The government of UK is set to invest over US $65.7m into renewable energy projects in Africa, as it works with selected African countries to develop sustainable energy sources. The approved projects include solar farms in Kenya, geothermal power stations in Ethiopia and clean energy storage in sub-Saharan Africa.
The countries will receive funding and support as UK scientists and financial experts will work with their African counterparts to realise the continent’s significant renewable energy potential. The UK will also assist the countries with attracting investment for innovative renewable projects, such as wind and solar farms.
The government announced the winners of the investment packages for the continent’s clean energy infrastructure at the African Investment Summit in London on 21st January 2020. According to Business and energy secretary Andrea Leadsom, the government underlined that close collaboration with African countries will be key as the UK prepares to host the UN climate talks (COP26) later this year.
Supporting Africa’s energy security
“Our world-leading scientists and financial experts will work hand in hand with African nations to support their quest for energy security, powering new industries and jobs across the continent with a diverse mix of energy sources while promoting economic growth,” he said.
Mr. Leadsom further emphasised on the opportunity that many African countries have to substitute coal power with cleaner forms of energy, but stressed that more needed to be done to unlock investment.
Previous UK-funded projects in Africa include the winners of the Energy Catalyst Competition, with solar plants, energy storage batteries and hydro-power built in countries such as Botswana and Kenya; a US $13.1m programme which matches UK based green finance experts with project developers from developing countries to facilitate investment in clean energy projects; and the Nigeria 2050 calculator, a modelling tool designed by UK scientists to support the Nigerian government’s sustainable development planning.