the challenges of the future.
It could fund up to $21,000 US per year (max. two years)