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Private sector calls on governments to fund renewable energy projects

Local News
Amani Abou-Zeid, the Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission (AUC)

The Global Renewables Alliance (GRA) has called on governments to complement the efforts of the private sector by funding renewable energy projects to achieve the target of 11000 gigawatts of installed clean energy by 2030.

This year marks exactly 6 years until 2030 but only less than half of the targeted amount of gigawatts of renewable energy has been installed around the world.

Speaking during a Press briefing on the sidelines of the ongoing International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) 14th Assembly on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), GRA chief executive officer Bruce Douglas said though there is a surge, available data shows that the private sector will not reach the target without the intervention of governments.

“We will fall far short of that ambitious target,” he said.

Douglas said they need to move to emerging markets to strike a balance in the distribution of renewable energy investments.

He raised the issue of poor infrastructure, particularly transformers, in the supply chains as a constraint. Douglas said different policy guidelines remain a challenge.

“This needs to be standardised,” he said.

The GRA boss said governments should work on business models and policies that increase confidence in the renewable energy sector.

In Africa, building infrastructure compatible with renewable energy requires billions of United States dollars.

The African Union is developing a blueprint called the Africa Continental Power System Masterplan which highlights some key strategies for countries across the continent to identify key components at national and regional levels that will enable the creation of a smart power systems master plan that promotes access to clean and affordable electricity by 2040.

Addressing delegates at the same event, an official from IRENA’s Knowledge, Policy and Finance Centre (KPFC) warned governments to desist from delegating its duties to increase investments in the renewable energy sector to the private sector.

“Private sector is profit making. Governments should take responsibility. In 2023, it is not acceptable that millions of people do not have access to clean energy,” she said.

“It is a human right.”

Statistics show that 86% of global renewable energy investments are funded by the private sector while the remaining is by the public sector.

Speaking during a plenary session on Wednesday, Amani Abou-Zeid, the Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission (AUC), said they are improving the business environment working to improve the investment climate.

“Economically speaking, we cannot continue with the business model that we have. We have to get it into our heads that the private sector is an important player,” she said.

“And that we want to make sure that our policies in terms of investment energy are attractive to the private sector.”


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