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UNEP Releases Report on Financing Renewable Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa

UNEP21 February 2012: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has released a report titled “Financing Renewable Energy in Developing Countries: Drivers and Barriers for Private Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa.” The report was released to mark the African launch of the 2012 UN International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, which took place on the side of 12th Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GCSS-12/GMEF).  

The report is based on a survey of 38 mostly private sector institutions involved in energy infrastructure finance in developing countries. It outlines the current obstacles to sustainable energy solutions in Africa, including the cost of electricity and difficult grid access. It highlights the need for an estimated 7,000 megawatts (MW) of new generation capacity annually to meet the continent's growing energy demands, and argues that Africa has a wealth of untapped domestic resources. The report underscores the opportunities to improve energy security and to establish regional energy markets.

According to UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, scaling-up of sustainable energy is “key to realizing a transition to a low carbon, resource efficient inclusive Green Economy.” Referring to the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), Steiner stressed that access to sustainable energy and the current barriers “should be upper most in delegates minds.”

The GCSS-12/GMEF is taking place from 20-22 February 2012, at the UN Office in Nairobi, Kenya. [UNEP Press Release] [Publication: Financing Renewable Energy in Developing Countries: Drivers and Barriers for Private Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa] [UN Press Release] [IISD RS Coverage of GCSS-12/GMEF]