AfDB approves $7.88m grant to boost renewable energy in Africa


The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group’s Board of Directors has given its approval for a $7.88 million grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) for the Africa Energy Transition Catalyst (AETC) Programme. The objective of the programme is to enhance renewable energy generation across the African continent.

The AETC programme aligns with the bank’s commitment to accelerate a Just Energy Transition (JET) for Africa. This transition entails a shift towards low-carbon energy sources that is fair, inclusive, provides opportunities for decent work, and ensures that no one is left behind.

Through the AETC programme, the AfDB aims to support initiatives that promote renewable energy, enhance energy access, and foster sustainable economic growth in Africa. This grant from SEFA will contribute to advancing these goals and facilitating the transition to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future for the continent.

The Africa Energy Transition Catalyst (AETC) Programme, supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB), aims to facilitate the integration of renewable energy generation at national and regional levels, thereby increasing the share of renewables in the overall energy mix.

The AETC Programme encompasses six identified energy transition projects, which will be implemented in two phases. One of the key objectives of the programme is to conduct a Regional Market Study to enable the export of renewable energy from Botswana and Namibia as part of the 2-5 GW Mega Solar initiative. This initiative represents Southern Africa’s largest solar power program and is a pioneering effort on the continent.

In the first phase of the Mega Solar initiative, a competitive procurement process will be undertaken to secure 300-500 megawatts of solar power in Namibia and Botswana. Once regional transmission lines are established, additional generation capacity will be procured to supply low-cost renewable energy to neighboring countries. The Mega Solar initiative is a collaborative effort between Power Africa and the governments of Botswana and Namibia, aiming to drive large-scale solar development in the region.

Through the AETC Programme, the AfDB seeks to support the development of renewable energy projects, promote regional energy integration, and facilitate the transition to a sustainable and low-carbon energy sector in Africa.

The Africa Energy Transition Catalyst (AETC) Programme is a collaborative effort involving the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the International Finance Corporation. This collaboration aims to facilitate the transition to a sustainable energy sector in Africa.

As part of the AETC, the AfDB is working with the African Energy Commission to develop a continental Energy Transition Framework and Roadmap. This framework will provide a comprehensive plan for transitioning to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources across the continent.

The AETC will also support specific countries in their energy transition efforts. For example, it will assist Tunisia in implementing its Just Energy Transition (JET) Strategy (2035) by financing feasibility studies for an offshore wind site with integrated energy storage. Additionally, the AETC will support Senegal in developing a just energy transition investment plan, along with conducting preparatory studies and capacity-building activities.

Dr. Daniel Schroth, the AfDB’s Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, emphasized that the AETC plays a crucial role in providing upstream support for energy transition initiatives. It focuses on planning and project preparation to mobilize the necessary investments for downstream implementation. The AETC further highlights the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa’s position as a leading facility for driving Africa’s energy transition..

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