The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) are strengthening their partnership. The two organizations will now work to reduce the risks of investing in decentralized renewable energy.
Universal access to electricity in Africa will be achieved through green off-grid. This solution is much more suitable for rural areas, and the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) is well aware of this. This is why the Brussels-based organization (in Belgium) has decided to strengthen its partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The aim is to facilitate the deployment of decentralized renewable energy in rural areas in Africa.
“The deployment of off-grid renewable energy in low- and middle-income countries is essential to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 and achieve positive results for people and communities in rural areas,” recognizes Francesco La Camera, Irena’s director general. Among the off-grid solutions installed in rural areas are mini-grids that can electrify an entire community or village. Solar home systems are also favoured for individual use.
Exchange of expertise
The two organizations believe that these solutions will allow Africa to reduce its electrification gap. Currently, nearly 600 million Africans still do not have access to electricity. The agreement signed recently on the side-lines of the Fifth International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference (IOREC) focuses on working together to reduce the costs of installing green off-grids, as well as promoting innovation for rural electrification.
“However, accelerating the deployment of mini-grids and stand-alone solutions will also depend on stable policies and regulations, as well as dedicated funds and risk mitigation instruments for renewable energy,” the two organizations acknowledge in a joint statement. Under the new agreement, IRENA and ARE will work jointly on reducing the risks associated with investments in electricity access and the development of decentralized renewable energy. Both organizations will support activities to increase private sector participation.
The agreement also calls for the exchange of expertise on off-grid renewable energy deployment models, as well as increased collaboration on skills development and support for renewable energy entrepreneurship.
Jean Marie Takouleu