In support of the 2014 Climate Summit, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has launched two initiatives aimed at reducing fossil fuel dependency in Africa and delivering cleaner energy for small island developing states (SIDS).
Both initiatives will seek to speed up the development of renewable energy resources and strengthen related international cooperation.
23 September 2014: During the 2014 Climate Summit, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) launched two initiatives aimed at reducing fossil fuel dependency in Africa and delivering cleaner energy for small island developing States (SIDS). Both initiatives will seek to speed up the development of renewable energy resources and strengthen related international cooperation.
The first initiative, titled ‘the Africa Clean Energy Corridor’ (ACEC), will advance the development of renewable energy projects used by the Eastern and Southern African Power Pools (EAPP and SAPP), thereby reducing these countries’ dependency on natural gas, oil and coal, and resulting in important reductions in carbon dioxide emissions through 2030. The implementation of the initiative will also: reduce generation costs by 4%; triple the electricity supply; diversify the availability of resources; improve energy security; and foster opportunities for investment and job growth.
During the Summit, 19 African ministers and 14 partners from government, regional bodies, development institutions and the private sector announced their commitment, in an ‘Action Statement,’ to create the 8,000 km-long Corridor, and the aim of generating half of all electricity produced along it from clean, indigenous and cost-effective renewable power options by 2030.
The Summit also heard commitments from SIDS and other partners to participate in the ‘SIDS Lighthouse Initiative,’ launched by IRENA to mobilize funding and political will to advance the deployment of renewable energy in islands around the world. The Initiative aims to deliver a cleaner energy mix to up to 4.7 million people in SIDS by mobilizing US$500 million within five years and deploying 100 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) and 20 MW of wind capacity, and significant quantities of small-scale hydropower and geothermal and marine energy.
In conjunction with the Summit, IRENA also hosted a high-level policy dialogue focusing on the transition into a renewables-based energy system. The public-private-sector discussion covered the broad themes of the Agency’s flagship publication ‘REthinking Energy,’ which was launched in September 2014.
The ACEC initiative was first introduced at the IRENA Assembly in January 2013, and endorsed by Ministers from countries of the EAPP and SAPP at the IRENA Assembly in January 2014. The SIDS Lighthouse Initiative was originally introduced at the UN Small Island Developing States Conference, held from 1-4 September 2014 in Apia, Samoa. [IRENA Press Release] [UN Press Release] [IRENA at Climate Summit 2014 Webpage] [IRENA ACEC Webpage] [2014 UN Climate Summit ACEC Action Statement and Action Plan] [2014 UN Climate Summit SIDS Lighthouse Initiative Action Statement and Action Plan] [IRENA REthinking Energy Webpage] [IISD RS Story on IRENA REthinking Energy Series] [IISD RS Coverage of the 2014 SIDS Conference] [IISD RS Coverage of the UN Climate Summit]