Funding issued to help Africa boost clean energy access and resiliency

The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet has pledged $50m to an ongoing partnership with the Sustainable Energy for All platform to help support energy transition programmes in Africa, while the UK’s Energy Catalyst has also funnelled new finance into green energy in emerging markets.

Funding issued to help Africa boost clean energy access and resiliency

Solar panels in Madagascar

The Alliance has confirmed that $50m will be issued as part of its multi-year commitment to Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). The new finance will be used to help improve energy access and support clean energy transitions in nations such as Madagascar, Sierra Leone, and Benin.

“We are delighted to have this major support from the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet to Sustainable Energy for All and our work to ensure clean, affordable, and sufficient energy for everyone,” UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for ALL, Damilola Ogunbiyi said.

“This funding helps build on our existing work of delivering new clean energy connections at scale and ensuring no one is left behind in the global energy transition.”

The funding will help scale up the Universal Energy Facility (UEF), which was launched in 2020 to help scale energy access across Africa, through the deployment of renewable energy mini-grids in Madagascar, Sierra Leone, and Benin. The new funding will help roll out the UEF to other African nations and expand the mini-grid developments.

The Alliance’s chief executive Simon Harford said: “As the champion of SDG7 and a key partner of the Alliance, SEforALL is integral to our work helping countries achieve universal access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable electricity. Together with our partner nations across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, our integrated approach to country-led programs, results-based financing, and global advocacy will make a substantial impact during this critical decade of action.”

SEforALL’s Ogunbiyi recently co-authored an exclusive blog post for edie, outlining how the clean energy transition can be for the benefit of the many, not just the few. Read the exclusive piece here.

UK catalyst

In related news, Innovate UK’s Energy Catalyst has announced that up to £40m in funding will be issued to help combat the climate crisis for communities in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Indo-Pacific regions.

The new funding will help deploy new technologies aimed at “delivering a just and inclusive clean energy transition”.

The funding comes from two rounds is coming from the UK Government’s Ayton Fund for clean energy innovation, including the scale-up of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO’s) Transforming Energy Access platform announced at COP 26 in Glasgow. It also comes from the Transforming Energy Access (TEA) Platform and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Both contributions are from the UK’s Ayrton Fund, part of the UK’s International Climate Finance commitment.

The FCDO’s UK minister for Africa Vicky Ford added: “The UK is stepping up our partnership with emerging economies to help them access the clean and affordable energy they need. We’re delivering on the Glasgow Breakthroughs, the commitments made at COP26 to ensure clean technologies are the cheapest and best choice for all globally.

“Since 2016 our Transforming Energy Access Programme has already helped innovative businesses deliver clean energy access to more than 16 million people, and leverage over £890m in further investment. These two new funding rounds will support many more companies working in this area, grow our partnerships with other countries, and help combat climate change.”

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