The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) is a transformative, Africa-owned and Africa-led inclusive effort to accelerate and scale up the harnessing of the continent’s huge renewable energy potential. Under the mandate of the African Union, and endorsed by African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), the Initiative is set to achieve at least 10 GW of new and additional renewable energy generation capacity by 2020, and mobilize the African potential to generate at least 300 GW by 2030.
The AREI is firmly anchored in the context of sustainable development and climate change. It shows how low to zero carbon development strategies can be achieved in African countries through climate finance and means of implementation according to the principles of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It recognizes the critical importance of rapid expansion of energy access for enhanced well-being, economic development and the fulfilment of all Sustainable Development Goals.
The overall goals of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative are to:
The immediate establishment phase (2015 to mid-2016): Formal initiation of the AREI activities, including resource mobilisation, establishment of the governance and management structure and identification of Phase I projects that will be in the pipeline by mid-2016.
Phase I (2016-2020): In cooperation with bilateral and global partners, assessments, preparations and critical enabling activities at the continental African level as well as in a number of pioneering countries. Achievement of at least 10 GW new and additional generation capacity.
Phase II (2020-2030): Ambitious, full-scale roll-out of nationally determined policies, programmes and incentives as initiated under Phase I. Continuous project identifications, assessments and revisions for further scaling up to at least 300 GW new and additional generation capacity of renewable energy.
According to its guiding principles, the AREI will:
The AREI Action plan identifies specific activities under five Core Work Areas and four Cross-cutting Work Areas, all of which complement and build on work by other relevant stakeholders. These range from helping interested governments strengthen policy, regulatory, support and incentives frameworks to providing project development and support that ends with the financing of RE projects. A detailed Action Plan describes these nine elements in detail.
The AREI recognizes that the scale of African energy challenges is enormous, but so are the opportunities. Transformational change is both needed and possible, and must be stimulated by truly collaborative international efforts and goodwill. By fostering partnerships, bringing together existing initiatives, and mobilizing new international support for secure, distributed and people-oriented energy systems of the future, the Initiative will help African countries gain access to cleaner energy to drive their development and prosperity.
CORE WORK AREAS
CROSS-CUTTING WORK AREAS
The AREI envisions smart, distributed energy systems that can handle a mix of renewable energy generation. With a highly diversified ownership base compared to that of conventional, centralized energy systems, a vast number of households, communities, cooperatives, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as larger companies, become both producers and consumers of electricity. This will enable Africa to leapfrog to the energy systems of the future.
The Initiative highlights the fact that as well as ensuring appropriate electricity access for households and families, access needs to be sufficient to also drive the productive sectors in both local and national contexts for job creation, economic development and increased resilience. This includes addressing the needs of small-scale farming and micro, small- and medium-scale enterprises in terms of both quantity and quality of access, and entails a vision of electricity access beyond the bare minimum requirements for households.
For poor people, increased access to energy means a potential for improved livelihoods. The Initiative will therefore promote unprecedented efforts to reach populations currently off national grids. It will plan for expanded access to electricity for social services as African societies develop social security provisions and other means of improving welfare for their populations over the coming decades.
In a Joint Statement of support to advance the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United States of America, United Kingdom, EU and Sweden committed on 7 Dec 2015 to mobilize at least USD 10 billion USD cumulatively from 2015-2020.
The AREI framework documents describes the initiative in detail, including context, goals and guidelines, activity clusters, elements of the implementation strategy and governance and management. It has been endorsed by the Commission of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) and the African Union Summit and constitutes the basis for the initiative.
The AREI Action Plan outlines concrete actions for both the first 12 months Establishment Phase and the AREI Phase I (2017-2020). The Establishment phase include operationalisation of governance and management structures, engagement with African countries and institutions, resource mobilisation, initial mapping of relevant programmes and initiatives, and consideration of initial programmes and projects to be supported. The AREI Phase I outlines activities under 5 Core Work Areas and 4 Cross-cutting Work Areas. The AREI Action Plan is a living document that will continuously evolve as the work advances.
This document presents the AREI Criteria to be applied for assessment of attribution and eligibility/prioritization of funding. The document will help guide determination of what programmes and project can be considered under AREI, and help prioritisation of support and funding. The document was presented and discussed at the African Union commissioned Technical Working Group on Renewable Energy meeting in Cairo 11-12 July 2016, and has been further refined based on input from multiple stakeholders.