Abidjan, Ivory Coast | The Climate Parliament and UNDP gathered over 60 MPs, government officials and experts from across West and East Africa to encourage them to take action on renewable energy (12-13 April 2017).
MPs heard experts, including from the International Finance Corporation, Power Africa, ECREE, SE4ALL, African Development Bank, International Solar Alliance and the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, how it is entirely possible, and indeed necessary, for the world to be powered solely by renewable energy. All that is needed is the right set of policies and regulations enabling the limited public funds in many countries to catalyse large scale private investment, and supportive electricity grids combined with a strong political will. The hearing clearly established that although the needs and priorities of countries and regions in Africa vary, a common framework of action could be developed easily to transform the energy landscape in Africa and ensure the universal and adequate supply of electricity from renewable sources to meet all the present and future needs of a fast developing Africa.
Once informed about the latest renewable energy developments around the world, the MPs became more motivated to take action.
The following impressive commitments to solar investments in Africa were made:
Solar Water Pumps: 14 manufacturers made a commitment to install 663,800 solar pump systems.
Solar Mini Grids: 9 organisations made commitments with a cumulative capacity of 74 MW.
Skills and Entrepreneurship Development Centre for Solar Energy and Other Green Business: The Skill Council for Green Jobs of India made a commitment to establish 7 such centres and train 10,400 people between 2017 and 2019.
These commitments were made in response to a joint call by the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Climate Parliament aiming to encourage companies and other organisations to invest in solar in Africa.
The MPs left for home determined to motivate their governments on the whole action agenda that was presented to them. This included:
Reducing or eliminating taxes on solar and renewable energy equipment.
Creating support programmes for solar water pumps in rural areas (an International Solar Alliance initiative).
Increasing investment in renewable energy mini grids for villages for which a framework agreement is being developed by the Climate Parliament.
Making use of the Scaling Solar programme of the World Bank group.
Signing and ratifying the statutes of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to effect the coming into force of the ISA.
This parliamentary hearing was made possible by funding from EuropeAid (via the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).