Bioenergy Development in Africa

Yet wind turbines are a rare sight in Africa, a continent with enormous energy needs and significant wind potential.

African Energy Transition Programme

The contribution of African countries to the environmental degradation and their impacts on climate change is the lowest comparing to all the other regions in the World. In fact, African countries contribution to the emission of Carbon dioxide (CO2) is ranged between 3-5% of the global emission. Despite its low contribution to the emission of CO2, climate changes threaten Africa very severely.

This programme is therefore meant to accelerate the African Energy Transition and transformation required in the continent, to foster jointly inclusive economic growth, wealth creation, poverty eradication, and inequality reduction in a sustainable climate compatible manner.

It provides a clear understanding of transformations of the energy system needed in the short, medium and long term to achieve the energy transition by identifying frameworks to support the development of sectoral and technological detailed, policy-relevant and country-driven strategies consistent with the national development agenda and the Paris Agreement goal.

The programme is envisioned to transform energy development in Africa, driven by AU Agenda 2063, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Agreement on climate change. Access to affordable clean energy for productive uses and households in Africa can be achieved mainly by introducing and implementing comprehensive policy tools that can transform the African Energy Sector to mostly be based on renewable resources through an integrated approach that develop synergies whilst maximising co-benefits and trade-offs.

The African energy transition programme is the main umbrella under which all AFREC programmes, policies and are developed and implemented. It aims to fully mobilize Africa’s own energy resources and potentials; bringing energy to the top of national and regional agendas; and taking approaches that put Africa directly on to innovative, low carbon energy development pathways, avoiding the fossil fuel lock-in now facing most industrialized and emerging economies.

Its implementation is defined around seven strategic Objectives:

  • Building the energy infrastructure for economic and social development, starting with agriculture, which employs the largest share of the population but remains at a near subsistence level of production in most parts of the continent;
  • Development of the renewable energy sector in alignment with the Paris Agreement, to exploit Africa’s great potential for solar, wind, hydropower and other renewable sources, and build African capacity for developing these technologies;
  • Energy efficiency programs for buildings, industry and transport. Such a program should include local manufacturing of efficient equipment, as well as regulatory and behavioural interventions;
  • Careful consideration of the possible role of national, regional and inter-continental gas pipelines, where this can be justified from a long-term climate and economic perspective, with recognition of risks of stranded assets and the global need to rapidly move away from fossil fuels;
  • Development of an integrated African electricity network, which would greatly decrease average electricity costs across the continent and increase energy sustainability and security;
  • Decarbonisation of the energy and other sectors, to put countries firmly on a low- to zero-carbon energy trajectory as well as fulfil national commitments under the Paris Agreement;
  • Implementation of a systematic, continent-wide approach to innovation to harness the research and development capacities required to meet all the above objectives.

The programme is structured around the following components:

  • High level advisory support on strategy, policy, regulatory, financial and infrastructure improvements to enhance the deployment of renewable sources of energy in Africa.
  • Provision of holistic support to governments to address financial and technical challenges
  • Skills and capacity development of improve countries human capacity.
  • Encouraging and facilitating collaboration between private sector and governments for the provision of small, medium and large-scale renewable energy projects.
  • Support the Unlocking of the rural electrification and women empowerment. 

African countries have the legitimate priority to satisfy the essential needs of socio-economic development and, in particular, the eradication of poverty. Hence, the African Energy Sector Transition Programme will help AU Member States transition from using fossil fuels to renewable source of energy.

It will also identify and develop frameworks, plans and methodologies to support the development of sectoral and technological-oriented, policy-relevant and country-driven strategies in line with the national development agendas and the Paris Agreement goal. This information will notably help reveal key enablers of the Transition needed and inform decisions that would support sustainable energy transition in Africa while creating inclusive socio-economic opportunities.

The programme is developed in response to a call from the African Ministers meeting in the second ordinary session of the Specialized Technical Committee on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructure, Energy and Tourism (STC TTIIET) in April 2019 in Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt, which mandated AFREC to develop the Africa Energy Transition Programme and support African Union (AU) Member States in their energy transition process. This is also in recognition of the importance to develop non-conventional energy resources in Africa.

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