Renewable Energy Solutions for Africa (RES4Africa) foundation has marked its seventh annual conference in Addis Ababa at Sheraton Hotel on July 19, 2019, making it the first time the conference is held in the African continent.
The session, titled "Overcoming Africa's Energy Access Gap" was sponsored by Enel Green Power, Bonelli Erede and Terna, where 200 participants gathered to discuss and identify strategic priorities to scale-up renewable energy across Africa to overcome the energy access gaps.
Stated in its press release, the annual conference offers Africa a unique opportunity to consolidate and expand RES4Africa's well-established dialogue with key public and private sector stakeholders, multilateral institutions and civil society organizations working on to accelerate access to clean energy as a foundation for an inclusive and sustainable development in Africa.
RES4Africa has set the scene of its 2019 Annual Conference to be the ideal foray to analyze the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus as a new paradigm of opportunities for investors who seek to close the energy gap in Africa.
The conference, which aims to accelerate Africa's renewable energy transition, was held in the presence of Seleshi Bekele (PhD), Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity of Ethiopia, Antonio Cammisecra, President of RES4Africa, Roberto Vigotti, secretary General of RES4Africa foundation, Francesco la camera, Director-General of IRENA and Emanuela Del Re, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy.
"The Growth and Transformation Plan II involves the construction of 13.7 GW of new renewable capacity from sources other than hydroelectricity in order to diversify the Ethiopian energy generation mix. And now 97 percent of Ethiopia's electricity is generated from renewable energy resources," Seleshi told the participant.
It is to be recalled that Back in 2017 Enel Green Power, an Italian company and an Ethiopian infrastructure company, Orchid Business Group won a 100MW (AC) solar tender floated by the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) to develop a 100MW solar power plant near the town of Metahara in the region of Oromia, about 200 km from Addis Ababa, at a cost of USD 120 million.
Antonio Cammisecra, President of RES4Africa told journalists that they are about to sign the final contract with EEP at the end of July.
Cammisecra said that Ethiopia has all the potential to become a key market for Enel's strategy in Africa. The country has plenty of renewable sources that can generate energy at affordable rates thanks to modern green technologies.
The Metahara Solar PV power plant, which will supply electricity to the Ethiopian national grid, will be one of the largest solar power facilities in Africa.
"This is a great opportunity for Ethiopia and the sooner we sign the contract, the sooner we start working," adding "With less than a year, the project will be completed and will be ready to produce 100 MW," Michele Bologna, Head of Global Renewable Energies Communication told The Reporter.