African Development Bank (AfDB) will seek increased support from China for investments in renewable energy projects in Africa, an official has said.
Daniel Schroth, Director of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Department of AfDB, told Xinhua that due to the enormous expertise and know-how on renewable energy from the South-South cooperation, it is important for the bank to strengthen its partnerships with some Asian countries, including China.
“One has to recognize that China has seen a larger expansion in the magnitude of renewable energy generation capacity in the last couple of years. It is a remarkable achievement and is something that Africa can learn from,” he said.
He said China, a non-regional AfDB member, has cooperated with the bank to capitalize the Africa Growing Together Fund for projects in energy and infrastructure.
“There is certainly the potential to scale up that cooperation further and focus specifically on renewable energy projects, which are critical from an integration perspective,” said Schroth.
He said the continent boasts of enormous renewable energy potentials, including some of the world’s best hydro potentials, excellent solar potentials across the entire continent, geothermal energy along the East African Rift Valley, and wind both offshore and onshore in many locations, which provide great opportunities for cooperation with stakeholders including China.
Schroth added that the African lender had been increasing financing for renewable energy projects to harness some of these potentials.
“Since 2016, more than 86 percent of our investments in power generation have been in renewable energy projects because we see that as the enormous opportunity for Africa to leapfrog some of the existing technologies for the continent’s development,” he added.
For this reason, the official said the bank “is keen on deepening conversation with Chinese counterparts on support for these projects.”
The official added that AfDB was leading the way in the quest to harness these resources to support Africa’s growth objectives. Through the desert-to-power flagship project, for instance, AfDB seeks to provide access to electricity to 250 million Africans by 2030. Moreover, AfDB also signed a mandate with the government of Mozambique earlier this May for a 1,500 MW hydropower project.
But in addition to these projects, Schroth highlighted the need for investments in interconnectivity and integration to create a more robust infrastructure that would allow a sharing of renewables in the collective larger grids.
He said these transmission and integration projects that were critical for energy sufficiency and efficiency on the continent were also opportunities for cooperation with China and would also grant access to Chinese private sector companies to access the African energy market.