RES4MED&Africa Executive Seminar

7 November – Brussels, Belgium

Recommendations and priorities for effective renewable energy deployment in Africa: Opportunities of the External Investment Plan

Background

Southern-Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan African countries are rapidly attracting attention as new markets for renewable energy (RE) technologies. Thanks to the continent’s dynamic economic and population growth, growing energy demand, its wealth in RE resources, and falling technology costs, large-scale and decentralized RE solutions are instrumental to accelerating economic transformation and to introduce widespread affordable, reliable and sustainable energy access to the region. Realizing the Southern-Mediterranean’s and Sub-Saharan Africa’s potential through sustainable development and RE is a priority issue for the European Commission and is reflected in the long-term working strategies of DG Devco, DG Ener, DG Near and DG Research&Innovation.

The private sector plays a key role in the implementation and multiplication of RE capacity, while also fostering business creation and enabling favorable economic spillover benefits. Indeed, the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) framework and the current proposal to revitalize the EU-Africa Partnership on RE include a specific focus on boosting efforts to facilitate public-private cooperation to build a strong economic case for accelerated private sector investment in the Mediterranean and Africa. Given RES4MED&Africa’s strategic partnership with AEEP and its contribution to the 2017 G7 Energy Ministerial on Africa’s RE future, the Executive Seminar builds on existing EU policy frameworks and international cooperation agendas such as the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the SE4ALL targets and G20 declarations on sustainable energy.

Furthermore, the deployment of RE technologies in these countries is rapidly evolving. Major developments are taking place on renewables in Southern-Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan African countries concerning policy & regulatory frameworks, energy regulation, financing & subsidy schemes, local content requirements and job creation, grid integration & storage, but also innovative technological applications, decentralized solutions, demand growth and business models. The Executive Seminar’s added value lies in providing the European Commission with an overview of relevant issues related to the roll-out of RE projects and in presenting up-to-date insights based on direct on-the-ground experience from RES4MED&Africa members. Given the DG’s long-term strategic work programs, the European Commission can benefit from an exchange with the private sector’s experience as a reality check of the situation on the ground.

RES4MED&Africa has over 5 years’ experience in leading policy dialogue, technical support and capacity building activities to create enabling environments for RE investments in the Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan African countries by enabling and encouraging private-public cooperation. RES4MED&Africa is among the only associations active in promoting the uptake of RE investments in these countries and counts on a strong track record in high-level trainings and Executive Seminars.  RES4MED&Africa’s member network represents the entire RE value chain including industries, agencies, utilities, manufacturers, financing institutions, consultancies, legal and technical services providers, research institutes, and academia, whose experience and competences can help convey comprehensive insights on what it takes to foster RE investments and projects in the Mediterranean and Africa. RES4MED&Africa’s training experience includes its flagship capacity building activities such as the Advanced Training Course and the organization of Executive Seminars in countries such as Algeria and Tunisia.

Agenda

RES4MED&Africa organised a 1-day closed-door Executive Seminar on 7 November 2017 for representatives from the European Commission DG Devco, DG Ener, DG Near and DG Research&Innovation. The seminar curriculum presented a curated selection of topics relevant to the DGs’ focus on the deployment of renewable energy in Southern-Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan African countries. The sessions presented up-to-date insights based on direct experience from RES4MED&Africa members regarding issues such as policy & regulatory frameworks, project bankability and financing, on-grid & off-grid applications, and innovation practices. Representatives from the above DG’s will benefit from an exchange on progress and private sector experience-based insights on key issues concerning renewable energy in emerging markets.