SADC and International Renewable Energy Agency to work on attracting sustainable energy investments
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and SADC’s Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) recently signed an agreement, to work together on accelerating the deployment renewable energy solutions, including decentralised technologies, in Southern African countries.
The two organisations will also cooperate on policy development, capacity building programmes and regional events aimed at attracting investments to the region.
Southern Africa has seen remarkable improvement in electricity access over the past decade. This is largely due to a strong commitment from SADC member states to take advantage of the region’s vast renewable energy potential to improve energy security and meet rising energy demand. As a result, the total share of renewables in power generation rose from 23 per cent in 2015 to almost 39 per cent in 2018. However, despite significant progress, electricity access remains a challenge.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has re-emphasised the importance of a reliable, affordable, clean energy,” said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera. “It has served as a stark reminder that the new energy age must be inclusive, just and low-carbon if we are to achieve sustainable development in Southern Africa and around the world. Africa can seize the moment for meaningful change, and dramatically improve socioeconomic outcomes by moving decisively towards the energy transformation. This agreement will bolster regional progress,” concluded Mr. La Camera.
By building capacity in the SADC region, two organisations aim to accelerate renewable energy deployment and achieve universal energy access by creating environments more conducive to renewable energy investments.
They will conduct joint activities under the Africa Clean Energy Corridor in the areas of renewable energy resource assessment, long-term planning, as well as investments, policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks. Implementation of these activities provides a comprehensive opportunity to avoid greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the objectives of Paris Agreement.
“The renewal of this MoU will expand and strengthen our collaboration in areas of mutual interest and given mandates. We therefore appreciate the continued partnership and support from IRENA towards the fulfilment of our mandate towards an energy secure and resilient society through clean, affordable and sustainable energy solutions,” said SACREEE Executive Director, Kudakwashe Ndhlukula.