World Bank to Earmark $16 Billion for African Clean Energy Projects

Clean energy projects will be flying high across Africa as the World Bank is planning to raise $16 billion for solar, hydro, and geothermal energy projects.

Practice Manager for Energy and Extractives at the World Bank, Charles Cormier, said at a side event held at the African Pavilion at the COP 22, that the move is part of the Africa Climate Business Plan which was presented at the COP 21.

The plan will provide investments to boost clean energy and help 5 million off-grid consumers to access modern energy services by 2023, he said.

The Africa Climate Business Plan, dubbed Accelerating Climate-Resilient and Low-Carbon Development, lays out measures to boost the resilience of the continent’s assets – its people, land, water, and cities – as well as other moves including boosting renewable energy and strengthening early warning systems.

During the side event, a senior executive of MASEN, the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energ in charge of leading the country’s shift to renewable energy, surveyed Morocco’s national plan and experience in renewable energy, primarily Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). He said the success of the country’s efforts in the field can be an incentive to Sub-Saharan Africa, a region ideally suited to the CSP technology due to its abundant sunshine.

He noted that so far, solar power only makes up approximately 0.5% of the energy in sub-Saharan countries.

Morocco is committed to breaking its dependence on imported fossil fuels and to taking action on climate change. To meet this goal, it set a target to meet 42% of its power generating capacity needs through renewables by 2020– a figure that was raised to 52% by 2030 at last year’s climate talks in Paris, France.

The COP22 Moroccan pavilion also hosted on Wednesday a side event that debated the theme of migration, resilience and health. Opening this side event, Senegal’s Prime Minister Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne stressed the need for gearing action during COP22 towards addressing climate change as a root-cause of the threats to sustainability, stability and security in Africa.

Participants in the debate shared views on means to address the multidimensional climate change risks on the continent.

These side events are held in preparation for the adoption on November 14 of the “Marrakech Declaration: Forging Sustainability, Stability and Security in Africa.”