Hundreds of thousands of people in sub-Saharan Africa will get access to electricity for the first time thanks to an extra £100 million of funding from the United Kingdom government.
The new investment — announced at the COP24 global climate summit in Poland — triples funds for the Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP), to support up to 40 more renewable energy projects over the next five years. it could unlock an extra £156 million of private finance into renewable energy markets in Africa by 2023.
Developers of small-scale solar, wind, hydro and geothermal projects will be supported to harness each country’s natural resources, providing 2.4 million people a year with new or improved access to clean energy.
Power produced from new projects funded is expected to save around three million tonnes of carbon over their lifetime, compared with fossil fuel generation – the equivalent to the emissions from burning 21,000 railway cars of coal or from 800,000 cars in a year.
“At home we’re world leaders in cutting emissions while growing our economy and abroad we’re showing our international leadership by giving countries a helping hand to shift to greener, cleaner economies,” UK Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said.
“This £100 million will help communities harness the power of their natural resources to provide hundreds of thousands of people with electricity for the first time. Building these clean, reliable sources of energy will also create thousands of quality jobs in these growing green economies.”
The new investment is in addition to £48 million previously committed to the REPP, which is already supporting 18 renewable energy projects in a range of countries from Tanzania to Burundi.
These projects, featuring solar, wind, biomass, hydro and geothermal technologies, are expected to provide new or improved access for more than 4.5 million people over the project lifetimes, creating 8,000 jobs during development and operation.