Ethiopia and Mali set to Advance Renewable Energy Plans
Ethiopia and Mali are set to begin preparing renewable energy projects specified in their investment plan under the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program in Low Income Countries (SREP) after successfully achieving investment plan endorsement from the SREP sub-committee at their meeting on 8 March 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya. SREP is a program of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) of which the African Development Bank (AfDB) is an implementing agency.
Approved in principle, Ethiopia’s investment plan calls for AfDB technical support and guidance to prepare and implement its Assela wind farm project and Phase II of the Aluto Langano geothermal project. Project preparation grants were approved for both projects (USD 1.7 and .9 million respectively) so work can get underway. Ethiopia will seek full endorsement of its investment plan by early May 2012. The Bank expects to channel USD 22.6 million in SREP financing to Ethiopia.
Once the current political situation stabilizes, Mali can also begin project preparations for a solar photovoltaic power plant to be developed and executed by an independent power producer (IPP), as well as a mini/micro hydro initiative encompassing two mini hydroelectricity power plants, four micro hydroelectricity power plants and their associated transmission and distribution lines. Mali can also start preparing a technical assistance project designed to build capacity, strengthen the systems for monitoring and evaluation, and further develop knowledge management and project management skills critical to the long term transformation of its renewable energy sector.
The AfDB expects to channel USD 24.5 million in SREP funding to Mali along with USD 40 million from its own resources. Additionally, the Bank’s African Carbon Support Program (ACSP) has been collaborating with Mali to identify ways to develop the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) component of its SREP investment plan. A separate joint seminar with the World Bank in mid-March brought together the SREP-Mali committee and the Malian CDM Designated National Authority to discuss carbon markets.
Newly selected CIF pilot countries, Tanzania and Liberia, will also begin developing their SREP investment plans. As the lead MDB for the investment plan process in Tanzania, the AfDB will provide technical assistance while the World Bank will lead in Liberia. Tanzania shall benefit from up to USD 50 million in SREP resources. Although additional SREP funding is not yet available for Liberia, it is at the top of the waiting list to receive USD 50 million.
The SREP sub-committee meeting was preceded by the annual SREP pilot countries meeting from 5-7 March 2012 in Nairobi where SREP pilot countries from Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, and Tanzania) joined counterparts from around the world to share experiences and gain insight on implementing the SREP to advance national renewable energy development goals.