France presents African renewable energy projects

71st session of the United Nations General Assembly – Climate/meeting of African heads of state on the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative – Communiqué issued by the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs

New York, 21 September 2016

On Tuesday 20 September in New York, at the meeting of African heads of state on the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative – in the presence and on the initiative of French President François Hollande –, Ségolène Royal, President of COP21, presented the specific renewable energy projects to be embarked on in Africa without delay, in coordination with Salaheddine Mezouar, Foreign Minister of Morocco and future president of COP22.

On the basis of the COP21 President’s visits to 17 African countries, her discussions with African leaders and analysis by groups of experts, a list of 240 projects accounting for more than 45GW of renewable capacity is being made public:

• 13 geothermal energy projects: 7GW

• 58 hydroelectricity projects: 20GW

• 62 solar energy projects: 6GW

• 16 wind energy projects: 5GW

• 35 projects combining more than one technology: 1GW

• 4 national strategies (solar and wind energy): 8GW.

At the meeting at United Nations headquarters, the COP21 President is also reporting on the financing of projects decided on since the Paris Climate Conference. In the space of a few months, donors have released €4.5 billion, helping to build [capacity for] 5.7GW of renewable energy.

Launched by African heads of state on 1 December 2015 in the presence of French President François Hollande, the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative aims to increase the continent’s installed capacity of renewable energy by 10GW by 2020 and 300GW by 2030. During COP21, 10 donors pledged to release $10 billion (including €2 billion from France) to contribute to the goal of this initiative.

To achieve this goal, Ségolène Royal has pledged to facilitate the implementation of the initiative throughout the French COP21 presidency. The report proposes a review of the energy situation in Africa and sets out 10 recommendations to speed up the deployment of renewable energy on the continent:

1. To identify a list of priority projects to implement by 2020, and projects to begin before and during COP22.

2. To bring the partners together around each project to share out responsibilities.

3. To initiate dialogue with the private sector about the initiative and projects.

4. To strengthen participatory citizenship regarding energy.

5. To involve African women in renewable energy.

6. To draw on the International Solar Alliance, launched at COP21, and the Global Geothermal Alliance.

7. To put in place innovative financial instruments, such as loan-grant blending.

8. To allow for climate change in the projects.

9. To strengthen the independent body responsible for implementing the initiative, hosted and supported by the African Development Bank.

10. To finalize a map of existing initiatives and programmes.

The document presented in New York is the result of 20 visits by Ségolène Royal to 17 African countries. For several months, the Minister has wanted to promote the initiative, hear Africa’s priorities for the development of renewable energy and list the priority projects of the African governments.

The President of COP21 thanks all those who have contributed to the work, which has benefited from the support of the African Union, the African Development Bank, Egypt – as Chair of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change – and Guinea.

This is a completely new step: for the first time, thanks to the African states’ national contributions, all initiatives focusing on renewable energy projects on the continent are being put forward. Ségolène Royal intends to continue this joint work to swiftly mobilize Africa’s huge potential./.

Published on 11/10/2017

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