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To stay below a maximum 1.5/2°C global average temperature rise, doubling the share of renewable energy by 2030 is essential. Renewable energies such as solar, wind and geothermal are getting progressively cheaper and more effective, and have the most impact when coupled with measure to boost energy efficiency. Photo © Para/CC

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Website: African Clean Energy Corridor

Contact: epress@irena.org

The African Clean Energy Corridor is an initiative that aims to boost clean, renewable energy in eastern and southern Africa, helping to save costs and to curb the greenhouse gas emissions of Africa’s fast-growing economies.

Four-fifths of all electricity in Eastern and Southern Africa is currently generated from gas, oil or coal and regional demand for electricity is expected to at least double over the next quarter century.

The objective of the African Clean Energy Corridor (ACEC) is to expand the portion of renewable energy used by the Eastern Africa Power Pool and Southern African Power Pool from its current 12 per cent to at least 40 per cent by 2030.

The African Clean Energy Corridor’s Action Agenda

The main target of the initiative is to achieve a steady flow of bankable renewable energy generation and transmission projects.

The initiative is guided by a ministerial communique outlining five action agenda elements:

  • Renewable energy resource assessment and zoning
  • Enabling investment frameworks
  • National and regional planning
  • Capacity building
  • Public awareness

Milestones of the Initiative

Precise milestones are:

  1. Identification of zones for the development of renewable power plants in areas of high resource potential.
  2. Development of skills and strengthening of institutions required to plan, operate, maintain and govern power grids and markets with higher shares of renewable electricity generation
  3. Creation of frameworks to open markets to independent renewable power producers, reduce the costs of renewable power financing, and facilitate renewable power trade and power system integration.
  4. Formation of a Project Facilitation Platform to facilitate access to financing and risk-mitigation instruments, advisory services, and public finance for support programmes and projects within the ACEC initiative.
  5. Formation of an ACEC Policy Consultative Forum to facilitate a strategic policy dialogue between key decision-makers from ministries of energy and environment, utilities, regulatory bodies, project practitioners and development partners to enhance policy coherence.

Potential Replication of the Initiative in Central America and Asia

Renewable energy sources and trade can also help power the fast-growing economies of Central America and South East Asia in a sustainable way.

Notably the interconnected electricity transmission system of Central America presents an opportunity to develop a clean energy corridor that would enable the regional market to operate with a higher share of renewable energy.

And the enhanced cross-border electricity trade through integration of the national power grids could lead to the development of another clean energy corridor initiative in the South East Asian region.

 

Photo credit: PRI's The World (Flickr)

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