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Friday, 05 November 2010

African power – EU’s second energy facility

Most Africans in rural and semi rural areas have no access to electricity, a problem particularly acute in ACP countries. Working around the problem means using traditional fuels whose smoke is both polluting and can be a health threat. With €200 million at its disposal, the European Union’s Energy Facility co-finances local projects and governance programmes aimed at ensuring everyone, with an emphasis on the poorest populations, has access to sustainable, modern services across the continent.

The Facility and the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (SAAP)
Launched at the 2nd Africa-EU summit, 2007, the Africa-Europe Energy partnership (AEEP) was set up to increase European and African investments in energy infrastructure and interconnections, both within Africa and between the continent and Europe. The Facility is one of the key ways of achieving this goal. Figures from the first phase of the Facility indicate that nearly seven million people benefited from 74 projects jointly financed by the Facility. The total investment was €196 million for a total cost of €430 million for total project costs. Ninety-seven percent of the projects funded focused on generating energy based on renewable sources and hybrid solutions. The first phase also demonstrates how effective the facility is in leveraging finance from other sources such as the private sector, European development banks, NGOs and EU Member States.

The second Energy Facility
The Second Energy Facility prioritizes projects that promote the use of sustainable energy such as geothermal sources, solar, wind farms and biomass, together with energy efficiency in buildings. The objective of these projects aims to increase access to energy services for the poor. This second Energy Facility, with a budget of €200 million, will be implemented, in particular through two calls for proposals. The first call for proposal, worth €100 million, was launched on 30 November 2009. Two other tools help to implement the Facility: a pooling mechanism that involves European donors and development financing institutions for medium-sized projects and support to energy governance through the EU Energy Initiative – Partnership Dialogue Facility. This second Energy Facility encourages private sector participation, particularly among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and potential investors in the energy sector. The participation of local actors (SMEs, local authorities and communities) is preferred. At the national level, authorities in the energy sector are particularly involved in the governance component. In order to ensure consistency with national priorities, projects must be approved by these authorities.

Source: Afriqueavenir

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