IRENA Deputy Director-General Calls for Investments in Renewable Energy Projects in Africa
23 October 2012: Addressing a panel session on energy and water finance for Africa held during the World Energy Forum, Frank Wouters, Deputy Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), emphasized that renewables offer great business opportunities to meet Africa's energy needs.
Wouters called on African countries to concentrate on renewable energy projects for rapid expansion of electrical services in order to achieve widespread prosperity. Stressing the need to meet rapidly growing energy needs within the next two decades, he underlined that Africa requires "vast investments in new energy projects, from large investments to feed national power systems, to innovative, localised off-grid solutions to bring power to people and areas that are currently not served."
IRENA indicates that it will start receiving applications in November for renewable energy financing through a new US$350 million facility for the Abu Dhabi Development Fund (ADFD). Each project proposal must be government-backed. The funding consists of US$50 million per year for seven years. Wouters explained that IRENA aimed to ensure that: funds reach projects in developing countries; projects be renewable-based and sustainable, as well as innovative and replicable.