The UK government has announced sub-Saharan Africa will get new or upgraded connections to clean energy, thanks to an extra £100 million of financing they are proposing.
The news was recently reported at COP24 as part of the UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland, and will mean hundreds of thousands of people will receive electricity for the first time through forty renewable power projects.
This investment is part of the UK Government’s promise to provide £5.8 billion in international climate finance by 2020 to inspire other governments, the private sector and other communities to acknowledge and solve the problem of climate change. The program currently backs eighteen renewable energy projects in countries such as Tanzania, Burundi, Nigeria and Kenya. These schemes support everything from solar, wind and biomass to hydro and geothermal.
The new grant triples funds for the Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP), and is thought to give access to an additional £156 million of private finance into clean energy in Africa by 2023, with the goal to ”catalyze the growth" of the clean energy sector by helping developers to "overcome barriers to finance."
Additionally, these schemes are expected to reduce around three million tonnes of carbon emissions over their lifetime, compared to fossil fuel generation such as coal plants and diesel generators, which is equivalent to the emissions from burning 21,000 railway cars of coal, or from 800,000 cars in a year.
Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said: “At home we’re world leaders in cutting emissions while growing our economy and abroad we’re showing our international leadership by giving countries a helping hand to shift to greener, cleaner economies.” Perry added: “This £100 million will help communities harness the power of their natural resources to provide hundreds of thousands of people with electricity for the first time. Building these clean, reliable sources of energy will also create thousands of quality jobs in these growing green economies.”