EU and US Join Forces For Green Energy in Africa

Published on: 15 October 2022
by KnowESG

The European Union and the United States agreed to work together more to improve sustainable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa. They will do this by releasing more of the continent's vast renewable power generation potential and making it easier for people there to get cheap green energy.

In Washington, Jutta Urpilainen, the Commissioner for International Partnerships, and Samantha Power, the Administrator of USAID, signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding on closer cooperation between the EU and the US. This will allow the EU and the US to work together to promote projects like the African Continental Power System Masterplan. 

"Through Global Gateway, we're working more closely with the US government to give our African partners more strategic independence. One way we're doing this is by making it easier for them to get affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy. Together, we can electrify even more schools and health centres and fight even more efficiently the inequalities linked to energy poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa," Jutta Urpilainen said.

The increased cooperation between the EU and the US is meant to help with the transition to green energy, reduce energy poverty, and give everyone in Sub-Saharan Africa access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy. 

By combining their respective strengths, expertise, and resources to work toward these common goals, the EU and US hope to increase their impact on increasing sustainable energy availability and access in Africa as part of poverty reduction, fostering inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and mitigating climate change.

The EU and US intend to coordinate efforts supporting projects in Sub-Saharan Africa at regional and national level in the following areas:

  • Small-scale and off-grid power generation to increase access to renewable energy, including the electrification of health facilities and schools, women and youth-led businesses, and rural households.

  • Energy storage, energy efficiency, and transmission line development.

  • Empowering women in the power sector.

  • Policy dialogue and regulatory reforms to improve the enabling environment, and institutional investments to leverage new sources of capital and drive investment.

  • Knowledge sharing to maximise mutual technical assistance and the progress of reforms and capacity-building activities.

  • Specific flagship projects to further mobilise public resources and leverage private sector investments.

Nearly two out of three people in Sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity, a serious limitation to accessing quality health care, education, and economic opportunities for up to 600 million people.

The Africa-EU Green Energy Initiative is part of Global Gateway. Its goal is to help Africa make a green transition in the energy sector by supporting the use of renewable energy sources, making sure people have access to affordable and reliable energy, promoting energy efficiency, and helping to integrate markets and make changes in the energy sector. The EU agrees with Africa's goal of generating at least 300,000 megawatts more renewable energy on the continent by 2030.

The first EU–US Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation on energy availability and access in Sub-Saharan Africa was signed in 2015. The Power Africa Presidential Initiative, which is run by USAID, aims to use partnerships between the private and public sectors to give twice as many people in Sub-Saharan Africa access to electricity by 2030. This will be done by adding at least 30,000 megawatts of new, cleaner power generation capacity, 60 million new electrical connections, and 5,000 kilometres of new transmission lines.

Source: EC

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