African Union continues charting way forward for geothermal development in Africa
Geothermal energy stakeholders and experts met at an event during COP24 climate talks in Katowice, Poland to review the successes and challenges as well as recommend the way forward for the AUC Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF).
Geothermal energy stakeholders and experts met at an event during the 24th Conference of Parties (COP24) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Katowice, Poland to review the successes and challenges as well as recommend the way forward for the AUC Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF).
The Event was organized by the Department of Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission (AUC) and was attended by high-level experts and representatives from African Member States as well as experts from International organizations and partner countries.
In his opening remarks, the Acting Head of Energy Division, Mr. Atef Marzouk noted the continuing importance of geothermal energy in East Africa in the short and long-term, and the need to mobilize more financial and technical resources to boost geothermal energy development in Africa to expand energy access for meeting our basic needs as well as productive activities.
Mr. Marzouk also said “the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) is successfully supporting early stage development of 30 geothermal energy projects in east Africa”. He also noted that the available GRMF grants of USD 140 million will leverage investments estimated at USD 9.2 billion.
More than 100 stakeholders and experts noted the need for the AUC to adopt innovative approaches to address the challenges in geothermal energy development in East Africa. They recommended strategies and measures that could lead to transformative and inclusive development of geothermal resources on the continent including community participation and engagement, addressing regulatory and policy barriers, capacity building and training for both public and private developers, integrated planning with other renewable energy sources as well as adopting innovative financing mechanisms to ensure sustainability of projects in the sector. The outcomes and recommendations of the event will be used to continue the implementation of the GRMF programme.
The Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) was established in 2012 by the African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and the European Union (EU) – Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, managed through the German Development Bank (KfW).
Other partners of the Facility include the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Government of New Zealand. The objective of the facility is to encourage public and private investors as well as public private partnerships to develop geothermal prospects for power generation in Eastern Africa by supporting early stage development through the provision of grants surface studies and drilling of exploration wells.
The grants are awarded through competitive Application Rounds based on quality of the proposed project’s geological, technical data and work programme, financial viability and environmental/social sustainability. Grants totaling US$ 117.5 million have been awarded to 30 projects with a potential to generate 2,783 MW in the region.
Source: African Union