Africa: Renewable Energy

Department for International Development written question – answered on 30th September 2019.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the Prime Minister's support for solar technology in African countries in his speech to the UN General Assembly on 24 September 2019, what steps the Government is taking to support (a) solar projects in Africa and (b) the sharing of renewable technology.

Photo of Zac Goldsmith Zac Goldsmith The Minister of State, Department for International Development, The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

DFID’s support to clean energy in Africa is delivered through a range of programmes. We provide funding to support the installation of more off-grid solar power such as through mini-grid projects (e.g. in Kenya and Rwanda). We are helping to establish markets in a number of African countries for household solar power so poor people have access to affordable clean energy. We are also supporting private sector solar projects through the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and development finance interventions such as CDC, the Private Infrastructure Development Group, and the Multilateral Development Banks.

Over the last seven years the UK has provided 26 million people with improved access to clean energy and installed 1,600 MW of clean energy capacity.

At the G7, the Prime Minister announced the UK would double its support to the GCF, the principal climate multilateral, to £1.44bn over the next four years, to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change and shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy such as solar power. A range of existing GCF projects are supporting solar power in Africa. For example a GCF project is helping 50 poor, rural communities in Mali to switch from fossil fuel-powered diesel generators and kerosene lamps to green energy by installing solar mini-grids.

The Prime Minister announced at the UN Climate Action Summit funding of up to £1 billion for research, development and demonstration of new technologies and business models to unlock opportunities in developing countries for cleaner growth and better access to clean energy. Emerging technology areas to be supported include for example, energy storage, new cooling technologies, next generation solar, and technologies for industrial decarbonisation.

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