On 4 March 2017 in Conakry, Guinea, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, announced the preparation of 19 new renewable energy projects, with a total potential investment of €4.8 billion.
This was done during the second Board of Directors meeting of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative. These sustainable energy projects have an indicative EU contribution of €300 million, which is expected to leverage total investments amounting to €4.8 billion, adding 1.8 Gigawatts of new renewable energy generation in Africa. The European Union is a key counterpart for Africa on sustainable energy cooperation.
Commissioner Mimica said: "With these 19 new projects, potentially worth €4.8 billion of investments, the European Union is delivering on its promises. We are turning our pledges into real projects with true impact on the ground. The EU hereby reaffirms its leading role in supporting the African continent in the promotion of renewable energies for the improvement of energy access for African citizens."
This will contribute to the European Commission's aim for 2020: to give 30 million more people access to sustainable energy, to save 11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, and to help generate 5 Gigawatts of new renewable energy in Africa. This represents half of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative's overall target, as one of AREI's key objectives is to generate 10 Gigawatt of new renewable energy in Africa by 2020, and to unlock Africa's potential to generate as much as 300 Gigawatt from renewable energy by 2030. The EU's development funding towards sustainable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa for the period 2014-2020 amounts to approximately €2.7 billion.
The European Commission, the EU Member States and the EU Financial Institutions have committed to support AREI through existing financial instruments and mechanisms. This includes the Africa Investment Facility (AfIF), the Electrification Financing Initiative (ElectriFI) and the new opportunities that will be made available under the future External Investment Plan, to leverage the sustainable energy investments that will unlock Africa's potential and improve the lives of millions.
The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) is an Africa-owned and Africa-led initiative of the African Union. It aims at harnessing Africa's abundant renewable energy resources to help African countries to support their development strategies and leapfrog towards low-carbon economic development. In so doing the Initiative will increase access to sustainable and affordable energy while addressing climate change.
AREI was launched at COP21 in Paris in December 2015 and is receiving strong international support from development partners.