Energy ministers and delegates from 19 countries have committed to the creation of the Africa Clean Energy Corridor – which will fast track the deployment of renewable energy and meet energy demand.

According to Adnan Amin, director general of IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency, “The Africa Clean Energy Corridor will provide the continent with the opportunity to leapfrog into a sustainable energy future. The dynamic development that Africa will see in the next decades needs to extend to the energy sector, and Africa’s abundant renewable energy resources are a perfect match to meet rising demand in a sustainable and cost-effective way – from Cairo to Cape Town.”

As demand continues to grow – expecting to triple in Southern Africa, and quadruple in East Africa, the region must review it’s dependency on fossil fuels.  A regional approach to developing the renewable energy resources should help optimise the energy mix and attract investment.

The Africa Clean Energy Corridor builds on, and adds to, the transmission network laid out in existing programmes for infrastructure development in Africa.

“The Africa Clean Energy Corridor helps leverage the tremendous opportunity that renewable energy presents, for the best of the African states and the entire continent,” H.E. Alemayehu Tegenu, Ethiopia Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, said. “The fact that IRENA, with its resources and know-how, is able to facilitate this large-scale, trans-border initiative demonstates the importance of the organisation for Africa and the deployment of renewables.”

The Action Agenda includes the identification of renewable power development zones to cluster renewable plants in areas high with renewable resource potential; integrated resource planning to include greater shares of renewable energy in the energy mix; new financing models and investment frameworks; knowledge and capacity building by IRENA; and public information campaigns.