International energy policy

Africa Renewable Energy Initiative

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Logo: Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI)

Economic and social development depends on energy. Renewable energies and energy efficiency offer great potential to link sustainable development and climate protection effectively.

This is where the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) comes into play, which promotes access to energy supply by means of decentralised solutions among other things. It is an African-owned and African-led initiative to accelerate the dissemination of renewable energies on the continent. The aim is to install additional renewable capacity of 10 gigawatts by 2020. This is the equivalent of ten large coal-fired power plants.

By 2030, power generation from renewable energy sources is to reach at least 300 gigawatts. That is the equivalent of doubling the continent’s current power generation capacity. In Germany, the installed capacity for renewable energy already stands at some 100 gigawatts. The German government can support its African partners by sharing the experience it has gained from transforming Germany's energy system.

The AREI sends a clear political message, showing the world that Africa has chosen the path of transformation to advance sustainable development by making its energy supply systems climate-friendly. AREI represents a valuable contribution to the implementation of the Paris climate agreement. At the same time, the initiative contributes directly to achieving Sustainable Development Goals 7 (energy) and 13 (climate) so that it will be highly relevant for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda as well.

International support

In June 2015, the G7 countries agreed under German presidency to support the AREI and thus speed up the process of rolling out and using renewable energies across Africa. At the climate conference in Paris in December 2015, the G7 signed a joint donor declaration together with the European Commission, the Netherlands and Sweden, in which the parties reconfirmed their support for the AREI. The group of countries announced that they will build on existing initiatives and support the rollout of renewable energies in Africa with a total of ten billion US dollars until 2020. Germany and France are the largest donors, committing three billion euros each.

At the climate negotiations in November 2016, the donors published a joint declaration and a brochure documenting the progress made on their commitments from the previous year. In 2016, the G7, the European Commission, Sweden and the Netherlands together newly committed more than 4.3 billion US dollars for renewable energies, power transmission and energy efficiency projects in Africa. Germany has committed 1.3 billion euros in 2016. Thus, it was the largest bilateral donor of the group in 2016 and can make a significant contribution to achieving the goals of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative.

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