Enabling Africa’s Green Recovery: Solutions to Scale-up Renewable Power in Africa: RES4AFRICA’s G20 Collateral Event Sheds Light on the Actions That Must be Undertaken to Guarantee a Just Energy Transition for Africa
Jul 01 2021
With the participation of Enel, UNECA, IRENA, the European Commission, Siemens Gamesa, the European Investment Bank, Schneider Electric and Enel Green Power.
1st July 2021 – Yesterday, RES4Africa Foundation held the G20 collateral event Enabling Africa’s green recovery: solutions to scale-up renewable power in Africa, a close-door high-level meeting dedicated to Africa’s renewable energy transition. Thanks to the participation of (in order of intervention) Antonio Cammisecra (Head of Global Infrastructure and Networks Division at Enel), Jean Paul Adam (Director for Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management at UNECA), Rabia Ferroukhi (Director of Knowledge, Policy and Finance Center IRENA), Marjeta Jager (Deputy Director General for the Directorate-General for International Partnerships-DG INTPA), Jon Lezamiz Cortazar (Global Head of Public Affairs at Siemens Gamesa), Maria Shaw-Barragan (Director of Lending in Africa, Caribbean, Pacific, Asia and Latin America at the European Investment Bank), Caspar Herzberg (President, Middle East and Africa at Schneider Electric) and Salvatore Bernabei (CEO at Enel Green Power and President of RES4Africa Foundation), the event provided the opportunity to shed light on the actions that must be undertaken in order to ensure a just energy transition for Africa and the role that G20 countries’ private investments can have.
While global installed RE generation capacity has more than doubled in the last decade worldwide, only 2% of new RE generation was installed in Africa: despite its outstanding potential in terms of RE resources and market demand, the continent remains at the outdoor margins of the renewable revolution. Private sector investments may help Africa delivering on its energy needs and build a resilient, competitive and sustainable electricity system able to support socio-economic progress. Indeed, access to electricity will be essential to untap Africa’s potential in the post-Covid recovery and to enable a variety of long-term sustainable development objectives: from economic productivity and broad social development to job creation, improved health systems, continuity of modern lifestyles, and ultimately poverty reduction.
Achieving SDG7 in Africa requires an increase of $120 billion investments per year up to 2040, but, as underlined during the event, the willingness of the private sector to invest in the continent is severely hampered by persistent policy and regulatory challenges, high risk perception, constraints in access to finance and other barriers that minimise private sector participation.