In Conakry, Guinea, EU International Cooperation and Development Commissioner Neven Mimica announced on March 4 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 (AREI), an Africa-owned and Africa-led initiative of the African Union. AREI was launched at COP21 in Paris in December 2015 and is receiving strong international support from development partners.
The Commission explained in a press release that 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 EU is a key counterpart for Africa on sustainable energy cooperation.
“With these 19 new projects, potentially worth €4.8 billion of investments, the European Union is delivering on its promises,” Mimica said.
“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,” the Commissioner added.
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.