Wind and Solar Power Industry Bodies Join Forces to Drive Investment into Africa’s Energy Transition
13 July, Brussels | The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the industry representative body for the wind energy industry globally, and SolarPower Europe, a member-led association for the European solar PV sector, have signed an agreement with RenewAfrica, and the Africa Solar Industry Association (AFSIA), to jointly organise the Africa Renewables Investment Summit (ARIS) – an event that seeks to catalyse renewable energy investment for African countries.
Despite the continent’s massive renewable energy potential, Africa only received 2% of the US$2 trillion that was invested in renewable energy globally between 2000 and 2020. In order for Africa to meet its goal to achieve universal electricity access by 2030, at least US$70 billion renewable energy investment yearly will be required, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
ARIS plays a key role in catalysing renewable energy investment for Africa by bringing together major renewable energy stakeholders. The Summit in Cape Town will gather renewable developers, institutional investors, development finance institutions, technology suppliers and African government stakeholders to explore ways to harness Africa’s renewable energy potential, with some investment set to be facilitated right at the event.
Additionally, ARIS will explore opportunities for commercialisation and bankability of green hydrogen projects on the continent. Africa holds massive potential for Renewable hydrogen production, with potential opportunities for supply to world markets. Renewable hydrogen is widely viewed to be key for decarbonisation of various energy intensive industries, where electrification is less feasible, including steel production, transport, aviation, mining, and cement production. African production of renewable hydrogen, and its derivatives, has the potential to unlock immense economic opportunities for various countries on the continent.
ARIS is also supported by GET.invest, a European programme that mobilises investment in renewable energy in developing countries, supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria. The event will take place in Cape Town South Africa, from the 27 – 29th of September 2022, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre 2 (CTICC 2).
Commenting on the partnership, Wangari Muchiri, Director of GWEC’s newly established Africa WindPower initiative, stated: “Wind and solar are the cornerstones of Africa’s transition to sustainable energy, and both industries must continue to work together to drive more investment into the continent, as energy is a key enabler of Africa’s sustainable development. Africa’s wind and solar industries must raise more awareness of the complementarity of these two crucial technologies, their combined potential for Continent-wide electrification and also face common challenges together. ARIS presents a much needed platform to address these common causes, and to highlight the tremendous investment opportunity for the benefit of all Africans.”
Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe said, “Africa is a true ‘sun continent’. As African economies grow, they present enormous potential for solar investment and deployment. ARIS is set to support next-level solar, and clean, green, secure energy for millions of African citizens.”
John van Zuylen, CEO of the AFSIA added, “Based on the many requests we receive at AFSIA, we have noticed the great disconnect between solar project developers and financiers for projects in Africa. With the combined industry knowledge of all partners, ARIS will serve as the ideal match-making platform between stakeholders for all kinds of renewable energy projects.”
Munyaradzi Jani, Executive Director at RenewAfrica added; “With ARIS, we are giving developers and investors a unique opportunity to explore renewable energy opportunities within both the public and private sectors in Africa. We didn’t just want to host another talk-shop, we wanted to make an impact. Africa holds so much potential for renewable energy, and frankly now is the time for investors to ramp up investment on the continent. We are very excited to collaborate with industry leading organisations like GWEC, SolarPower Europe and AFSIA in putting together ARIS, and hope to help play a key role in accelerating Africa’s energy transition.”
About the event organisers
Africa WindPower is the Global Wind Energy Council’s initiative to accelerate the deployment of wind power in the African continent. AWP is an Africa-based organisation, focused on the promotion of zero carbon, cost competitive, wind energy across the African Continent, with the ability to draw upon the expertise and knowledge of the global wind energy industry. AWP combines the expertise and knowledge of the global wind industry with ‘on the ground’ experience and know-how in the region, working closely with the companies and organisations that make up GWEC’s Africa Task Force.
Africa WindPower was created by GWEC to address a clear need for a regional body to offer a platform for dialogue between Africa’s wind industry, with a focus on developers and government stakeholders, with the ultimate goal of scaling up and accelerating wind project development and deployment.
Africa WindPower was founded by the Global Wind Energy Council and is supported by GET.invest, a European programme which aims to mobilise investment in decentralised renewable energy, supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria.
SolarPower Europe is the member-led association for the European solar PV sector, SolarPower Europe represents over 260 organisations across the entire solar sector. With solar sitting on the horizon of unprecedented expansion, we work together with our members to create the right regulatory and business environment to take solar to the next level. Our specialised workstreams, convened by our dedicated policy experts, bring solar organisations together to better understand and influence the current priority issues and legislation impacting solar development. With an office in the heart of Brussels’ EU quarter, our strong relationships and partnerships with key stakeholders ensure solar’s leading role in the European energy transition and beyond.
Africa Solar Industry Association (AFSIA) is a non-governmental solar trade organisation whose mission is to create a solar community in which all the stakeholders, from both the public and private sector, can come together and help grow the footprint of solar across the entire African continent. AFSIA’s activities and publications aim to expand the awareness and applications of solar energy in the region, to strengthen the local solar industry, and to facilitate business opportunities for its members.
RenewAfrica is a media company that showcases market intelligence, critical analysis, insights, news and thought leadership on Africa’s renewable energy sector. The company also promotes renewable energy investment opportunities in Africa through its digital media platforms, live and online events, with an objective to help accelerate renewable energy penetration in Africa.
GET.invest is a European programme which supports investments in renewable energy. The programme targets private sector business and project developers, financiers and regulators to build sustainable energy markets in partner countries. Services include market information, a funding database, matchmaking events and access-to-finance advisory. The programme is supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria, and works closely with initiatives and business associations in the energy sector. Find out more at www.get-invest.eu.