17 September 2010 – The Africa-European Union Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme has been launched as part of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP).

The programme, which is aimed at assisting Africa to accelerate the development of renewable energies, has also been awarded a planned contribution from the EU of €5 million to support its three-year start up phase.

The programme was launched at a high level meeting of the AEEP in Vienna earlier this week by EU Commissioners for Development Andris Piebalgs and Energy Gunther Oettinger, together with the African Union.

The AEEP roadmap calls for the building of 10,000 MW of new hydropower facilities, at least 5,000 MW of wind power, 500 MW of solar energy and a tripling of the capacity of other renewables, and raising energy efficiency in Africa in all sectors.

In order to accelerate the development of renewables in Africa the programme will focus on a number of areas, including establishing more detailed scientific knowledge on the resources and options in Africa and mobilizing additional resources for renewable energy investments from climate funds, financial institutions and the private sector. Increasing public visibility and awareness of the scope and potential for renewable energy in Africa will also be a point of focus.

The programme will focus on technologies that are market ready and near market ready, proven and commercially available, and that are relevant to African priorities, needs and market conditions, the programme document states.

Besides renewable energy and energy efficiency the other priority areas of the AEEP are energy access and energy security, with the aims to increase access to energy to at least an additional 100 million Africans by 2020, and to double the capacity of cross-border electricity interconnections as well as double the use of natural gas in Africa.

The Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme is established for a 10 years period.