Renewable power progress in Africa

Like every Praxia Partners initiative, Community Renewable Energy believes that the best ideas embody the triple bottom line by benefiting people, helping the planet, and making economic sense. That’s why we’ve been following the progress of Power Africa and 6 African nations poised to revolutionize their energy sector.

Power Africa is currently focusing on six countries: Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania. The countries are also pursing strategies to enhance energy capacity outside of Power Africa partnerships. Here’s a round-up of 5 recent developments:

1. Ghana 

The giant solar power plants planned in Ghana will not only greatly increase the country’s power capacity, but will also add thousands of green careers. (Clean Technica)

One of the great aspects of renewable energy development is that it encourages different countries to work together for the triple bottom line. For example, today, Ghana’s President, John Dramani Mahama, visited Sweden to reach out for support for clean, reliable renewable energy development.

2. Kenya

At the end of February, three grants were announced to fund renewable energy that focus on rural communities. “Our focus is on rural communities because we recognise that it is going to take many years to get power to them yet the answer as to how this is achievable lies in entrepreneurs in those same communities,” explained Shari Berenbach, president of the US African Development Foundation. (Capital FM)

3. Ethiopia

Many countries are shifting their approach to energy. For instance, Ethiopia has become more open to private investment, and the country recently announced that an Icelandic power plant developer will construct a $2 billion geothermal plant in the Rift Valley. As Bloomberg notes, “The licensing of a large-scale private power-generation project marks a shift from the country’s previous reliance on domestic investment and Chinese loans to finance infrastructure development.” By 2020, the plant is expected to be producing 500 megawatts of electricity.

 4. Tanzania

Tanzania has also been utilizing Power Africa to establish renewable projects, in some cases using Power Africa to increase the length of power purchase agreements. (IEEE Spectrum

Tanzania Daily News details the nation’s efforts to increase energy capacity beyond Power Africa. The article highlights the role of NGOs:

Tanzania Renewable Energy Association (TAREA), a non-profit NGO and membership organization promotes the sustainable development of renewable energy in Tanzania through training, community awareness raising, policy development, solar industry and enduser protection, research, volunteer programmes, consultancy services and services provided by members.

And also the country’s Total Access to Solar program:

The programme explores innovative means to promote access to energy, including solar through the AWANGO by Total product range. As well utilizing plastic waste and transforming it to fuel. “TOTAL’s commitment to social responsibility has focused on safety management implementation in all our service station.

“Having identified the need for an efficient and sustainable energy source, TOTAL draws on the synergies among its different activities and listening to its customers, then offer solutions combining energy efficiency,” Total Managing Director Mr Stephane Gay said.

5. Meanwhile, in America, the House of Representatives passed the Electrify Africa Act, which rallied bipartisan support for bolstering Power Africa projects. We broke down the details of this Act earlier this month. Click here to read more.

To learn more about Power Africa and the continent’s emerging energy sector, check out:

About Holly

Holly Jensen is a writer and poet who has worked with nonprofits and businesses for over a decade.
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