The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) was launched yesterday, representing a breakthrough on renewable energy development. AREI could help Africa leapfrog into low-carbon development. As one African dignitary said at the launch: ‘Sunshine should do more than nourish our crops, it must power our homes.’
The goal of AREI is to build at least 100GW of new and additional renewable energy generation capacity by 2020, and 300GW by 2030. That’s double the entire current electricity generation in Africa, which is roughly 150GW!
AREI shows what can be achieved when there is political will and collaboration among key stakeholders. The African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, the African Group of Negotiators, the African Development Bank and UNEP have all worked together to bring this initiative off the ground. ECO can only hope that this Africa-grown initiative will receive the financial and technical support it deserves from developed countries.
ECO remembers when the idea for a renewable energy initiative in Africa was first proposed in a Technical Experts Meeting. We hope that yesterday’s launch will inspire similar ambitious action in other countries and regions, as well as broad support for an action agenda in the ADP. AREI is a perfect example of what ECO loves: transformative initiatives that contribute to closing the emissions gap, while realising development co-benefits. Workstream 2 could help launch other such initiatives and match them with finance and other support to ensure that they can be scaled up, replicated and tracked.