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Angelika Wasielke30 June 2016

Opening of the first financing round of Power Africa in Zambia

The Government of Sweden and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) have announced the opening of the first financing round of Power Africa: Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia – as announced in the REN21 newsletter. The €20m Fund aims to bring modern clean energy access to one million Zambians and to jump-start the country’s burgeoning markets for energy services. The Fund will directly support private enterprises in the off-grid energy space through an innovative, new results-based financing approach. 

The Fund is designed around a Social Impact Procurement approach, which offers opportunities for the private sector to contribute to developmental challenges while directly linking financial payment to on-the-ground results. In this case, the Fund will offer to purchase tens of thousands of new off-grid electricity connections from Energy Service Providers (ESPs), who can then use the contracts with the Fund to leverage more capital and customers in Zambia. 

The Fund, which is part of the Power Africa initiative, is financed by the Government of Sweden through Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and managed by REEEP. The first financing round of the Fund will close on the 8th of August, 2016. Interested firms are invited to visit the Sida site or to contact the fund management team directly. 

“Perfect marriage” between IEA and Clean Energy Ministerial: outreach to new economies

A new, multilateral Secretariat for the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) will be established at the International Energy Agency (IEA) later this year. “This perfect marriage is a ‘win-win’ for everyone involved,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. According to him, the decision is very much in line with the clear mandate, given by the IEA Ministers in 2015, to strengthen the clean energy technology and innovation-related activities of the Agency. It also increases IEA’s engagement with major emerging economies. “Having the CEM Secretariat within the IEA will enable us to work even more closely with countries beyond our current membership,” Birol added. The CEM members that are not members of the IEA are: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.

Launched in 2010, the CEM today consists of 23 countries and the European Commission – accounting for 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 90% of global clean energy investment. Its aim is to enhance clean energy activities and supply, as well as to support energy system transformation among members.

More information about the CEM can be found here.

For information about the IEA, please refer to this link.

Joining forces against climate change: the new Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy

It is the largest global coalition of cities: The world’s two primary city-led climate change and energy initiatives – the EU Covenant of Mayors and the Compact of Mayors – have joined forces to tackle climate change at the local level, worldwide. This new “Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy” unites over 7 000 cities from 119 countries, home to more than 600 million people. The fact sheet about the initiative can be found here.

It is widely acknowledged that cities play a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gases, with over half the world’s population living in urban areas and accounting for 75% of global CO2 emissions, according to the UN Environment Programme.

In a first practical step the Global Covenant of Mayors will develop a data platform to compare cities’ activities on energy and climate at an international level. This publicly available data will give cities and potential investors greater clarity – by depicting which actions are having a lasting, verifiable and therefore also investable impact.

For more information on the Compact of Mayors, please refer to this link

For more information about the EU Covenant of Mayors, please refer to this link.  

Transfer Agreement to be signed between the Government of the United States of America and the European Union for the contribution of $10 million to supplement the funding of the Electrification Financing Initiative – ElectriFI

During the course of the European Development Days, on 15th June, the European Union and the Government of the United States of America will sign a transfer agreement in order to supplement the funding of the Electrification Financing Initiative – ElectriFI.

ElectriFI, being launched by the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica at COP21 in Paris, functions as an innovative mechanism to unlock, accelerate and leverage investments in order to increase the access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy in developing countries. The first invitation for applications under ElectriFI has already generated 290 projects for a total investment amount of €8.5 billion, installing 3,7GW new renewable energy generation capacity in 55 countries.

With the signature of this Transfer Agreement the US Government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Power Africa initiative, contributes to ElectriFI an amount of $10 million. This contribution will be targeted at sub-Saharan Africa projects making a difference in common efforts to boost sustainable business models increasing access to energy in that region.

Council of Ministers debate over the European Consensus on Development

On 12th of May, the Council for Development debated the revision of the European Consensus on development in light of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The European Consensus on development that has been established in 2005, thereby, commits the European institutions towards the eradication of poverty and the creation of a fairer, more stable world.

In addition, the Ministers stressed the need to build synergies between EU polices and the need to adopt a more coherent and flexible approach in order to reduce inequalities and address the root causes of migration. They also underlined the importance of strengthening the links between the framework of sustainable development and humanitarian aid, the need to better include civil society and private sector while promoting human rights, good governance and the rule of law.

Furthermore, the Ministers agreed on stepping up the Joint Programming of external assistance by the EU and its Member States while recognizing the importance of global value chains (GVCs). The implementation of the Valletta Action Plan in line with the Council conclusions on the EU approach to forced displacement and development as well as the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit taking place in Istanbul formed additional points of discussion throughout the Council meeting.

The press release of the Council can be found here.

The High 5 Agenda of the African Development Bank

The High 5 Agenda of the African Development Bank (AfDB) is designed to scale up the Bank´s 2013-2022 Ten Year Strategy, to further stimulate the continent´s social and economic transformation focusing on the two main objectives of inclusive growth and the gradual transition towards green growths.

In order to achieve universal electricity access by 2025 with a strong focus on encouraging clean and renewable energy solutions, it is required to provide 160 GW of new capacity, 130 million new on-grid connections, 75 million new off-grid connections and to provide clean cooking solutions for 150 million households.

Estimation of the required investments range between US$60 billion and US$90 billion per year, however, as part of its New Deal on Energy for Africa, AfDB will invest US$12 billion of its own resources in the energy sector over the next five years. This New Deal is thereby built on five inter-related and mutually reinforcing principles, including 1) raising aspirations to solve Africa´s energy challenges, 2) establishing a Transformative Partnership on Energy for Africa, 3) mobilizing domestic and international capital for innovative financing in Africa´s energy sector, 4) supporting African government in strengthening energy policy, regulation and sector governance and 5) increasing African Development Bank´s investments in energy and climate financing.

Outcomes of the 2nd Stakeholder Forum of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership, Milan, 16-17 May 2016

The Second Stakeholder Forum of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP), hosted jointly by the Italian Government, the African Union Commission (AUC) and the European Union Commission (EC), took place in Milan on 16-17 May 2016. Coming at a time of increased international attention on energy in Africa (including post-COP21 and announcement of SDG7 and AREI), the main objective of the second AEEP Stakeholder Forum was to enhance the engagement of non-state actors in sustainable energy sector development in Africa with emphasis on human capital for innovation, skills and capacity development in renewable energy.

The Forum witnessed the participation of African and European Ministers and Commissioners and more than 300 high-level participants representing policy-makers, regional institutions, international organizations, the banking & finance industry, the private sector, academia, the civil society and the media.

A communiqué summarizing the key outcomes of the meeting declared the mutual understanding and responsibility of all participants towards the shared responsibility ensuring a sustainable energy future for the continent of Africa.

All information on the event can be found here including the Communiqué.

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