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The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is increasing the Agency’s on-ground impact with 15 regional and sub-regional platforms which aim at scaling up renewables deployment and investments.

Furthermore, IRENA is looking to enable policy frameworks and finance mechanisms to channel public and private investment in markets like Africa, Latin America, Asia, South-East Europe and the Small Island Developing States.

One step in this new direction is the event that took place in Johannesburg as part of the Africa Investment Forum hosted by the African Development Bank.

The Agency facilitated renewable energy deal-making in sub-Saharan Africa in partnership with Power Africa and the African Trade Insurance Agency. The event corresponds to IRENA’s new direction and way forward to ensuring an acceleration of the renewable energy transformation globally.

Speaking at the Investment Forum in South Africa, IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera underlined the importance of renewable energy to meet sustainable economic growth and Africa’s climate and development ambitions.

“Now more than ever, renewables have become a compelling investment proposition”, said La Camera. “With renewable energy technology prices set to decline, the cost-competitiveness of renewables will strengthen further. IRENA’s analysis shows that nearly a quarter of Africa’s energy needs could be met from indigenous and clean renewable energy sources by 2030. This would result in a wide array of socio-economic benefits in terms of economic growth, welfare, employment and energy access. It’s possible”.

IRENA has been committed to supporting African governments in their quest for a sustainable energy future, by helping to build attractive investment frameworks for renewables to strengthen institutional and technical capacity.

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It has also supported the development and financing of renewable energy projects through project facilitation tools.

“A lot remains to be done to address the key risks and barriers that hinder the scale-up of renewable investment in the region”, La Camera continued.

“There is no shortage of renewable energy project proposals which are competing for investor capital. But they are not always financially viable. Many proposals fail to materialise due to high cost of capital, limited access to risk mitigation solutions and long delays in projects.”

By building on its extensive project pipeline in sub-Saharan Africa with over 90 renewable energy projects, the Agency has showcased 10 renewable energy projects at the Investment Forum.

Projects from Cameroon, Cote D'Ivoire, Kenya, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo which have a total capacity ranging from 6MW to 70MW – covering technologies like wind, solar, bioenergy and hydropower - were presented.

Read more about IRENA’s project facilitation platform here.