AFRICA: ASI and Bloomberg to mobilize $ 1 trillion for solar

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This is the main announcement of the Annual General Meeting of the International Solar Alliance (ASI) which took place from October 18 to 21, 2021. The intergovernmental alliance signs a partnership with the philanthropic organization Bloomberg Philanthropies to mobilize 1 Trillion dollars of investments in solar energy. These investments will be made in the 80 ASI member countries. This partnership will be implemented with the support of the World Resources Institute (WRI).

The ISA was launched in 2016 by the current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the presence of former French President François Hollande. The organization set itself the goal when it was launched to mobilize $ 1 billion in investments in solar energy in member countries, to reach a new installed capacity of 100 GW and above all to reduce the costs of installations in remote areas. A bet on the verge of being won since the costs of equipment continue to fall, boosted by Asian productions.

The delay of investments in Africa

But low-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, are still struggling to take full advantage of solar energy to increase their installed capacity and accelerate the electrification of rural areas. This situation is explained by the lack of financing which slows down the energy transition and electrification.

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“Only 2% of solar investments go to Africa, even though the continent has vast solar potential and a large number of people without access to electricity. We need to make solar investing a reality for the millions of people who have been left behind. This partnership will identify opportunities for collaboration between the public and private sectors and increased investments in solar energy to make this transition possible ”, promises Ani Dasgupta, President and CEO of IRG.

Launch of the partnership in a few weeks

To accelerate investments in solar energy, Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies, calls for greater collaboration between the public and private sector, and more data to identify challenges and opportunities. For Ajay Mathur, executive director of ASI, the alliance has “A critical role to play in helping to build the infrastructure and ecosystem for a carbon-free future.” With a solid foundation already in place, our immediate goal is to identify and mobilize opportunities and capital to accelerate our short and long term solarization goals.

An action program and roadmap for solar investments will be launched at COP 26 and in 2022, respectively. According to ISA, the action program to be launched in a few weeks will provide high impact opportunities to rapidly scale up financial mechanisms to meet solar technology needs in different countries. The roadmap released in 2022 will provide “clear” targets and metrics for the international community to measure progress toward realizing the $ 1 trillion investment.

According to projections from the Scaling up Solar in ISA Member Countries report released shortly before the (virtual) ISA annual meeting, assuming that no major new climate change initiatives are implemented by policy makers, 1 , 6 TW of global solar capacity will be installed by 2030, attracting around $ 1.2 trillion in new investment. Investments in solar energy storage will necessarily be required, amounting to $ 151 billion for 165 GW of storage capacity over the same period. Current global solar capacity is 788 GW, according to the ISA.

Jean-Marie Takouleu

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