The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together to promote the implementation of renewable energy options, including decentralized technology, in Southern African countries.
The two organizations will also collaborate on policy creation, capacity building initiatives and regional activities aimed at attracting investment to the region.
Southern Africa has seen a dramatic increase in access to electricity over the last decade. This is primarily due to the strong commitment of the SADC Member States to tap into the region’s enormous renewable energy resources to boost energy stability and meet rising energy demand. As a result, the overall share of renewables in power generation grew from 23% in 2015 to almost 39% in 2018. However, despite substantial development, access to electricity remains an obstacle.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has re-emphasised the importance of a reliable, affordable, clean energy. It has served as a stark reminder that the new energy age must be inclusive, just and low-carbon if we are to achieve sustainable development in Southern Africa and around the world. Africa can seize the moment for meaningful change, and dramatically improve socioeconomic outcomes by moving decisively towards the energy transformation. This agreement will bolster regional progress.”Francesco La Camera, IRENA director-general.
Through building capacity in the SADC region, IRENA and SACREEE intend to accelerate the implementation of green energy and achieve equitable access to energy by developing conditions that are more conducive to investment in renewable energy.
The two organizations will carry out collaborative activities under the Africa Clean Energy Corridor (ACEC) in the areas of evaluation of renewable energy potential, long-term planning, finance, strategy, regulatory and institutional structures. Implementation of ACEC operations offers a systematic incentive to avoid greenhouse gas emissions, in accordance with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
“SACREEE has implemented several joint programmatic activities with IRENA through the African Clean Energy Corridor initiative and the SADC Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship Support Facility since 2017. The renewal of this MoU will expand and strengthen our collaboration in areas of mutual interest and given mandates. We therefore appreciate the continued partnership and support from IRENA towards the fulfilment of our mandate towards an energy secure and resilient society through clean, affordable and sustainable energy solutions.”Kudakwashe Ndhlukula, SACREEE executive director.
IRENA and SACREEE will both work together to accelerate investment in green energy through the introduction of the Southern African Investment Forum, which will encourage access to sustainable finance in the region. The Forum is part of IRENA’s commitment to the Climate Investment Platform (CIP), which seeks to advance renewable energy ventures to investment maturity and promote their access to financing.