IRENA Explores Infrastructure for the Africa Clean Energy Corridor
story highlights

A report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) assesses the infrastructure of Eastern and Southern Africa for the generation and transmission of renewable electricity from the perspective of the Africa Clean Energy Corridor (ACEC) initiative, which promotes the development of clean, indigenous and cost-effective renewable power options across Africa.

IRENAFebruary 2015: A report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) assesses the infrastructure of Eastern and Southern Africa for the generation and transmission of renewable electricity from the perspective of the Africa Clean Energy Corridor (ACEC) initiative, which promotes the development of clean, indigenous and cost-effective renewable power options across Africa.

The report, titled ‘Analysis of Infrastructure for Renewable Power in Eastern and Southern Africa,’ examines the infrastructure of the Eastern and Southern Africa Power Pools (EAPP and SAPP). The study includes a presentation of ACEC objectives, a review of the state of the electricity sector in Eastern and Southern Africa, and an analysis of infrastructure for renewable electricity development, including energy resources and potential, gaps in transmission plans, financing and business models, and required institutional arrangements.

The report finds that, inter alia: the EAPP and SAPP mandates support the ACEC cooperation objectives; power demand in the regions examined is projected to increase, albeit by wide-ranging margins; critical transmission gaps exist in both power pools; and despite challenging institutional arrangements, there are some success stories.

Consequently, the study recommends: “zoning” renewable energy resource potential through resource assessments, feasibility studies and accessible information; planning for more renewable power, supported by harmonization of policies and planning criteria and forecasts; enabling more renewable power investment, including through dedicated policies and institutions, and unbundling of existing public utilities; capacity building; and communicating on ACEC developments to stakeholders.

ACEC builds on the work of EAPP and SAPP, and the political commitment of African leaders, to strengthen relevant regional institutions and transmission infrastructure. Currently, 80% of electricity production in the SAPP is generated from coal, and 82% of electricity production in the EAPP comes from natural gas and oil. It is estimated that renewable energy could account for 40-50% of the SAPP and EAPP regions’ power needs by 2030.

The ACEC action agenda was endorsed via a ministerial communiqué at the fourth IRENA Assembly in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, in January 2014. ACEC was launched at the UN Climate Summit in New York, US, in September 2014. [IRENA Publication Webpage] [Publication: Analysis of Infrastructure for Renewable Power in Eastern and Southern Africa] [IRENA ACEC Brochure] [IISD RS Story on ACEC Launch] [IISD RS Coverage of the ACEC High-Level Meeting and Fourth IRENA Assembly]


related events