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The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) approved a US $265,000 grant to the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) partnership for the development of the Atlas of Africa's Energy Resources.
The grant will be funded through the "enabling environment" window of this AfDB-administered multi-donor facility mandated to unlock investments in clean energy in the continent.
"Africa's renewable energy potential remains largely untapped, partly because of a lack of detailed resource information to enable further exploitation by both public and private investors," explained Alex Rugamba, Director of the AfDB's Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department. "With this project, we will help policy-makers make more informed decisions and provide project developers with information on renewable energy resource availability within a given country, which is vital for investment feasibility assessment. It will also assist AfDB regional member countries in policy-making on renewable energy and energy-related environmental issues more broadly."
The Africa Energy Atlas will feature illustrative maps, charts and comparative images that can provide important information on renewable energy resources across the continent and the possible impacts on the environment. It will also provide visual information on the challenges and opportunities to providing Africa‚Äôs population access to reliable, affordable and modern energy services.
The atlas will target a potential spectrum of end-users including policy-makers and state-owned enterprises (for preliminary evaluation of the technical and economic potentials of renewable energy sources); private investors and developers (as a synthetic overview of market potential before engaging in detailed studies); and academics and interested public (for basic information and awareness of renewable energy). The immediate outcomes of the project will be to: (i) strengthen the availability of data on energy and energy-related issues; and (ii) provide up-to-date information on country-specific energy resource development and related environmental challenges, which will be used to attract private investment in the sector. This should ultimately attract investments in sustainable energy, with positive benefits for job creation, energy access and a reduced carbon footprint.
News date: 17/10/2014