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IP/10/1122

Brussels, 14 September 2010

Energy in Africa: Commissioners Piebalgs and Oettinger launch the Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme

At the High Level Meeting of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) in Vienna, EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs and EU Commissioner for Energy, Gunther Oettinger will launch the Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) together with the African Union and announced a planned contribution of €5 million to start the programme. This programme of cooperation is due to contribute to the African renewable energy targets for 2020. It aims at bringing relevant renewable energy technologies to the market in Africa. During the conference, both Commissioners will present the road map developed under the Partnership and the targets for Africa in the fields of energy access, energy security and renewable energy by 2020.

EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs said: "Today 1.6 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. Poor energy systems undermine growth potential in these countries from 1 to 2%. We need a reliable source of electricity to fuel development. Africa has a vast untapped renewable energy potential, ranging from hydro, to solar, wind, geothermal and biomass which could be used to ensure millions of people access to electricity. Today's event is a step stone on the EU and Africa Partnership towards the "renewable revolution". It will also contribute to Africa’s efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals and to secure future low-carbon growth".

EU Commissioner for Energy, Gunther Oettinger stated: "Today we have agreed to cooperate closely in order to bring access to modern and sustainable energy services to at least an additional 100 million Africans; to double the capacity of cross border electricity interconnections within Africa and between Africa and Europe and to double the use of natural gas in Africa. Indeed, in realising the full potential of its energy resources, Africa can truly fuel the world."

The Road Map for the Implementation of the EU-Africa Energy Partnership includes three priority areas and the following targets:

Energy access: Africa and the EU will take joint action to bring access to modern and sustainable energy services to at least an additional 100 million Africans by 2020. This will be a contribution to the African objective of giving access to modern and sustainable energy to an additional 250 million people.

Energy security: Africa and the EU will take joint action to improve energy security by doubling the capacity of cross-border electricity interconnections and by doubling the use of natural gas in Africa, as well as doubling African gas exports to Europe.Renewable energy and energy efficiency Africa and the EU will take joint action such as:

  • building 10,000 MW of new hydropower facilities;

  • building at least 5,000 MW of wind power;

  • building 500 MW of solar energy and tripling the capacity of other renewables;

  • raising energy efficiency in Africa in all sectors.

The Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme cooperation is established for a 10 years period. The programme provides a framework for joint cooperation between EU and the AU which comes in complement to ongoing initiatives such as the EU Africa Infrastructures Trust Fund or the ACP-EU Energy Facility. It will work mainly on a regional and continental level. The proposed planned contribution of €5 million will support a three year start up phase of the programme. It would come from the EC fast-start funding for climate action under the Environment Thematic Programme of the Development Cooperation Instrument.

For further information

MEMO/10/407

SPEECH/10/430

Website of EU Africa Partnership on Energy

http://www.africa-eu-partnership.org/partnerships/energy

http://www.africa-eu-partnership.org/sites/default/files/energy_partnership_aeep_communication_paper_en.pdf

Previous IP on complementary funding instruments or programmes on Energy:

EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund

IP/10/233

http://www.eu-africa-infrastructure-tf.net/

ACP-EU Energy facility

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/acp/regionalcooperation/energy/index_en.htm

Website of Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/index_en.htm

Website of Commissioner for Energy, Gunther Oettinger

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/oettinger/index_en.htm


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