Ethiopia's efforts to increase energy efficiency and diversify its hydro-dependent energy mix through renewable energy got a USD 50 million boost from the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) committee meetings last week when Ethiopia's investment plan under the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program for Low Income Countries (SREP) was endorsed in full by CIF committee members.The decision came during the week-long CIF committee meetings in Washington, D.C. from 30 April to 4 May. As implementing agency of the CIF, the African Development Bank (AfDB) was there to bring African interests to the table.
Ethiopia's plan calls for AfDB technical support and investment to implement the Assela wind farm project and Phase II of the Aluto Langano geothermal project. The Bank expects to channel USD 23 million of total SREP financing to Ethiopia.
"The plan will help unlock Ethiopia's renewable energy potential and share some of the risks. Funds will be applied to technology transfer to reduce the cost of wind energy and to initial drilling and exploration activities of geothermal," stated Gosaye Mengistie Abayneh, Director of Energy Study and Development in the Ethiopian Ministry of Energy.
Also during the meeting, Nigeria was allocated USD 85 million out of USD 250 million endorsed in its investment plan under the Clean Technology Fund (CTF). It aims to promote private and public sector-led renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and mass-transit urban transport investments. The AfDB expects to channel at least half of the CTF financing and contribute technical support and USD 200 million of its own co-financing to two projects specified in Nigeria's plan: 1) bus-based mass transport systems and 2) financial intermediation for clean energy and energy efficiency.
Ghana presented updates on its investment plan under the Forest Investment Plan (FIP), which will be finalized for submission later in the year. FIP financing, estimated between USD 30 to 50 million, will help Ghana protect natural forests and woodlands, enhance carbon stocks and provide climate-smart agriculture and watershed protection.
The meetings also heard the call for additional instruments and tools to strengthen direct private sector engagement, including proposals for fund allocation and guideline reforms, equity and local currency lending, and new dedicated funds. Such new measures could benefit all CIF countries, including those in Africa where private sector engagement in the CIF has been quite limited. Committee members will reconvene on the issue at the CIF Governing Bodies Meetings and Partnership Forum in November 2012.